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/ NEWS: Ben Moon climbs sit start to Voyager, Font 8b+

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Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
Ben Moon has climbed the sit start to Voyager his Burbage testpiece of last year. Voyager (given Font 8b or V13) recently got two repeats..........read more: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

No comments!? Unbelieveable, good effort Ben! How anybody can even hang those starting holds is beyond me.
david Pike on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Its a brilliant achievement... Continually stunned by what he can do... this is a well known problem in an easy to get to location and it was Ben who was still the first to be able to put it all together... The man is a star...
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to david Pike:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Its a brilliant achievement... Continually stunned by what he can do... this is a well known problem in an easy to get to location and it was Ben who was still the first to be able to put it all together... The man is a star...

You are right....40 years old and still at the top of his game. Yes, you'd think that with all these strong and young boulderers about it would have been done sooner. What do they do all day?

Mick

Agent Moog on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

The strong young boulderers have noticed that you can spend two years trying a font 8b+ problem in this country, and get about 8 days of good conditions a year, or go to Colorado and climb a couple of 8b+ problems in a week.
GraemeA at home on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to david Pike)
>
> What do they do all day?
>
> Mick

School?

Paul B - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to GraemeA at home: should that be THE school graeme or just school? ;)
nz Cragrat on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to david Pike)
> [...]
>
> you'd think that with all these strong and young boulderers about it would have been done sooner. What do they do all day?
>
> Mick

Not sitting on there arses?

(Sorry I think sit starts are pretty bogus but hey, each to their own)
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to nz Cragrat:

Not so much bogus as sad. That people really have nothing more interesting to do in life than sit on their arses on the underside of some small boulder, and try and get themselves off the ground. It's almost like a negation of the climbing spirit to me. Or any spirit. Just so small and narrow-minded, and so entirely lacking any sense of fun or humour. How can anyone take that seriously? I.e. How can anyone ever bother with it after about the first 10 minutes they've ever tried it in their lives?
Agent Moog on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to nz Cragrat)
>
> Not so much bogus as sad. That people really have nothing more interesting to do in life than sit on their arses on the underside of some small boulder, and try and get themselves off the ground. It's almost like a negation of the climbing spirit to me. Or any spirit. Just so small and narrow-minded, and so entirely lacking any sense of fun or humour. How can anyone take that seriously? I.e. How can anyone ever bother with it after about the first 10 minutes they've ever tried it in their lives?

Have you seen the sit start to Voyager? It's one of the most impressive lines on grit, it doesn't even look possible. The stand start misses most of the moves as it jumps to a reasonable hold from the floor, so really the sit start is just a start to force the climber to climb the entire feature. I'm afraid that if you can't see the point, or appeal, of this line then really then you are truly missing an element of aesthetic appreciatioin that must make climbing no different to you than adventurous hill walking.

Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to nz Cragrat)
>
> Not so much bogus as sad. That people really have nothing more interesting to do in life than sit on their arses on the underside of some small boulder, and try and get themselves off the ground. It's almost like a negation of the climbing spirit to me.

You mean like these sad bastards here Gordon

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=54595

Scroll down on this page and see BMC exc' Dave Turnbull being, "small and narrow-minded, and so entirely lacking any sense of fun or humour"

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=54581

I've seen Galen Rowell doing a sit start.....Peter Croft positively revelled in it...usually after doing some alpine link-up in the early hours.

Mick
emo on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
eh?
Its an obvious place to start, its a great line, its 12 moves and pretty damn high...........its bouldering.....eeeerrr if you dont like it dont do it.
Bens been climbing at the forefront of british climbing for 22 years now, continually reaching and passing the modern perception of whats possible, damn important if you ask me!
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Agent Moog:

OK, I agree that was a completely prejudiced remark - mostly because I find sit starts just so daft, and really can't take myself at all seriously if I try to do them. I can accept that one or two boulder starts may be uniquely interesting, but by and large they are dire. I actually think they're really quite embarrassing, when life has really become that narrow. Why, why, why, not try to spend that time, and use one's talent, doing some sensational, high quality route/s somewhere?? Real, multifaceted adventures?

(PS. Hill walking can often be a lot more interesting than sitting under a boulder because you just see so much more, minute by minute.)
Boy - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: The climbing spirit?? Your sad bigotted diatribe suggests you have little understanding of what that spirit is.
A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

A very naieve, illinformed and myopic post.
barryb on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
How can you call people who do sit starts narrow minded yet express such a narrow minded view?
Ben Moon has been and clearly still is one of the best climbers this country has produced yet you choose to lable him as 'Sad' 'Lacking any sense of humour'?
Your clearly not into bouldering, so why even bother commenting on a thread about one of the best new problems climbed this year?
Chris Fryer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Amazing display of narrowmindedness Gordon. It's all part of the great game that is bouldering, along with eliminates, traverses, variations etc. Just becuase it doesn't appeal to you, don't knock it.
squeek on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (PS. Hill walking can often be a lot more interesting than sitting under a boulder because you just see so much more, minute by minute.)

