/ NEWS: James McHaffie becomes The Master
Wow... there wouldn't be many better qualified people to suggest Indian Face was no longer the UK's first E9!
I love the way he refers to Masters Wall as 'that bastard' and 'that f*cking route'. There's a really sense of affection there.
Utterly inspiring. So he has completed Extreme Rock then?
He days in his blog that he has an e6 and a few easier routes to do to complete it.
As an educated guess, I’d say he’s got Wild Country, Unicorn, Scansor, and Kingpin left to go. With the weather as it is I’d imagine he will have realistically competed it within the next fortnight. As an Extreme Rock fanatic you can’t begin to imagine how excited this makes me...
It'd be great for Caff to write an article on completing the Extreme rock ticks.
Quick update from the man himself: he reckons it'll be more like 12 months, although it'll be a pretty small list after the next couple of weeks is out.
I personally can sigh a bit of relief at this, as there's an amazing article to be written about all this and I'm no way near finishing it!
For me,Dawes was the more talented.Such matters are subjective.
Looking forward to that. Sounds like James would be well qualified to write his own version of Extreme Rock if he's done over 200 routes of e7+. Extremely Extreme Rock, anyone?
Funnily enough Calum Muskett and I have already begun work on this, however it's still a long way off (but will be well worth the wait).
That's extremely exciting!
We're probably going to lose an extreme amount of money in the process, but I'm sure it'll be worth it. Quite interesting that Extreme Rock has become such a legendary publication, despite it's relative lack of commercial success/popularity at the time. Suspect ours will be the same, but only time will tell as to whether it reaches such status!
Good to see Johnny Dawes in the background there.
Whats the difference between masters wall and indian face?
Awseome stuff Caff! Great job mate!
> We're probably going to lose an extreme amount of money in the process, but I'm sure it'll be worth it. Quite interesting that Extreme Rock has become such a legendary publication, despite it's relative lack of commercial success/popularity at the time. Suspect ours will be the same, but only time will tell as to whether it reaches such status!
Print a few thousand start a rumour that all bar a few hundred have been pulped and then just sell a few copies on eBay each year at a ridiculously inflated price. There's your pension.
Oh that's good. Some big gaps there - tell me it's not definitive.
I think it's only about two years old. I don't know how much has been done since. (Don't ask me, because I've only done about 8 routes on Cloggy - about the 8 easiest ...)
Well what I'd noticed was the buttress between the Llithrig area and Great Wall with no routes. So I checked and there are routes like Trapeze, Wall Variations and the Sweeper missing - two of which it appears I've done! Memory's obviously toast!
Edit: And of course looking at it again it's far from definitive!
> Print a few thousand start a rumour that all bar a few hundred have been pulped and then just sell a few copies on eBay each year at a ridiculously inflated price. There's your pension.
I'm in for one. I devoured those Wilson books as a kid. And in reply to Paul Mitchell's " For me,Dawes was the more talented.Such matters are subjective" - I agree, and Dawes also seems the nicer bloke. There's a recent piece on Climbing.com by Moffat and OMG, how much does he love himself!
> Funnily enough Calum Muskett and I have already begun work on this, however it's still a long way off (but will be well worth the wait).
As quirky and idiosyncratic as the original, I hope. What I like about the original series is the almost perverse pleasure in choosing the odd more obscure line and crag on an out of the way cliffs rather than just a list of *** classics.
> Jerry was so loud and persistent about being noticed that his true ability was paradoxically masked by all the noise.
> For me,Dawes was the more talented.Such matters are subjective.
I think you're probably right about the talent, but you can't possibly be suggesting that Johnny was quieter...
Having seen Moffatt walking down just after the ascent, he seemed remarkably quiet considering what he'd just done.
> Whats the difference between masters wall and indian face?
Aside from being different lines on the same face they were also climbed in contrasting styles. Jerry did Master's in basic trad style. With new routes it was mostly considered OK to to ab down a line to clean it and check out the line of the route. But you couldn't practice the moves.
The Indian Face broke the traditional ethics of the time because it was top roped first before leading. John Redhead had previously tried Indian Face trad style (ie. without prior top rope practice) and got pretty high up. He later placed a bolt at his high point which Dawes chopped before his ascent.
