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When did the term “Trad” first come into daily use in climbing circles?

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 GrahamD 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

I get the impression it's a very UK expression. 

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In reply to Stephen R Young:

When the marketing men got hold of climbing and decided to create factions in order to make money. Late 80s when I started climbing, all was climbing, bouldering was mentioned occasionally, mainly so you didn't pack all your gear.

I vaguely recall an attempt to classify it as adventure climbing prior to the use of trad. 

Today, I went climbing, did you, are you bothered which flavour? 

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 Monk 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

I started getting really in to climbing in 1995, and trad was common parlance then. 

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 raussmf 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Stolen from the trad music scene

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 MNA123 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I vaguely recall an attempt to classify it as adventure climbing prior to the use of trad. 

So we could have been calling it 'Ad climbing' instead .

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Today, I went climbing, did you, are you bothered which flavour? 

Kind of, a bit of wet scrambling in a hail storm as part of a fell walk. Massively bothered which flavour. I love scrambling, soloing, trad and sometimes bouldering (if it's a bit like trad). I hate sport climbing, it makes me feel depressed.

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 Martin Bennett 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

> When did the term “Trad” first come into daily use in climbing circles?

Too soon.

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 Big Bruva 22 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> I get the impression it's a very UK expression. 

Used in France too: "Le trad"

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 gazhbo 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I hate sport climbing, it makes me feel depressed.

Why?!  

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 Big Bruva 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

> When did the term “Trad” first come into daily use in climbing circles?

Probably shortly after the term "Sport" came into use!

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 duncan 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Probably coined by the late, great Tom Higgins in ‘Tricksters and Traditionalists’ his 1984 article for Ascent:   https://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php/style-commentaries/13-tricksters-and-traditionalists
It was in widespread use by the mid 90s. 

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In reply to gazhbo:

> Why?!  

Climbing a non-descript bit of polished limestone again and again until I can eventually do it without resting. Wrist-slashingly boring, with a massive dose of frustration, all building up to the final anticlimax of clipping the chains and being faintly glad I never have to bother doing that particular bland, soulless activity ever again. I'd rather sit in the car and read a book.

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 GrahamD 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Used in France too: "Le trad"

I thought it was either Alpine or adventure  ? Never heard Le Trad

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 gazhbo 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Fair enough.  Though, apart from the clipping chains part, that seems a strange way odd distinguishing bouldering from sport climbing.  I suppose it’s an answer though.

It was more the hatred and depression (and now wrist slashing boredom) that I was questioning.  Surely it must be a bit unnecessarily stressful to apply that sort of language to everything that doesn’t interest you, particularly if you spend a not insignificant amount of time on a website about them.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Climbing a non-descript bit of polished limestone again and again until I can eventually do it without resting. Wrist-slashingly boring............. I'd rather sit in the car and read a book.

What about onsighting? The thrill and pressure of it being all or nothing and no excuse not to try really hard - a very different and much more exciting game.

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In reply to gazhbo:

> Fair enough.  Though, apart from the clipping chains part, that seems a strange way odd distinguishing bouldering from sport climbing.  I suppose it’s an answer though.

Bouldering can be climbing a highball wall on beautiful rock in an amazing setting - nourishing for the soul. If it was just repeatedly falling off the same holds on some crap bit of polished limestone by the side of the road I wouldn't go anywhere near it.

> It was more the hatred and depression (and now wrist slashing boredom) that I was questioning.  Surely it must be a bit unnecessarily stressful to apply that sort of language to everything that doesn’t interest you, particularly if you spend a not insignificant amount of time on a website about them.

I wouldn't spend two seconds on a forum about sport climbing.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> What about onsighting? The thrill and pressure of it being all or nothing and no excuse not to try really hard - a very different and much more exciting game.

It's all on shit limestone. And it feels totally meaningless - how can I care about whether I can onsight this route that's a carbon copy of a million other routes? What's the incentive?

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 gazhbo 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I wouldn't spend two seconds on a forum about sport climbing.

This thread is about sport climbing... because you brought it up!

Post edited at 22:56
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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's all on shit limestone. 

Is that because you consider limestone to be a shit rock type or because you have only climbed on inferior limestone?

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> Is that because you consider limestone to be a shit rock type or because you have only climbed on inferior limestone?

All the inland limestone in the UK is shit but some of Pembroke is good.

I've climbed in Spain, Greece, France and Croatia and my assessment is that it's all either prickly grey nonsense or slimy tufas. Or perhaps prickly orange broccoli if you've chosen a really terrible route.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

I think that is historically correct. Suddenly we had the term "sport climbing" imported from France. Most climbers at that time thought the label ridiculous (can you remember the T-shirts with the caption "Sport climbing is neither"?). Most climbers thought: why not call a spade a spade, e.g., bolted climbing? Then, to their chagrin, the majority of climbers suddenly found they had acquired a new label - "trad climbers" - to distinguish them from the new breed of "sport climbers".

It felt rather like it did in recent years, when a whole slew of us suddenly found we had been given the redundant label "Remainer".

At this rate, we might find ourselves being called "breathers"! 

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In reply to GrahamD:

> I get the impression it's a very UK expression. 

No. Used in North America all of the time.

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 Alex Riley 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

That’s a it like saying you don’t like trad climbing because it’s all on grit. Grits short, polished and rubbish in the wet, same moves over and over etc

Limestone can be some of the things you mentioned, but can also have some great climbing and sport isnt just limited to limestone. Lots of world class sport climbing is on sandstone and granite.

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 Naomi Buys 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

I'm just waiting for the next evolution of the term: when all the newbie climbers start calling it 'trads' climbing..... 

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 gravy 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Get yourself over to the Dolomites and then you can add "loose" to your list of endearments.

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 spenser 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Have you visited Craig Y Forwyn by any chance? That's the best inland UK limestone I've come across so far.

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 Luke90 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> When the marketing men got hold of climbing and decided to create factions in order to make money. Late 80s when I started climbing, all was climbing, bouldering was mentioned occasionally, mainly so you didn't pack all your gear.

