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Recommendations for good/early natural grit E1s

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 PaulJepson 14 Nov 2022

This might be very specific but having moved to the Peak District this year and got a fair bit of grit mileage under my belt, I'm looking for recommendations for E1s on natural grit to have a go at next year. 

I've lead a few E1s on lime and quarried grit, and quite a lot of HVS 5bs but there doesn't seem to be a wealth of lower-end and safe E1s on the Eastern Edges. I guess what I'm looking for is something with a few 5b moves, but something safe to throw myself at. I think I'm reasonably established at HVS and climb it most times I'm out (and have climbed routes that suit me that are considered hard for the grade), but would probably still avoid things considered bold at the grade (Scoop Face (HVS 5a) felt quite 'out-there' to me, and had a bit too much risk of me crocking myself on it than I'd like to be honest. I'm not in the least bit bold, and even 4c in the no-fall zone is probably a bit much). 

As it stands, E1 5c is a more appealing grade to me than a lot of things that are considered 'low-in-the-grade' at E1, but 5c is where my chances of success probably falls below 50%. I seconded Millsom's Minion (E1 5b) at the weekend, and the guidebook talks about it being low-in-the-grade; however, this sort of climb would be an absolute horror-show for me to lead, being how it is unprotected for about 8m. I'm happy to try hard and fall off, as long as it's safe to do so (but I don't want to be frigging my way up routes that are beyond me)

Morrison's Redoubt (E1 5b) would fit the bill, but the onsight has gone for that. The Link (E1 5b) sounds like it might fit the bill. I think Flying Buttress Direct (E1 5b) is probably too steep for my skinny arms. Strapiombante (E1 5b) I fell off the top of early in the year. Long Tall Sally (E1 5b) is on the radar. 

In terms of what I like, usually a desperate thrutch (Freddie's Finale (HVS 5b)Terrazza Crack (HVS 5b)Valediction (HVS 5a)The Mincer (HVS 5b), Valkyrie (HVS 5a)Surgeon's Saunter (HVS 5b)Sorrell's Sorrow (HVS 5a) all went down, albeit with a struggle). I think this style of climb but a grade harder might be too much for me at the moment though (things like The Vice (E1 5b) do appeal but I think will better me). 

Loads of quarried grit E1s in my plans but I'm struggling with a ticklist for natural grit!

 Tom Ripley 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Left Unconquerable seems like an obvious choice. 

In reply to PaulJepson:

Definitely the quarried stuff is packed with the stuff you're after. Get over to the wiltons at some point and you'll bag loads. But as for the edges, L'Horla, The Toy, The Link, Left Unconquerable should get you started.

Don't know why Long Tall Sally has this reputation as a good early E1. It just isn't.

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 petemeads 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Motorcade on Froggatt? Linked with Tody's Wall for full value..

14
In reply to PaulJepson:

Kelly's Overhang (E1 5c) is very safe. I think the E1 is fair for the onsight as it's not easy to figure out the crux move (I fluffed it). Fairly straightforward HVS once you know how!

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 Lankyman 14 Nov 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

The Toy (E1 5c)? Really? I found it tough when I was an E3 leader.

 joeramsay 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

came here to suggest left unconquerable but was beaten to it - sounds like this would fit the bill perfectly. a couple of others i've done recently that might be up your alley are

Safety Net (E1 5b) - short-lived but fantastic, and safe

Fallen Heroes (E1 5b) will suit you if you like a struggle - steep thin-hand crack, might need to wait till spring for it now though. ocean wall at the same crag might be worth a look - poky start but decent gear thereafter, and brilliant

In reply to PaulJepson:

Some stannage suggestions, not necessarily the style you wanted but safe(ish)

Dark Continent (E1 5c)

The Tippler (E1 5b)

Namenlos (HVS 5a)

Punklet (E1 6a)

I thought of loads more great E1s that I love but all have bold bits, to be honest I find a feature of natural grit is you have to deal with bold sections for one or two moves, I quite enjoy these very short sections of scaryness as they are over so quickly but I think its somthing you have to get used to. 

I also often take a mat for bold starts (and so I can bouldering)

And i agree the start of millsoms minion is the hardest part! The hvs to the left is harder IMHO

 climberchristy 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

As others have said The Left Unconquerable (E1 5b) would be perfect. 

Agree with Lankyman that The Toy (E1 5c) is hard for the grade.