I don't think Mr Moon just climbed the hardest problem on grit so he could see the view from the top of the boulder. He did it for the climbing.

I did like the irony of you sat in front of a computer whining on an internet forum about someone being sad for climbing something though.
TimS on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Agent Moog:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> The stand start misses most of the moves as it jumps to a reasonable hold from the floor

Reasonable for an 8b that is, had a look this weekend and didn't fancy shredding my fingers trying to catch that row of spiky crystals!

Yeah yeah, bouldering is so much less worthwhile than mountain climbing or hill walking etc. blah blah.

Great effort from Ben, now the hardest line on grit, what an accolade to have to your name.

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to emo:

I know. He's a brilliant climber, and I took pictures of him doing 'Jerry's Roof' on the underside of some big boulder in Llanberis Pass, for my first book, Eyes to the Hills, c. 1989. (page 81)

I really appreciate high quality bouldering but ... Trouble is, sit starts have made less, not more sense, as I've got older.

I also went with Ben (and Johnny and Paul Pritchard) to Strone Ulladale in 1989 ... and that was the opposite end of the spectrum ...
RupertD on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Agent Moog)
I can accept that one or two boulder starts may be uniquely interesting, but by and large they are dire.

Sometimes they are, but many routes are also dire. the point of sit starts is not the difficulty of lifting your arse off the deck, on the best sit start problems the actual sitting bit is irrelevant to the difficulty except for the fact that it designated a starting position.

I'm not sure why you think that a boulderer's talents should be used elsewhere? It's like saying the 100m sprint is a silly event - why don't these sprinters apply their running talent to running cross country? Ie it misses the whole point of the activity in the first place.
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to squeek:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> I don't think Mr Moon just climbed the hardest problem on grit so he could see the view from the top of the boulder. He did it for the climbing.
>
> I did like the irony of you sat in front of a computer whining on an internet forum about someone being sad for climbing something though.

I'm not whining about work, at all - writing, that's my job (have just taken some time off having been working since 7 am with a nasty deadline looming) - you know, it's called making a living, and nothing to do with sport ... which is partly why, this last weekend, though I had to attend two events at the Kendal Mt Book Festival I chose on Saturday to go up into the hills in an incredible gale, and absolutely magic things happened photographically between storms, and driving rain. There were 40 minutes then which were as magic in atmospheric conditions, multiple rainbows, truly extraordinary light etc., as anything I've ever seen.

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to RupertD:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
> I can accept that one or two boulder starts may be uniquely interesting, but by and large they are dire.
>
> Sometimes they are, but many routes are also dire. the point of sit starts is not the difficulty of lifting your arse off the deck, on the best sit start problems the actual sitting bit is irrelevant to the difficulty except for the fact that it designated a starting position.
>
> I'm not sure why you think that a boulderer's talents should be used elsewhere? It's like saying the 100m sprint is a silly event - why don't these sprinters apply their running talent to running cross country? Ie it misses the whole point of the activity in the first place.


Yup, interesting, deep point. I've never understood artificially demarcated sporting problems, I'll have to confess.

Paul213123 on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I suppose its like music. Some people like Mozart and some like Nose bleed Techno. Either way there's no wrong or right. It's just a personnal preference. It's the people that critise other people's preference's who are the narrow minded idiot's in my eyes.
Morgan Woods - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to nz Cragrat)
>
> I.e. How can anyone ever bother with it after about the first 10 minutes they've ever tried it in their lives?

i would be inclined to agree with you mainly coz i am crap at them....i shall persist in the cause of working on my weaknesses....maybe they'll grow on me, maybe not.
nz Cragrat on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Chris Fryer:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) . It's all part of the great game that is bouldering, along with eliminates, traverses, variations etc. Just becuase it doesn't appeal to you, don't knock it.

I talked to someone recently who had been bouldering in the UK recently and thought it was often a bit of a joke in that there were SO many variations,eliminates etc that you couldn't just rock up and climb a problem because you used "that" hold which makes it a different route... and you can only use it with your right hand etc etc.
hugedyno on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Agent Moog)
>
> Why, why, why, not try to spend that time, and use one's talent, doing some sensational, high quality route/s somewhere?? Real, multifaceted adventures?
>

Good ' Troll ', Gord....you got a few people biting, but The Hugester's seen right thru you ! He, he, he.

> (PS. Hill walking can often be a lot more interesting than sitting under a boulder because you just see so much more, minute by minute.)

Yeah, and miss out, 'cause a Nanosecond of enhanced Bouldering concentration can last a lifetime. The micro - nuances of the Gritstone crystals plus imagination and talent can turn an ' impossible ' feature into a temporal, gravity - defying link, worthy of ' Waddage '.

Dude. ;-0)
HD.