Surely a distinction between trad and sport is useful, if only for the same practical reason of making sure you have the right kit for the day.

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 Lankyman 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> What about onsighting? The thrill and pressure of it being all or nothing and no excuse not to try really hard - a very different and much more exciting game.


I can't recall ever redpointing a single route. Every sport climb was onsight and falling was failing as far as I was concerned. If I fell I walked away and came back later when I was stronger.

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 john arran 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> I can't recall ever redpointing a single route. Every sport climb was onsight and falling was failing as far as I was concerned. If I fell I walked away and came back later when I was stronger.

I'm with you in that onsight is for me by far the most enjoyable approach in general, but if you've never tried redpointing at all then you really have missed out on a whole different and also rewarding mindgame.

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 C Witter 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Interesting thread (apart from Jon's whining). It's curious how recent many of the categories we use are; and how the advent of "sport climbing" and "redpointing" shaped our understanding of what "trad" should be - i.e. how it helped to create this idea that the ideal to strive for is unaided free climbing, with no rests, no yo-yoing and preferably no practice, pre-inspection or pre-placing of gear.

Personally, I've never liked the term "traditional climbing", though. It sounds so stuffy, and it's not very accurate either. It's not as dangerous and unmediated as, say, Menlove Edwards' approach, with its disdain of any form of protection; but, it's prickly about whether an ascent was done in this way or that, quibbling over marginal differences in some cases (e.g. did you place a side runner? Did you use a bouldering mat to protect the start? Did you practice it with a rope above you or did you practice it with the rope below you?). "Adventure climbing" is, of course, even worse. Calling Stanage bimbling "adventure climbing" would expose us to all sorts of ridicule.

How about "bloody-minded climbing"? Seems more apt, to me.

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 Alfrede 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Then why dont you? Does someone force you to do it? I find fishing and golf unbelievably boring but dont go around complaining to other people who like them. I just dont do it!

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In reply to Naomi Buys:

> I'm just waiting for the next evolution of the term: when all the newbie climbers start calling it 'trads' climbing..... 

Trads climbing in The Peaks ;)

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 Alfrede 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Trad and sport are simple harmless terms informing you usefully what kind of kit you need to take with you when you go climbing. No kind of superiority or ethical statement is being implied. The UK scene is hideously blighted by people who seem to think some kind of moral superiority is involved in 'trad'. Mainly I suspect among people who are not very good at either discipline. I am prettty sure Alex Honnold and Adam Ondra have the greatest possible respect for each others achievements. And lots of people like Dave Macleod (or in a MUCH humbler way me) get on happily enjoying both. Here in France, (where trad by the way IS a commonly used term!) I cant recall any of my French friends and aquaintances even remotely implying that trad is somehow purer or better than sport, but such an attitude is rife in the UK. Looks like a branch of Little England to me from here. By the way, I have never bothered to reply to this kind of forum before, but as I am trapped in a hideous lockdown unable to travel more than 1 kilometre from home and therefore unable even to boulder let alone climb, I am driven to desperate measures! Help ma Boab.......

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'd rather sit in the car and read a book.

Really?  You seem happy enough to piss on everyone else's chips on this thread like...

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

Agreed, much more of an onsight climber, get bored with redpointing.  If something hasn't gone third time then that's me done.  Come back next year.

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In reply to Naomi Buys:

> I'm just waiting for the next evolution of the term: when all the newbie climbers start calling it 'trads' climbing..... 

or worse still Naomi - wild climbing 😱

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 Al Randall 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I get where you are coming from up to a point.  Unfortunately the UK does not offer that much good quality sport IMO as it's mostly found in loose, grotty quarries and can feel very samey in character if not in difficulty. Especially as far as us poor punters are concerned.

I've been climbing since about 1964 so trad is in my blood but some of the most memorable climbs that I have EVER done were on Kalymnos. I on sight everything and red pointing bores me to tears but if you approach the climbing in places like that as simply good rock, good moves, good positions and with a variety that is hard to imagine with the convenience of good, "guaranteed protection" I would be surprised if you did not enjoy it.

Al

Post edited at 11:07
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In reply to Iamgregp:

> > I'd rather sit in the car and read a book.

> Really?  You seem happy enough to piss on everyone else's chips on this thread like...

I liked the bit where he belittled suicide. That was really classy. 

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I liked the bit where he belittled suicide. That was really classy. 

Oh Dear. I thnk his ranting is quite entertaining. Classy even. I think a sense of humour is required.

Post edited at 11:26
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In reply to Robert Durran:

> Oh Dear. I thnk his ranting is quite entertaining. Classy even. I think a sense of humour is required.

I quite agree. Jon's eloquently outrageous outrage is one of the things that makes lockdown endurable. I can't say UK sport is top of my favourite flavour list, but I was very grateful for the Peak's various big bolted holes in the ground when we were easing restrictions after Lockdown 1.0 and these forums were full of dire warnings about not taking unnecessary risks.... which gave me a handy ethical pass to clip-stick the hell out of everything - purely in the interests of not putting the NHS under any additional strain by falling off, you understand. One of my partners is the proud possessor of a modern monster clip-stick that will practically reach the chains on plenty of stuff in the Peak. That approach boosted the grades and the ego nicely. But I've slid steadily backwards during the summer, back to searching for spiritual intensity through soloing.

Post edited at 11:45
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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've got a sense of humour, but it's just that Jon's postings about why he hates sport climbing (which isn't even what the thread is about ffs!) are about as far from funny as I can imagine.

As for using terms like "depression" and "wrist slashingly" well that just not very funny at all is it really?  My mum suffered from depression the whole time I was a kid.  It was amazingly unfunny. 

Does he do this in real life?  

"Lovely weather Jon..."

"Aye it is, tell you where it was lovely weather, when I were in Greece, not that I could enjoy it as there were these bolts y'see..."