Agree with others that The Link (E1 5b) would suit as would Kelly's Overhang (E1 5c)

Other new suggestions...Rhythmic Itch (E1 5b)

Biven's Crack (E1 5b)

Wrong Hand Route (E1 5c)

The last two, like Left Unconquerable are a bit steep and pumpy, but safe as you like. A winter of working stamina in the climbing wall and you'll fly up these in the spring. 

 Lhod 14 Nov 2022
In reply to joeramsay:

> came here to suggest left unconquerable but was beaten to it - sounds like this would fit the bill perfectly. a couple of others i've done recently that might be up your alley are

> Safety Net (E1 5b) - short-lived but fantastic, and safe

> Fallen Heroes (E1 5b) will suit you if you like a struggle - steep thin-hand crack, might need to wait till spring for it now though. ocean wall at the same crag might be worth a look - poky start but decent gear thereafter, and brilliant

Not eastern edges, but Safety Net also sprung to my mind. Safe as houses, good climbing which packs a punch, and quite short. 

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Long Tall Sally seems perfect to me; low in the grade, safe with micros, you can take your time, nice moves - what’s not to like? Besides, history suggests a lot of people do do it as their first E1 and like it.

Mind you, it’s true that if the OP’s idea of a nice HVS is Sorrell’s Sorrow then LTS may not be exactly his cup of tea.

jcm

 joeramsay 14 Nov 2022
In reply to Lhod:

whoops, i missed that op wanted eastern edges. oh well, staffs & moors are better anyway :P

In reply to PaulJepson:

Thought of another good one whitch could be just what you're looking forNonsuch (E1 5b)

In reply to PaulJepson:

Mississippi Variant Direct I found really steady, just the one 5b move from a decent rest and not too far from gear (arguably 5a if you're tall). At the same crag, Twintrin is super-safe; short lived balancey 5b/5c on slopers (again, easier if you're tall)

 LakesWinter 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Moyer's Buttress (E1 5b) is pretty well protected for grit E1 and is classic.

Todycade (E1 5a) as someone suggested above is pretty bold so I wouldn't if you dont like boldness.

Black Nix Wall (E1 5c) is good if short and fine with a couple/3 pads if you like bouldering.

Rhythmic Itch (E1 5b) I thought was reallt good and with decent gear too

 LakesWinter 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

If you want a sustained burn with decent if pumpy to place gear thenPollux (E1 5b) fits the bill

 Graeme Hammond 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

> In terms of what I like, usually a desperate thrutch

perhaps some of these then once you feel up to that style but slightly harder? all well protected as far as i remember, some more of thrutch than others.

The Vice (E1 5b)

Tower Chimney (E1 5b)

Esso Extra (E1 5b)

The Mangler (E1 5c)

The Unprintable (E1 5b)

Masochism (E1 5b)

The Press (E1 5b)

Alcatraz (E1 5b)

The Wobbler (E1 5c)

Deuteronomy (E1 5b)

Jeepers Creepers (E1 5b)

The Untouchable (E1 5b)

* some on western edges but its not like it is exactly far to go to the roaches for even an afternoon don't get into the sheffield trap of just going to the eastern edges, they are best for after work climbing anyway. For day trips you can now easily reach Yorkshire Grit/lime, Lancashire, Cheshire, North York Moors too. 

Post edited at 15:45
 Hardonicus 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Living at the Speed (E1 5b) is soft as hell and safe if a little run out. Harder for the short.

OP PaulJepson 14 Nov 2022

Thanks for all the good suggestions so far!

Nonsuch (E1 5b) I have already spaffed unfortunately, but I think you're along the right lines with the suggestion!

Pollux (E1 5b) I have seconded and while it may be unquarried, it's not typical grit-style climbing so Agden is out (I've already lead E1 there as well). There's a couple of E1s there on my radar. 

Doesn't have to be Eastern edges, I'm happy for Lancs and Staffs as well. 

 Rupert Woods 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Anniversary Arête (Stanage) - safe and enjoyable - I don’t often lead routes twice but I think I’ve done this three times which must say something. Away from the crowds which is also a bonus!

 Offwidth 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Here is the 'Smile' list for breaking into relatively safe E1 (from p.89 in the Froggatt guide, which also has lists all the way from HS to E2)....roughly in order of hardest to easiest;

Laimbrain, Non Secateur, Nesh, Afterbirth,  All the President's  Men, Vaguely Great, Up the Establishment, Whillans' Blind Variant 

The Toy is top of the good E1s to guarantee you can climb safer easier E2 (being E2 in my view).