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paul213123:

Yes, that's probably a very good way to leave the subject for now - let's just put it down to taste. We only live once, and there's not so much time to do or listen to the things we most like. (I myself would listen to Bach partitas or cantatas or Beethoven quartets and sonatas, now, in preference to just about anything else.) As you get older though (assuming I'm a lot older than you!), all I can say is it certainly sharpens your sense of judgement and makes one very reluctant to waste time. (Telly has been closed down for many months now, and I may soon get rid of.)
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to hugedyno:

What about a great series of technical moves in some fantastically exposed situation, in a beautiful setting?? I've had some great times at Fontainbleau, and really love the place, but it all pales into insignificance compared with the (quite few) truly great days in the mountains.
Paul B - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
all i can say to this is go and have a look at it, its one of the most stunning boulder problems I have ever seen following a very difficult and prominent line.
Mick Ward - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:


(Think we need to leaven the mood on this one; surely poor 'ole Gordon's had enough sitter stick.)

Love big Greg's stance in the background. He looks strong enough to lift the boulder and walk away with it. Probably is!

Mick
Dru on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Bouldering is a very intense, focused struggle with ever increasing degrees of difficulty, the major players are totally consumed by thier art, to call it pointless, really is to excuse the pun missing the point, these guys are world class athletes, Moon has been pushing standards for a few decades, show a little respect for something you obviously do not have a scoobie about, a point of view to be expected fom the red sock brigade, why not just walk up the back youth.
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> [...]
>
> (Think we need to leaven the mood on this one; surely poor 'ole Gordon's had enough sitter stick.)
>

I am not the least bit bothered, frankly. Each to their own. You would probably be amazed now if you had seen the absolutely obsessional way I was out, almost every evening after work in film cutting rooms, in the mid-70s, climbing very hard technical 'boulder problems' (I used to call them boleder problems) on trees in Kensington Gardens. Some of them were technically very hard indeed and took many weeks to work out. Mind you, they were probably more beautiful than your average boulder ..!
A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ward)
> [...]
>
> I am not the least bit bothered, frankly. Each to their own.

Now if you had said that to start with...
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Dru:

Oh, you silly idiot. Bother to read what I posted earlier. Why on earth do you think I went out of my way to shoot and include Ben Moon doing one of the hardest boulder problems in Britain for my first book, if I did NOT respect and appreciate it?
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> You mean like these sad bastards here Gordon
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=54595
>
> Scroll down on this page and see BMC exc' Dave Turnbull being, "small and narrow-minded, and so entirely lacking any sense of fun or humour"

It just looks like a very typical fun time bouldering. I've spent years behaving just like that; just seeing it a bit differently now.

>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=54581
>
> I've seen Galen Rowell doing a sit start.....Peter Croft positively revelled in it...usually after doing some alpine link-up in the early hours.

I can just imagine Peter Croft doing it, almost as a jest, but, my god, what a climber. I can imagine him burning most people off within seconds. Think I did actually once 'go bouldering' with him (i.e. at some big gathering in Banff or the Peak in late 70s - can't remember, but remember being somewhere where he was bouldering)

>
> Mick

A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Dru)
>
> Oh, you silly idiot. Bother to read what I posted earlier. Why on earth do you think I went out of my way to shoot and include Ben Moon doing one of the hardest boulder problems in Britain for my first book, if I did NOT respect and appreciate it?

I refer you to your original post:

"Not so much bogus as sad. That people really have nothing more interesting to do in life than sit on their arses on the underside of some small boulder, and try and get themselves off the ground. It's almost like a negation of the climbing spirit to me. Or any spirit. Just so small and narrow-minded, and so entirely lacking any sense of fun or humour. How can anyone take that seriously? I.e. How can anyone ever bother with it after about the first 10 minutes they've ever tried it in their lives?"

Hmm, yes, now bearing in mind this thread is about voyager, it sounds like you respect Ben Moon a huge amount.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]

> I can just imagine Peter Croft doing it, almost as a jest, but, my god, what a climber. I can imagine him burning most people off within seconds.

Ah well, Peter wasn't bouldering in jest when trying a new boulder problem at the Happy Boulders at the same time that I was trying it. It is a traverse but has a sds.

I burnt him off good styleé.....Sabres of Paradise V7.....

Yes brilliant climber in all arenas, big wall free, alpine, sport climber (he's a rabid bolter) and bouldering......enthusiastic hiker and insatiable coffee drinker (Peets coffee of SF)....and tippler of the cocktail.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

He's also a cross dresser.
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to A Longleat Boulderer:

I'm sorry, I was'nt talking about Ben Moon at all (he is a brilliant climber, and I used to know him quite well, but haven't seen him for quite a few years now.) I was talking about sit-down starts. You will have to believe me - I've never understood them. Maybe my loss. Last time I tried one was about 2 years ago at a BMC Roaches meet, at the superb 'spring boulders' below the Roaches, with Dave Garnett - who is of course a much better climber than myself. I remember I gave up quite quickly because it was just so ludicrously strenuous (and seemed pretty daft) and I was hurting myself. Dave carried on trying and I think hurt himself quite badly !!