Post edited at 11:53
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 Big Bruva 23 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Never heard Le Trad

It's quite recent but very common these days. eg. Tu aimes faire du trad? C'est une voie trad? Le trad, c'est top!

Not sure if it takes an -e when used as an adjective in the feminine. I suspect the 'Académie Française' hasn't yet been convened to discuss the issue!

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 1poundSOCKS 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Alfrede:

> I am prettty sure Alex Honnold and Adam Ondra have the greatest possible respect for each others achievements.

Given that Honnold climbed a 9a sport route recently and Ondra has climbed the Dawn Wall (among other hard trad climbs).

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 1poundSOCKS 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Does he do this in real life?  

I've been sport climbing with Jon a few times over the years. I suspect when he's forgotten how disappointed he was the last time. He genuinely doesn't enjoy it apart from one route at Chapel Head Scar if I remember correctly...although he'll deny it now.

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 PaulJepson 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

I must admit, the first time I went to Brean and just saw everyone dangling around on the ropes I didn't really get it. I still don't and found red-pointing to be a bit boring but each to their own.

I don't get the same joy out of sport climbing that I do out of trad climbing but I see it as useful exercise. I really felt the difference this year of not having a good 'pre-season' clipping bolts and felt weak and scared of falling for most of the year. I think on-sighting sport is really useful but I'm not sure rehearsing moves over and over until I can do them is any more useful for me than just doing some climbing-specific exercises. 

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Well at least he wasn't sat in the car with his book....

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> As for using terms like "depression" and "wrist slashingly" well that just not very funny at all is it really? 

I particularly enjoyed the graphic novelty of the term "wrist-slashingly".

> My mum suffered from depression the whole time I was a kid.  It was amazingly unfunny. 

I think it is pretty obvious that he is using the term "depressed" humourously in its colloquial rather than its clinical sense.

> Does he do this in real life?  

Oh I do hope so.

Post edited at 12:43
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 jelaby 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

Jon was explicitly asked why he hates sport climbing, having just mentioned in passing that he dislikes it in response to

> Today, I went climbing, did you, are you bothered which flavour? 

People do seem to be rather defensive that he doesn't like something that they do like.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

What about sport climbing on, say, granite? Is that any different to on limestone?

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I particularly enjoyed the graphic novelty of the term "wrist-slashingly".

> I think it is pretty obvious that he is using the term "depressed" humourously in its colloquial rather than its clinical sense.

Yeah to be fair maybe I have gone bit overboard here, but as a Psychology grad and someone who has witnessed mental health difficulties first hand it does f*ck me off a bit when people chuck them around like this. 

And it happens a lot I see so many things "oh I'm so depressed now that Love Island has finished" (you're not depressed, you're just sad a TV show has ended) or when people use the words schizophrenic to mean multiple or split personalities (that's not what Schizophrenia is), or if people are being annoyed by something they say it's "giving me anxiety"...

It just belittles the struggles people who have these conditions face, and reduces people's understanding that these are actual clinical illnesses, not emotions.

I dunno, thankfully as a society we seem to have stopped using terms like spastic, spaz etc as pejorative terms and it would be nice if we could stop using clinical conditions to describe emotions.  Jon could have written something much funnier in his post.

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In reply to Naomi Buys:

> I'm just waiting for the next evolution of the term: when all the newbie climbers start calling it 'trads' climbing..... 

I'm sure when they do it in the "Peaks", they probably already call it that.

edit: apologies to Steveb2006 who beat me to the obvious joke! 

Post edited at 13:03
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 Anotherclimber 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

But you are doing.

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to jelaby:

Yes, but he was the one who brought up that he hates sport climbing in the first place.  Nobody asked him.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> Oh Dear. I thnk his ranting is quite entertaining. Classy even. I think a sense of humour is required.

Sometimes he's funny with his rants, sometimes he's wise with them, and sometimes he's way off the mark and makes a prick of himself. Just because sometimes he's funny or wise, it doesn't mean he doesn't warrant being called out when he's got it wrong. In a climate where mental health issues have been given a lot more visibility, casually throwing terms like "depressed" and "wrist-slashingly" (the latter with respect to it being an escape from boredom) simply seemed classless, which is all I said. 

 

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In reply to Iamgregp:

I think you are being a bit OCD about this.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

>  Jon could have written something much funnier in his post.

Jon is intelligent and he knows this. He's been provocative because he enjoys wallowing in the attention

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 jelaby 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

Yes they did!

> Today, I went climbing, did you, are you bothered which flavour

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 Lankyman 23 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

> I'm with you in that onsight is for me by far the most enjoyable approach in general, but if you've never tried redpointing at all then you really have missed out on a whole different and also rewarding mindgame.


I can see this for some, John but not for me. On any route I butted up against it was pretty much full tilt from the start. A few of my climbing partners would have another crack if they blew it but not what you'd call redpointing. I enjoyed sport but it was never important enough to me to warrant the time and effort. The upshot was probably a lower personal plateau of grades but then  grades weren't my overriding concern in climbing. Now my elbows and other clapped-out body parts are probably limiting any future assault on grades!

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

> >  Jon could have written something much funnier in his post.

Good grief. Imagine the outrage if he had gone further in his rant......,

> Jon is intelligent and he knows this. He's been provocative because he enjoys wallowing in the attention.

He posted to entertain and, yes, maybe provoke. He has been very successful on both counts. Good work in my opinion.

Post edited at 13:16
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In reply to TobyA:

> What about sport climbing on, say, granite? Is that any different to on limestone?

In my experience (Corsica), it's quite like sport climbing on limestone but without the holds.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> I dunno, thankfully as a society we seem to have stopped using terms like spastic, spaz etc as pejorative terms and it would be nice if we could stop using clinical conditions to describe emotions. 

Are you seriously saying we should no longer use the words "anxious" or "depressed" except in the context of clinical anxiety or depression?

Post edited at 13:19
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In reply to Iamgregp:

> As for using terms like "depression" and "wrist slashingly" well that just not very funny at all is it really?  My mum suffered from depression the whole time I was a kid.  It was amazingly unfunny. 

