"I don't know if E10 exists," Dave BirkettVideo

© Alastair Lee,
As promised.

When Dave Birkett was a young climber a friend told him that to climb as hard as his grandfather, Jim Birkett, he would have to climb E10.

In this exclusive interview by Alastair Lee of Posing Productions, Dave Birkett gives his view on top end grades that may go against the grain of conventional wisdom. The interview was conducted this summer straight after Dave had just climbed Haste Sin Owt O't Hoonds his new E9 6c at Cam Crag, Wasdale.

You can watch it here via this direct link:

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19 Sep, 2007
First person to transcribe this interview and post it on this thread will get a copy of Alastair Lee's new climbing film, PSYCHE.
19 Sep, 2007
"I don’t think I’ve ever climbed an E10. Cos I jus’ don’t think they exist like, as yet. Well how ‘ards E10? It’s like death. You’re gonna die jus’ looking at, aren’t you, really? You know it like, er, a big benchmark thing isn’t it? You would imagine like… I dunno… you gotta be right up in the high f8cs, with no gear I would imagine, ‘know what I mean to be E10? When I first started climbing this guy said to me, to be as good as me Grandfather, you’re gonna have to climb E10, ‘cos he climber the first E1 or whatever. And the grade at that time then, I think Indian Face had just been done, and that was E9. And er, you kinda think it is like almost kinda thing. It’s a big, a big, it’s such a big number, and you get certain routes, which you can fall of some bits, but you can’t fall off other bits, type scenario. And I’ve always had in me mind that E10 is, form the ground you’re gonna hardly be. You know, it’s gonna be very dangerous and very very hard. And I don’t, well there are obviously very dangerous route on certain parts and I know we have all these, kind of, grade charts. And I dunno, jus the image of E10, to me, conjures up the image of some thing that’s very bloody hard indeed and very, like, dangerous y’know. And I dunno I just don’t think it’s there yet, to be honest."
19 Sep, 2007
It's interesting that he doesn't comment on Dave McLeod's E11... I'm not saying he should, just interesting he doesn't, presumably he's not had a go on it so can't judge it. But this does bode the question - if E10 is death as Dave Birkett is saying then E11 isn't E11 but E9? I'm not 1 to judge just interested, as I doubt I will ever be able to climb E7 upwards.
19 Sep, 2007
Or Daves E10... Or is that E9 now?
19 Sep, 2007
Doesn't DB's comments fly in the face of the theory that there can be v dangerous but tech modest high E grades and there can be relatively safe but v technically hard high E grades? As with any grade. Witness Dave M's E11. Relatively safe (as in not death on a stick at any rate) but tech v hard.
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