/ NEWS: Mind Riot E10 7a First Ascent by Dave MacLeod

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UKC News 07 Oct 2019
Dave MacLeod has completed his long-term project at Binnein Shuas, Lochaber, to make the first ascent of Mind Riot E10 7a.

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JLS 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Ok, I do it. I'll ask the obvious question...

Under what circumstances is E10 7a "harder" than E11 7a?

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Jezz0r 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

He seems to suggest this one is harder than Rhapsody. So why does that get E11 and this one E10?

Edit: JLS beat me

Post edited at 12:26
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Dave MacLeod 07 Oct 2019
In reply to JLS:

If you take a look at my blog, I explain. Grading routes is not an exact science. Rhapsody might not be E10, Mind Riot might not be E10. It's just a rough feeling. I think if you want to get a better idea, the best way would be to repeat them. If actually climbing them isn't desirable, then it really isn't that important.

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Dr_C 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Fabulous effort. Forget the grade and just congratulate the man. 

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deacondeacon 07 Oct 2019
In reply to JLS:

Not answering for dave but English 7a covers a huge range of difficulties, much more so than other grading systems. British grading system struggles to define the difficulties in the higher grades hence why routes are often complimented with French and font grades. 

Let's not start a grade thread though

Nice one Dave

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JLS 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

>"I think if you want to get a better idea, the best way would be to repeat them."

Well I think we'll have to disagree on that one. My purely academic interest in hard trad is probably best satisfied by asking more qualified others.

I get what you are saying about the fuzziness of these grades and to paraphrase, "I'm just not sure anymore", is a perfertly reasonable position.

Care to expand your difficulty ranking list further beyound the 3 climbs you talk about to include all the E9 and above you've done?

Your link for others to inspect: https://www.davemacleod.com/blog/mindriote10

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PaulJepson 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Well done, Dave.

I think it's explained in the article that a lot went into the grade consideration, now he's more experienced (suggesting that maybe he wouldn't give Rhapsody E11 if he did it today?) and I can definitely see why, after The Walk of Life, top climbers are reluctant to put themselves out there on grades. A sandbag is seemingly a lot more acceptable than an overgrade and with Dave's pedigree he has nothing to gain and everything to lose by grading it >E10. It's the same tech grade, and sounds more dangerous than Rhapsody. If it's the same place that I remember him having a massive epic walking then cycling out with a broken leg while thinking his partner was dead then I'd have thought the logistics of getting a rescue should factor in as well. 

It also looks a bit more cruxy than Rhapsody with maybe only 1 hard move in the 'do not fall' zone, whereas Rhapsody looked like quite a few very hard moves above gear (although not death-fall territory)?

I imagine DM is probably sick to the back teeth of grading anyway. Let's just agree that he's done really well.

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Dave MacLeod 07 Oct 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

Mind Riot is not actually more crux than Rhapsody. The lengths of crux section are pretty similar - both have about a ten move section that is very sustained and hard. In both cases abut 10 move V10. Mind Riot is probably a bit more powerful, but Rhapsody has a little harder climbing to get to the start of the difficulties. They are hard to compare though, being really quite different in other respects.

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Dave MacLeod 07 Oct 2019
In reply to JLS:

> >"I think if you want to get a better idea, the best way would be to repeat them."

> Well I think we'll have to disagree on that one. My purely academic interest in hard trad is probably best satisfied by asking more qualified others.

Except that is not going to yield a reliable answer.

> I get what you are saying about the fuzziness of these grades and to paraphrase, "I'm just not sure anymore", is a perfertly reasonable position.

> Care to expand your difficulty ranking list further beyound the 3 climbs you talk about to include all the E9 and above you've done?

I don't think there would be a lot of point since a) its so unimportant and b) I would lack the objectivity to do it and c) I've done them so spread out over years I've forgotten too much about them. My first E9 was nearly two decades ago. I just went back on a new route I gave E8 ten years ago and felt the holds and thought maybe I should have given it E9.

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Pina 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

The highlight of the video for me is definitely Masa practising for the lead fall in the run out.

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Franco Cookson 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Brilliant effort Dave. 

Maybe we could have a report of a hard new Trad route, without it turning into a repetitive grade debate? 

This kind of chat is only fuelling a culture of hidden egos, false-modesty, sandbagging and everything else that is bad about British climbing at the mo. Grades matter a little bit, but not a lot. Routes are bigger than grades after all. 