> Does he do this in real life?  

Yes. I've got a history of depression and suicidal ideation (a few years tend to pass between visits to the GP) and those terms cause me no offence whatsoever. Sport climbing makes my mental state worse, as I found on a recent trip to leonidio where I could barely be bothered to tie on. 

So if you're confused about exactly what tone was intended (and I'm absolutely amazed by how agitated people are, the response I expected was an eye-roll and some dislikes), then it was making light of my genuine emotions regarding sport climbing. OK, it doesn't actually cause my depression, but it does make it worse, which is why I have given it up. 

I very nearly gave up climbing completely last year, but then I did an adventurous trad route through a sea cave and all was forgiven. 

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Very good!  That one really grinds my gears tbh.

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to jelaby:

No they didn't, that was in a reply to somebody else, and (I think) was a rhetorical question in any case.

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Not at all, you can say what you want.  As I said, I'm a bit sensitive to it for a couple of reasons and it would be nice if, as a society, we didn't.  

It's not like when somebody uses outright wrong terms like the N word or something, which people really shouldn't use, not that level at all.  

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 Iamgregp 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Sorry to hear that you have issues with depression and suicidal thoughts.

That said, I don't see that as justification for pissing on everyone else's sport climbing chips.  There's certain disciplines of climbing I'd hate to do, but I'm not going to turn discussions into why I hate them.  I just don't talk about them, I've nothing to add.

By all means make light of your issues, laughter is a great tonic, but you should be aware that when you use terms like that, it reinforces their use in this way, and whilst it may not bother or offend you it may affect others.

But like I said, my reaction was a bit overboard so apologies if I've surprised you.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> the response I expected was an eye-roll and some dislikes

FWIW my initial comment in response, was intended as the equivalent of an eyeroll. Robert Durran decide to expand on it and crusade on your behalf. 

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> or worse still Naomi - wild climbing 😱

Which would be no worse than "wild swimming"...........

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> Very good!  That one really grinds my gears tbh.

I too dislike the casual use of "OCD". Like "spastic" it is using the clinical (or former clinical) term for a condition in a derogatory way and is therefore offensive to genuine sufferers of these conditions. I don't think this is true of "depressed" or "anxiety" which are words long used with their common non-clinical meaning before becoming medical terms in some contexts.

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In reply to Stephen R Young:would you say that the start of the term “trad” coincided with the beginning of the use of camming devices, sticky rubber shoes, chalk and the upsurge in climbing walls in the UK?

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In reply to Stephen R Young:

> would you say that the start of the term “trad” coincided with the beginning of the use of camming devices, sticky rubber shoes, chalk and the upsurge in climbing walls in the UK?

No

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 Ian Parsons 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

> would you say that the start of the term “trad” coincided with the beginning of the use of camming devices, sticky rubber shoes, chalk and the upsurge in climbing walls in the UK?


I think you're lumping together things that actually occurred at widely different times; any sort of 'upsurge' in climbing walls - by which I assume you mean the time when 'climbing centres' started to appear and were sufficiently popular to be commercially viable - came between one and two decades after the introduction of chalk and camming devices. Sticky rubber, in the form of the Boreal Firé, arrived in the UK about five years after Friends - ie in 1983.

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 Philb1950 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You didn’t enjoy the Verdon then?

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 Cobra_Head 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ..................... I'd rather sit in the car and read a book.

Have you ben at the happy pills again, Jon?

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 Andy Gamisou 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

"a recent trip to leonidio" - you hate sport climbing, and loathe limestone, but decided to take a climbing trip to Leonidio?

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In reply to C Witter:

> the advent of "sport climbing" and "redpointing" shaped our understanding of what "trad" should be - i.e. how it helped to create this idea that the ideal to strive for is unaided free climbing, with no rests, no yo-yoing and preferably no practice, pre-inspection or pre-placing of gear.

>  it's prickly about whether an ascent was done in this way or that, quibbling over marginal differences in some cases (e.g. did you place a side runner? Did you use a bouldering mat to protect the start? Did you practice it with a rope above you or did you practice it with the rope below you?)

You're completely missing the point. Going to a sport crag with radios, dogs and children cluttering the bottom of the crag where there are about 50 belayers stood in a line making smalltalk is a completely different experience to abbing into a tidal zawn where the easiest way out is a pitch of traversing away from the ab rope, then up the route at "your grade" you've gone down to do. Is it really so bizarre that someone would find one experience exciting and fulfilling, and the other one boring? They're completely different experiences that you engage in for completely different reasons. What makes great adventurous trad climbing great is that there isn't any bollocks about whether you used a pad at the start, or whether those holds were in. You went down (or up the mountain) to do the route, and you got up it. If you fell off or rested on a runner then well done - you were climbing at your limit in a committing, adventurous environment, and you got out safely. Maybe go back on the route for a rematch another time if you're up for it.

Who's climbing at a level where they think it matters (to their instagram followers?) if they used a pad at the start? That is completely alien to my idea of what trad climbing is about.

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In reply to Andy Gamisou:

> "a recent trip to leonidio" - you hate sport climbing, and loathe limestone, but decided to take a climbing trip to Leonidio?

Jan 2019. Since given up sport climbing.

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 C Witter 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yeh, sure - I know what you mean! But, not all trad is Gogarth! ;) Plenty of very relaxed trad and plenty of adventurous routes with fixed gear, too!

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In reply to Philb1950:

> You didn’t enjoy the Verdon then?

Good question. I enjoyed some aspects of it but not others - it is prickly and grey after all. I like big bolted routes like Verdon and Riglos, but where Riglos is a laugh, yarding up pitch after pitch of overhanging potato heaven, the Verdon is techy, painful, prickly grey hell. But it is absolutely spectacular, no one can deny that.

Not been back, and no real plans to. Probably will one day, it's an amazing place. Maybe next time I won't ab into the wrong route and have to aid sideways across the crag, every day of the trip.