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 Offwidth 14 Nov 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Good list as ever... Hercules at Curbar would be another.

In reply to Lankyman:

> The Toy (E1 5c)? Really? I found it tough when I was an E3 leader.

Toy was for the safe criterion. Hard climbing, sure, but safe.

Lamebrain is a great shout. Forgot about that one. 

In reply to Offwidth:

Unless you have a very large cam, how exactly is Hercules not run out?

In reply to PaulJepson:

I'm surprised you think the start of Morrison's Redoubt is ok when you've found the start of Millson's Minion to be a horror-show; think I'd be the other way round, MR's start seems to be a much more on/off move IIRC.

 ianstevens 14 Nov 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Long Tall Sally seems perfect to me; low in the grade, safe with micros, you can take your time, nice moves - what’s not to like? Besides, history suggests a lot of people do do it as their first E1 and like it.

Bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy this one I feel. Lots of people do it as their first E1 entirely because they are recommended it as their first E1...

1
In reply to ianstevens:

> Bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy this one I feel. Lots of people do it as their first E1 entirely because they are recommended it as their first E1...

Yeah, that's what I think is going on. It's not *that* well protected (can't imagine the RP slot has got better over the years either), and it's not especially soft. And in greasy conditions it's a bit terrifying. There are many better first E1s.

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 mrphilipoldham 14 Nov 2022
In reply to Rupert Woods:

I second this. Feels a bit committing but you're going from as big as a gear nest as you like... I think I've seen four or five cams in, each and every one good enough on it's own.

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In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Long Tall Sally seems perfect to me; low in the grade, safe with micros, you can take your time, nice moves - what’s not to like? Besides, history suggests a lot of people do do it as their first E1 and like it.

Isn't there a comment in a guidebook or maybe from one of the local MRTs that it is NOT a good first E1? Possibly the latter if they have had to on a number of occasions carry people with smashed up legs up to the road and waiting ambulance!

> Mind you, it’s true that if the OP’s idea of a nice HVS is Sorrell’s Sorrow then LTS may not be exactly his cup of tea.

On the basis that I onsighted Sorrell's Sorrow but have failed on various other HVSs, I reckon there is a danger that it might be a bit soft for the grade anyway - at least if you don't mind grunting a bit. 

To Paul:

I was going to suggest Jam and Blast It (HVS 5a) at Baslow, but looking in the logbooks I see it is now down to HVS - perhaps deservedly so, when it was E1 it was the only E1 I think I've ever led on grit! - and then secondly, I see you've already done it anyway.

 ianstevens 14 Nov 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Yeah, that's what I think is going on. It's not *that* well protected (can't imagine the RP slot has got better over the years either), and it's not especially soft. And in greasy conditions it's a bit terrifying. There are many better first E1s.

I love RPs, but they don't exactly scream "first E1"

 Cake 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

For a jamming fight (but not on the scale of the Vice because it's a nice width), Strapiombo (E1 5b)

I don't think this has been suggested either: Vibrio (E1 5b). Although there is a runout traverse, it is very safe.

2
 Graham Booth 14 Nov 2022
In reply to midgen:

Since when was that E1???. HVS when I did it!

 Graham Booth 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Always thought Nuke the Midges was very well protected and soft

 Fellover 14 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

These have mostly been suggested already, but I'll second them.

The Vice (E1 5b) has a big reputation but is really not that bad, unless you've got particularly small hands (for a guy anyway, I'm sure it's a massive sandbag for most women). It's very safe if you have a #4 (BD size), but a bit easier if you don't place it - gets in the way a bit!

The Unprintable (E1 5b) The money is the crack and it's safe, but unfortunately the 'approach' section off the ground is a bit bold and difficult, so just beware of that.

The Fin (E1 5b) This one's a little awkward, but safe and fun, in contrast with The Vice small hands help on this one. Only a few metres away from Long Tall Sally and imo both easier and safer (disclaimer I've only ever got halfway up LTS before backing off), so a better choice for first grit E1.

Hen Cloud Eliminate (HVS 5b) I think this has been upgraded to E1 in one of the guidebooks. Not eastern edges, but fits the being pretty safe bill.

Not E1 but Undercut Crack (E2 5c) is lots of fun and is safe.

 LakesWinter 15 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

Hen Cloud Eliminate (HVS 5b) is not E1 but is brilliant, especially as the OP said they like pumpy and well protected routes - this fits the bill perfectly

 mark s 15 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Best E1 I've done off the top of my head is round table on the upper tier at the roaches.

