Ex-pat British climber, James Pearson has just made the first ground-up (third overall) ascent of Is Not Always Pasqua?, E9 7a, at Collina di Interprete in Central Italy. James' ascent was also the first placing all the gear on lead.
Just my take on this, in reality it could be very different but, is there not an awful lot of seemingly very good gear on here to grade it E9, and technically doesn't look the grade either.
I am not an expert but this looks seriously over graded, am i dismissing something or would you agree.
I have to say, I was a little puzzled - French 8b into a font 7C+ sequence must clock in relatively hard (8b+? 8c?), with added effort for placing the gear - how many other E9s have climbing that hard on them?
I wasn't quite sure whether it was a French 8b that included a 7C+ crux, but they did state the former (one into the other) in the description...
Very watchable, looks like a great route. JP has grown a lot in my estimation over the years. I think it's understandable his accent and intonation have changed given who he climbs with and where he mostly now climbs.
Question: when you do a route ground up, does that mean after falling he has to lower down, pop back to the top of the crag the easy way, strip all the gear on ab then set of again from the deck - is that how they do it?
> Question: when you do a route ground up, does that mean after falling he has to lower down, pop back to the top of the crag the easy way, strip all the gear on ab then set of again from the deck - is that how they do it?
Depends really. Some people just pull the ropes and go for another go. How much difference it makes will depend on the route. At a guess James chose to place the gear each time as it looks to be a fairly major part of the difficulties.
Does the danger involed not come down to the E grade side of the overall grade. I can't remember seeing such a safe E9 before, but like i said i am no expert. Obviously the sangre leads to how desperate the route is, and it just didnt look desperate por dangerous to me. Plenty going on.
The E grade covers everything, how hard the climbing is, how dangerous it is, how fiddly the gear is etc. I don't know about you but I think most people would consider french 8b in to a 7C boulder with no rest pretty difficult! James may have made it look easy but that's more to do with the fact that he's a f*cking brilliant climber.
Parthian got done ground up before it broke. And Pearson also did Muy Caliente (E10) ground up at Pembroke.
You dont see safe e9's as most of them are on grit and therefore devoid of meaningful gear. Even then routes like captain invincible (f8b and necky low down yet only e8...) are given low grades, perhaps to do with the era that were put up in.
In reply to UKC News: That was impressive on a climbing front, but why is he speaking as if English isn't his first language? I guess talking about hard routes is pretty mind numbing stuff anyway, but does he really have to use such strange English?
A bit of a British preoccupation that hard climbing must be dangerous climbing. But rapsody is e11 and (to my limited knowledge) relatively safe. Just fecking hard. Some routes are e1 becAuse they are a 4c solo. And some are e1 because they are 5c but very safe. The e grade just tells you over-all how hard it is.
Got to love Mr Pearson at the moment. Achieved levels of climbing most people would be satisfied with as a legacy. And instead, recognised his (slight) weaknesses and pushes through to a new level of difficulty. Very inspiring
I assume he spends a lot of time speaking French with his wife (and some other continental language with most of his regular climbing partners these days) - the phrasing I noticed in there ("a dream of one year completed"), together with others I've noticed in the last (being "in" a route rather than "on" it) are I think both what you would say if you translated the French equivalent directly into English.
Living elsewhere when you're first language is English screws your English up, once you start thinking and processing everything in your adopted language it has a tendancy to come out how you processed it. For me i speak Spanish 99.99% of my life, i think in Spanish firstly and then translate into English. Full circle, you could say Spanish is my primary tongue, i have to double take often when it comes out wrong un English.
I never got to the stage of Spanish being fluent but it does change the way you speak. Also if speaking English to those who aren't fluent in it you change the way you speak. I speak slower, more clearly and don't use slang or even contractions. It does sound a bit stilted and odd.
Slight off topic from what is a brilliant bit of climbing 'safe' or not. It's a route that seems to have had its grade confirmed and he's improved on previous styles. Credit where it's due.
'Back at home Calibani immediately got to work on an overhanging open corner located at Collina di Interprete, Mount Sibillines National Park, Central Italy. Conditions proved to hot for this dangerous line, which is protected by few small nuts and two cams of a Friend #4; on 15 October the friction was ideal and with astounding nonchalance Calibani made the first ascent of “Is not always Pasqua”. Suggested grade E9 7a or, put in other terms, Fb7c+ or F8b.'
In reply to biscuit: Having read all the discussion above I thought he was going to sound really weird (or like the terrible British people who speak something like "baby talk" to foreigners "because foreigner no understand proper language, need very simple talk!") but it sounds fine.