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In reply to C Witter:

>

> How about "bloody-minded climbing"? Seems more apt, to me.

That's me right enough. It's the word "sport" that sticks in my craw. I went to a football-daft grammar-school in NE England. I started climbing with a few mates who, though we knew ourselves to be strong and agile, had neither the talent nor temperament for ball-games. Climbing was our way of giving two fingers to the jock-strap tossers who thought they were God's gift. 

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 C Witter 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Long:

Exactly! "Bloody-minded" is a positive quality, to my way of thinking.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> I too dislike the casual use of "OCD". Like "spastic" it is using the clinical (or former clinical) term for a condition in a derogatory way and is therefore offensive to genuine sufferers of these conditions.

As it happens, I stole the phrase "wrist slashingly..." from a friend who suffers badly with severe treatment-resistant OCD and her current primary diagnosis is bipolar so she's on some pretty strong meds. Years ago, I asked her, "how was your Christmas?" (knowing that we both really hate Christmas) and she responded "it was wrist-slashingly awful"...which I thought was an absolutely hilarious turn of phrase. Guess you had to be there. But in my experience, people with mental health problems have often lived with them for a long time and are way past being touchy about people using their diagnoses in vain.

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 Tom V 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Climbers with objections to references like this  will be boycotting Nick Plishko's Wristcutter's Lullaby (E6 6c)

I think it's mostly trad but with a couple of bolts to protect the roof which might have been put there by Graham West and which would need a long enough clip stick to take the route out of the realms of sport climbing.

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> or worse still Naomi - wild climbing 😱

Arghh - you beat me to it!  

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 Webster 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Alex Riley:

> That’s a it like saying you don’t like trad climbing because it’s all on grit. Grits short, polished and rubbish in the wet, same moves over and over etc

firstly all climbing is rubbish in the wet, with the exception of some scrambling (if you are happy to include that in the climbing bracket).

secondly and most importantly, grit doesnt polish! thats part of what makes it so awesome! holds and placements can become worn, but i have only ever seen two genuinely polished footholds anywhere on grit! and they were both on otherwise easy routes (about severe) which have ridiculously hard overhanging starts with only a single crucial foothold available.  

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 1poundSOCKS 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Webster:

> grit doesnt polish!

Of course it does. It can be just as bad as limestone.

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 Webster 23 Nov 2020
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

no it doesnt. if you wear down 1 layer of grains, you just expose another layer of coarse rough grains.

limestone is by far in a way the worst rocktype for polish! that is unequivocal! you only need to so much as look at some holds and they polish! 

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In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> > grit doesnt polish!

> Of course it does. It can be just as bad as limestone.

Classic easy routes that were climbed before sticky rubber are polished. It's weird that in some really old fashioned locations like Kinder which are near railway lines you get really polished routes I'm guessing from when they were climbed in hobnails - but no one ever climbs them these days. The old chipped routes on Yorkshire grit are like this - Almscliffe, for example, is a mess. But not on the modern boulder problems and routes that have only been climbed in rubber rockshoes - worn gear placements and chalk-plastered, but not actually polished.

Same with the mountain rock in the Lakes. The classic vdiffs are polished, but on anything harder than about VS it's beautifully rough (unless it's the naturally smooth stuff with no friction you get on some crags). 

Limestone is a completely different kettle of fish. It takes a couple of years to go from dusty freshly bolted rubble to polished nonsense, just with people climbing it in modern rockshoes.

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In reply to Webster:

> secondly and most importantly, grit doesnt polish! thats part of what makes it so awesome! holds and placements can become worn, but i have only ever seen two genuinely polished footholds anywhere on grit! and they were both on otherwise easy routes (about severe) which have ridiculously hard overhanging starts with only a single crucial foothold available.  

I yield to no one in my love of Staffs grit, but you can find proper polish at the Roaches. Two classic examples are the starts of Crack and Corner (HS 4c) and the gorgeous Via Dolorosa (VS 4c). It's part of the personality of these routes now.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Jon, I beg to differ re Almscliff boulders. Fifty years ago, they used to have a delicious friction, rather like fine sandpaper. The same boulder problems now have considerably less friction than then, and the difference can only be attributed to rubber rockshoes.

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 Tom V 24 Nov 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

i think that the popularity of  "working" a problem or route can only have a detrimental effect on holds, for all the stuff we are constantly told about "respecting the rock".

Some bits of rock are subjected to the equivalent of a year's wear and tear over a few days.

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In reply to John Stainforth:

> Jon, I beg to differ re Almscliff boulders. Fifty years ago, they used to have a delicious friction, rather like fine sandpaper. The same boulder problems now have considerably less friction than then, and the difference can only be attributed to rubber rockshoes.

OK, well-used grit is not the same as untouched moorland grit (which is scrittly) - but imagine what they'd be like if they were made of limestone!

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In reply to Stephen R Young:so it seems “Trad” as a type of climbing came into use in the USA in about 1984, when in the UK?

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 Andy Gamisou 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Alex Riley:

> That’s a it like saying you don’t like trad climbing because it’s all on grit. Grits short, polished and rubbish in the wet, same moves over and over etc

It's odd, but whenever anyone mentions sport climbing or bouldering on UKC then you're almost guaranteed that a post will quickly appear blurting out how shit the activity is, like some sort of climbing Tourette's.

As for grit - it is short, it is grey, it is polished, and it is rubbish - whether wet or not, and it is the same move over and over again.  Dullness Arizona (spot the cultural reference).  Northumberland sandstone on the other hand....

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 Andy Gamisou 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> i think that the popularity of  "working" a problem or route can only have a detrimental effect on holds, for all the stuff we are constantly told about "respecting the rock".

> Some bits of rock are subjected to the equivalent of a year's wear and tear over a few days.

What total tosh.  I'd suggest the polish tends to be inversely proportional to difficulty of route or problem.  Certainly been the case at everywhere I've climbed.  People tend not to work easy routes/problems.  Your statement is just another example of the tedious constant sniping of those who learned to climb at a certain point in history in a certain way for certain reasons and resent those who choose to climb in a different way for different reasons.  How about getting over yourselves.