If we're not careful, the main legacy of this generation is going to be a load of bunched grades that mean nothing. Dave's gone for the safe option here and he's still getting stick.  

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JLS 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Franco Cookson:

>"Dave's gone for the safe option here and he's still getting stick."

He's not getting stick. The report highlighted what seemed to be an obvious grade contradiction in the historically important route Rhapsody. The obvious question was asked. Dave pointed out the answer was in a blogpost that neither he nor the article choose to link...

Edited for spelling.

Post edited at 16:41
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Red Rover 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Who cares about grades, the thing speaks for itself.

P.S. Masa looks like a heroic belayer!

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JLS 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

>” Except that is not going to yield a reliable answer.”

Knowing if Rhapsody is harder than Mind Riot is a bit like knowing if there is life on Mars - It’s of mild curiosity. I’m never going to go there myself to check. I’m not too worried if NASA’s answer to the question isn’t all that reliable. I’m happy to live with their best working hypothesis.

>”I don't think there would be a lot of point since…”

Och well, I’ll leave you to crack on with your climbing.

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Luke_92 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

I actually don't care what the grade is; it's been a pleasure (and at times nerve wracking) to follow your progress on this through your vlogs.

Well done and thank you for sharing!

Post edited at 16:32
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Michael Hood 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Well done on yet another stunning route.

> I just went back on a new route I gave E8 ten years ago and felt the holds and thought maybe I should have given it E9.

You're not going soft are you?

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Paul Sagar 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

In mild defence of those of us punters interested in the grade:

i’ll never, ever, be anywhere near this level of climbing. However I follow (e.g.) Dave’s accomplishments because he is one of the best and most impressive climbers in the world, and I am in awe of his exploits. Now, I want to know the grades of super hard ascents not because of some perverse obsession with grades themselves (that only applies to my own pathetic “achievements”) but as a yard stick to try and scale what (e.g.) Dave is doing.

You see, I’ve seconded E5 and led an easy E4. So anything above (say) E7 just means “super hard, and possibly very dangerous” to me. I have no frame of reference, beyond that. But if Dave (or equivalent) grades a climb E11 or even (say) E12, then what I can take away is that this was something on another level, *even on the super hard scale*. 

Take Ondra’s Silence. I’ve no real idea what 9C could possibly involve in terms of the actual climbing - but what I do know is it is the hardest route in the world. That’s cool to know. If he just said “yeah it’s hard, maybe harder than La Dura Dura” well, I can’t scale that, and it would mean less as an appreciative observer.

Now of course it’s all very imperfect because I can only ever have the very vaguest of ideas of what these hard climbs mean. But notice that for those of us who only have written reports and some video footage, it’s very difficult to appreciate the majesty of a line, let alone what it feels like to actually climb it. So saying “it should only be about the climb itself” makes sense for you top end guys, and I can understand why what seems like a grade obsession can be very frustrating, but grades are the only thing all we punters have to try and follow what is happening.

So maybe there is a middle ground where grade estimates at the top end are viewed as a public service handed out to punters, so we can try to appreciate what has been achieved, whilst you know yourselves that we can’t really get it so no point sweating I too hard. Of course we can’t (really) understand - but we like to try!

Post edited at 18:47
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Andy Farnell 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Dave MacLeod:

Great effort.

I take it you weren't tight rope walking in two tonne shoes?

Andy F

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john arran 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

When I was just getting into climbing I distinctly remember being able to make no distinction between HVS and Extreme, as they were all unfeasibly hard to me.

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Alex@home 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Bloody impressive on so many levels. The thing I find hard to appreciate from a video like this is just how hard it is because Dave climbs it so well. Are there other videos out there of him working the route that show the struggles it took to get there?

As for the grade, well grades are usually reached by consensus. This works well in the grades that most people climb but when you get to these levels of extremely hard trad we're never going to get many different opinions. At the moment we have one opinion and it's the only opinion that can have any merit so let's just accept it and congratulate him on another mighty impressive piece of climbing.

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Michael Gordon 07 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Great stuff. The 'Undiscovered' film sounds interesting - when is it due out?

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pasbury 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Maybe it’s time to retire our beloved E grades and replace them with French grades and a danger rating. Though I think the danger rating for pure trad might need to be more subtle than R and X.

Now I’ll go back under my bridge.

