UKC Christmas Climbing Quiz: The Answers

Thank you to all 795 of you who took part in our Christmas Quiz. We are happy that it proved to be challenging, but are not convinced by the cries of 'sandbag'! Congratulations to Ally Smith, who was top of the pile with 78%.

UKC Christmas Banner, 136 kb
UKC Christmas Banner

To put you out of your agony, here are the answers. If you still fancy having a go, don't scroll down and take the quiz here...


Which 8C boulder problem did Ashima Shiraishi make the first repeat of this year?

Horizon (UKC news report)

Two Dave Birkett lines saw their first repeat this year by Jordan Buys. Which two were they?

Talbot Horizon and Haste Sin Owt O't Hoonds 

Which hard crack line did Alex Megos flash on trad gear in Canada this year?

The Path (UKC news report)

Where was Shauna going?

Buckingham Palace

What did Shauna have to learn to do?


Shauna on Twitter, 69 kb
Shauna on Twitter

Which Patagonian peak did Marc-Andre Leclerc make the first solo ascent in winter of this year? 

Torre Egger (UKC news report)

A British climber with many first ascents to his name won a Nobel Prize in October. What's his name?

Mike Kosterlitz (UKC news report)

What was Pete and Tom's time for the Staffs Nose this year, to the nearest minute?

2 hours 44 minutes (UKC news report)

Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall breaking the Staffs Nose record earlier this year, 223 kb
Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall breaking the Staffs Nose record earlier this year
© Dark Sky Media

What's the name of the 'world's biggest roof crack', climbed this year by the Wideboyz?

The Millennium Arch (UKC news report)

How many days did it take Adam Ondra to climb the Dawn Wall in one push?

8 (UKC news report)

Which route did this guy build a replica of?

Luzan Matyas, 114 kb
Luzan Matyas

Action Directe (UKC interview)


'Although low in its grade, there is a tricky mantleshelf to reach the second protection at 50 feet, the first is at half that height. Thus a leader needs to have supreme confidence in his ability to lead E5, or finds a sprinter/doctor to belay him.'

 = Poetry Pink, Paul Williams' Llanberis Guide 

'By pulling on there merest of excrescences, it is sometimes possible for a man to effect a placement on the face. Climbing of a surprisingly steep nature, though on more accommodating holds now, soon leads to an overlap in the rock at about the 25 foot mark. A leader with strong legs will be able to rest by bridging out upon two small hanging flakes of rock. A traverse left which is both delicate yet strenuous has to be undertaken, eliminating in a ferocious pull, using along imaginary rugoisities, up into a shallow groove upon the main sweep of the wall. Above, a further delicate 20 feet gain a tenuous lodgement. Precarious moves across leftwards, then similar moves back up, lead to the left hand of two faint grooves. In dry conditions, a man may ascend their groove, relying upon that Blessed Union of faith and friction twixt rock and rubber, passing a small rust coloured hole on the right (the scene of a despicable steeple jacking attempt in days gone by) before existing left to the ephemeral security of a long line of flakes. By utilising steep smears and side pulls with great difficulty, a fearless leader may boldly start to follow this perilous line which leads out rightwards to a resting hold, where such a man may tarry a while and contemplate. A mantle shelf on the aforementioned hold brings the crux to hand; now, a passage so tenuous in nature that it defies all attempts at description, it is said, may be made to pass a small rock scar; this piece of wall is so blank it offers no so much as even a horizontal ripple on which sanctuary may be sought in the unlikely event of a leader losing his resolve. Above, the remaining section of the face is hard and honest, frank and open, with no hidden malice, mostly of an order of difficulty which is slightly less than that experienced upon the fearsome section which has just been negotiated. However, the leader must remain on guard, be wary and keep on his mettle - it would be folly to relax - as the climbing is still of an exacting nature so as to tax the ingenuity of any experienced rock gymnast…Soon good holds are forthcoming, and a short scramble gains a large grassy terrace with a sturdy block around which a belay may be taken. After attaching himself to this block (by means of a full length sling, which of a preference should not be less than No. 4 hawser), the successful leader, even though he be of a modest disposition, may relax, and justifiably reward himself a ‘pat on the back.'

 = Indian Face, Paul Williams’ Cloggy Guide 


'The ultimate Merseyside quarry, a mythical venue with underground kudos. The holy grail of graffiti and urban chic with highball crimping and ghosts of old heroes. Ugly as sin, but well loved by lovers. An esoteric tick for a certain trainspotty type.'

