> wow, that picture of her after doing it shows how minging it must have been.
We walked into Sneachda early on Sunday and turned back due to appalling visibility and deteriorating conditions, passed Ines heading in as we returned to the car park. The fact that anyone led this route that day blows my mind.
In reply to markwarner: people seem to be saying that it's ok to climb this route with fusions but I'm sure that I read elsewhere on this site that quarks only climb vi but that they are better than fusions so I'm really confused now.
> people seem to be saying that it's ok to climb this route with fusions but I'm sure that I read elsewhere on this site that quarks only climb vi but that they are better than fusions so I'm really confused now.
But people are talkin' about them *new* fusions... the green ones... not the orange/yellow ones Ines is using now.
The old fusions are only good for grade IX,X and XI, though... provided it doesn't involve ice climbing...
Aye, it was you we passed Andrew... The Hurting wall sits at a strange angle in the coire and is often actually pretty sheltered - that was what we told Ines anyway! As it turned out it was still massively gusting at the base, and in the full-on gale in the top third. Not to mention snowing hard. I was terrified just belaying.
That looks absolutely bonkers. I couldn't be bothered to wander up a valley on Sunday, let alone tackle one of the hardest routes in the country.
I think I'm right in saying that Ines is perhaps the only female climber in any discipline who can be regarded as equal or better than the very best men on the planet. And that's not to dismiss the achievements of others - it's just that she's staggeringly good.
In reply to Stuart the postie: Well, I have only led a few VIIs in my career, so I am a girl, too. Hopefully more sevens and maybe even 8s to come - training as I speak .....!!!! Never with Piranhas, though, but I did a couple with old style quarks!!!
I don't know the style this was climbed in I am only reading between the lines.
Despite what I am about to say potentially coming across differently I accept that this is a good achievement and I mean no disrespect to Ines and she (as well as anyone else) is free to climb routes in whatever style they want and I have no argument that conditions on the day were questionable (in fact they were grim!).
I don't know Ines personally and I have nothing against her.
!! Disclaimer Over!!
Am I right in thinking that this was climbed on Sunday after pre inspection and pre practise on top rope on Friday? I may be in the wrong here but there is no mention of a ground up on sight attempt or even ground up attempt after inspecting the line.
I read what Ines said about conditions on Friday and I commend her in not continuing to lead the route if she felt it was not in condition. However if she felt it was not in condition what was she doing working the route at all?
Admittedly I was not there on Friday to see the wall first hand and I often know that climbs can "feel" more wintry than they look from below and in pictures but I don't think my own set of ethics would have had me on anything steep and rocky in the Cairngorms on Friday. (As it didn't with a quick change of plan on Saturday when we arrived at the foot of the cliff faced with black rock).
Bringing this down a few grades what would peoples reaction be if I worked/top roped a route at the upper end of my climbing spectrum in the autumn (this is an extreme example but only to make a point about conditions-just because we are in February does not mean routes are in condition) with the intention of coming back in winter and leading it?
I guess my point is that there is a strong set of ethics (not rules) attached to Scottish winter climbing and in my opinion these should be adhered to by all taking part.
Like I say above, this is an exceptional piece of technical climbing (at tech grade 11) but I find it slightly disappointing that the head games involved in leading at this level in winter have been dismissed. Pre-practicing the route in less than winter conditions surely allows too much evaluation of each hold and gear placement in my opinion.
I personally find the on-sighting of grades IX or even VIII in good winter condition more of an inspiration than this ascent. If you are going to publicise and shout about "top" ascents surely they should be done in the best possible style?
This is my opinion only and everyone is entitled to one whether you agree or not...
In reply to Michael Gordon: I will hold my hands up and eat a big slice of humble pie if that is the case and credit where credit is due that is indeed a "ballsy" effort!
The only reason I questioned the style is that previous reports of accents on UKC News have specifically used the words ground up in the opening paragraph except Dani Arnold's where the Planet Mountain link takes you to a blog that says he lobbed at the start of the second paragraph. The first ascent was done after abbing the line.
If you mean that there are loads of british women quietly onsighting VIIIs+ and not telling anyone, then you are indeed hopeful. and obviously wrong. Feel free to name one... There are a few british women with the experience, ability and motivation to do so, but that is not the same thing. There are plenty of british women with the potential to do so, in due course.