I imagine it must pretty hard to compare the difficulty of the two routes because of the difference in style. Doing a necky route without practicing the moves first is very different from top rope practice, headpointing because you don't know if you'll even be able to do all the moves or if you're trying them the right way. On a first ascent you don't even know if all the moves are even possible which makes the climbing even more committing.
I've now seen that the whole of the Far East Buttress and East Gully Wall are missing, so megaclassics like Woubits, the Mostest, Shrike, the Axe and Octo are not included ...
Would that not also make leo the first man to onsight E9?
Difficult to compare and contrast climbers, on one had is a genius who played to his strengths in niche activity, and on the other a climber who took it out at world class level on rock and competition. Then shouted about it. ;-)
> Aside from being different lines on the same face they were also climbed in contrasting styles. Jerry did Master's in basic trad style. With new routes it was mostly considered OK to to ab down a line to clean it and check out the line of the route. But you couldn't practice the moves.
> He later placed a bolt at his high point which Dawes chopped before his ascent.
It was actually Jerry who chopped it.
> Doing a necky route without practicing the moves first is very different...
I've always been in awe of the original efforts on this wall. The idea of heading up something so obviously blank and dangerous *completely* onsight, not even knowing if it was possible, just seemed ridiculous. It was tempered somewhat by the realisation that even if they weren't top roped they were abseil inspected, or cleaned and sometimes the crux moves tried etc. The spirit was still to preserve the adventure and keep the uncertainty high. Jerry checked out Master's Wall on abseil and knew what to do in the crux, but he told me he didn't want to do much more because it might spoil it. I wonder how it would play out if someone discovered Cloggy last week?
Hi there, here’s a link to an audio file on my Vimeo page you guys might enjoy. It’s an excerpt from a conversation with Caff last year about his climbing, motivations and early onsight attempt on master’s wall. A film that never got made before I went into retirement to go trad climbing! Caff was one of the keenest, understated and inspirational climbers I’ve met, a real pleasure to chat to.
Watch Master’s Wall on Vimeo: https://www.vimeo.com/277899350
> Would that not also make leo the first man to onsight E9?
Yep and last! I'm not sure whether we should read between the lines and questioned whether Leo did the actual line Caff did or the lower line he alludes to? If he did do the same line as Caff then at 16 years old Leo climbed at a level that has still not been matched decades later and unlikely to be for another decade, in boots that were two sizes too big! I guess most of the grade for these routes is in the head game so if you have someone with the right mindset then it's feasible.
I really wonder if we had great predictable weather like at present, but more consistently every year would more of these climbs get done? Cloggy really does need a few days to dry out after the rains that are a regular occurrence in these parts.
BTW does anybody have a contact link for James?
Well done Caff good effort
You can contact Caff via The BMC.
> BTW does anybody have a contact link for James?
Ask Savvas...... ;-)
Just added a video interview with Caff to the report.
Does anyone at UKC have Leo Houlding's number? Would be fascinating to hear his perspective on the route, the history and the variations in the line.
A bit off topic, but it's still beyond me why Rab would drop one of Britain's leading lights from their team.
Interesting, but at least Caff seems at peace with the droppoing.
Ooof, that's fairly direct, isn't it?!
Nice to see some honesty rather than the same regurgitated shit that instagram/Facebook is full of. Good for you James
That is a brilliant blog post. Caff would get full marks for using the term 'cyber-wanker' alone, but then this sentence really got me, "...that I like to mainly chat about things I think are interesting or newsworthy rather than sending forth a constant stream of human consciousness...".
There's definitely space in climbing for authentic adventurers as opposed to lifestyle wankers flogging merch' to "armchair Bears" who desperately seek credibility and self-comfort through their credit cards, brands, and 4x4s.
Nice one Caff.
that's a flippin brilliant blog, I was in stitches. And yes, those trousers are awful ;-)
That was an obviously kind and mature comment from Seamus yesterday.
> I'm just getting: "Sorry, we couldn’t find that page" from that link
Hi stp, I posted it before the other interview stuff popped up. After watching the nice interview on ukc I thought my audio was repetitious of that so closed the link.
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