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Stepping on a limpet

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You know the scenario - starting up a route on a sea cliff, the rock is a bit slabby but pretty blank and there’s the 19th annual limpet summer convention going on (clearly they don’t do social distancing). So you cheekily step on one while your belayer isn’t looking (gently tap it first of course to make sure full suction is activated).

Do you still get the onsight?

Is it animal cruelty?

Will the ethics police come after you?

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 Roberttaylor 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

There's a short story by G.J.F. Dutton (one of the Doctor stories) where the Doctor makes his way up a smooth, wet slab using a chalk bag full of limpets.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Doctor-Stories-Ridiculous-Mountains/dp/1898573212

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In reply to Misha:

I tried it, they come off and the one that just crushed under my foot upset me somewhat.

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 Lankyman 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha

> Do you still get the onsight?

No

> Is it animal cruelty?

Yes

> Will the ethics police come after you?

Yes. You knew this all along and were just hoping some ethically sloppy UKCers would salve what little conscience you have.

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 ianstevens 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

Aid; back around

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 neuromancer 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

What if you use one as protection? Several limpets i've come across would take a skyhook; especially with some gratuitous use of duct tape or bluetac?

This thread actually is pretty relevant to me, as I recently went to the beach-side bouldering at Ogmore, only to discover every route appears to almost entirely depend upon standing on limpets.

Post edited at 10:56
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In reply to Misha:

I am pretty sure that Chasing Shade (E5 6b) at The Castle in Pembroke is hard boarding on impossible if the limpets aren't in the right place for the start.

Alan

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In reply to johnl:

> I tried it, they come off and the one that just crushed under my foot upset me somewhat.

"It seems a shame to play them such a trick".

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 GrahamD 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

I'm pretty sure I had to do that to start Separate Reality on Lundy.  I assume the shingle had shifted since the route was put up.  Never occurred to me it would taint the ascent. 

May be different for a three move boulder problem, but a route ?

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 hang_about 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

Grades for points of aid

L+ : limpet assisted

B+ : barnacle assisted

A- : anemone impaired

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 Sean Kelly 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

I certainly would not stand on a limpet mine!!!

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In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I was being only half serious but as you say sometimes they make all the difference. Should you have a ‘limpets essential’ symbol in the next Pembroke guide book?

If the FA used a crucial limpet which has since moved on or died (no idea how long they live for), can you claim a different grade? What if a limpet blocks a gear slot?

Saw this in a log for Sacre Coeur at Blackchurch: “Limpets don’t make reliable foot placements nor good nut placements in cracks.” We need more of this kind of wisdom in guide book intro pages. 

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 George Ormerod 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

Of course it's animal cruelty,  You're being very shellfish.

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In reply to Misha:

> I was being only half serious but as you say sometimes they make all the difference. Should you have a ‘limpets essential’ symbol in the next Pembroke guide book?

Ha, we had Larry the Limpet featuring in the two RF books - see attached!

On Chasing Shade (E5 6b) it is a blank scoop and the limpets can make all the difference. I bouldered it out once but chickened out of the rest of the route. Judging by the limited ascents and negative comments, it doesn't look to be a classic despite being very impressive from below. I do remember using limpets on some other Pembroke starts though and, to revert to the original question, I would regard that as completely fair on a sea cliff route. It seldom gives you more than a move or two anyway since they only stick around below the tide line.


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 ianstevens 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

> I was being only half serious but as you say sometimes they make all the difference. Should you have a ‘limpets essential’ symbol in the next Pembroke guide book?

> If the FA used a crucial limpet which has since moved on or died (no idea how long they live for), can you claim a different grade? What if a limpet blocks a gear slot?

Apparently limpets have a home spot they always go back to - so death rather than moving is the thing that'll shift them.

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In reply to :

I've found they don't come off if you are careful with them. I did a problem at Oxwich where you had to tap them all in order, and then climb it within 15 seconds - as if you tap them they hold on really tight, and then gradually relax.