It looks far harder than it is. But never a path. 

Start it with roscoes wall for a superb well earned hvs/E1 

 scott titt 15 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

To throw a pedants spanner in the works, nearly every route mentioned above is on quarried grit!

For example;-  they didnt carry those millstones UP to Stanage Popular, nor did they make the track down to Froggat so we could have easier access to the climbing!

5
 Graeme Hammond 15 Nov 2022
In reply to scott titt:

> To throw a pedants spanner in the works, nearly every route mentioned above is on quarried grit!

No they are not, many of the edges are natural but have quarried sections. For example parts around marble wall or valadicton at stanage are quarried but just about all the rest of the edge is natural. As far as I can see just about everything suggested so far is on natural buttress. Biven's Crack (E1 5b) at gardom's on one of the few exceptions on the side quarried wall of the largely natural Moyer's Buttress

Post edited at 18:27
OP PaulJepson 15 Nov 2022
In reply to scott titt:

The quarries bits are fairly obvious. The difference between some parts of Stanage North and the natural bits are very different. Likewise the natural bits of Froggat and Curbar vs the shear quarried walls. 

I'm very happy with recommendations for quarried grit e1s also! It's a type of climbing I love but one I'm better at than natural grit (or are the grades just softer?). I'm starting to get my head around the balance and fluidity of natural grit, and I'm wanting to kick on but it seems a reluctance to upgrade nails HVSs leaves a bit of a gulf and you tend to get a choice of desperately hard or really quite bold (the latter often being the ones described as low in the grade...). 

In reply to PaulJepson:

> I'm very happy with recommendations for quarried grit e1s also! It's a type of climbing I love but one I'm better at than natural grit (or are the grades just softer?). 

Usually way more gear options so doesn't feel as spicy.

First Finale (E1 5b) is a really good early E1. Ann (E1 5b) and Central Route (E1 5b) are very safe. Shivers Arete (E1 5b) great too, but not sure what's going on with the peg now so may or may not be harder or easier. Have a look at Cameo (E1 5a) too; has a bold feel but the moves are easy and if you have micro wires and a good eye it's not sketchy.

Thin Red Line (E1 5b) is classic.

 EarlyBird 16 Nov 2022
In reply to Graham Booth:

Desperate if you're short (IME).

 Offwidth 16 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

I think the HVS 'legend' is much more complex than that. Firstly HVS is a wide grade band. There are some ridiculous soft touches (Knight's Move, most famously.... which wouldn't even be a tough VS in Yorkshire); and a tendency to not upgrade safe struggles to hold against grade creep (having said that, although grade bands are narrower in the lower extremes, just look at how hard the E2 equivalent crack brutes can be though...Like Sentinel Crack). Then add on the fact that the styles and skill sets for those brutal cracks are becoming less fashionable and that indoor and sport bred power stamina makes other HVS routes, on steep jugs or wall crimps, feel easier.

However on bold HVS climbs: despite quite a few of the top end HVS routes becoming E1 in the latest definitives,  many didn't get an upgrade and there are clear mid grade routes and even super bold bottom end routes (most famously Sunset Slab)..... as there should be.

Post edited at 09:17
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 Offwidth 16 Nov 2022
In reply to Graham Booth:

KO is one of the few classic HVS safe sandbag routes on Stanage which regularly stops E1 leaders. How hard can gaining a metre of ground be??? The easiest way was always pretty hard to spot and the more obvious directly up variations have been E1 for a while. Given adjectival grades are for onsights I'd argue its been an E1 in disguise for decades (including the line of the E1 Mouthpiece).

It's still HVS in the definitive:

"One of Stanage's most venerable desperates, ranking with The Vice as one of the best sandbags on the edge. Many grades are offered for this climb, with HVS representing the lowest of them. Suffice to say you will struggle."

NtM is pretty reach dependent... Shortcomings is another good for the tall but less so for the short E1 route.

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OP PaulJepson 16 Nov 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

I've only ever seen people fail on Kelly's!

1
In reply to PaulJepson:

I think the only reason I didnt fall off was pure pride in the fact that thought I shouldn't fall off an HVS! Its surprisingly balancy and fall-offable, saying that it's super safe and well worth getting on, if you get the right body position it's fine. 

