Norwegian climber Mari Augusta Salvesen has made the first female ascent of the burly Ray's Roof E7 6c at Baldstones in Staffordshire. First climbed by visiting American Ray Jardine in 1977, the horizontal offwidth crack remains a gritstone testpiece and is one of the hardest of its kind in the UK.
You've got to love a 3min trailer in which, by 30secs in, you're already shouting at the screen "FFS Johnny, stop talking bollocks and climb something!!" And then he does an extraordinary jump start straight into a jam/splits.
Hah, quite illustrious company there all things considered! I would love to get on it one day.
Loved watching Johnny get on it in the video (queue twinkly magical music..), he's about to do something inspiring..! Tension builds.. he does a crazy spinny around thing.. could it be, is that the way..? Nope, music stops and he pops out. But he had me for a minute. Classic.
> One thing I have always wondered is whether offwidths are really all sandbags or if the problem is that most people just don't get used to climbing them.
Or both, possibly? There's an interesting interview with Danny Parker (did the third ascent of Century Crack, founded the "Offwidth Army") on the podcast "Hangdog Days", where he gives his opinion tht grading of offwidths in the US is kind of a mess, and in some areas a deliberate joke/sandbag.
He has a story about how Bob Scarpelli and Brad Jackson used to downgrade their new routes at the end of the day -- "Nah, more like 12a." "Nah, 11d." "Could be more like 11c." -- until they hit the grade where they started laughing, and that'd be where it stuck.
But lack of practice/skill is definitely a huge issue too; it's a completely different set of techniques to learn (especially if you get into the inverted stuff).
> Username suggests I like the same routes as you.
Bit of a giveaway, yes. Unfortunately for me (and my climbing partners), I also like offwidths. I'm not claiming to be good at them, I just suffer from a tragic compulsion to wedge myself into them, so I'm trying to get less terrible in order to mitigate the suffering.
I've always been led to believe its not really licorice, rather a purely artificial concoction based on ammonium chloride, but actually wikipedia does suggest that in some versions at least liquorice root is involved.
It is one of the more interesting flavours out there - how exactly it helps you climb Ray's Roof though, I'm not quite sure. For many Brits it might be in an effort to get away from the salmiakki!