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Paul Sagar 07 Oct 2019
In reply to john arran:

But you knew that extreme was harder than HVS!

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john arran 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> But you knew that extreme was harder than HVS!

I did, yes, but the difference was purely academic as I couldn't relate to any conceivable distinction between 'impossible' and 'even more impossible'!

Like bacteria and viruses are all 'things that are too small to see'.

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HeMa 07 Oct 2019
In reply to pasbury:

This is actually rather good. 
https://jammi.net/kalliot/tietovakka/varmistettavuus.html

just run it through Google translate. 

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jezb1 07 Oct 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Maybe it’s time to retire our beloved E grades and replace them with French grades and a danger rating. Though I think the danger rating for pure trad might need to be more subtle than R and X.

Hardly a new top end route gets done without French grades being mentioned.

Dave's given it a trad grade and helped quantify it by mentioning French grades too.

Works well for me.

----

Looks a full on experience, thanks for sharing the process Dave!

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Robert Durran 07 Oct 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Maybe it’s time to retire our beloved E grades and replace them with French grades and a danger rating.

Maybe at the very top end where the sample size of ascentionists is tiny (and the routes are not done onsight, so UK grades can only be speculative anyway), but, on the other hand, Big E numbers are what sells in the UK and it tends to be climbers operating at the very top end who need to sell. Or am I being too cynical?

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Michael Simpson 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Alex@home:

Dave's blog has footage of him working the route prior to the lead.

The episode:  I Have Made A Decision - https://www.davemacleod.com/blog/ihavemadeadecision

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Paul Sagar 07 Oct 2019
In reply to john arran:

Yeah, but I know that ebola is worse for you than a common cold. Two things being beyond comprehension on one metric does not mean that they are all the same along all other metrics! 

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pasbury 07 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Can of worms isn’t it? Headpointing made E grades a bit meaningless. Leads with super detailed and intricate pro that you had to know did the same.

I was never anywhere near that game. Even at my punter level it would be very helpful to know an actual pitch difficulty and an actual danger rating rather than have to deduce them. 

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chrisprescott 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Hi Michael, the film is premiering at the Kendal Mountain Festival next month (event at 7pm on the Friday night) and will then be available for download through Vimeo on Demand from the 16th November. The film features six first ascents, Scotland's hardest boulder problem and a trip to St Kilda on Bob Shepton's Dodo's Delight (of Baffin/ Greenland big walling fame) 

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Andy Moles 08 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Binnein Shuas is the traditional folk band who suddenly drops a heavy metal album.

Pre 2016: largely known for Ardverikie Wall. One E7 up the steep bit.

Now: one of the highest concentrations of E7+ routes in the country?

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Grinning Donkey 08 Oct 2019

Congratulations Dave on another fantastically hard and dangerous route.

I’m not interested in the grading other than the fact that it’s ‘dead hard’ .... and you were the one who had the mental and physical courage to actually go and do it - you would also have had to have lived with the consequences if you got it wrong.

Brilliant and impressive as always Dave, good on you 👍👏

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Pina 08 Oct 2019
In reply to chrisprescott:

Please tell me you got the legendary Bob singing on video!

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Qwerty2019 08 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Really enjoyed that.  Thankfully I am neither interested or knowledgeable to comment on the grading.  However I do have a couple of questions of my own.  Funnily enough me and my daughter are indoor climbers and we know Dave MacLeod only by the fact we have watched one of his videos on repeat at Kendal wall about 1000 times while resting between another set of 4x4’s.  We much prefer the long hair, my daughter loves the clip of you on your home wall with your young child and the snowy top out looked hard work.  Anyhow...

what the heck was the noise in the background?  It sounded like you were climbing at the checkout in tescos.  Click...beep....click...beep.  Do you use a metronome when climbing 🤪

It states that you pre placed some gear at the crux as part of your warm up.  Is this generally how it’s done or are you supposed to do it all in one (we don’t get out much)

Really like your videos and bravo for the climb.

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JLS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

>” Is this generally how it’s done or are you supposed to do it all in one (we don’t get out much)”

This tactic "generally" isn't required but fundamentally it's no different to what anyone might do to a lesser extent. Often routes might contain a section where there it a position of rest (a ledge say) just before a hard bit. A useful tactic might be to climb a few moves up the hard bit then strenuously fiddle in some gear then, rather than continue on up in a fatigued state, you could down climb back to the position of rest and give yourself a minute or two rest to recover from placing the protection. This will then give you a better chance of climbing through the hard bit. Rather than just down climbing to a ledge there is no reason why you couldn't chose to down climb all the way to the ground and rest for an hour or longer. So as long as you don't receive any support from the rope you can go up and down as much as you like before getting to the top.