Nope, that's not what I meant. I haven't referred to grade or gender, just talent which isn't exclusive to VIII and above. I previously started a thread about the relatively low number of women in UK winter climbing in general, there were a number of reasons posted by men and woman why this is so.
What I'm getting at is that UKC is not omniscient, there are quiet operators out there.
I think your correct to ask these questions, and from what I have read its still not completely clear if Ines climbed ground up on her first attempt...? Or after abseil inspection like Dave M on the first ascent.
It's up to the journalists to make these facts clear in my opinion.
I don't know what you mean by talent? I think of talent as being proportional to the standard of achievement, and as being different to potential. Many lower grade climbers have lots of potential but only a few fulfil that potential and go on to push standards. Quiet operators at modest grades aren't really relevant to the previous posts about where the top standard currently lies, but if they're enjoying it then good for them.
In reply to switch: I didn't want to reply again on this thread, but I feel I have to. I think it would be nice if people could acknowledge that Ines (a woman, low and behold) has done a great climb, ok, maybe the journalism around it could be better to report all the facts, but it is still a great achievement. And yes, there are less women climbing hard routes, because there are less of us, but reporting something like that might inspire other women to go for it and do harder routes. So, I think it would be nice if the thread wasn't going to deteriorate into slagging women for not climbing hard or not having 'talent', but simply accepting that this was a great climb and just leave it at that. There are many women out there who climb and climb relatively hard in winter, but don't go about publicising it, many because they fear exactly this, the slagging on the Internet....
Thanks Heike, the direction the thread was heading was also making me feel a bit disheartened. I put it down to the usual UKC stuff (I think this happens on threads about big achievements, male or female). I do think those that are focused on how few women there are operating at VII or beyond have missed the point. Ines proves it is possible. If there aren't any others this tells me something about climbing, not women athletes, and Heike hits the nail on the head- there are so few.
I find Ines' feat personally encouraging. I've never climbed harder than III 4 so i'm out of your league Heike, but I share your love for all things winter!
In reply to Heike and Lucy: Certainly not denigrating anyone's efforts. Just trying to get a feel (in a slightly trainspotterish way) what the hardest female leads are. Whatever the grades, these should be applauded. I think a female grade VIII lead would be massively inspiring to a whole generation of female climbers, and it might even have happened already!
Heike - I didn't read Jon Bracey's post as slagging-off anybody. He just made the valid point that the style of ascent in this instance hasn't been clarified. That isn't criticism of anybody, it's just a perfectly valid request to have a significant ascent reported in the way that has unarguably become the norm. This point should be able to be made without it being interpreted as criticising someone for being female or as criticism of their climbing. Certainly Ines doesn't have anything to prove - she's a total wad.
Neither Ines nor any journalist appears to have clarified the style of ascent - that's probably just oversight on both parties. But I don't think it's wrong to expect a journalist to confirm that most fundamental of factors - style - which underlies the spectrum of challenge in climbing, and thus its significance to the media that report it.
I take it that Ines climbed The Hurting ground-up without pre-inspection, because it isn't reported anywhere that she either inspected or rehearsed the route. Let me add, if she did inspect or use pre-rehearsal then I still think it's a great effort especially in those minging conditions! It would be a simple thing to clarify and should be the second thing a journalist says to a climber, after 'congrats!'.
You said ' [we should] .. simply accepting that this was a great climb and just leave it at that.' But that approach doesn't encourage accurately portraying how great an ascent it was - especially to more experienced climbers like yourself who perhaps better understand the nuanced effect that style of ascent can have on a route. Onsight, ground-up or pre-rehearsed? It is a fairly major difference.
I've nothing but admiration for Ines's climbing, she's an inspirational climber in many genres and any style whether onsight, ground-up or redpointed.
Whether it's happened in this instance or not (probably not), I suspect that it's only a matter of time before The Hurting sees a head-point ascent. It does lend itself to it. I for one will have no problem with this.
In reply to Pjh123: Agreed, if something is reported, best reporting should be applied. And agreed, whatever it was, it was a great achievement, particularly in that minging weather
Oh and I didn't refer to Jon Bracey's post, just generally the trend of the news item.
> I think a female grade VIII lead would be massively inspiring to a whole generation of female climbers, and it might even have happened already!
Having been active at the British Tooling Series this year, it's obvious that the ability is out there. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a British female lead at VIII or above this season, or the next.