It was one of those ludicrous things where you put a fantastic amount of power into getting about 6 inches off the deck, hanging nearly horizontal, and then just slump back into the very comfortable grass when you've had enough/ can't stay on any longer!
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Yes, absolutely awesome all-rounder. Fantastic high-speed soloer, and fit almost beyond belief.
Paz - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I agree sit starts can seem contrived and pointless, especially when the stand up version is a vertical wall, but to climb a roof that you have to crouch down to get under anyway it's completely logical.

Especially as most boulders usually start from sitting on their bouldering matt having just put their boots on underneath their desired problem too, they were only going to have to stand up anyway, so why not add a move when that's what you came to do?

The thing that impresses me about Voyager, in addition to last time with the stand up was that it uses for hand holds things that I couldn't even get established on as foot holds when I half heartedly tried The Sphinx E5 6c ( V7 or something nowadays). Well as well as it being too hard, the reason I sacked this problem off was because every time I fell/jumped off, some sort of comedy matt surfing down the muddy slope ensued. How the hell Ben managed to sitdown at the base of the problem in the first place, without rolling backwards arse over tit down hill, I do not know!
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> I agree sit starts can seem contrived and pointless

Don't go saying that on UKBouldering.com Paz......to some the sitter is their raison d’être.....their evangelical zeal knows no bounds.

Like the Fish says though, "it doesn't make the problem any harder"........that always gets them!
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Yes, absolutely awesome all-rounder. Fantastic high-speed soloer, and fit almost beyond belief.

Wierd sense of dress though........

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=56808

Dru on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Am i bothered, are use disrespecting me, very much so, me red socked dinosaur, now you are just digging a hole!
Paz - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I only says it can seem pointless to climbers, meaning especially those of a certain age with a traditional apprenticeship. A sit start doesn't get you any extra kudos for an ascent of Everest.

And even if I was Gordon, about to discover the amazing amount of climbing available when you take up bouldering, for my self, at his age I doubt I'd waste my time just trying to pull my arse off the floor at first, when there's all these great natural up problems in the world, in the mid and easy grades too. I haven't even touched on climbers with arthritis/ inflexibility problems either, yet, but some of them could easily hold their own in the mountains.

Personally my problem with sitters is that I'm never sure if I've powerfully pulled my weight off the ground with my arms on to my feet, or if I've accidentally done a French bump start with my arse. Passing wind confuses the issue even further.
Hardonicus - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paz:

I thought that was called a 'Yorkshire Dipper'...
A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Hardonicus:

That is use of the heel on the floor.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I only says it can seem pointless to climbers, meaning especially those of a certain age with a traditional apprenticeship. A sit start doesn't get you any extra kudos for an ascent of Everest.

Add 'some' to just before 'climbers' and add 'to some of' just before 'those'.

> A sit start doesn't get you any extra kudos for an ascent of Everest.

Not so sure about that! Who got the sit start FA to Everest?

I'm sure many thousands who read UKClimbing.com appreciate the sit-down start but, like you, can actually take the piss out of the addiction!

Mick
Paz - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Hardonicus + A Longleat Boulderer:

Right, typically jumping off the ground on a stander on is a classic French Start, and weighting your heels through the ground off a low foot hold is the Bristol Heel, named after what inevitably happens at UCR's bouldering wall.

I've heard of `The Yorkshire Power Spot', but never before The Yorkshire Dipper. Is this the term for arse dabs, or for farting?
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Dru:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> Am i bothered, are use disrespecting me, very much so,

Not at all. All the disrespect came from you. You sent this post out of the blue:

>show a little respect for something you obviously do not have a scoobie about, a point of view to be expected fom the red sock brigade, why not just walk up the back youth.

I then responded it, calling you simply a silly idiot because you obviously had not read my posts.

I happen to love bouldering, and spent quite a large part of my life doing it from c. 1967 to 2001, when I had a bad shoulder injury. Have done very little since then, because, as you surely know, almost every boulder problem under the sun ends with a very powerful mantleshelf move, pushing down with one arm, and my left arm was out of action for that type of move for a long time.

I also happen to be a (not close) friend of Ben Moon, who helped me quite a lot on my first book. This involved a couple of days photographic work in Snowdonia and a week in Scotland. On the Scottish trip in 1989 I also had Paul Pritchard and Johnny Dawes with me. It was a great privilege to be in such company, and we all had a great time. We had a really memorable hurricane, saw a dazzling display of the Northern Lights, they did their new route on Stron, we had some great evenings in the boat hut, and one humungously drunken night in a cottage near Stornaway. I actually went bouldering with them one day, but gave up v v quickly because the technical gap was just so huge! What would happen was they would all make something look quite doable, about V2 or 3 and then you'd try and realise that what had looked like passable holds were quite unusable and that it was probably about V6 or 7. V demoralising! (Well, not really. Actually, very inspiring to see them climbing and it actually dragged your standard up. Just their lightness of touch. For the next few years when I was climbing and felt a bit stressed I would just say to myself 'think Johnny', and would climb better almost immediately.)

All I was poking fun at was 'sit-down' starts. OK? I guess I have too much of a sense of humour. That time I described earlier with Dave Garnett, as far as I can remember I just sank back into the grass, paralysed with laughter because it was just so loony.

