/ VIDEO: Franco Cookson Headpoints New Possible E8

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UKC News 15 Apr 2010
[Franco Cookson on The Hypocrisy of Moose, 2 kb]Young and outspoken climber Franco Cookson, who is perhaps best known for his internet ranting as opposed to his actual climbing, has made the first ascent of a bold arete at Danby Crag in the North York Moors (where else?!).

Franco has graded the route H7 6c as he is a firm believer in the onsight ethic...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=52917

Fraser 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Saw the photos earlier - solid effort. But jeez....somebody lend that guy a video camera!
CurlyStevo 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Nice one Franco top stuff.
Tom Last 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Cool looking line - nice work.
pigeonjim 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Nicely done weeman. I like the honest use of the H grade. But in saying that to onsight that would take great skill and bravery.

Need to get myself down to the moors to play when my knee is fixed. Seeing that is your playground got a few questions. I would be looking to boulder and lead. What crags are best for a sub E grade punter? Only got the rockfax northern england guide is there a better guide to the moors?
Blue Straggler 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Well done F
csw 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

congrats - nice work
Simon Caldwell 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Has the ban on climbing at Danby from November to May been lifted?
the cassin ridge 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Good effort Alan Manker... was it good ballpoint?
bobbyf 15 Apr 2010
In reply to pigeonjim: 'Climbing in North East England' has loads more crags than the RockFax Guide- not sure if it's still in print though. Try Smartboysonline.co.uk. I think most of the routes are on there.
hexcentric 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

The photo kinda gives away why the area isn't popular, looks like a right grotty wee bit of rock!

Good effort all the same, I like the use of the H grade, seems sensible.
Wft 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: fine looking line
jezb1 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: Good effort.

Well beyond me, but can't get that excited about a really short climb like this one...
Big Sender 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: GOOD EFFORT.
shame he had to make serious ethical compromises

-BS
Rebecca Earnshaw 15 Apr 2010
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to UKC News) Good effort.
>
> Well beyond me, but can't get that excited about a really short climb like this one...

It's not a short route, it's just Franco is very long.
jameshiggins 15 Apr 2010
In reply to Rebecca Earnshaw:
> (In reply to jezb1)
> [...]
>
> It's not a short route, it's just Franco is very long.

Sounds like you have intimate knowledge of his "length"!
beardy mike 15 Apr 2010
In reply to Rebecca Earnshaw: Uh oh... it's all down hill from here on in - Franco's discovered girls... now tell me, has he also discovered beer? If so he will soon be a lazy punter like the rest of us ;)
Malcolm Bass 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Great job Franco. I look forward to seeing more Moors creations from you this summer
mark mcgowan01 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
I wonder if JD will on sight it to confirm the grade? ;-)

.. well done all the same Franco.
Dave Warburton 15 Apr 2010
In reply to Rebecca Earnshaw:
> (In reply to jezb1)
> [...]
>
> It's not a short route, it's just Franco is very long.

Rebex, that is classic.
Mike Stretford 15 Apr 2010
In reply to jameshiggins:
> (In reply to Rebecca Earnshaw)
> [...]
>
> Sounds like you have intimate knowledge of his "length"!

She wouldn't need 'intimate knowledge'. Franco seems to favour Ron Hills, which leave little to the imagination.
In reply to UKC News: Its Cool that the "H" grade is used.. but tbh.. why not just right in the first ascent details..

Franco Cookson - Headpoint/Onsight/Solo/Wateva else - [date]

Seems a bit like a proud to be humble thing..
viking 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Fine effort young man, keep em coming
omerta 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Congratulations!
David Hooper 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Nicely done Frodo - JD would be proud of you
Steve Perry 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: Great effort, well done!
bouldery bits 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Good effort buddy! ("Young and Outspoken", ace)
Franco Cookson 15 Apr 2010
In reply to El3ctroFuzz:
> (In reply to UKC News) Its Cool that the "H" grade is used.. but tbh.. why not just right in the first ascent details..
>
> Franco Cookson - Headpoint/Onsight/Solo/Wateva else - [date]
>
> Seems a bit like a proud to be humble thing..