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In reply to Webster:

> secondly and most importantly, grit doesnt polish!

Flying Buttress (HVD 4a)

I think most would agree that holds on this are polished.

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 1poundSOCKS 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Webster:

> no it doesnt. if you wear down 1 layer of grains, you just expose another layer of coarse rough grains.

Given that I regularly climb some of the most polished routes around, the warm ups at Malham and Kiknsey, l'm in a pretty good position to judge. Some of the starts of routes at Ilkley quarry and Almscliff are just as bad. Polished like glass. 

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 1poundSOCKS 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Limestone is a completely different kettle of fish. It takes a couple of years to go from dusty freshly bolted rubble to polished nonsense, just with people climbing it in modern rockshoes.

I agree it polishes more quickly, and there aren't so many routes that are polished in their entirety. But the worst bits are pretty similar imo.

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In reply to Andy Long:

> > How about "bloody-minded climbing"? Seems more apt, to me.

>  Climbing was our way of giving two fingers to the jock-strap tossers who thought they were God's gift. 

Love it! It was my way of giving two fingers to pretty much everything.

Mick

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In reply to Webster:

> secondly and most importantly, grit doesnt polish! thats part of what makes it so awesome! holds and placements can become worn, but i have only ever seen two genuinely polished footholds anywhere on grit! and they were both on otherwise easy routes (about severe) which have ridiculously hard overhanging starts with only a single crucial foothold available.  

Start of Hollybush crack?

When I left the Peak (2001), I probably hadn't used a rope on grit for a decade. Never had to think about friction until just before the end. But then, suddenly I did. A lot of routes started to seem worn. Before, you could pad around pretty much anywhere. Not any more.

That's nearly 20 years ago. When I'm next soloing on Stanage Popular, I'll be wary. There may have been more activity on some routes in those last 20 years than in all of creation before. But whether or not that's the case, I'll still be wary.

Mick

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 Tom V 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

>   How about getting over yourselves.

We don't really understand this expression.

Post edited at 08:34
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In reply to Mick Ward:

I think the polishing of grit has a lot to do with the advent of 'sticky rubber' in the early 80s. IIRC this synthetic 'rubber', as used in aircraft tyres, contains some abrasive additive - either carborundum or something like it?

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 PaulJepson 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Have you tried to stand on the footholds at the bottom of Crack and Corner (S 4b)?

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In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Given that I regularly climb some of the most polished routes around, the warm ups at Malham and Kiknsey, l'm in a pretty good position to judge. Some of the starts of routes at Ilkley quarry and Almscliff are just as bad. Polished like glass. 

A connoisseur of Yorkshire polish. I dare you to go up to somewhere like Gorple and see how long your skin lasts - brutal! 

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In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I yield to no one in my love of Staffs grit, but you can find proper polish at the Roaches. Two classic examples are the starts of Crack and Corner (HS 4c) and the gorgeous Via Dolorosa (VS 4c). It's part of the personality of these routes now.

Yes, the first pitch of Via Dolorosa was already pretty thought-provoking twenty years ago, especially if slightly damp (which it often is).  Crack and Corner has always been a brute unless you have thin fingers.  It's hard to imagine what it would have been like without the polish and with the ground a couple of feet higher.

I think the original start of Jeffcoat's Buttress is one that has really got harder over the years.  I led it as one of my very first routes back in 1976, and didn't regard the start as particularly noteworthy.  A couple of years ago, admittedly after a long layoff and on a bit of miserable damp day, I had to mentally shift up several gears to second it.  It's OK if you trust the shiny high foothold (and know where to reach for the good fingerhold), but it's properly 5a and a real handful for HS.     

Post edited at 09:58
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 1poundSOCKS 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> A connoisseur of Yorkshire polish.

I do rate climbing on polished routes at least some of the time for footwork practice. And it's almost mandatory on UK sport anyway,

> I dare you to go up to somewhere like Gorple and see how long your skin lasts - brutal!

Sounds like a challenge. Been getting into bouldering more now it's getting cold and the walls are shut. Close to Widdop I see and never been there either.

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In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Sounds like a challenge. Been getting into bouldering more now it's getting cold and the walls are shut. Close to Widdop I see and never been there either.

The main Plantation circuit at Widdop is fantastic, plus there's loads of bits along the main crag I've explored in the last couple of years. I'd go before it get really wintery though, it's not a sunny spot. Gorple is probably best left for a more pleasant time of year - it's a wild, lonely spot and the problems are generally high as well as brutally rough (and a touch scrittly). Class!

Post edited at 10:42
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 Webster 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I yield to no one in my love of Staffs grit, but you can find proper polish at the Roaches. Two classic examples are the starts of Crack and Corner (HS 4c) and the gorgeous Via Dolorosa (VS 4c). It's part of the personality of these routes now.

yep, crack and corner is 1 of the 2 routes i referred to in my post! that is real polish! but it is exceptionally rare on grit for that to happen! like i said, a ridiculously hard move on an otherwise easy route, with no other foot placement option, resulting in thousands of low level climbers flailing around on it. a pretty specific set of circumstances!

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 Trangia 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Back in the '60s it was just "climbing", the only other form of climbing was "artificial" climbing ie the use of pegs, etriers, tension etc. There was also "soloing".

We played around on boulders, but it wasn't called "bouldering", and wasn't really considered a discipline in it's own right, apart from at Fontainbleau where we did "circuits" following numbers painted on the rock linking a succession of individual "problems". Bouldering mats were unheard of. You did a circuit with a beer mat tied to to a length of thin rope tied around your waist so that it followed you as you moved along. The beer mat was used to clean your shoe soles and the holds, and as a stepping off mat.

