UKC

NEWS: The Meltdown 9a by Franco Cookson

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 UKC News 08 Mar 2022

Franco Cookson has ticked The Meltdown 9a in Twll Mawr in the Llanberis slate quarries, North Wales. The line eluded the technique and trickery of Johnny Dawes, receiving its first ascent in 2012 by James McHaffie to become the hardest slab route in the UK.

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 Chris Sansum 08 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Well done Franco!

In reply to UKC News:

Linking to the other thread for posterity https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/meltdown-745014

 climbercool 08 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

I've loved watching Franco's exploits over the years, didn't think i'd ever see this though. Awesome!

 Michael Gordon 08 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Absolutely brilliant! Top effort. Got to say, it would drive me mad climbing right next to an ab rope like that, but I guess he had the moves so dialled he maybe didn't notice it?

In reply to UKC News:

Apart from great achievement, what great piece of writing! One of the best bits of writing about climbing that I've read for quite a while.

3
In reply to UKC News:

Well done Franco - Not followed UKC forums for ages but wonder if that guy who used to always slag you off will be along to say great effort. Anyway Great effort! 

5
 Graham Booth 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Kipper-Phil Smith:

Sure a certain individual will now either say it looks 6a or he’s not climbed the line…..

10
In reply to UKC News:

Congrats and well done Franco 

 simes303 09 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent. Well done.

In reply to UKC News:

Obviously he could have climbed The Prow whichever way he wanted... I wonder how long it will take for someone to start saying he used the wrong holds in meltdown... Just joking! Well done Franco

11
 Ger_the_gog 09 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Saw the clip of his 2019 attempt. A cracking achievement.

Post edited at 14:06
In reply to UKC News:

Good effort!! Still looks nails...

 Nic 09 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

"but then went back with my friends Dave Warburton and Sam Marks, and Sam basically turned it into a red wine-drinking holiday where hard climbing became very difficult."

Sounds like most of my climbing holidays then!

Post edited at 16:31
 Andy Farnell 10 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Finally he's repeated something. About bloody time, took him long enough though. If he'd listened to me earlier he'd have done something like this sooner. Can't moan though, he's pulled his finger out and actually done what he's capable of.

Andy F 😉

40
 DAVETHOMAS90 16 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Wonderful write-up, capturing the metaphysical in the way the climbing does.

I think I remember the feeling of being in that climbing zone

Fantastic achievement, and still sharing in Johnny's vision, and McHaffie's mastery of course

Well done! 

Post edited at 16:51
 Moacs 16 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Well done.

Just out of interest, how many 9a ascents happen in, say, a month?

Not trying to be controversial in any way but I genuinely don't know if this is a once a month, once a year, or daily happening. And, yes, yes, I get that Johnny didn't manage it. He's lovely, but was only ever "the blunt end of the cutting edge" of sport climbing.

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 Mick Ward 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> Just out of interest, how many 9a ascents happen in, say, a month?

Hmm, it may well be that there are 9as and... 9as?

'Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent' (Wittgenstein)  So I'll shut up now.

Mick 

P.S. To FC - well done!!!

 Arms Cliff 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> Well done.

> Just out of interest, how many 9a ascents happen in, say, a month?

In the UK or worldwide? Not many in the UK this time of year as most of them are wet! 

 Moacs 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Arms Cliff:

Worldwide as that's what the reporting seems to cover.

1
 jezb1 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Moacs:

If not daily I bet not far off.

 Moacs 16 Mar 2022
In reply to jezb1:

Ok. Thanks.

So we're celebrating home grown talent doing one of the UK's hardest, rather than globally significant ascent?  That's fantastic, I just wanted to understand the context.

Shauna did one too, so two bits of great news this week.

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In reply to Mick Ward:

> 'Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent' (Wittgenstein)  So I'll shut up now.

[[Don't want to hijack the thread, but while the above is a good translation of the original German, 'Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, dar-über muss man schweigen,' most Wittgenstein fans now prefer the Pears/McGuinness translation as virtually standard: 'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.' Such a beautifully clean English sentence.

I'm a total Wittgenstein freak, frankly, ever since I first studied him at University half a century ago. The Tractatus is one of the philosophical wonders of the world, as is his much later (30 years?), utterly different, infinitely subtle 'Philosophical variations'. I continually boggle at the power of that guy's mind. I think the only equals in history for power of intellect are: Socrates[/Plato], Aristotle (the towering giant above all others, unequalled for his range of intellect), Aquinas, Kant (almost unreadably difficult but incredibly shrewd and wise) and Nietzsche (particularly as a critique of western culture, unsurpassed; saw far into the future).