> I think your correct to ask these questions, and from what I have read its still not completely clear if Ines climbed ground up on her first attempt...? Or after abseil inspection like Dave M on the first ascent.
> It's up to the journalists to make these facts clear in my opinion.
Just been chatting more to Ines about her attempt on The Hurting on Friday 20th Feb. Here’s what she’s told me on the phone this morning:
• She wasn’t planning an on-sight of The Hurting
• On Friday she abseiled down the wall (as she knew Dave had done prior to the 1st ascent) to check out the gear placements which she knew were sketchy.
• The abseil rope was too far to the right and so she was only able to look at two gear placements in the initial groove. She didn’t/couldn’t practice any moves.
• She then pulled the ropes and led the route, taking two falls – one onto a pecker on the sequence below the roof, one onto a cam on the upper wall.
• Seppi seconded the route, removing all the gear.
• Ines then top-roped (once) the final few moves on the upper wall which were a long way above the last possible bits of gear.
• On Friday, the route wasn’t in great winter condition, and even though the cracks were white and there was snow on all the ledges, she felt that overall, the route probably wasn’t wintery enough.
• Sunday was of course a ground-up lead.
I didn’t have all the details of this before now, and I’m certainly not taking the role of “journalist” in this – just a climber who belayed a pal. Hope this clarifies things. Now... back to Steve and Heike’s point about congratulating.
> I hope your post turns the thread back to congratulating Ines.
This is a discussion forum and it is absurd to expect a thread stemming from a news item such as this to just be a bland succession of "well done"s and "awesome"s. There has been some genuinely interesting discussion about the standards of women's winter climbing. No one has been slagged off. There has been no sexism (unless it is considered patronising to give a female ascent of a given grade higher profile coverage than a male one - the way things are going, judging by this ascent, it hopefully might be in the not too distant future!). There has, justifiably, been some questioning about the style, but this is not a criticism, unless of the reporting, and certainly not of Ines.
Anyway, inspiring stuff from both Ines (and the likes of Heike at more realistic grade for a punter such as myself to aim at!).
That's both interesting and historically important information, so thanks for posting it. I think either journalists should get these facts clear before publishing a report, or perhaps Ines should have made them more clear to them herself.
While these questions will always be asked after an ascent of a summer trad route, the trouble is because the usual accepted form of ascent in winter is ground-up without prior inspection, most (like me) would naturally assume an ascent has been done in this style unless it has been made clear otherwise.
Apologies for confusing the terminology: I should have said that on Sunday, Ines started at the bottom and led to the top, rather than "Sunday was of course a ground-up lead." I've now corrected the earlier post
I don't think anyone has "slagg(ed) women for not climbing hard or not having 'talent'", nor would they wish to do so. It's just that when important and impressive ascents like this are reported, there is a natural interest in what British women have achieved and what they might potentially achieve in the future. In order to do this, one has to bring up grades at some point.
> Whether it's happened in this instance or not (probably not), I suspect that it's only a matter of time before The Hurting sees a head-point ascent.
Perhaps, but many see the ground-up ethics of Scottish winter climbing as being one of its most treasured assets, and would regard headpoint ascents as being a back step and an erosion of these strongly held ethics.
> This is a discussion forum and it is absurd to expect a thread stemming from a news item such as this to just be a bland succession of "well done"s and "awesome"s. There has been some genuinely interesting discussion about the standards of women's winter climbing. No one has been slagged off. There has been no sexism (unless it is considered patronising to give a female ascent of a given grade higher profile coverage than a male one - the way things are going, judging by this ascent, it hopefully might be in the not too distant future!). There has, justifiably, been some questioning about the style, but this is not a criticism, unless of the reporting, and certainly not of Ines.
I never said there had or hadn't to any of your above.
> Only my first sentence was a direct reply to you.
....and I agree with it your right. I just found it worrying that some fantastic international climber has come here, done a very special repeat and a news thread reporting it may turn into a flaming and scare others off from doing so in the future.
Thanks for getting in touch with Ines and confirming the details. For other people dreaming/considering attempting the Hurting onsight, the challenge has yet to be tamed...
From the news items I had read I, like many others?, had assumed Ines had climbed onsight on her first go and then done it ground up.
I don't think anyone on this thread has criticised Ines. She has made a superb bold ascent on a properly wild day. Big respect!