>me red socked dinosaur,

Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have any red socks any more, mainly because they no longer make them (we had them in the old days because, for a long while, that was the only only colour you could get. You probably don't really understand just how limited climbing gear was i.e. one make of rope, one make of karabiner, two types of rock boot, and about four types of hillwalking boots.) I wonder what colour your socks are? I assume you still wear socks occasionally.



cidersoak - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to nz Cragrat)
>
> How can anyone take that seriously?

because you are old and sad.. ..
A Longleat Boulderer - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Hardonicus + A Longleat Boulderer)
>
> Right, typically jumping off the ground on a stander on is a classic French Start, and weighting your heels through the ground off a low foot hold is the Bristol Heel, named after what inevitably happens at UCR's bouldering wall.

Yorksire Dipper is the same as Bristol Heel...
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to cidersoak:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> because you are old and sad.. ..

How do you know?

Anyway you will find that having blinkers on and a closed mind, sometimes, is as common in the young as it is with the older.
cidersoak - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: you can talk mick.. things i heard ...
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Paz:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
>
> And even if I was Gordon, about to discover the amazing amount of climbing available when you take up bouldering, for my self

You are just very prejudiced and very ignorant, I'm afraid. I have spent a huge amount of my life (40 years) bouldering, and love it (well, certainly used to, until a shoulder injury in 2001 curtailed it drastically). I did my first really serious bouldering in Zermatt 1967; both John and I got quite badly hurt on one highball. There then followed about two decades of southern sandstone and bouldering in the Pass. Lots of soloing, late 70s and early 80s, on S sandstone. In 1970, did a lot of bouldering in the Pass with my brother, Tim James and John Syrett (who was way ahead, but v inspiring) Have spent huge amounts of time since 1991, bouldering around RH Stride, Cratcliffe, Burbage South and the Roaches, but never got much above V3. (Did one or two 'B5s' in the first Peak bouldering guide.) Was very happy with some of the V3s I managed to do at Burbage South - in fact, most of them. Some fabulous things on 'the Tank' etc etc. Also, Harborough and Pleasley were weekly venues for a long, long time, about a decade ago. I was then doing that long traverse at Pleasley about once a week.

Just when did you 'discover bouldering'?
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to cidersoak)
> [...]
>
> How do you know?
>
> Anyway you will find that having blinkers on and a closed mind, sometimes, is as common in the young as it is with the older.


Yes, Mick. What is so alarming is that these people are so obviously, young and sad. How dare they say (for no other reason, but sheer prejudice, and something that their sad little minds just want to be true) that I am 'old and sad'! How on earth do they know? Highly likely that I'm a lot happier and more generally humourous than they are.

Huge generalisation coming up .. but: there is actually a lot less humour on the crags than there used to be, and a much less friendly, much less accommodating atmosphere (with whole clubs now arrogantly taking over sections of a crag, as if they no longer belong to any kind of climbing community.) Also, people generally taking themselves far too seriously, and not enough of the old, wicked banter.

Do any of these people who top rope nowadays have any idea what the old sandstone ethic was like? In the mid 70s it became virtually the norm, if you farted around on a tight rope for anything more than about 2 or 3 minutes to be 'lowered' at nearly terminal velocity to within about an inch of the deck. And that started even before we had belay plates.
Boy - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Disregard what I said earlier. It was spectacularly ill judged to pick this particular thread to have a go at sit starts in, but you weren't denegrating Ben's acheivement as I'd first thought. I dare say when I hit fifty I'll be equally disinterested in them.
Boy - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
>
> Huge generalisation coming up .. but: there is actually a lot less humour on the crags than there used to be, and a much less friendly, much less accommodating atmosphere (with whole clubs now arrogantly taking over sections of a crag, as if they no longer belong to any kind of climbing community.) Also, people generally taking themselves far too seriously, and not enough of the old, wicked banter.
>

You are obviously going to the wrong crags. Nothing could be further from my typical cragging experience.
Perhaps the sorry state of crag banter at the places you are at is because the interesting, funny people are off doing sits starts in the woods, far from your jaded gaze.
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Boy:

Well, thanks for reassuring me. I'm hopeful that at the bouldering crags it's still just the same (because, if not, i.e. if it's still not treated as a hell of a laugh, with everyone talking nearly complete nonsense every minute of the day, something has indeed gone v badly wrong with it.) On the most popular crags now, like Stanage and Birchens, though, it's a grim scene indeed with it mostly reduced to a vaguely competitive arena, which has something to do with physical exercise and playing about on the rocks, and playing about with ropes.
Mick Ward - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Boy:

> I dare say when I hit fifty I'll be equally disinterested in them.

Or maybe not...

Mick

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

OK, note to myself. That last sentence was, of course, miles too strong, but I'm putting it very strongly to make a point. The big problem now, in our exceptionally affluent age, is that no one is motivated to think about or question anything. Will probably be our undoing.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
>
> Yes, Mick. What is so alarming is that these people are so obviously, young and sad.

I don't think they are and nor are you.