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In reply to

We tried to eat some on Pabbay - nice flavour, but very tough - I reckon you could make a good soup if you put them into a blender

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 andyr 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Dan Arkle:

You overcooked them. Lightly boil until the flesh just starts to come away from the shell and they're done.

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 Lankyman 27 Jul 2020
In reply to George Ormerod:

> Of course it's animal cruelty,  You're being very shellfish.

Only justified if you're climbing at your limpets.

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In reply to ianstevens:

No way, what, like birds? How would they even know?!

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In reply to Dan Arkle:

How did you get them off the rock?

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In reply to Misha:Use your furtler

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In reply to Misha:

> How did you get them off the rock?


Best way is an unannounced sideways whack with a rock.  If they sense you coming they clamp down.  At night they hang off the rocks somewhat in the cool damp air and rats will go down the beach and flick them off with their front teeth before carrying them back up to the top of the beach to eat them. They also dig sandeels out the sand to eat them, the clever devils.

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In reply to Misha:

> No way, what, like birds? How would they even know?!

Easy, glue a tag onto them and watch them.  The shells get worn down to make an exact fit to the rock thus retaining the water inside and stopping them from drying out.

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In reply to Lankyman:

Need bigger mussels

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 Luke90 28 Jul 2020
In reply to Toerag:

> Easy, glue a tag onto them and watch them.  The shells get worn down to make an exact fit to the rock thus retaining the water inside and stopping them from drying out.

That's fascinating. How far do they ever move away from their "home"?

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In reply to Toerag:

I mean how would the limpets know to go back to the same place?

Limpet watching, now there’s a fun activity (aka belaying me).

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In reply to captain paranoia:

This is quite incredible...

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 DerwentDiluted 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

I look forward to UKC in 2085 after rising sea levels bring about fierce debate as to the true grade of Three Limpet Slab at Froggatt.

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Never mind standing on a limpet, what about standing on a pony? Was at Low Man today and there were three of them horsing around below the crag. If you’d fallen off you’d have ended up on horseback. 

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 C Witter 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

Do limpets not just snap off, then, when you weight them? That's pretty impressive...

* Mind slowly ticking... *

What about placing limpets on mountain crags? Is that kosher?

Post edited at 09:50
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In reply to C Witter:

As suggested above, if you gently tap them first, they pretty much glue themselves on. Not sure I’ve ever actually stepped on one but suspect they would hold most of the time.

As regards your second question, as far as I know all seafood is not kosher (fish is generally kosher but not sure it would be helpful as a foothold).

Post edited at 10:23
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 Lankyman 30 Jul 2020
In reply to C Witter:

> What about placing limpets on mountain crags? Is that kosher?

As long as you carry them in a jar of oxygenated seawater and your second hangs around for hours to remove them in as stress-free a way as possible then I can't see any problems whatsoever.

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In reply to Misha: 

Isn't Stepping on a Limpet already a Dawes route?

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 C Witter 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> As long as you carry them in a jar of oxygenated seawater and your second hangs around for hours to remove them in as stress-free a way as possible then I can't see any problems whatsoever.

My seconds do like to moan about well-placed nuts, but I've never seen their feelings on the matter as particularly relevant, so that sounds like a cracking plan!

Hm... I might also get the second to carry the oxygenated limpet tank up the hill...

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 C Witter 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

> As regards your second question, as far as I know all seafood is not kosher (fish is generally kosher but not sure it would be helpful as a foothold).

Damn...! The Torah just won't let a guy live! How'm I meant to up my grade now? This is going to require some careful rethinking of the theological basis of my climbing ethics...

Post edited at 14:47
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In reply to C Witter:

Just so you know (even if you didn't want to 😁), to be kosher fish needs to have both fins and (visible to the eye) scales so most "normal" fish are ok. Funnily enough, any fish that has scales also has fins - necessary knowledge to be able to buy a piece of fish without knowing the species.

Shark - nope, shellfish - nope, lobster/crab - nope, limpets - definitely not, swordfish - nope, sturgeon - nope, no caviar for me.

Halal requirements are similar. 

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 Bilberry 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Misha:

Like pegs.  "Limpet sometimes in situ"

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