For Stannage I actually think HVS is one of the best grades to climb at the crag, I've been up things like eliminator, queersville, right unconcerable, cave arete etc.. more times I can remember and there always a joy. KO though, once was enough.

In reply to PaulJepson:

I fell off the crux of KO in 1970 and never went back ... Actually, I think I may have seconded it years later.

 Darron 16 Nov 2022
 olddirtydoggy 16 Nov 2022
In reply to Darron:

Just beat me to it! A great E1. There is Trapezium (E1 5b) next to it as well for a double tick. Wharncliffe is a wonderful crag but has bad terrain below the climbs.

In reply to PaulJepson:

I was in a similar situation to you (led E1 on pretty much every rock type, including quarried grit, but not on natural grit) and I led Left Unconquerable a month ago. As others have said I'd strongly suggest you have a go at that. It's well protected all the way and you can build a bomb shelter before committing to the crux. And it's a mega classic climb! 😀

I'd be happy to belay you on it...

 Graham Booth 18 Nov 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

One of my first HVS back in the day…one of my more experienced partners must have had a wicked bent..KTM, not exactly towering myself and found it fine.

?

 Graham Booth 18 Nov 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Talking about height dependent…I thought Mississippi V was solid E2 if under 5ft 8

 Graham Booth 18 Nov 2022
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Must admit, never done it again !

OP PaulJepson 18 Nov 2022
In reply to Julian Prieto:

Cheers Julian, I may well take you up on that when I'm in good form.

Got a great ticklist going for next year with a load of the HVSs I've been putting off and these suggestions. It's got 100 routes on, which I think might be a bit aspirational!

In reply to PaulJepson:

Hey Paul, did my first e1s at the weekend, they were left unconquerable, and the link. I'd recommend Left Unconquerable as a great first e1, absolutely brilliant gear, easy climbing with a bit of a crux, and a really appealing line. That being said, it's probably quite hard if your endurance isn't great!

The Link is definitely easier climbing (just pulling on massive jugs, start is the hardest part), but I found it mentally a lot harder because of how intimidating of a line it is. Once again there is good gear on it, but I don't think it's as well protected as left unconquerable, and I found the top a little bit run out (but above absolutely brilliant gear and very easy climbing). 

 Offwidth 19 Nov 2022
In reply to Graham Booth:

Good tip...I've not climbed that with a shorter climber.

OP PaulJepson 19 Nov 2022
In reply to Oscar Dodd:

Good tip! My endurance is hard to pin down as I think it depends on how gripped I am and how flowey I'm climbing! I think my ability to stay on and grind through physical or brutish climbing is pretty good. My forearm stamina probably quite poor because I don't sport or indoor climb much.

 Fellover 19 Nov 2022
In reply to Oscar Dodd:

> Hey Paul, did my first e1s at the weekend, they were left unconquerable, and the link

Nice one!! Doing two of a new grade in a weekend is a great effort.

In reply to Oscar Dodd:

A good pair of quality routes for your first E points - well done.

The Link started off at HVS but pretty much at the top of the grade and the upgrade to E1 is not generally quibbled about. Left Unconquerable is generally considered harder and has always been E1 (since E grades came in).

In case you didn't know, The Link was first done by Rockfax's very own Mr Craggs although it wouldn't be a surprise if someone had done an unrecorded ascent of such an obvious variation to Congo Corner before then.

 overdrawnboy 19 Nov 2022
In reply to Cake:

> For a jamming fight (but not on the scale of the Vice because it's a nice width), Strapiombo (E1 5b)

Strapiombo was my first ever HVS lead and on current grades it was also my first Extreme. 

 overdrawnboy 19 Nov 2022
In reply to EarlyBird:

Nuke the Midgets ?

In reply to overdrawnboy:

> Strapiombo was my first ever HVS lead and on current grades it was also my first Extreme. 

That's a bit of a burly one to start with 💪

OP PaulJepson 20 Nov 2022
In reply to overdrawnboy:

I tried and failed to get round the lip! Too burly. 

 simes303 20 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Another vote for Safety Net and Left Unconquerable from me. 

 overdrawnboy 20 Nov 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

In those days 1974/5 it had a chockstone you could thread so seemed well protected, I  think that was the attraction. Lost a lot of skin on it and nearly threw up at the top if I recall.

In reply to overdrawnboy:

Only ever seconded it behind someone who had huge hands and basically pissed up it. I got up it with slightly less style and it immediately went on my "I won't mind if I never lead that" list. That must have been late 70s.


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