Read the initial Cratcliffe Groove newsflash here: UKC News
Climbing photographer Dave Simmonite described the seriousness of James' ascent in the new film Committed 2:
"If he comes off at the top of the groove, it could get very messy."
Kevin thought otherwise:
"I wanted to know what it would be like to fall from the worse possible place. So, I pulled up Cooper's rope to the break, counted to three, and let go. George took a few steps back and I landed with a hard thud, 5 feet above the ground. Ouch. Didn't need to have George run back after all. The gear held perfectly and I landed safely below the small foot-ledge from which the route's crux sequence begins. All in all, I'd say the route is technically the hardest bit of climbing I have done on the trip, but in the scheme of things, safe."
Kevin has suggested that the crux moves of The Groove would merit a bouldering grade of Font 7C+ (V10). To compare difficulty, Jordan Buys' new route at Earl Crag (UKC News and Video) features Font 7C+ climbing in a very serious position and has been graded E9 7a, after Jordan initially suggested E8 7a.
Kevin shares more of his thoughts on his excellent blog:
"Extremely hard routes, such as those put up by Miles Gibson, feature moves just as hard as The Groove (yes, I have tried some, namely, Superstition*). These climbs can be just as safe as E1's, but because of their physical difficulty, receive an E-grade upwards of E8. I think The Groove falls into this category, of safe and hard. And beautiful. What an amazing, unique and rewarding route."
Grading routes at this level is a complex process, and different climbers can have different opinions on safety and difficulty as well as different body shapes and sizes. What is clear is that the crux of The Groove is safe and the crown of 'Hardest Route on Gritstone' is once again up for grabs.
What is also clear, and is more important is that Kevin Jorgeson had a great time climbing a stunning piece of gritstone, following the line he found most inspiring and he reported all of his activity in an open, honest manner.
(*Miles Gibson's route 'Superstition' is graded E8 7a and follows a line up the face a couple of metres to the left of James Pearson's recently repeated route at Burbage - 'The Promise'.)
- Read the initial Cratcliffe Groove newsflash here: UKC News
Kevin Jorgeson is sponsored by Marmot, Asana Packworks, Sterling Rope, Black Diamond, Superfeet, Raw Revolution and Five Ten.