 = The Breck 

'The impressive narrow zawn, originally said to have been jumped by horse and rider, and more recently leapt over by a variety of crazy climbers.'

 = Huntsman's Leap 


What did Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall dress up as on their birthday this year?


How many E9 first ascents did James McHaffie make in the UK this year?

2 (House of Talons and Dark Religion)

What was the name of James McHaffie's proposed new eatery venture in Llanberis...which turned out to be another of our April Fools?

Caff's Caf (UKC 'news' report)

Which brand of chocolate was Adam Ondra photographed eating in his portaledge on the Dawn Wall?

Green and Black's 

Alex Megos visited the UK this summer. How many routes of 8c and above did he tick this trip?

6 (UKC interview)

How many new Rockfax guide titles were published this year (printed books only, excluding apps?) 

3 (Mallorca, Chamonix and South Wales Sport Climbs)

What was Alex Honnold complaining about?

cold and wet (UKC interview)

Alex faces the harsh reality of British weather..., 65 kb
Alex faces the harsh reality of British weather...

...all is forgiven., 157 kb
...all is forgiven.


'Jez and I looked up at the Cromlech and laughed, recalling he’d been seriously cross when I’d fumbled his brand new Friend 2 whilst attempting Right Wall a few years earlier – it hit the slab beneath him but span off, his Christmas present lost on day one. That was when we were merely ‘children’ – throwing ourselves at life and nothing would get in our way. Ha! We climbed on double eleven-millimetre ropes then – for extra security.'

Andy Pollitt - Punk in the Gym

'That overhanging chimney could have been the end of me. I nearly fell twice today. This is insanity. I never allow myself to get out of control like that, but what choice do we have? It is too late now: we cannot get down and if we cannot climb the rock band we are dead men.'

Simon McCartney - The Bond


Efface Jams Him - James McHaffie

Quays Burps Tor - Bus Stop Quarry

Tiger Snot - Gritstone

A Wales Elitism Junky - Mina Leslie Wujastyk

Rat Hog Rig - Higgar Tor

Rude Goblin - Bouldering

A Calmed Dove - Dave MacLeod

Bum Licking - UKClimbing (sorry...!)


Tody's Wall HVS, Froggatt

MarkH topping out on Tody's Wall, HVS 5a Froggatt, much to the bemusement of the spectators., 81 kb
MarkH topping out on Tody's Wall, HVS 5a Froggatt, much to the bemusement of the spectators.
© MarkH, Jul 2002

Prozac Link E4 (Uig sea cliffs, Isle of Harris)

The Prozac Link
© Chris Prescott/Hot Aches Productions

The File VS, Higgar Tor

afternoon fun at Higgar
© climbingrick, Sep 2008

Hairy Mary VS, Suidhe Biorach

Blue Skye Day
© Steve Perry, Sep 2016

Direct Route VS, Dinas Mot

Amy on final pitch of Direct Route, Dinas Mot., 166 kb
Amy on final pitch of Direct Route, Dinas Mot.
© griffithpatrick, Sep 2015

Ardverikie Wall HS, Binnein Shuas crag)

Bet you don't remember Ardverikie Wall being this steep?
Karen Lyons, Jun 2009
© Captain Solo


The Sloth : Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, or an intimidating route at The Roaches Upper tier. (3,5)

Namenlos : without a name, at Stanage Plantation.

A Dream of White Horses: seeing equines in your sleep. (1,5,2,5,6)

Stanage Popular : most frequented crag in the UK, which lives up to its name. (7,7)

Flying Buttress : Most popular climb in the UK. (6,8)

Three Pebble Slab : But what grade is it? A highly debated Froggatt classic. (5, 6, 4)

Anubis : A Greek (edit: Egyptian...sorry!) God on Ben Nevis. 

Knight's Move : watch your technique or you'll be in checkmate. (7,4)

Seams the Same : appears similar. (5,3,4)

Christmas Crack : a festive favourite. (9,5)

Mecca The Midlife Crisis : the most repeated 8b+ in the UK. (5,3,7,6)

Fool's Gold : FeS2. (5,4)

Careless Torque : a negligent arete. (8,6)

Calvary : outside Jerusalem's walls. 

Banana Wall : one of your five a day from Greg Boswell (6,4)

Director's Cut : Jamie Cassidy's preferred edit. (9,3)

Lord of the Flies : William Golding's most famous novel. (4,2,3,5)

Cemetery Gates : the last bus stop at a Welsh crag. (8,5)

Little Chamonix : James McHaffie's Dad did it in boxing gloves and roller skates...(6,8)

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