> but: there is actually a lot less humour on the crags than there used to be

Bollox.

> and a much less friendly, much less accommodating atmosphere (with whole clubs now arrogantly taking over sections of a crag, as if they no longer belong to any kind of climbing community.)

Which bloody crags do you go to Gordon?

>Also, people generally taking themselves far too seriously, and not enough of the old, wicked banter.

Bollox

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Most reassured by your 'bollox', Mick, but are you really back in UK now??

Have seen some v depressing scenes walking past Birchens recently. And the popular end of Stanage is now so overcrowded by people with a total lack of imagination or any apparent appreciation or knowledge of the place, that surely it would be a good idea, in the interests of everyone, and future generations, to just shut it off for several decades ...? Machine guns along the top? Cultural barriers as you drive in to Hathersage...? I know. Just wishful thinking.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Most reassured by your 'bollox', Mick, but are you really back in UK now??

Sat in Kendal.
>
> Have seen some v depressing scenes walking past Birchens recently. And the popular end of Stanage is now so overcrowded by people with a total lack of imagination .........

Has it not always been?
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Sat in Kendal.
> [...]

Sorry to miss you, then, but went on hill on Saturday afternoon (though back early evening). Don't really know quite what you look like, so probably walked straight past you!
>
> Has it not always been?

Yes... but ... I wish I felt in my bones it was going as well as it used to. So many people now seem to have ZERO interest in the place, in nature, in their surroundings, in the history, etc. etc. etc. It just seems, amazingly, at start of C21st to be blinder and more ignorant than ever. OK, it may just about, arguably, be as good as it was 40 years ago, but that really is not good enough, is it? Far too many people sounding like they have a grip on it, in some kind of principled way, but just driving about every weekend in these huge gas-guzzling cars. Then you talk to them ... and just about all they can talk about is last night's telly. So you try changing the subject to climbing .. and zilch. As far as they are concerned, climbing is just some new, fun sport that started nearly yesterday, like snow-boarding.

Mick Ward - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> As far as they are concerned, climbing is just some new, fun sport that started nearly yesterday, like snow-boarding.

For some it is. But at least we have this pub in cyberspace, where folk can imbibe climbing culture...

Come on Gordon, we all have bad, weltschmerzy days. I've had bad years and even decades, when the whole world seemed to have disintegrated into a pot of p*ss. Good or bad, we gotta go on. That's the deal - no other game in town.

< Enough of Mick's homespun >

A lot of sitter enthusiasts have mad glints in their eyes. That's got to be a good sign!

Mick (who needs to stagger off to bed)

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> For some it is. But at least we have this pub in cyberspace, where folk can imbibe climbing culture...
>
> Come on Gordon, we all have bad, weltschmerzy days. I've had bad years and even decades, when the whole world seemed to have disintegrated into a pot of p*ss. Good or bad, we gotta go on. That's the deal - no other game in town.

If only it were just 'a bad day'. Yup, it's also probably got a lot to do with me in that I have never stayed 'in one place', psychologically, if not physically. But it feels more like the climbing world has drifted away from me, than I've drifted away from the climbing world. Though, no doubt, I have, indeed drifted away over the last 2-3 years, with a lot more interesting things going on. At a certain level, the whole climbing world is just feeling so tired. Obviously, not at the youngest level (great), but beyond that, it's really turning into a huge yawn for me, that I can't really explain. OK, it's probably about 95% to do with me and about 5% to do with the climbing world. But, just supposing it is about 10 or 15% to do with the way the climbing world is going, would that not be a serious cause for concern?
>
> < Enough of Mick's homespun >
>
> A lot of sitter enthusiasts have mad glints in their eyes. That's got to be a good sign!
>
> Mick (who needs to stagger off to bed)

Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Watch this Gordon and enjoy...

https://www.posingproductions.com/product.php?form_action=detail&product_id=125

and rejoice in the fact that you are wrong.

M
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Yes, that looks absolutely great as far as it goes (in its typically v modern, remarkably rule-governed, fragmented editing style), and almost certainly was a well-deserved winner as the People's Choice at Kendal (I missed it, myself.)

Doesn't prove to me anything about the climbing world as such, except subtly underlining the complete lack of appreciation we now have for place. (Wastw*ter just reduced to a gimmicky background - so boring to the modern film-maker/audience that all they can do with it is do some rapid zooms, in and out.) Just where did this sudden HUGE, narrow-minded, lack of interest in place come from, right at the beginning of the 21st century, just when we most needed its opposite??
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> Just where did this sudden HUGE, narrow-minded, lack of interest in place come from, right at the beginning of the 21st century, just when we most needed its opposite??

How big is your view?

Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well, I'm writing a book about a (the?!) global problem at the moment (lips sealed until I get a commission.)

Chris Fryer - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to nz Cragrat:
> (In reply to Chris Fryer)
> [...]
>
> I talked to someone recently who had been bouldering in the UK recently and thought it was often a bit of a joke in that there were SO many variations,eliminates etc that you couldn't just rock up and climb a problem because you used "that" hold which makes it a different route... and you can only use it with your right hand etc etc.

