/ Is it / isn't it in? A solution?

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Exile - on 12 Mar 2013
Having this season pointed out an out of condition ascent of Engineer Slab, (on here,) but also climbed Chock Gully which although basically a snow / ice gully involved a crux on dry rock, I have been asking myself what is / isn't in - what was actually the difference?

I was happy with my Chock Gully ascent, (I was reassured on here, and locally, that they crux is very often dry rock,) and firmly believe that the highlighted ascent of Engineers was not in winter condition - but both involved climbing dry rock - what is the difference?

Thankfully for my peace of mind I found that Guy Robinson, in his post relating to Dave McLeods new Ben Nevis routes, put into words what I couldn't in relation to different types of uk winter routes:

Is this how most people see it?

Cameron94 on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to Exile: Do you still view the "winter ascent" of Engineer slab the same way?

Exile - on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to Cameron94:

Yeah, I do. I basically think if it's a snowed up rock route you need snowed up rock where as what defines Chock Gully as a route is the ice even if that involves some climbing dry rock, (at least 95% of the route was climbed on ice or snow.)

It's far better explained than that in the link(!) although Mr. Robertson obviously isn't talking about Engineer Slab and Chock Gully.
Cameron94 on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to Exile: Yeah I read the blogpost the day he put it up, he explained it much better than a lot of people could.
I didn't actually see any photo's of engineers slab so I have no idea what condition it was in, I was just wondering if your opinion of that ascent had changed.
Euge - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Exile: I like the idea of the new grading system that Roger is suggesting... Makes sense.

"The Snotter looks, and by all accounts is a great route, but would be anomolous within the current winter grade system. Despite the use of a long distance shot that makes the dry section seem insignificant, from Dave’s honest account and other photos it is not . The suggested VIII,8 grade is based on that section. Now if it was given VI,6,E3 or VI,6,M6 what is the problem? Same route but, in my view, a more realistic description of the difficulties."

neil the weak - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Euge: The "problem" is that for most scottish climbers will have done very little or no "M" climbing abroad, so giving the route M6 doesn't give nearly as good an indication of difficulty to most as calling it VIII,8. Like it or not, we know how hard the scottish grades are mostly as they are used for, well, all of our winter climbing whereas relatively few could accueately grade M pitches.

Far better just to call it VIII,8 and mention that there was dry rock on the first ascent than add an extra grade which no-one has any experience of using.....

Exile - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

I also think that VIII 8 reinforces that the route needs to be in winter condition, where as VI 6, M6 could be in the condition DM climbed The Snotter in, but equally could be a completely dry pitch with 6ft of ice at the top.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf on 13 Mar 2013 -
In reply to Exile: Guy seems to be spot on with his assessment here, I think he's right to have a bit of a dig at Parnell and Richardson who were a bit excessive in their criticism of the Snotter. Its good to hear from a leading proponent of winter climbing at the moment.
neil the weak - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: While I do broadly agree with most of what Guy wrote in that blog post you do realise he did it not because he wanted to defend Dave, but simply to justify himself after the photo of Parallel Grooves was shown with a sustained section (sorry, I mean 2m....honest) of dry climbing on it ('s crux pitch?).

I do agree the critiscism of the Snotter was waaaay over the top though (ie, there shouldn't haven been any).
Michael Gordon - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

They're similar cases wouldn't you agree? Both look good and wintry from a distance but have a short dry section at close quarters.
neil the weak - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon: Yes I agree, both similair cases. Some people will be fine with both, others not I guess but logically it has to be the same "rule" for all, if such a thing even exists.

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