Interesting, I think the H grade is useful to almost use as a sport grade, with danger as a part of it. Where as the E grade also take into acount how hard the moves are to figure out and how fiddly the gear is. Hence why this is relatively straight-forward to work, but to onsight would probably be tricky, due to how totally blind almost every move is.
Yrmenlaf15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Well done

Y.
ksjs 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: hope this shuts up some of those who give Franco a hard time. effort Franco.
mark237 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: Nice one Franco - nee ones going to onsight that man!
Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator15 Apr 2010
In reply to mark237:
> - nee ones going to onsight that man!

........ not now there is a video ont'web!


Chris

;-)
Ewan Russell 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
fran is still banned right? Suprised he seems so keen to drum up publicity for himself on ukc then?


However most importantly well done mate.
James Oswald 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Good work to Franco.
Beautiful line too.
James
tommytuffa 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Nice one franco

Tom
sasmojo 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: Nice work Franco!
Boredoftheforum 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
I think you could still legitimately claim an onsight after seeing that video! Great effort on the route Franco but buy a better camera
Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Two things:

1) if it would be E8 to on-sight then it should be H8 - that is the point of the system,

2) "Franco... is a firm believer in the onsight ethic". Except when the route is too hard for him - just like the 'punters' he used to moan at!


Chris

;-)
Skyfall 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> 2) "Franco... is a firm believer in the onsight ethic". Except when the route is too hard for him - just like the 'punters' he used to moan at!

I have to admit that was my reaction too. But well done Frsnco anyway!
Franco Cookson 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to UKC News)


So it begins....

> Two things:
>
> 1) if it would be E8 to on-sight then it should be H8 - that is the point of the system,

Blindness isn't taken into the H system, as you pre-inspect the route.

> 2) "Franco... is a firm believer in the onsight ethic". Except when the route is too hard for him - just like the 'punters' he used to moan at!

I think new routes that look like they could be dangerous and above current onsight limits are fair game. I've taken repeated groundfalls off this crag (one of them a factor two) and they start to hurt.
>
> Chris
>
> ;-)

i'm liking the winking Chris.
Iain McKenzie 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Franco Cookson

This user is currently restricted from posting.

Most restrictions are only temporary. Please don't start threads about banned users. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this restriction.


tut tut...
Serpico16 Apr 2010
In reply to manker:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)

> I've taken repeated groundfalls off this crag (one of them a factor two)

Presumably a factor 2 groundfall is when the amount of ground out to absorb the impact is equal to half the height fallen?
john arran 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> 1) if it would be E8 to on-sight then it should be H8 - that is the point of the system,

Well ... yes and no.

On average the idea is to have the two grades comparable, you're right. So if you approach an H7 with a view to trying to onsight it you should expect - on average - to encounter climbing at about E7. However some routes are just fundamentally tricky to onsight, relatively speaking, so your H7 may turn out to be E8 because the holds or moves are so blind or because the gear is so obscure or fiddly. Conversely your H7 may be pretty obvious (while still hard and/or dangerous), so it may be 'relatively' easy to onsight, thereby meriting E6.

It sounds like Franco has grasped this subtlety and has adjusted the H grade from the expected E grade due to the unobvious and sequency nature of the climbing.

I also expect that no more than three people in the universe will grasp this and because of that the H grade will never catch on unless we just use it like a simple E->H letter replacement as you presumed would be the case.

;-)
James Jackson 16 Apr 2010
In reply to manker:
> I think new routes that look like they could be dangerous and above current onsight limits are fair game.

Whose current onsight limit? Personally, I couldn't give a toss, as long as you report what you did accurately.
TobyA 16 Apr 2010
In reply to manker: Nice to see you're not pretending not to be Franco anymore 'Alan'. Good effort - I thought it looked a rather fine and obvious line.