Did they actually find this across the length and breadth of the UK? Sounds like a bullshit story to me. This is true of certain well used boulders in popular areas, but it's not a common practice.

Mick Ward - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)

> How big is your view?

I'm guessing, but - pretty big.

Mick

tobyfk - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ward:

> But at least we have this pub in cyberspace, where folk can imbibe climbing culture...

<splutter>

Sh*t, coffee all over the keyboard ....
Mick Ward - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But, just supposing it is about 10 or 15% to do with the way the climbing world is going, would that not be a serious cause for concern?

Yes, it would be. It is. And such concerns must be addressed - here and elsewhere. That's what the Victorians would have done. That's what we must do.

Mick


Mick Ward - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to tobyfk:

So glad I made your morning, Toby.

Mick
220bpm on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

>
> I also went with Ben (and Johnny and Paul Pritchard) to Strone Ulladale in 1989 ... and that was the opposite end of the spectrum ...

Bet that was an adventure. Worth a tread of its own!
danm on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:



I guess I'm just fortunate then Gordon. I derived just as much pleasure from my very wet and hungover adventure on Middlefell Buttress on that same day (wasn't it beautiful in between the hail!) as I did the other week succeeding on a problem at the plantation.

Sometimes I find the essentially static nature of bouldering makes me appreciate the surroundings more. I can remember tryng really hard over several hours to do the pocket problem at Langdale, just focussing so hard on this one move I couldn't do, oblivious to the outside world I was so involved in the process. Then losing it in frustration in another failed attempt. Deciding to rest I sat on top and looked up the valley and was suddenly hit by this big rush of just how amazing the light was that day. I was blown away, and totally forgot my failing on the problem. After half an hour of sitting there, I got up to go, and feeling completely relaxed now, for some reason (I still don't know why), put my boots on for "one last go." And I'm at the top of the problem, felt like I glided up it, never moved so smoothly in my life and feel like my heart is going to burst. Never got close to repeating it since!

I can contrast this with some days out in the Alps where I've got no memory of the amazing surroundings, so much has the onus been on movement,movement, movement. I might as well have been climbing with a bag over my head, and yet the experience was no less intense, but for different reasons. I guess I'm trying to say that I get different things from climbing, and have had just as much pleasure from the moves of bouldering as from the dangers of mountaineering.
katy f on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
Until you can do the the climbs that ben moon has i think you should keep your criticisms to yourself
Shani - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to katy f:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> Until you can do the the climbs that ben moon has i think you should keep your criticisms to yourself

Interesting logic. I wonder if I should have a large personal stockpile of nuclear weapons before I criticise North Korea's nuclear program?

Sankey - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Your comments are very unfair on the film, but as you havn't seen it (?) I guess that is par for the course. One of the highlights of the film is a series of long lingering panoramic shots (no zooms!) from lakeland hill tops in fantatastic winter afternoon lighting condtions, really capturing what it feels like to be up there. Also the film emphasises the Birkett families zealous deep connections with the landscape.
Richard Bradley - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Shani: Nah, one dud will do.
woolsack - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to katy f: "Only until you have the experience in climbing, the personalities in climbing and in life itself that a criticism such as that can have any value, Grasshopper."

Someone who has climbed for 40 years is better placed to make such a comment maybe.

I agreed with Gordon, I find bouldering tedious, sit starts make me wonder a bit but hey, each to their own. Personally dont want to carry a big mattress around and spend hours trying to do the same move over and over again, ditto sport climbing trying the same route over and over. Each to their own though

Climbing is full of generation gaps and big heated debates, chalk, bolts, sport climbing, speed climbing etc etc there will be loads more debates. It is the debates which frame the ethics by which the sport grows.

Climbing has got so big, so commercially aware and so popular that it has to be divided into loads of sub categories. Bouldering is only one small part which now seems to be a be all and end all for some people, fine. Not trying to stop it. Don't get so stressed out if other people find it amusing. Don't you think Joe Public finds climbing in all its forms amusing?

<<hard hat and flame suit on>>
nz Cragrat on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to katy f:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> Until you can do the the climbs that ben moon has i think you should keep your criticisms to yourself

its not a climb... its a boulder problem and if you read these posts there is no where that Gordon says anything critical about Ben as a climber of exceptional ability.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to woolsack:

Thing is sport climbing isn't always about trying a route over and over again and nor is bouldering trying the same problem over and over again from a sit-start....it can be, if you want, but I guess that for most, bouldering and sport climbing is just like trad climbing or alpine climbing or any type of climbing.....it's all about moving, usually upward....

