NEWS: Dan and Ned - The Prow (E9?) and Black Triage

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 UKC News 08 Nov 2011
Dan Varian on his new problem at Back Bowden - Black Triage, Font 8a. Where the hell does it go now?! There's no holds!, 2 kbDan Varian and Ned Feehally have recently repeated the Andy Earl route of The Prow at Kyloe in the Woods, Northumberland.

It is thought that Andy Earl never graded the route after his first ascent, but it settled at E9 7a.

Varian has also added a stunning looking new problem to Back Bowden. Black Triage weighs in at Font 8A.


 flaneur 08 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Great photo.
 Iain McKenzie 08 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News: Nice one Jack... well done boys!

 Wft 08 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News: the Prow looks amazing from the video still(?)

I haven't even been to Northumberland, what is wrong with me?
 Calder 08 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Yeah, all the pics are really good. The Prow looks stuffing hard, too! Good effort guys. I'm guessing Micky's planning on going back for it?

Just a question out of curiosity - if Andy Earl never graded it, and he was the only ascentionist, how did the grade settle at E9?
In reply to Calder: People got a good idea of the difficulty from attempting it
 Ben Gilbert 08 Nov 2011
In reply to Calder:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> Just a question out of curiosity - if Andy Earl never graded it, and he was the only ascentionist, how did the grade settle at E9?

I have often wondered this myself...
 mav 08 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News:
I haven't heard much about Andy Earl in the last few months - Does anyone know how his recovery is progressing?
In reply to mav: This ukb thread contains some news and fundraising information:,16585.0.html
murdster 09 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I love the photo of Black Triage, and agree with the caption.
Where are the holds?!

Also, can I ask when The Prow was first climbed?
 JDal 09 Nov 2011
In reply to murdster: 2003, have a read of Dan's blog.
 mav 09 Nov 2011
In reply to Ben Farley: cheers.
 climbercromie 10 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC News: this looks amazing and very desperate could you set it up as a top rope or does it have to be bouldered.
 JDal 10 Nov 2011
In reply to climbercromie: Assuming this isn't a windup, it would be a bl@@dy good idea if you didn't toprope this unless you were good enough to do it. That means bouldering 8a+. And if you could do that you'd not have to ask the question would you?
 James Oswald 10 Nov 2011
In reply to JDal:
Why can't one toprope it?
 Jon Read 10 Nov 2011
In reply to James Oswald: I think John is suggesting that unless you're boulding pretty well, you'll be wasting your time setting up a rope?
In reply to Jon Read: not to mention potentially damaging already fragile rock
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 10 Nov 2011
In reply to Jon Read:

.... and it doesn't want trashing in double-quick-time by 'wanabees' trying moves which they have zero chance of doing. Vienna at Bowden springs to mind.

murdster 10 Nov 2011
In reply to climbercromie:

If there are bits snapping off it, I can't see how it's a good idea to toprope it.
I agree with jdal's reply. Perfect.
 JDal 10 Nov 2011
In reply to James Oswald:
> (In reply to JDal)
> Why can't one toprope it?

It's a fragile line, read the blogs about holds snapping. It's hard because they are SMALL. It doesn't take much to snap a crucial edge of a pocket if your feet are thrashing about. Not to mention wearing out the tiny smears for your feet. As I said, if you can't boulder 8a you won't get up it, therefore you won't top rope it. Maybe you can get along to Kyloe In and when your cruising the 8a's, give it a go. And while you're at it I believe Mark Savage is looking for someone to lead Transcendance at dusk for a shot to add to his Northumberland climbing portfolio.

 SteveSBlake 10 Nov 2011
In reply to JDal:

In support John, some recent thoughts from another posting.....

I've been giving the top roping thing a bit of thought of late - it regularly crops up as a topic in Northumberland, 'The County', with folks asking for advice about where is suitable!

Top roping has generally remained a minority activity up here, probably because of the local, generally established view which has consistently frowned on it - based on 'ethics', the aim being to keep the adventure level high on what are essentially pretty short albeit hard (and some nasty) routes.

This view's been eroded to some extent by the practice of 'head pointing' and it's widespread acceptance further south of here, thankfully it didn't seem to gather too much steam up here.

The great bonus for us is that the 'ethical' stance has, almost as a side issue, protected many routes which wouldn't withstand repeated top rope ascents by aspirants peddling away at the crux. I think the issue for us up here is to make it very clear that engaging in top roping is a sure fire way to wreck many of our routes.

It's not just top roping which can have this impact, much more frequently mats can have the same effect, many folks now take a mat out to protect their ankles, understandable enough, but if the mat is used in lieu of a top rope it can have the same impact, facilitating/encouraging multiple attempts that often lead to nowhere. Both the climber and the route take a beating and no one wins. Mats are fine as a piece of pro, but after a couple of goes, if you can't get up, it's probably a good idea to move on........

Our crags a a varied mix of 'soft and hard'. The hard stuff is very robust, but even that can be fragile, and folks need to be increasingly aware of the impact they have on the rock, and given the increasing number of indoor facilities, top roping on a very finite resource seems a short sighted and selfish practice. Much of Bowden and some other crags, (most notably Corby's) are pretty beaten out now, if top roping did become more commonplace what could the crags be like in another 50 years?

I think the 'sustainability' issue easily trumps the 'ethical' issue, particularly up here. My personal view is that you are what you onsight, and that the ethics of keeping the adventure quotient high by not top roping routes is way more satisfying - but that's just a personal view, and if the rock was bullet proof and could take it, I couldn't care less about how some folks delude themselves

I've said before that in my view it's really important that the crag/route can win, success at any cost to the rock isn't acceptable. That said I think it's perfectly reasonable to abseil down our harder lines route and give them a sensitive cleaning if required. That inspection should be enough to tell anyone if they are in with a realistic chance, and the rock doesn't get hammered.

I haven't even mentioned climbing when stuffs wet, or the poor use of protection...



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