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Qwerty2019 08 Oct 2019
In reply to JLS:

Thanks for the response.  I understand the benefits of resting and down climbing.  As you say if we take it to the nth degree you could climb 70/80/90% of the climb, down climb it and then smash it from there.  However I thought part of the fun in trad climbing was placing protection as you go and the relevant difficulty associated with the route is based on the climbing itself and the difficulty in placing protection, the spacing of the protection and the level of protection it offers.  From what you describe, as long as he downclimbs, he is still on the original climb in essence.  Is this really how it’s done or was he lowered?

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JLS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

>"Is this really how it’s done or was he lowered?"

At this level of difficulty when you life is on the line you really need to be using all the useful tactics that are open to you. He most certainly would not have been lowered.

It's a high stakes game and "the rules" develop over time. These are just the rules that the top guys are currently using.

You can chose to play with other rules if you wish.  It completely up to you how you go about your climbing, so long as it doesn't have a detrimental impact on others climbing and the shared resorces.

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1poundSOCKS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to JLS:

> It states that you pre placed some gear at the crux as part of your warm up.  Is this generally how it’s done or are you supposed to do it all in one (we don’t get out much)

Did it mention pre placed gear elsewhere? I read this...

"Dave placed the gear up to the crux for a warm-up before downclimbing and getting ready for the lead."

Unless I've missed something I'm not sure this is classed as pre-placed. It was placed on the lead attempt, even though he down climbed. And he wasn't "getting ready for the lead", he was actually on the lead attempt.

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PaulJepson 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

I would guess a majority of hard headpoint ascents employ the tactic of downclimbing back to the ground for a rest after getting the first gear in. 

On grit you're maybe only going to get 2 or 3 pieces in for the whole climb, so it makes sense to have a rest and shakeout afterwards if you can. 

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Qwerty2019 08 Oct 2019
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I just wrote a response agreeing with you but then I re read it.

It states he placed gear on lead as his warm up.  Then, still on his lead attempt as per JLS explanations he took a fall as per the video (thankfully he placed good gear).  Then he climbed it again and topped it.  That to me means he climbed it with pre placed gear but after the fall and being lowered.  Crikey I only wanted to comment on a great climb and show my daughter another video of him climbing.  It’s difficult not to question without coming across arsey 

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john arran 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

There's long been a common practice of separating the 'placing gear on lead and then reversing' from the subsequent ascent. The idea is that once you've successfully placed the gear and reversed to the ground it's then fair game to start from that gear-placed-and-clipped point in all future attempts, successful or otherwise.

It's a compromise, certainly, but one that's developed for good reasons and allows climbers to focus on what's most important rather than repeatedly using precious time and energy going over the same ground for the tiniest of perceived style improvement.

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1poundSOCKS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

> Crikey I only wanted to comment on a great climb and show my daughter another video of him climbing.  It’s difficult not to question without coming across arsey 

Don't panic, it's just a discussion.

> It states he placed gear on lead as his warm up.  Then, still on his lead attempt as per JLS explanations he took a fall as per the video (thankfully he placed good gear).  Then he climbed it again and topped it.  That to me means he climbed it with pre placed gear but after the fall and being lowered.

If that's the case you're correct.

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JLS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

>"It’s difficult not to question without coming across arsey"

I tried adding a smiley but it didn't work.

Though, to be honesty, the smiley was more because I knew what I was in for.

Yeah, I was forgetting about the fall when I wrote what I did. I'll need to rewatch the video to remind myself how it all went down...

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Qwerty2019 08 Oct 2019
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Sorry guys, I thought I was sounding arsey not you. 

Right or wrong it’s an amazing climb with obvious danger which I would much prefer the guy to be here chatting to us about it rather than worry about the ethos of placed gear.  

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Qwerty2019 08 Oct 2019
In reply to john arran:

That’s the explanation I needed.  Thanks

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1poundSOCKS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to john arran:

> The idea is that once you've successfully placed the gear and reversed to the ground it's then fair game to start from that gear-placed-and-clipped point in all future attempts, successful or otherwise.

