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/ COMPETITION: Climb a Route and Pocket a Rab Prize - Round 3: UK Routes with an Alpine Feel

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UKC Articles - on 01 Sep 2018
Cal's Climbs, 3 kbThe third list in the series has been penned (after many drafts and some sage advice from UKC's very own Rob Greenwood), by insatiable all-rounder Calum Muskett. We asked Calum to put together a list of routes in the UK with an alpine feel.

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petegunn on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Segeant's Crag Gully (summer) (S)

Was hoping that I wouldn't have to repeat that one! 

 

connor on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:The Long Climb (VS)

 

Not sure it's advisable to climb this at the moment due to large amounts of loose rock? I think there's been a couple of rescues there this year. 

Has Callum climbed it recently?

Webster - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to connor:

seconded. think it is rather irresponsible encouraging people to climb this in search of a prize, it will get someone killed!

many a classic route in the alps is no longer climbed at the height of summer due to the mountains thawing and falling down. the same applies here, the Orion face should be steared clear of outside of winter.

Robert Durran - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

The trouble is that Long Climb is far more likely to give an alpine like experience than any of the other routes in the list, and with any loose rock encountered obviously contributing to that. I'm sure that, just as with real alpine routes, people are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about trying it.

Webster - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think many people are drawn to it blindly for the 'classic rock' tick and misleading descriptions of 'sound rock' like calum's in the article. it has about a pitch and a half of solid rock and the remaining is wet slimy choss!

people cant make their own sound judgement when they are mislead by articles like this. this article is comparable to encouraging people to climb the cosmiques arete right now by saying that they can make 'their own sound judgement' on its stability. Utterly irresponsible!

since when did 'alpine' become synonymous with dangerous choss? many classic routes in the alps are on sound rock. 

Robert Durran - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

> Since when did 'alpine' become synonymous with dangerous choss?

Obviously not synonymous with loose rock, but alpinism generally means dealing with whatever the mountain throws at you and that often includes loose sections.

Webster - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

im well aware what alpinism means, and you should throw into that making sensible route choice based on time of year and ground conditions, i.e. Eiger north face - pretty much exclusively winter these days, Walker spur - generally early to mid summer once it is dry enough but before it thaws out so much as to start falling down!

Orion face of the Ben should be considered a largely winter climbing venue only, once it is frozen into place. 

Es Tresidder - on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

I climbed Long Climb a few weeks ago. Has something happened to it since then?

spenser - on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to Es Tresidder:

Pretty sure nothing has happened recently, Webster had a bad experience on it (his logbook entry is quite funny really) seemingly due to a poor judgement of suitable conditions to do the route. I made some remarks similar to Webster's shortly after I climbed it a couple of years ago (the day after a fatal accident), having done some more big mountain routes now I've come to the conclusion that I was just unfamiliar with that style of climbing (high mountain crags with attendant bits of loose rock) and didn't really have any business doing  the route  valley to valley in a day (particularly with an inexperienced partner, not being the fastest on the rock and in October).

Do I think it is one of the best low grade rock routes in the UK? Not a chance. Is Webster's description of the route accurate if you climb it in good conditions accurate? No. Is it a worthwhile route for competent parties to go and do in the right conditions with appopriate knowledge of the risks involved? Yes.

TobyA on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to Es Tresidder:

> I climbed Long Climb a few weeks ago. Has something happened to it since then?

What was it like? We were not far away on Friday (Raeburn's Arete and NE Buttress) and I have to say it's modern rep is rather poor, I'm sure that's why I didn't consider it.

galpinos on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

Wow, having read your logbook entry if looks like you had quite a time on it, not surprised at your response.

However, it seems others have since climbed it with less incident? It's one of the few rock routes we have that could be described as alpine and is a traditional classic so I'm no surprised at its inclusion.

Webster - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

all you smug bastards can f*ck off, i am a highly experienced winter and alpine climber, and have even had a great time on Orion directisma when that face is in proper nick! we had perfect conditions (untill the rain started at around midnight...) climbing it in the height of summer with maximum daylight after a long dry spell, in a typical year (ie not this summer gone) it doesnt get any better! two of our party have climbed multipitch E1 and had climbed together in the himalayas, the third was much less experienced but that is hardly an issue with two strong leaders.

for those of you thinking you are clever reading my logbook entry, your clearly not clever enough to see the rest of my logbook... or perhaps you just have selective vision? quit banding around your accusations of inexperienced and ill prepared climbers without doing your homework. the route is not worthy of 1 star, let alone 3.

there are far better alpine routes to be had all over the Ben, tower, observatory and castle ridges, NEB etc etc just to get you started.

Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

> All you smug bastards can f*ck off, I am a highly experienced ....... alpine climber.

> For those of you thinking you are clever reading my logbook entry, your clearly not clever enough to see the rest of my logbook........

I've just looked at the alpine routes in your logbook. I assume it is far from up to date then, because eleven punter trade routes doesn't make anyone a highly experienced alpinist.  What else have you done?