BTW. I'll warn in advance, I'm not going to discuss this. I'm v busy on my latest book at the moment, and I can't afford to waste time on any intellectual discussions. Sorry.]]

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 john arran 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

That's disturbingly reminiscent of Fermat's paraphrase: I've discovered a wonderful proof, but don't have space to describe it in this margin. 😀

In reply to john arran:

Sorry about that   I'm telling the truth ... also falling asleep having got very wet this afternoon, despite umbrellas, on a long walk in the pouring rain.

Post edited at 21:52
 tjdodd 16 Mar 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> Shauna did one too, so two bits of great news this week.

That would be really newsworthy but not sure we will ever see someone 7 months pregnant climbing 9a.

1
 Darkinbad 16 Mar 2022
In reply to jezb1:

> If not daily I bet not far off.

Ondra and Schubert between them would pretty much account for that.

Probably not many 9a's in the style of Meltdown getting done, though. And it does have obvious local and historical interest.

In reply to tjdodd:

> That would be really newsworthy but not sure we will ever see someone 7 months pregnant climbing 9a.

Probably meant Hazel Findlay:
https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2022/03/esclatamasters_9a_by_hazel_findlay-73010

 jiminy483 17 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Franco's getting his groove on under the Indian scowl, the boy's ambitious. Holy Moley...  

1
 jezb1 17 Mar 2022
In reply to Darkinbad:

> Probably not many 9a's in the style of Meltdown getting done, though. And it does have obvious local and historical interest.

Very true. Probably not many 9a’s that exist in a similar style, let alone people who want to climb that style 9a.

 Michael Gordon 17 Mar 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> So we're celebrating home grown talent doing one of the UK's hardest, rather than globally significant ascent? >

You may be correct. Bear in mind that this is only the second ascent. Also potentially globally significant as a slab climb, perhaps in the same way that some of the hardest cracks in the US/Canada are globally significant?  

Post edited at 08:39
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 Hardonicus 17 Mar 2022
In reply to jezb1:

I bet he glanced up at cloggy after he got done. Seems like there might be a few days to spend up there this summer...

 Moacs 17 Mar 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:

I did. Shows how closely I follow these things. Sorry if my questions have upset people. I should have started a separate thread

Post edited at 09:10
In reply to Moacs:

Pretty much any ascent of a 9a in the UK is newsworthy within the UK. Globally, it's probably only newsworthy for female ascents, and would need to be 9b for a globally newsworthy male ascent.

So because 9a is not globally newsworthy, it's going to be quite difficult to know how many 9a ascents happen. Probably a lot of good climbers operating under the radar at that level.

However, there may not be any routes in the same style as The Meltdown (9a) that are harder than 9a. All the videos one sees of harder routes seem to have the finish overhanging the start - sometimes by obscene amounts (e.g. Flatanger routes).

Post edited at 10:26
In reply to Michael Hood:

> So because 9a is not globally newsworthy, it's going to be quite difficult to know how many 9a ascents happen. Probably a lot of good climbers operating under the radar at that level.

8a.nu will give some indication, certain give an “at least” figure. 

In reply to Tyler:

Forgot about that site, maybe they should rename it 9a.nu since I would guess that the number of 8a and above ascents when it started is probably not so far off the number of 9a and above ascents now.

Post edited at 12:56
In reply to Moacs:

> I did. Shows how closely I follow these things. Sorry if my questions have upset people. I should have started a separate thread

I wouldn't worry. There'll always be someone on here who gets upset!

Also, good effort Franco. I saw him abbing in to clean the route. I didn't realise that's what the draws were on 💪🏻

In reply to jezb1:

>  Probably not many 9a’s that exist in a similar style

Bain De Sang and Cryptography are the only ones that spring to mind for me.

 aln 17 Mar 2022
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> 'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.' Such a beautifully clean English sentence.>

I'm not so sure. Does 'What we cannot speak about' refer to something that's censored or banned, or the ineffable? 

 Darkinbad 17 Mar 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I think the most notable aspect of this ascent is the fact that he skipped grade 8 in getting there. That has to be a global first (if not, perhaps, global news).

All that hard trad has finally paid off

2
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2022
In reply to Darkinbad:

It's definitely good to see what he can achieve putting his skills to something safe. And maybe good training for some more bold trad FAs.


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