Hi Alex, I was messaging someone who might have been with you when you were trying it. If so, it sounds like you were climbing the top arete on its left, when the route was originally climbed direct from the Cockblock gear up the steeper right hand side of the arete. Climbed this way, the crux of the route is inescapable until you have almost finished the easier climbing at the top. Excellent moves with pinches for your right hand and the arete for your left hand and heel.
Caff, Andy and I all just started up Cockblock rather than the independent start Alex climbed. Maybe this would help set you up better for the top. The independent start does feel squeezed in.
There is a photo of Alex on the top of the route on the UKC route listing.
When I was messing around on a traxion I found the only place I could reasonably escape, having moved up left from the Cockblock slots, was at the point where you first hit the arete proper with your left hand after the big juggy sidepull. From there I could slap blindly around to another hold and swing sideways into the Brant Direct groove, but fortunately it felt to me awkward and non-obvious to do that, so didn't disrupt the feel of the line. Maybe the only thing that needs stipulating as far as the route description goes is that you definitely stay on the right side of the arete.
Yeah, that makes sense. I think the description would be clearer if it said "Summon up everything you've got then head straight on up the right side of the arete via increasingly hard moves until a final, balancey slap gains a good jug just inside the 'safe zone'."
Pretty wild climbing when you commit to the arete, hats off to everyone who's done it. Insecure doesn't really describe it 😂
The arete to the left is Flawless E7, an unrepeated three star Jules Lines route that may well feel E8 climbed on the right as Jules did it. This is the line that Andy and I originally went to the crag to try, but like Richie Betts a few years back, we opted to climb the easier left side at E6/7. It's a stunning feature.
The original way Jules did, he billed as "Scotland's answer to Master's Edge". I wonder if it will ever go onsight? Looks theoretically 'safe', though falling as a result of barndooring could be nasty...
Yes for sure, with that description I would have had no confusion. I did find a nifty way that felt quite natural to me with some good feet that took me left ending up with right hands on what people would have had left on. But yeah the arête climbed on the right face would be a good thing to add, for people drawn to the easiest way up like me haha !
anyway back to ferdias success , really interesting interview and it has really inspired me. It’s ace to see someone really tackling their fear of falling too, practically !!
The gear in the half height break on Flawless is all shallow, but the better bits are on the left, and the arete is really sharp. It's also only just high enough to protect the end of the run-out. I'm no slab maestro but the climbing on the right also seemed desperately insecure and too hard for me (and I headpointed the left side version in a session). Fair play to anyone who on-sights it, likewise Certainty.