Post edited at 10:05
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

Face it, if you need to be rescued from a route first climbed in the 1930’s, there’s a fair chance incompetence came into the picture somewhere. Better deal with that fact than deny it.

 

jcm

ianstevens - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

Bruised ego much?

Stellar Meteor on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

> all you smug bastards can f*ck off

> your clearly not clever enough to see the rest of my logbook

...clever enough to see that it's your first mountain VS ;). Hand on heart, I think most of us had memorable occasions on our first at that grade in the moutains, no bad thing...

 

 

In reply to UKC Articles:

Individual grilling to one side, has anyone managed to head out and do them yet? We're going to give the Comp another push tomorrow, so I was wondering if any of the pockets had been picked (so to speak).

The weather doesn't look overly ideal Saturday, but this means it's completely ideal (depending on your definition of the word 'ideal') to do routes such as Western or Sergeant's Crag Gully. Sunday, you'll be glad to hear, looks a lot better...

I've done a fair few on the list, but one I genuinely think is well worth seeking out is Angel Pavement. Craig y Bera is a hidden gem, with the whole cliff feeling a bit tucked away from the more mainstream areas in Snowdonia. It's really quite impressive once your stood under it too, not least because of the impressive ridge lines, but also because of the various implausible looking E5s Pat Littlejohn has put up there. Angel Pavement is very much the 'line of the crag', taking in the best rock going through the most impressive scenery. That said, if you get the time it's worth doing Sentries Ridge (3S) too - it's 'only' a scramble (but what a scramble!).

Tyler - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Assuming one of the pockets is on Great Arete can I volunteer to second it when either you or Callum inevitably have to go and fetch it?! It's been on my list for 30 years but can't imagine ever leading it now and I don't know anyone who could drag me up (there'll be a fair amount of that I'm afraid). 

In reply to Tyler:

Whilst it's not on the list, have you done The Groove (E1 5b) before?

I'm 100% sure it'd be wet at the moment, but it's a classic that seems to bring out mixed feelings amongst those who've done it - some saying it's great, many saying it's crap. Having done it twice (once when I did the route itself and again to start The Great Arete) my experience/enjoyment ultimately came down to how dry it was: dry = good / wet = bad. 

Always meant to go back for The Great Corner (E2 5b), but never had. Good to see it got done a few times this year, although Flavio's logbook entry confirms my suspicions:

This was all a bit Jurassic Park, and those sheep sounded too much like pterodactyls in my imagination.. The corner pitch might look shit close up (which it does) but climbs superbly well and one of the best corner pitches I've done, last pitch is jammy, thrutchy and very exposed! Not overgrown at all, previous team(s?) recently did well at clearing the veg and I didn't have to do any gardening. Very trad and felt E2 4c,5b,4b,5c,5b ***

Tyler - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I've done the first two pitches but unfortunately my second didn't want to commit to the traverse pitch as he had a dodgy shoulder. My two friends who carried on were pretty spooked by the last 4c pitch and topout which seemed pretty harrowing considering they were climbing well within their grade and used to that sort of terrain (not highly experienced winter and alpine climbers but the next best thing).

Incidentally do you know anything about the wall between GA and the last pitches of The Groove, always struck me as a LGP

Post edited at 16:53
Webster - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Stellar Meteor:

> ...clever enough to see that it's your first mountain VS ;).

except its not though is it? not even close...

Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

> except its not though is it? not even close...

I didn't spot any with a quick scan. Maybe you spare me a closer look by giving a few examples?

Yu Kaycee - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Webster:

> Orion face of the Ben should be considered a largely winter climbing venue only, once it is frozen into place. 

 

I agree. I feel like anyone who considers climbing on or around the Orion face outside of the months of Novemeber to March should be considered mentally deranged. 

We should remove any of these summer routes off ukc so that no one can be tricked into climbing these suicidal monstrosities!

 

Tom Last - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Yu Kaycee:

Am I going mad, but isn’t Minus One Direct just to the left and a bona fine classic at that? I haven’t done any of the routes on this face, save for the 1st pitch of Astronomy, but why can’t people just make up their own minds? 

planetmarshall on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I've just looked at the alpine routes in your logbook. I assume it is far from up to date then, because eleven punter trade routes doesn't make anyone a highly experienced alpinist.  What else have you done?

Lol. Harsh, but fair.

Es Tresidder - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to TobyA:

I thought it was really good Toby! My first rock climb in a few years so I didn't lead anything (I was partnering Oli Warlow on his classic rock cycle thing), but I thought there was some really excellent climbing on it, and a great atmospher. A bit of loose rock and route finding care required, but nothing out of the ordinary.

willbris3 - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

A few of us headed out and did Talisman on Saturday (8th). There were no pockets on the route (bit of a mission to go and plant some there!), just a suspiciously devious crux. However according to the Hutchison visitor book, numerous teams had been up it throughout the week. 


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