I don't think you can take a factor two fall onto the ground though. Fall factors are about how much impact you place on the rope/gear. If you hit the ground it's really not much of an issue.
Franco Cookson 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Serpico: When the ground is so steep (around the corner from this route) that your rope (attached to no gear) is useless untill the 6 metre runout comes tight on your belayer who luckily put a nut in and you end up in a holly Bush.
Boredoftheforum 16 Apr 2010
In reply to TobyA:
"I don't think you can take a factor two fall onto the ground though"

Would bouncing and decking twice count?
john arran 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Boredoftheforum:

Maybe he slipped while pulling on an undercut and propelled himself toward the ground at twice the usual speed!
Boredoftheforum 16 Apr 2010
In reply to john arran:
I did that sport climbing at Cheddar last year, I was saved from decking by my belayer falling down some scree
Chris the Tall 16 Apr 2010
In reply to john arran:
>
> I also expect that no more than three people in the universe will grasp this and because of that the H grade will never catch on unless we just use it like a simple E->H letter replacement as you presumed would be the case.
>
I agree with you that the E and H grades shouldn't be a simple replacement, but disagree that is the reason it hasn't caught on.

The only hope of it being used is if it conveys differant information to the E grade.

But my view is that it should never be greater than the E grade, and almost always be less. The H number should reflect how much the difficulty has been reduced by headpointing - i.e. If the route is E8, but headpointing gives a equivalent experience to onsighting an E6, then give it H6. Or put in another way, a similar number of climbers should be able to headpoint H6 as onsight E6. And since no-one has yet onsighted E9.....
grubes 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to john arran)
> [...]
> since no-one has yet onsighted E9.....
Did I read somewhere Steve McClure did it or did he fall but say he was close?
john arran 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris the Tall:

That would be a complete change in meaning, so find your own prfix! ;-)

Actually my problem with that line of reasoning is that it requires a qualitative comparison between 2 very different styles. A bit like saying to top rope a route is one grade but the equivalent solo grade is something else. As long as we're comparing like with like there's no reason for this. Having the H by and large the same as the E for the same route at least gives potential onsight candidates a good idea as to what E grade to expect, while also communicating the fact that the grade is unconfirmed as an onsight.
Morgan Woods 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: can I be the first to say this H grade is "broken" :p
Chris the Tall 16 Apr 2010
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> That would be a complete change in meaning, so find your own prfix! ;-)

I'm not sure if there are any letters left!

> Actually my problem with that line of reasoning is that it requires a qualitative comparison between 2 very different styles. A bit like saying to top rope a route is one grade but the equivalent solo grade is something else. As long as we're comparing like with like there's no reason for this. Having the H by and large the same as the E for the same route at least gives potential onsight candidates a good idea as to what E grade to expect, while also communicating the fact that the grade is unconfirmed as an onsight.

Good points. I just thought the reporting of new routes/hard repeats would get less negative comments regarding style and grade inflation if the numbers were smaller !
Enty 16 Apr 2010
In reply to john arran:

Although I don't operate at that level I think the H grade is a fantastic idea and fully understand the difference between H7 and E8.

The sole reason why it hasn't caught on is that climbers (obviously not you John) would rather have E9 on their CV rather than H8, H9 etc which implies top rope practice and pre placed gear.

Fair play to Franco for giving it an H grade and for Gaz P with his honesty about his ascent of the Big issue.

Enty
Hardonicus 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Enty:

Why does the H grade imply pre-placed gear. Surely a H grade is only vaid for a proper lead after pre-practice?



Uh-oh...
Enty 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Hardonicus:

Practice, top roped, pre placed gear - whatever, just not OS - I don't think alot of top climbers want that on their CV.

Enty
Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I think the H Grade idea has got legs - but I would only ever consider it a grade to be used when you head-pointed a given E Grade.
Top-rope Edge Lane then solo it you get a H5, frig your way up Moon Crack then come back and do it properly you get an H4. Seems simple enough to me. NO preplaced gear allowed of course!
Rehearse what would be an E8 as in the Frank/Al's example and he has done an H8.


Chris

Mind you if you rehearse The File and then lead it that would be HVS!!!
CurlyStevo 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Disagree - I think an H grade should be used to denote that the climb has not been lead so the lead grade is unknow. If you headpoint an established E5 then lets Keep It Simple, all you did was headpoint an E5.
Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Apr 2010
In reply to CurlyStevo:
>
> Disagree - I think an H grade should be used to denote that the climb has not been lead so the lead grade is unknow.

The H grade is already used to denote a route that has been head-pointed - (usually??) on the FA. You need another letter!


