/ 100 vs routes challenge
My partner said several years ago if I lead 100 vs routes he'd marry me. Over the years the challenge has morphed into:
25 leading routes vs and above
25 bouldering problems f5 and above
25 leading sport routes 5 and above
25 leading multipitches vs and above
I'm not fussed about meeting criteria above. I have sacked the idea of multipitches and sticking to rigorous numbers for each discipline. But I'm enjoying the challenge of reaching 100. I've just checked and I'm currently at 77%. Any recommendations for my last 23 routes. Something that favours the short and not very brave. Although I do like slabs.
List of 77 ticks available on request.
> My partner said several years ago if I lead 100 vs routes he'd marry me. Over the years the challenge has morphed into:
> 25 leading routes vs and above
> 25 bouldering problems f5 and above
> 25 leading sport routes 5 and above
> 25 leading multipitches vs and above
> I'm not fussed about meeting criteria above. I have sacked the idea of multipitches and sticking to rigorous numbers for each discipline. But I'm enjoying the challenge of reaching 100. I've just checked and I'm currently at 77%. Any recommendations for my last 23 routes. Something that favours the short and not very brave. Although I do like slabs.
> List of 77 ticks available on request.
Are you still thinking about marrying him?
I'm not really thinking about achieving the official goal as 25 multipitches are unlikely. However i am having fun enjoying visiting lots of crags and being challenged. My climbing has improved a lot.
So my achievable goal is 100 vs routes and I feel that would put me in the category of being a solid outdoor climber.
I also enjoy getting on harder stuff and just trying to make it to the top. Last week I got up browns eliminate clean and dogged my way up other challenging routes. My aim being to work out all the moves.
I would recommend challenge.
> So my achievable goal is 100 vs routes and I feel that would put me in the category of being a solid outdoor climber.
Yes it would, but would it put you in the category of being married?
The marriage bit becomes irrelevant, because the challenge is engaging and fun.
If you're based in the North, you should come to the Lakes - Cumbria has the best climbing in England... whatever those gritheads tell you.
How about some of these in Langdale:
Raven Walthwaite: Enterprize
White Ghyll (some of the best VS climbing): Slip Knot, White Ghyll Wall, Haste Not
Stickle Barn Crag: Main Wall Crack
Raven Crag Langdale: Bilberry Butress, Mendes, Baskerville
White Crag: Right-hand Trouser People
Gimmer: Asterisk, North-west Arete, F Route, The Crack
Pavey Ark: Rake End Wall
Shepherd's Crag: Ardus, Eve, Fisher's Folly, Brown Crag Wall
Black Crag: Troutdale Pinnacle Direct
A day on Little How for VS slabs
Dow Crag: Eliminate A
Also: Wallowbarrow is great for everything up to and including VS.
There are many others besides: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=664
Trowbarrow quarry also has a clear progression in VS routes (but, avoid it on a very hot day, as it's like a frying pan):
- Coral Sea is nice and benign for VS, with bomber gear all over it. It's a good first VS for many people. Maybe you already did it?
- Jean Jeanie is long and sustained with one short runout through the crux climbing, but generally really big holds and really bomber gear (I do it with 2 x big blue no.3 cams)
- Harijan - the climbing is a little awkward and a little intimidating, but actually pretty steady and very well protectable, though the rope work needs a little thought.
Fairy Steps, nearby, is also littered with short, sharp VS climbs (c.7m) - if you want to up your tally. Despite being short, some have really nice moves and can be soloed or bouldered above a mat.
In my case the challenge bit became irrelevant, but the marriage remains engaging & fun.
The 100 routes thing is excellent however, whatever the reason for doing it.
> Any recommendations for my last 23 routes.
Any particular area?
Some multi pitch options for you.
At the far end of Cornwall there are four absolute crackers, but I don't think any of them are a soft touch - Diocese (VS 5a), Anvil Chorus (VS 4c), Little Brown Jug (VS 5a), South Face Direct (VS 4c)
Is Eliminate A not fairly bold? (bearing in mind the OP self description of being 'not very brave')
l'd second Wallowbarrow which is VS central, especially if you like slabs then jump on Digitation. Also at the far right end are 2 worthwhile routes, Paradise and Parallel, plus plenty of others to go at, some of them offer 2 relatively short pitches, including Western Wall, Malediction Direct and Bryanston -all good.
I would keep the multipitch thing in as they will be often more memorable, but count each pitch, so you have:
"25 pitches of multipitch where at least one of the pitches on each route was VS and above"
The precise wording at the end is important, as we don't want him claiming a pitch of 4a in the middle of a VS doesn't count just as you are sending the wedding invites out.
(After being with the same woman for 34 years, I have discovered that one or two words can make a surprising difference, even when you are married to one of the most understanding people on the planet. For example, apparently there is a big difference between:
Announcing one Friday night:
"Just off climbing love, see you later"
"Just off climbing in Yosemite love, see you later"
"I was thinking of going climbing in a couple of months with Jane"
"I was thinking of going climbing for a couple of months with Jane"
I regularly fail to spot such nuances before I open my mouth.