Then came "sport" climbing, and I remember first hearing the term in the early '80s to distinguish it from "normal" climbing. I think it was about this time that "normal" started to become known as "traditional" quickly shortened to "trad" as the popularity of "sport" and "bouldering" began to grow, but I don't recall anyone using the expression "trad" prior to the early 1980,

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 PaulJepson 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Trangia:

Do you think the shift from using French grades helped separate the sports, or was it before then? I see a lot of older magazines from back in the day giving E grades to bolted sport climbs. 

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In reply to PaulJepson:

> Do you think the shift from using French grades helped separate the sports, or was it before then? I see a lot of older magazines from back in the day giving E grades to bolted sport climbs. 

No, I don't think it has anything to do with grading systems. (We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about grades.) The main differentiator between "sport" climbing and "trad" climbing has always been the same. It is that the one is contrived, whereas the other is not. To some climbers that matters a lot, to others not a jot.

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 Steve Woollard 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

I thought TRad stood for Totally Radical

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 Big Bruva 24 Nov 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

> the one is contrived, whereas the other is not. 

You're over-thinking this. The one is protected with in-situ gear, the other is not. 

Unreliable and/or spaced in-situ gear blur the division somewhat, but the difference is fundamentally about fixed gear.

Also someone used Alex Honnold as an example of a well-known trad climber. Soloing isn't trad, neither is headpointing in my humble opinion. These are both separate disciplines. 

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 derekb 24 Nov 2020
In reply to spenser:

High tor gets my vote!

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> You're over-thinking this. The one is protected with in-situ gear, the other is not. 

I think (not "over-think"!) we are more or less agreeing on this. But in-situ gear did not appear naturally or by magic. It was "deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously", which is the dictionary definition of "contrived".

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 Big Bruva 24 Nov 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

You're right, that does very much fit the dictionary definition. I was using my own personal definition (!) which is something along the lines of 'illogical' or 'unnecessary'. Thanks for the schooling

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 freeflyer 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> or worse still Naomi - wild climbing 😱

Is wild climbing a thing?

It sounds fun - how can I do it?

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In reply to freeflyer: Tregiffian is wild climbing!

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In reply to John Stainforth:

I have yet to encounter an form of gear that arose naturally or spontaneously. The nearest I can imagine would be on an easy alpine style ridge where you move together, don't place anything but weave around between spikes and rely on the rope to catch if someone slips. Even then the rope did not appear by itself.

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 freeflyer 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Stephen R Young:

Joking apart, that picture in the logbook overview looks well wild!

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In reply to freeflyer: you need clippers and snake bite serum for access!

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In reply to PaulJepson:

> Have you tried to stand on the footholds at the bottom of Crack and Corner (S 4b)?

Ah, huge apologies, I meant Crack and Corner, not Hollybush Crack.

Have stood on them dozens of time (it's my fault they're polished!) but not for almost 20 years. They were polished to a high sheen then. Don't like to think what they're like now.

Mick
 

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I think the polishing of grit has a lot to do with the advent of 'sticky rubber' in the early 80s. IIRC this synthetic 'rubber', as used in aircraft tyres, contains some abrasive additive - either carborundum or something like it?

That's extremely interesting; never occurred to me but makes sense.

Pretty much the most basic climbing shoe has stickier rubber than anybody in the world had before the '80s. Ironic that so many throw away this advantage by wearing their shoes when belaying and then climbing with dust and grit on them. Of course this polishes the rock even faster.

Mick

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 Iamgregp 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

So true.  The amount of people who don't wipe down their shoes before they get on a route astounds me.  You get less friction, and you wear the rock.  Just plain ignorance.

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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

When I started climbing in the late 80s some old codgers said they knew for a fact that Stanage polish was nearly all down to nailed boot use decades before, when they started climbing.

I became almost compulsive at the lower grades  in the Peak and remained so until covid. Nothing has changed much of any significance on grit polish of routes since then.

Crack and Corner at Stanage has good jams at the crux and OK footholds which have been much the same for the 3+ decades I have been climbing there: you simply smear where the polish isn't.

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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

This poor practice along with poor technique is trashing some footwork dependent grit boulder problems but such friction problems get a lot more traffic than grit friction routes.

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 Iamgregp 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

In Kalymnos this year there was a bunch of (I think) German people that We kept on bumping into at crags.
 

They did everything possible that was poor practice - parked their scooters where you’re not supposed to on private land, started climbing a route that joined another that my friend was already half way up, top roped repeatedly off in situ gear and of course walked round in their climbing shoes the whole time, and never once wiped their shoes  before kicking and scuffing their way up routes.

Just don’t know how people can be that stupid. 

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In reply to Offwidth:

> I became almost compulsive at the lower grades  in the Peak and remained so until covid. Nothing has changed much of any significance on grit polish of routes since then.

Thanks. That's good to know. Since I left Sheffield, I've only had a brief foray back at Burbage North. The friction was terrible - but that was probably because it was so cold. With soloing, I'm paranoid about friction.

Mick

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In reply to Iamgregp:

I think many people have highly limited awareness of the environment within which they're operating. I live less than two miles from one of the most frequented crags in the UK. If I walk past on any weekend, there will invariably be multiple instances of terrible practice.

There's a huge need for education. But those who need it most may not see any need for it.

Mick

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 Offwidth 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

I find calmly made educational points are normally accepted in good faith. Male group 'leaders' are the ones who sometimes react badly in my experience, occasionally with threats. I still remember the smile on the face of the BMC Peak Area Secretary when challenging an army group abseiling down Barriers in Time, when the leader threatened to write the BMC.

Post edited at 09:21
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In reply to Offwidth:

Love it!

Mick

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 Iamgregp 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> There's a huge need for education. But those who need it most may not see any need for it.

Nail on head.  Tried to speak to these guys and although their English wasn't great and my German is awful I think the main barrier was that they just didn't see any issue with what they were doing and weren't going to be told otherwise by the "Englanders" as they kept referring to us as (actually we were 2 kiwis, 2 Irish and one English but can't blame them for not clocking accents!), especially not ones who were a bit younger than them.

