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17m.

Rockfax Description
Do this and Great Slab (in a pair of pumps!) on the same day to get a measure of the skill of the Master. An exhausting struggle on which upward progress is always too tenuous. The rotating chockstones that used to both help and hinder have now gone. © Rockfax

FA. Joe Brown 1951.

Ticklists

Extreme Rock, Gritstone's finest gruesome and damaging struggles, Wide Cracks, Froggatt to Black Rocks (BMC) - The Grade List, Ron Fawcetts 100 extremes in a day, World Graded List, Unusual and Interesting Routes You Must Do VS- E2, Peak Rock/6/ The Emergence of Joe Brown and Don Whillans, Joe Brown's Three-Star Grit-List, Cracks And Corners To Greatness, Pete's 150 Peak Extremes, Ultimate E3 ticklist, Thrutch and Clutch, WideBoyz Crack School, Top 50 Peak Cracks, Joe Browns Shops 50th Anniversary Celebration Routes List, James' Winter Grit ticklist, UK road to wide crack mastery, The Froggatt to Black Rocks 3 Star Pilgrimage, Definitive *** Peak Grit, Froggat and Curbar Big Cracks, Crackageddon, Proper Cracks UK, Joe Brown Curbar Routes, An attempt at a definitive list of Joe Brown's FA/FFA in the Peak District, Post-lockdown Peak jamming hoedown, Peak District Grit Graded List, Peak District Grit (2020) *** List, Wide

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User Date Notes
George Frisby 20 Jul Show βeta
βeta: Perfect with no. 4, two no.5s and a no.6
 