A number of the routes I've recommended above are certainly not soft-VS. But, 'bravery' is not something inherent to a person. If you tell yourself you're not brave and you'll only do soft routes, then you'll only dare to climb routes other people describe as soft. If you tell yourself, I want to be comfortable trying any good quality VS route, then you'll soon be comfortable trying good quality VS routes and will find yourself climbing on your own terms. If the OP has done 77 VS routes or equivalent, then they can clearly climb 4c/5a.
As for Eliminate A, I've not actually had the pleasure of doing it yet. But, my understanding is that it is generally well protected except one section of one of the top pitches (second to last?). Someone else can maybe add their opinion.
In my experience, it's the "with Jane" part that usually provokes the most ire...
Oh... thinking of Wales... Maybe some good mileage could be earnt on a trip to Ogwen with an equal or stronger partner:
Day 1: Tennis Shoe (HS) into Original Route (VS) into Groove Above (S) or Continuation Crack (HVS), then over to the Cneifion Arete (D) then down to Glyder Fach Main Cliff for Direct Route (VS). Down Bristly Ridge and then to one of the Llyns for a swim.
Day 2: The Cracks (HS), Slow Ledge Route (VS) on Dinas Mot and Main Wall (HS) on Cyrn Las
Day 3: Gogarth: Lighthouse Arete (VS) and Rap (VS).
After that you'd be (tired and) feeling much more confident! I tried Day 1 with some friends, but we only made it as far as the top of Cneifion Arete before retiring for a swim. I've not managed to find the opportunity to complete the other two days, though I've done top pitches of The Cracks and Lighthouse Arete and they were both great.
Just had a look at your logbook, not one VS at Stanage ticked!!! do i need to say more!
Stanage is good but not really a not a must-visit crag in my books. I was slightly disappointed by it on my visits. Overrated IMO.
Plenty other places with more characters, less crowds... It is, however, a long crags with lots of routes. I'll concede you that.
Don't they only have that awful grit stuff down there?
Thank you for directing me to list. I have started looking through this list and there is a few which are catching my eye. Going to do some further research on these in guidebooks.
Yes i do enjoy a day in the lakes, and I do need to improve my multipitching skills. I am going to do some research on suggestions. Ardus is one of the first multipitches I seconded the pitch at the top has a traverse and is quite exposed. I would like to do troutdale pinnacle.
I also like to try getting on different rock types.
I do like trowbarrow and I've got Jean Jeannie clean as a second so definitely one I think I can do. I would like to do harijan too.
Fairy steps is great but more soloing territory I have a tick from there already.
Thank you great suggestions.
Will do further research in books on other route suggestions, do you mind is I ask what the tops and walk offs are like on the multipitches because that's the bit that can make me nervous on them?
Stanage isn't one of my favourite crags. It's been really busy and polished and slippy when I've been. But I admit i haven't been on a good friction day when the weather conditions would suit grit.
Thanks for multipitch options. I have fancied doing some of these in Wales but been nervous of walk offs. Are these ok as I trust the system when climbing it's the walking off at the top that frightens me if it involves scrambling or anything and no tied in.
I should definitely check out Cornwall routes as I haven't climbed there... yet.
I would welcome any guidance on what might be bold, as doing a multipitch in itself can be a little but type 2 fun for me.
Vixie, this is a great thread - you'll need to keep us all updated!
I'm hoping you might get some wedding-themed route names.
And the last one? Do it in a wedding dress?
(this is so gonna backfire on the would-be Mr Vixie)
NOTE: in Scotland, a Humanist celebrant can marry you pretty much anywhere, top of Ben Nevis has been done a few times. Maybe your last VS could be the start of the ceremony?
(Humanist "weddings" in rest of UK are not binding - you have to go to registry office after to get officially married)
Genius idea each pitch on a multipitch counts!!
Lol you predict the conversation so well. The conversation at weekend was on whether a hvs counts with side runners in another route.
You must be doing something right if you've been married 34 years, so I will take your guidance on board.
I think your right about spending a day or 2 concentrating on multipitching to improve my skills and so I'm not as fear full. Not climbed anything on ogwen yet.
Wow can you really marry us at the top on a mountain. That would be awesome!!
I'm definitely taking you up on this.
Extensive descents info:
Raven Walthwaite: walk around and down.
White Ghyll: it's possible to descend a grassy rake in the middle of the crag, but easier to ab (usually there's insitu tat); if you climb routes in the upper crag, you can walk up the hill to the top of the White Ghyll gully and then back down. This is possible for lower crag too, if you hate abseiling, but is a bit time consuming.
Stickle Barn Crag: small crag, walk off to right (facing crag)
Raven Crag Langdale: some tricky descents. Consult the guidebook and abseil if in doubt, but there is a way of walking down from the top of Revelation on the RH side of the crag, or long ways of walking off that involve walking up the hill quite a way from the top of the crag, then heading right to descend just west of East Raven Crag.