I didn't realise this was even a thing. I knew people used pre-placed gear and obviously downclimbing to rests (including the ground is fine). Sounds a bit like a yo-yo, but with a mandatory downclimb. I presumed a fall would mean pulling the ropes every time, whether gear is left in place or not.

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1poundSOCKS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

> Sorry guys, I thought I was sounding arsey not you. 

Not at all.

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PaulJepson 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Pre 2016: largely known for Ardverikie Wall. One E7 up the steep bit.

In my head Binnein Shuas was somewhere I'd probably never go but when people mentioned Ardverikie Wall I realised I'd been there in February this year and had actually looked at a fixed line up through something horrifically steep; quite possibly the route in question. 

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Maybe at the very top end where the sample size of ascentionists is tiny (and the routes are not done onsight, so UK grades can only be speculative anyway), but, on the other hand, Big E numbers are what sells in the UK and it tends to be climbers operating at the very top end who need to sell. Or am I being too cynical?

Robert, the argument you've used in the past about E grades being the best measure of the overall difficulty of a route seems to me equally applicable whether onsighted or headpointed.

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to chrisprescott:

Thanks Chris. Will it also be available on DVD?

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Pre 2016: largely known for Ardverikie Wall. One E7 up the steep bit.

> Now: one of the highest concentrations of E7+ routes in the country?

That's what happens when a couple of our best climbers visit and see what everyone else has either missed or (understandably!) paid no attention to.

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> I didn't realise this was even a thing. I knew people used pre-placed gear and obviously downclimbing to rests (including the ground is fine). Sounds a bit like a yo-yo, but with a mandatory downclimb.

I get what you mean about the similarity with a yo-yo, but the difference is astronomical!

"I presumed a fall would mean pulling the ropes every time, whether gear is left in place or not."

This is probably one of the few possible grey areas in headpointing. I hadn't even thought about it before. Strictly speaking I guess you should ab, strip the route then go through the whole rigmarole again, but I think most climbers would be happy to accept a new line climbed in this way. It gets a bit silly when this is stretched into another day, even without the fall. To my mind under those circumstances it's 'attempt over' and you need to start again.   

Post edited at 17:54
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John2 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

As I recall, when MacLeod climbed Rhapsody he climbed Requiem (E8) to place the crucial gear, downclimbed Requiem, went home for a cup of tea and a rest then returned to complete the ascent. I don't recall anyone complaining about that - how many people could downclimb an E8?

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

I knew about the tactic but not that he went home in the middle of the attempt. Another grey area. At least it was the same day.

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PaulJepson 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

I really hope that that's true. 

Did he stay tied in the whole time?

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Robert Durran 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

>  At least it was the same day.

Why? What is so special about 24 hours?

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PaulJepson 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Uses more ink in the guidebook when dating the FA.

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Andy Moles 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

This sounds like the beginnings of a great "Is it onsight if...?" thread.

Is it a proper ascent if you put in the gear, downclimb, tie a ferocious guard dog to the ends of the rope,  leave a big shite at the base of the crag and come back a week later?

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John2 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

If you think that you could downclimb an E8 (probably harder than climbing it upwards) then please feel free to comment.

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

> If you think that you could downclimb an E8 (probably harder than climbing it upwards) then please feel free to comment.

Just to be accurate, the crux of Requiem isn't the crack.

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1poundSOCKS 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Strictly speaking I guess you should ab, strip the route then go through the whole rigmarole again, but I think most climbers would be happy to accept a new line climbed in this way.

I just assumed the ropes would be pulled each time. Even if the final ascent was with pre-placed gear. Even though the pre-placed gear was actually placed on an unsuccessful lead attempt. Complicated, almost comically so.

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John2 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

So you have climbed Requiem?

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> >  At least it was the same day.

> Why? What is so special about 24 hours?

Dunno. But generally when you go climbing, whether you've attempted or worked a route on another occasion before or not, you turn up at the crag and try and climb your chosen route in good style. And when you're walking back to your car at the end of the day, you'll know if you've bagged the route or not. You may of course choose to rest between attempts, belay your mate on something else, have lunch, sunbathe etc. It just feels less contrived somehow. It's not about a certain number of hours.

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> I just assumed the ropes would be pulled each time. Even if the final ascent was with pre-placed gear. 

Yes, some would consider that a fair compromise.

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Andy Moles 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

Reckon I could abseil it, good enough?