Show beta
βeta: Perfect with no. 4, two no.5s and a no.6
UKB Shark 23 Aug, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: In answer to Olivers question - I corresponded and spoke to Joe Brown at the beginning of the year to clear this up and documented it in a letter to OTE earlier this year. Joe confirmed that the key chockstone was not used on the first ascent and was onsight - prior top-roping was, he said, very rare then . The only chockstones (if indeed there were any)were low down before the crux overhang off the ledge i.e. the ones that Paul Mitchell removed in the 80’s. So Joe’s ascent involved running it out from pro before the overhang, past the point where the later chockstone appeared. So anyone seeking to emulate Joe’s ascent should place a hex 11 or friend 4 well below the overhang, then run it out to the top of the crag. The chockstone was added by persons unknown in the 60’s and somehow remained and became legitimised to the extent that most people assumed it had been placed by Joe Brown when clearly it had not. As you rightly say it was a remarkable lead but he was the crack master - check out the off-width roof he did by Lightening Crack at the Roaches Lower tier. Regarding getting past the overhang my solution involved armbarring with my right arm - laybacking is missing the point IMO.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: In answer to Olivers question - I corresponded and spoke to Joe Brown at the beginning of the year to clear this up and documented it in a letter to OTE earlier this year. Joe confirmed that the key chockstone was not used on the first ascent and was onsight - prior top-roping was, he said, very rare then . The only chockstones (if indeed there were any)were low down before the crux overhang off the ledge i.e. the ones that Paul Mitchell removed in the 80’s. So Joe’s ascent involved running it out from pro before the overhang, past the point where the later chockstone appeared. So anyone seeking to emulate Joe’s ascent should place a hex 11 or friend 4 well below the overhang, then run it out to the top of the crag. The chockstone was added by persons unknown in the 60’s and somehow remained and became legitimised to the extent that most people assumed it had been placed by Joe Brown when clearly it had not. As you rightly say it was a remarkable lead but he was the crack master - check out the off-width roof he did by Lightening Crack at the Roaches Lower tier. Regarding getting past the overhang my solution involved armbarring with my right arm - laybacking is missing the point IMO.
Oliver Hill 12 Aug, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: Any crack is much nicer without tat in it. An inserted chockstone is tat and gets in the way of pleasant crack climbing, if pleasant is the right word for this brute. More to the point what is the easiest way of getting round the overhang? is there a neat technique, or just brute strength and ignorance. Did Joe B climb it onsight or with top rope practise? If onsight how many chockstones? In any case remarkable lead, but phenomenal if unpractised with only 2 chockstones.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Any crack is much nicer without tat in it. An inserted chockstone is tat and gets in the way of pleasant crack climbing, if pleasant is the right word for this brute. More to the point what is the easiest way of getting round the overhang? is there a neat technique, or just brute strength and ignorance. Did Joe B climb it onsight or with top rope practise? If onsight how many chockstones? In any case remarkable lead, but phenomenal if unpractised with only 2 chockstones.
UKB Shark 19 Nov, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: It does save on using the friend 6 higher up!
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: It does save on using the friend 6 higher up!
UKB Shark 18 Nov, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: Chockstone has been replaced courtesy of John Cox, Paul Mitchell and Simon Cox and placed in a position further back in the crack which looks as if it wont get in the way of the climbing. Friend 5 protection still advisable to protect getting to the chockstone.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Chockstone has been replaced courtesy of John Cox, Paul Mitchell and Simon Cox and placed in a position further back in the crack which looks as if it wont get in the way of the climbing. Friend 5 protection still advisable to protect getting to the chockstone.
Adam Long 13 Oct, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: Did this the other week; removal of the chock has altered the climbing very little, but it is £150 more expensive to protect.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Did this the other week; removal of the chock has altered the climbing very little, but it is £150 more expensive to protect.
UKB Shark 13 Oct, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: The chockstone referred to above (which doubled as an, almost! unavoidable hold and runner and hid the best natural hold on the route) was removed by myself in September 2004 initially on a trial basis on the grounds that it cluttered and obstructed the crack detracting from a great climb that nowadays is well protected by large cams. This caused controversy, which was mainly argued out on UKClimbing.com but also some interesting historical facts emerged. The original chockstone was placed by Rock & Ice/Joe Brown apparently by dropping stones in from the top until one jammed. In the 1960’s this original chockstone was absent for a period during which time the route was led in its chock-free state by Al Evans, Mark Vallance Jim Campbell and maybe others. For reasons, and by persons, unknown a chockstone (possibly more) were placed/replaced which means that the stone I removed is almost certainly not the original and therefore without intrinsic historical/romantic value. In the 1980s Paul Mitchell removed some lower chockstones and re-led the route, managing to somehow contort his way past the key chock, without using it for aid. This was not common knowledge and the purist style of Paul’s ascent has not been widely imitated, if at all. To my knowledge another stone has not been reinstated though a number of people have declared an intention to do so. The route without the chockstone is more sustained but the crux is still lower down as before. To put it into context it is still easier, in my opinion, than the top section of Mid Term in Yosemite graded 5.9!
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: The chockstone referred to above (which doubled as an, almost! unavoidable hold and runner and hid the best natural hold on the route) was removed by myself in September 2004 initially on a trial basis on the grounds that it cluttered and obstructed the crack detracting from a great climb that nowadays is well protected by large cams. This caused controversy, which was mainly argued out on UKClimbing.com but also some interesting historical facts emerged. The original chockstone was placed by Rock & Ice/Joe Brown apparently by dropping stones in from the top until one jammed. In the 1960’s this original chockstone was absent for a period during which time the route was led in its chock-free state by Al Evans, Mark Vallance Jim Campbell and maybe others. For reasons, and by persons, unknown a chockstone (possibly more) were placed/replaced which means that the stone I removed is almost certainly not the original and therefore without intrinsic historical/romantic value. In the 1980s Paul Mitchell removed some lower chockstones and re-led the route, managing to somehow contort his way past the key chock, without using it for aid. This was not common knowledge and the purist style of Paul’s ascent has not been widely imitated, if at all. To my knowledge another stone has not been reinstated though a number of people have declared an intention to do so. The route without the chockstone is more sustained but the crux is still lower down as before. To put it into context it is still easier, in my opinion, than the top section of Mid Term in Yosemite graded 5.9!

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Route of Interest

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Grade: E3 5c ***
(Chee Dale Upper)