Having to explain to a grown man that no, if there are two lower offs there would be two separate dots on the topo, and in any case his dotted line joins our dotted line meaning they share bolts and chains was embarrassing.

But like I say, the main issue was that they were experienced (though not very good) climbers who had probably been doing all this shit for decades and don't think there's any issue.

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 PaulJepson 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Crack and Corner at Stanage has good jams at the crux and OK footholds which have been much the same for the 3+ decades I have been climbing there: you simply smear where the polish isn't.

Yes I seem to remember getting a higher foot and just skipping the holds. There comes a time when you have to look at regrading though.... If the holds that make it a severe are not usable, then it's not a severe (although as they are basically just getting off the ground in this case, it would more likely just be the tech grade that needed bumping). 

Have seen the same in Avon gorge with route being upgraded due to polish. 

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In reply to Stephen R Young:

An answer to my initial question seems to have moved way off topic. On the subject of polished routes, my first observations were in C’wall (1965) observing the Royal Marines who were still doing their initial moves on rock wearing their Tricouni edged limpet crushers and you could see the scratches on the likes of Corner Climb, Banana Flakes, Staircase. Around this time I visited Chudleigh and climbed an enjoyable Sarcophagus, then in about 1995 during a visit to the West Country I revisited Chudleigh for old times sake and found Sarcophagus looking as if it had been treated to rock polishing, no doubt due to the hundreds or thousands of grubby shoes that had slipped and slid their way up this memorable route, no doubt the future of most routes.

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 Offwidth 26 Nov 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

To me the start of Crack and Corner at Stanage is middling S and middling 4b. You have to grade for a nominal ability at the grade in the correct techniques or grading would become meaningless. The struggles seen on that route are because too many severe leaders can't jam at the grade and too many can't smear at the grade (through deliberate avoidance or lack of practice). It's Roaches classic namesake is a different story, a certain sandbag at the old Severe grade and I think would be middling VS on Stanage (noticably harder than the easy VS classic Straight Crack for instance). Crack and Corner is one of the few classic severes on Stanage that I commonly solo, as most Stanage classics are just a bit too insecure for me, unless I'm climbing well in excellent conditions.  

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 jcw 27 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I quite agree. I used to get annoyed at his style but have come to realise that under the hard carapace resides a very civilised and entertaining creature.

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In reply to Offwidth:

I think you're spot on with the Crack and Corners at Stanage and the Roaches. The Stanage one is not really very good (2 stars at most) wrecked by the polish of those starting moves and very uneven. The Roaches one is better, though a bit contrived. I agree it should be VS because that start is really 5a. The top 'pitch' is fun.

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Disagree, Roaches C&C should be HS with whatever technical grade is necessary (4c or maybe 5a because of the polish) but after that first move it's only Severe. So HS 4c (or HS 5a) perfectly grades the route (IMO).

Agree about the top pitch, it's so out there for the grade but not difficult once you find the holds (or at least know that they're there 😁).

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In reply to Stephen R Young:

Most of Chudleigh is a polished nightmare; I never want to climb there again. Sadly routes in Ireland which one or both of us must have enjoyed seem to be going back into the vegetation.

Mick

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 Offwidth 27 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

So what grade is Straight Crack at Stanage in comparison? As I'm pretty sure its noticably easier and has a crux starting section of similar height and is even easier than Roaches Crack and Corner above.

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In reply to Offwidth:

I think you're right again, assuming you mean the one at the Popular end rather than High Neb? (Both not much more than quite good). There are no comments in any of my guidebooks covering Stanage (about 7 editions!) going back many decades, despite multiple ticks, and I can't at a glance see any mention in my logbooks ... but that's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack! Not everything I did on days on grit went into my logbooks - only the more memorable ones. In some guidebooks it's given 4c and the lack of any comments means I agreed. In one guidebook I've dotted in a LH variation, which comes out of the crack below the roof and keeps just left of it for a while. Which suggests I favoured that way. Ticks in earlier guidebooks show that I did it several times straight up. I suspect this lack of attention means I found it really just a one-star route, a bit of a non-event.

Post edited at 17:19
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In reply to Offwidth:

I think I've only done Straight Crack once many years ago (just looked - 1984!!!) so no real memory of it but presumably the crux is moving out left below the roof, or the slightly harder (?) variant up the flake in the arete which may have the hardest moves slightly lower. Presumably either way is well protected since you wouldn't want to drop off those moves with no gear.

But that's still higher up than the crux on Roaches C&C which has the hard moves straight off the ground - basically a boulder problem - with a fairly flat landing area. The HS grade is ideal for those kinds of routes as the high tech grade (together with the first moves being obviously that hard) tells you that the rest of the route is going to be ok. If it was 5b then VS might be more suitable but even then HS 5b would IMO give a better indication of the rest of the route's (comparative lack of) difficulty than VS 5b (and being VS rather than HS wouldn't tell you anything more about the start).

Obviously, it's a fundamental difficulty of any pitch or route grade where a pitch or route is unbalanced with a hard safe start and easier climbing above. Luckily, hard safe finish with easier climbing below is easier to grade 😁

So I can't see what the problem is with SC at Stanage being VS 4b/4c and Roaches C&C being HS 4c/5a - unless you're saying that a lower proportion of leaders can get up C&C than SC and so the adjectival grade should therefore be higher.

But I don't agree with that "definition" of adjectival grades when it's used as part of a 2-grade system; firstly it may well be that a lower proportion of leaders can get up HS 5a than VS 4c, and secondly I think that grades should give as much information about the various difficulties as the grading system will allow - so for C&C HS 5a gives more information than VS 5a ("more" in that the information is a closer fit & therefore better quality).

Although it isn't really how UK trad grading operates, I actually think that if you had a route with a 6a boulder problem start, followed by nothing harder than 4a, then HS 6a would be a more informative grade than VS 6a or HVS 6a.

Edit: maybe for unbalanced routes, the adjectival grade should exclude boulder problem starts (tech grade will describe that) and only give the overall grade for the bit above.

Post edited at 18:03
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