White Crag: Walk down with reasonable ease
Gimmer: Insitu abseil stations at various locations (see guidebook); at the end of the day you can top out and walk up the hill a bit, then down a path to Sticklebarn
Pavey Ark: descend down Jack's Rake (grade 1 scramble) or, if you're at the top, access paths down
Shepherd's Crag: descent paths, some slightly sketchy but all can be abseiled if in doubt.
Black Crag: walk down a good path
Little How: walk off
Dow Crag: you're generally either on Easy Terrace or at the top of the crag. If the former, you can scramble down to the left (looking at the crag), using the rope where you feel it is necessary (which ranges from not at all, to all the way by temperament and familiarity). If the latter, the best bet is probably to walk south along the ridge until you can descend via a path, if going home; or north to a path right down to Goat's Water. There are other descents that are possible, including abseiling, but they're all sketchy. So: do a route up to Easy Terrace, descend, then do another to the top of the hill, summit, and walk down the long way to the pub.
Wallowbarrow easy to walk down of either side.
Doh I didn't read your message properly. That's what happens when rushing to go climbing after work...
I will have to look for wedding themed route names.
Having a humanist wedding at top of mountain is an awesome idea. I'll need to do research on where to get someone who does them from.
Thanks for descent info. Very useful. I'm ok abseiling if route is long enough.
I know an ex colleague who will do a humanist ceremony in Scotland if the OP is interested. Whether she will trog up a hill is another matter.
> I would welcome any guidance on what might be bold, as doing a multipitch in itself can be a little but type 2 fun for me.
In the 1989 guide it says pitch 5 is the bold one (so bear that in mind if swinging leads 😉)
> In the 1989 guide it says pitch 5 is the bold one (so bear that in mind if swinging leads 😉)
I was only seconding that pitch, but we both agreed that it wasn't unusually bold for the grade and couldn't really understand why that comment was there
Presuming we're still talking Eliminate A here, if I remember correctly the boldest pitch was actually the first one, only 4b (?) but not much gear. Next boldest would be the "Rocher Perche" (spelling?) pitch.
The traverse on pitch 5 is more dramatically exposed rather than bold, so it needs a bit of confidence to get going, but the actual climbing and gear are reasonably ok for the grade.
The traverse is indeed intimidating and often damp. Some pals of mine who were strong HVS leaders backed off and then to the delight of all our other friends at the crag threw the abseil rope off the crag before they connected it to the belay. Humorous rescue ensued.
I think a humanist wedding sounds like a good plan. I like the idea of being outdoors, so I may be in touch.
All this is assuming of course that's my partner carries through on the reaching 100 vs routes target without changing the goal post and I can actually achieve the 100 vs routes target.
Pembroke is on my hit list for a visit. I've not done any sea cliffs. No-one has been brave enough to do one with me. But reading the description of armorican is says something about the run out last moves... Although the photos it looks like a good route. What's the top our like?
I'm feeling I need to check out Eliminate A for this challenge due to the discussion, but interesting that boldness of the pitch is interpreted differently....
Just read ukc notes on this and feel that it may not be ideal for this challenge as it's preferable I reach 100vs route and the description of someone having to ab off the route and leaving ropes behind isn't particularly reassuring.
I don't think my partner would let me ab off and leaving kit behind would definitely be the end of a beautiful relationship. I have asked on a multipitch previously ;-)... not sure what the ramifications of leaving the ropes behind would be.
"not sure what the ramifications of leaving the ropes behind would be."
I think you'ld have difficulty tying the knot🙈
A lot of the climbs start from a ledge at lowish tide, especially so Armorican (can't remember much about the top so it must be OK but I always cary brass offsets and aliens .... from logbooks " really really good. tons of wires until last 20ft which is quite easy"). This one is what I call scary bold... HVS 4b bold:
Looks like a pretty setting. I'm probably best waiting till next year and to in the best weather. From the pictures on route link it looks like their are reasonable holds. I haven't used brass off sets up to now. The are really tiny some of them. I quite like aliens though they have small heads and fit in places other cams don't.
You have one weird relationship. Marriage becomes a challenge BEFORE your get married!
Its a way of assessing suitability in advance of commitment. Although given that leading hasn't come naturally to me its a steep target. Others would have achieved goal far easier. It engages me and gives me a purpose to improve. He has had to support me when ive found it difficult and has been with me for every tick, and he has demonstrated a considerably amount of patience at times. I do want to become a better climber. The challenge once completed will give me the skills to be an independent confident climber. I have visited some amazing places i never knew existed, and experienced a variety of different rock types and landscapes. Although I am wondering though what will the goal will be after I've reached 100 vs target. I'm not getting any younger ...
There are plenty of climbers who are still really enjoying the adventure of climbing way into their 70s.
I weigh around 90kg with a rack of gear and have fallen on RPs and small Aliens that held.
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