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

> So you have climbed Requiem?

Of course not. Though it seems your criteria is you've also got to have downclimbed it. Don't think you'll get many replies that fit the bill!

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John2 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

You prove my point. MacCleod downclimbed it as part of his ascent of Rhapsody, but really this was only an extended (and seriously impressive) extension of what I am sure we have all done on routes of a lesser grade- climbed up a bit to place a runner, then climbed back down for a rest.

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ericinbristol 08 Oct 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Beautiful inspiring videos. Gorgeous places, great routes, impressive climbing - and always with Dave's fascinating reflections. A big thank you.

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to John2:

I agree it's a great example of the tactic being employed on something seriously hard. Do you know if the other Rhapsody ascents used a similar approach? 

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chrisprescott 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Hi Michael, unfortunately not. The DVD market has fallen off a bit of a cliff in recent years and as minimum orders are 1000 it isn't really cost effective anymore

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FactorXXX 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Is it a proper ascent if you put in the gear, downclimb, tie a ferocious guard dog to the ends of the rope,  leave a big shite at the base of the crag and come back a week later?

Would that make it a on shite dog?

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Michael Gordon 08 Oct 2019
In reply to chrisprescott:

Thanks Chris. That's a shame

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Robert Durran 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Andy Moles:

> This sounds like the beginnings of a great "Is it onsight if...?" thread.

> Is it a proper ascent if you put in the gear, downclimb, tie a ferocious guard dog to the ends of the rope,  leave a big shite at the base of the crag and come back a week later.

Absolutely. All gear has been placed on lead and none weighted. Any time limit is obviously entirely arbitrary and contrived. The dog and the shite are not relevant to the discussion.

Post edited at 23:39
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Robert Durran 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Robert, the argument you've used in the past about E grades being the best measure of the overall difficulty of a route seems to me equally applicable whether onsighted or headpointed.

Up to a point. But really routes should get separate grades for lead and onsight since it easy to imagine two routes, one of which is easier to onsight but the other easier to headpoint. Also, I would have though that seriousness information is less important when headpointing since you can check everything out on a top rope rather than committing straight away to a lead.

The point I was making was that since an E grade is an inverse measure of the proportion of climbers who could onsight a route, onsight grades for routes which have never been onsighted and, indeed, only even headpointed by a tiny number of climbers are bound to be speculative. So maybe a provisional French grade plus protection rating, or whatever provides most useful information, might make more sense for such routes.

But, of course, if you are trying to sell a film, the title "E11" is going to be more attention grabbing than "8c+, R" or whatever to a British market.

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henwardian 08 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

> what the heck was the noise in the background?  It sounded like you were climbing at the checkout in tescos.  Click...beep....click...beep.  Do you use a metronome when climbing 🤪

That was my fault. Sorry. My first time taking photos while someone is being filmed climbing and it didn't really cross my mind that standing next to the video camera would mean the noises of my camera were all over the soundtrack.

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Michael Gordon 09 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Still, the measure of overall difficulty is useful. For example, it's not immediately obvious to me which is harder out of 8c, 8b R and 8a X; a more discerning grading system provides that information, even if it's just an estimation.

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Robert Durran 09 Oct 2019
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> For example, it's not immediately obvious to me which is harder out of 8c, 8b R and 8a X.

It would depend whether you as an individual fancied your chances more on runout 8c climbing or on 8a climbing with death potential. My point is that sample sizes of climbers operating at this level are too small to give a reliable estimate of which is generally more accessible. 

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Qwerty2019 09 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Are you referring to this video

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Qwerty2019 09 Oct 2019
In reply to henwardian:

Haha, thanks.  

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Robert Durran 09 Oct 2019
In reply to Qwerty2019:

> Are you referring to this video

No. 

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Qwerty2019 09 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Then I sir will butt out

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laurie 11 Oct 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Some e1s might be e2s some e2s might be e1s. it not an exact science.

Great effort!!

Loz

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AlanLittle 11 Oct 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But, of course, if you are trying to sell a film, the title "E11" is going to be more attention grabbing than "8c+, R" or whatever to a British market.

And even more so to an international market, since foreigners tend to be under the mistaken impresson that "E" is purely a danger rating.

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PaulJepson 11 Oct 2019
In reply to AlanLittle:

I seem to remember Dave saying that he wanted to call the film 'Rhapsody' but the production company chose 'E11' instead. 

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