When you start appearing on TV (or radio) and then you hear/see yourself on the broadcast its pretty horrible because all you notice is the weird inflections or linguistic crutches you rely on (I never thought I said "errr..." or "...you know" until seeing my early tv interviews). As you do it more you then tend to over concentrate on not using those crutches, and it can sound a bit mechanical until you get the hang of it. Sounded to me like James was just speaking carefully and trying to convey the story clearly.
His missus seemed to be mainly speaking to him in English anyway!
Pretty confusing really, and not only the difficulty either. So was there no toprope rehersal on this ascent? In my mind, ground-up means you've only encountered the moves while climbing from the ground on lead. You don't toprope a route, then lead it while placing the gear, and call it a ground-up ascent. Everybody knows that, so did Pearson hang-dog it, yoyo, or what? Or was this like his second effort from the ground, after a lower off a year earlier? If that is the case, what a great effort!
> His missus seemed to be mainly speaking to him in English anyway!
That would be enough...
I spent several years living in Switzerland, generally speaking English, but generally with non-native English speakers. Found myself using English vocabulary, but a weird mixture of grammar and inflection from other languages - like James in the vid. "a dream of one year completed" is classic - English words, French word order... (We also incorporated Russian absence of articles and Italian gesticulation).
Don't often wade into these, however I believe what yankiepunter was suggesting was that the way in which James said it was French 8b into Font 7C+ (paraphrase) rather than French 8b with a 7C+ crux, which would equate to ~8c/+ rather than 8b. Still however very impressive!
Also to add on the accent, when I was in France over summer I found when speaking to those from non native English speakers I would often talk in an almost Pidgin English and would often continue speaking that way to my friend afterward who was English!
If James Pearson says he did it ground up then he did ground up. He understands the vagaries of our game and knows the difference between ground-up and head point. I assume he did not yo yo it but it doesn't say.
Regarding his accent; that's how he's come to talk after living abroad for so long, so what. A mate of mine always speaks english like that when abroad if his command of the local lingo is not up to it and gets by better than my BBC news style english.
> Also to add on the accent, when I was in France over summer I found when speaking to those from non native English speakers I would often talk in an almost Pidgin English
Why!? Non-English speakers will just think you're mad or have learning difficulties! It's a total affectation and really silly one at that. You're not helping anyone learn English either, just modelling something that isn't correct English.
I've lived in a non-English speaking country for over a decade and speak normally, as does a British friend who has been there over 20 years. His only linguistic tic from that time is that he often uses the Finnish name of certain mushrooms and fish as its easier than remembering what they are in English (if they even have non-latin names).
Purely because a lot of the people I met climbing there during summer were from widely varying parts of the world, and a lot didn't have very good English and my thick Scottish accent didn't particularly help much. So I simplified what I said a lot and it sounded very different, much like the way James does in the video.
I would guess that he isn't trying to help people learn English, he is probably just trying to communicate. I found when I moved abroad lots of people spoke English but struggled with my accent. So of course I had to change it in a way they can understand. Gradually over the years that can effect how you normally speak.
Having spent the last several months talking to Spanish people who don't speak great English, I can confirm that the Spanish folk preferred that we spoke broken English with exaggerated pronunciation than just speak normally.
It is then easy to forget that you're doing it and then carry it on between groups of native English speakers. It's quite funny when it happens...
In reply to TobyA: I tend to simplify my English when I'm struggling to be understood, which often happens. At the ends of the day I'm doing my best to communicate and it works. I think you should be slightly less self conscious, are you really that bothered if somebody else thinks you're a 'complete t!t'?
There are a lot of tick marks on that rock for a ground-up ascent. Is someone trying to tell me that somebody abbed in, cleaned and chalked the holds, put marks where all the gear was to be placed, told him the exact gear that was needed for the whole route and this still classes as ground-up?!
I might start claiming some ground-up ascents of some routes I've dogged the shit out of.
He is being honest, he is claiming a ground up, placing gear on the lead not an onsight ascent. He can watch as many people as he likes dog the route, do whatever they like on the route as he isn't claiming an onsight ascent.
Technically you may be correct but ideally ground-up should be in the same spirit as onsight i.e. just turn up, no beta, the only difference being it takes more than one attempt. This IMO is often more impressive than a flash.
If someone tells you the gear, moves etc (not saying this is the case here) then '2nd go after failed flash attempt' would convey more about the way the route was done.