I despair slightly at the evangelical boulderers and the evangelical trad daddies.....but thankfully most are in the middle.
woolsack - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Climbing has, for me, always been the whole deal.
Winter, summer, rock, and later on ,indoors (if nothing else is available). Walking to a far off crag, camping high up, bivvying out in the Alps, or road side - all of it. I cannot imagine just doing one little bit just as I cannot imagine eating just chips whether they be the fat chip shop ones or skinny french fries.
woolsack - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Here is the route/climb/subject of thread

http://tinyurl.com/vatx2
north country boy - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to woolsack:

The fact that you use your love for chips as a comparison to your love for climbing is a pretty sad reflection of your opinion and pretty similar to many people who have made comments on this thread!

p.s. Bon Effort Ben, still showing the yoofs how its done!!!
woolsack - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to north country boy: Sorry if the food analogy is lost on you. I dont have a love for chips. I don't particularly like bouldering but I made an effort to read the thread and then the effort to find out what the route in question was about then further effort to post a link so that others can see what started this storm in a tea cup off. Actually
scooott - on 21 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
This thread is boring. Start a new one for Ben Moon's sit-start, nobody wants to wade through all this crap to find the relevant comments.
Boy - on 22 Nov 2006
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Boy)
>
> Well, thanks for reassuring me. I'm hopeful that at the bouldering crags it's still just the same (because, if not, i.e. if it's still not treated as a hell of a laugh, with everyone talking nearly complete nonsense every minute of the day, something has indeed gone v badly wrong with it.)

Rest assured, that is a very accurate description of the usual weekend bouldering scene. For that matter it's equally true of the evening scenes down Raventor in summer.

> On the most popular crags now, like Stanage and Birchens, though, it's a grim scene indeed with it mostly reduced to a vaguely competitive arena, which has something to do with physical exercise and playing about on the rocks, and playing about with ropes.

What do you expect? The closest knit communities and therefore the most banter in climbing are those made of the obsesed. This is hard to explain without being accused of elitism, but the deeper people are into climbing (how hard they climb is irrellevant here but will naturally be higher on average by default) the more time they spend with each other, the more they relate to each others obsession and the more common experience they share.
You turn up at those crags you mentioned and you aren't going to find this community thing, because the crag will have many climbers of lesser obssesion, probably from far affield who don't know each other. This is a far cry from Raventor on a Tues or Thurs eve which is as much of a social club as a climbing venue.
You're maybe not seeing the best in climbers anymore Gordon because you're no longer in heart of the climbing world in a way that perhaps you once were.
gaz parry - on 22 Nov 2006
Gppd point boy. The scene i alive and kicking with people partying harder and climbing harder all over the world. It is a world scene now, at the moment i write this from Slovenia. Just climbed in the World cup in Kranj, trained in the wall, bouldered outside, climbed at Misa Pec, i stay in a slovenian friends house been clubbing with Mrazek, Lama, Jorg. If you want to see the what its like in the modern uk scene come to the opening of the climbing works 9th dec then come partying after, and then the next day some bouldering..................hmmmmmm............now that could me nice..........but no laughing now.....stiff upper lip and all that. Where did i put me hobnails
gaz parry - on 22 Nov 2006
ooooops i mean hobnobs
david smedley on 24 Nov 2006
> (In reply to Agent Moog)
>
> OK, I agree that was a completely prejudiced remark - mostly because I find sit starts just so daft, and really can't take myself at all seriously
in reply to Gordon Stainforth
Just because you are no good at sitdown starts does not make them daft. you are obviously not a climber.As for Bens achievment FANTASTIC.I saw him at voyager yesterday and told him so. Another brilliant addition to the peak district.
BrianT - on 27 Nov 2006

Man climbs rock. Controversy reigns.
co1ps - on 27 Nov 2006
Though it pains me to say it, bouldering represents the purest expression of the sport...no gear, just boots and chalk, on your own on a contemplative day on grit, or a big crowd after work on a Friday night in Burbage. A lot more peaceful than being surrounded by climbers wearing chain mail skirts constructed out of hex 10s and clanking like a herd of alpine cows..........that being said I like trad climbing too...
thekirkz - on 27 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
So what grade is the sit start to 3 pebble slab? OH NOOOOO!!!
Mick Ward - on 27 Nov 2006
In reply to BrianT:

> Man climbs rock. Controversy reigns.

Plus ca change...

Mick

P.S. Good to see you back.

GCW - on 27 Nov 2006
In reply to thekirkz:

It's still E0.
BrianT - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to Mick Ward: Cheers Mick. I was always here, my song lost in the breeze's whisper, my smile burning in the sun's warm rays, and my knob swaying amidst the mighty pines.
BrianT - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to thekirkz: What's the walking equivalent of a sit down start?
John2 - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to BrianT: "What's the walking equivalent of a sit down start?"

In the Brecon Beacons you regularly see people who have presumably heard that the area is used for SAS training running up and down hills in pseudo military uniform carrying large rucksacks.
Chris Fryer - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to BrianT: Not using a car and starting the walk from your house.
BrianT - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to John2: Maybe they ARE the SAS.
John2 - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to BrianT: I'm pretty sure that not all of the people you see doing this would make it into the SAS. I did once come across a group of people dressed in white jump suits lying in the snow - they looked pretty SAS like to me.
BrianT - on 28 Nov 2006
In reply to John2: Yep. Definitely SAS. Sorry, 'The Regiment'.

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