Chris
CurlyStevo 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
nope as I suggested it makes sense on an ascent when the route has not been lead, you suggested above that it can be used to denote ANY headpoint lead which I think unnecessary as we already know the actual lead grade.
Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Apr 2010
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> nope as I suggested it makes sense on an ascent when the route has not been lead, you suggested above that it can be used to denote ANY headpoint lead which I think unnecessary as we already know the actual lead grade.

So so you don't agree with Frank's use of the H Grade here and John's on Doctor Doolittle then?


Chris

PS I don't mind either way really, just chewing the fat, so to speak!
CurlyStevo 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Sorry I meant lead as in lead on sight, as in how UK trad grades are supposed to work. I have no issue with the use of H grade here,
Quiddity 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

The lengths some people will go to to kick off a grading & ethics controvery on UKC...

good effort Franco.
victorclimber 16 Apr 2010
In reply to James Jackson: I think Franco is to be commended for reporting it as he did,would it were true of lots of other first ascents ,over the years,after all who do we kid ,non but ourselves ..now how bout some other fit young blade getting on it and seeing what its all about...maybe too far to drive from the Peak !!!
john arran 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Enty:

> I ... fully understand the difference between H7 and E8.

Wow, that makes all 3 of us on the same thread.
What are the chances of that?

;-)
Franco Cookson 23 Apr 2010
In reply to El3ctroFuzz:

care to explain the link?
In reply to F Manker: see reply

by - grubes ? on - 16 Apr 2010
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to john arran)
> [...]
> since no-one has yet onsighted E9.....
> Did I read somewhere Steve McClure did it or did he fall but say he was close?

Interesting that Clure says it's feasible.
Franco Cookson 23 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

indeed. I have no doubt that with sport training E9 is possible- the equivalent to an F8c onsight? But it is as of yet not done.
Simon Caldwell 25 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
It's all go on the Moors - now the Raven's Scar arete has been done
http://ram-man-selfindulgentdrivel.blogspot.com/2010/04/ravens-scar-project-went-down-today.html
Dave Warburton 25 Apr 2010
In reply to Toreador: Place to be, mayyyyyte.
Franco Cookson 25 Apr 2010
In reply to Toreador:

Indeed. An impressive effort from Steve and nice to see he's still keeping sandbagging allive.
In reply to UKC News:

Go on Franco!
neil the weak 26 Apr 2010
In reply to F Manko:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)

> I think new routes that look like they could be dangerous and above current onsight limits are fair game.

Except this isn't above current onsight limits? Birket has onsighted E8 (twice), Caff, Pasquill, Honnold etc have all flashed (some of those flashes would be onsights to all but the most pedantic) the grade too.

I don't think you should need to justify headpointing to anyone personally (except yourself maybe?) but the above arguement doesn't hold much water for me.
@ndyM@rsh@ll 26 Apr 2010
In reply to neil the weak: And how many of those were onsight first ascents? Until he'd done it he had no idea how hard it was going to be, he could have gone for the onsight and died cos it turned out to be E10
john arran 26 Apr 2010
In reply to @ndyM@rsh@ll:

... or bagged the first E10 new route onsight!

;-)
Dave Warburton 26 Apr 2010
In reply to @ndyM@rsh@ll: He did go for the Onsight, he took a groundfall into the brambles. He then tried it groundup twice more, like a deranged nutter. He was just settling into the blind series of moves to start, luckily not the upper crux!

I said it was lunacy and decided to Ab it to check and told him "It won't go onsight or Ground up"...

It might in time?
Franco Cookson 26 Apr 2010
In reply to neil the weak:


You're right of course. E8 is within current onsight capabilities of the best.

Perhaps what I should of said is, if the route looks like there is a real possibility that it will be beyond current onsight limits, Headpointing may be legitimate. I origionally thought this route looked about E5, hence why I tried it ground up. I then realised that the upper crux could be beyond E7 to onsight, which I think is a realistic cut off for onsight First ascents. It could be easier than E8 to onsight, it could be harder. I'm glad I didn't go for the upper crux with no inspection, only to find out it's V10 though.

In many ways Dave saved me a bad fall as it's the only time he's said I shouldn't try a route after abing it- post retreat/ RP popping.

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