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What are the new routes in Hard Rock

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I've seen quite a lot of info about this and it seems some people have already got copies. Very interested to hear that some routes no longer feature and others have been added but I can't find the details anywhere. Can somebody enlighten me please.

 top cat 10 Mar 2020
In reply to colin struthers:

Oh no!  Does this mean I have to start ticking them all over again??  Bugger.

 Gaia 10 Mar 2020
In reply to colin struthers:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=3313

Saw this the other day. Why they have kept Slanting Slab is baffling!

 Michael Gordon 10 Mar 2020
In reply to colin struthers:

Not sure I see the point in this. Hard Rock is great because it's of its time; otherwise it's just a 100 best routes type thing. 

8
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Not sure I see the point in this. Hard Rock is great because it's of its time; otherwise it's just a 100 best routes type thing. 

Yes, a real shame

8
 kaiser 10 Mar 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Not sure I see the point in this. ....

The point is Commercial I'm afraid.  Reminds me of the old Smiths song 'Paint a Vulgar Picture'

At the record company meeting
On their hands - a dead star
And oh, the plans they weave
And oh, the sickening greed

Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra track (and a tacky badge)

In reply to kaiser:

> The point is Commercial I'm afraid. 

They could have produced a new book "Harder Rock" or " Not Too Extreme Rock" instead.

 Ian Parnell 10 Mar 2020
In reply to Gaia:

We've kept Slanting Slab, because we have kept all the original routes. The only exceptions are those that fell down, and The Scoop and Main Overhang as these are now fine free routes - at a level appropriate for the soon to be published Preposterous Rock. We've kept the essays for those two routes though as historical documents and great pieces of writing. 

In reply to Ian Parnell:

But, Ian, what will stop puerile tickers now?!

jcm

 kevin stephens 10 Mar 2020
In reply to Gaia:

> Saw this the other day. Why they have kept Slanting Slab is baffling!

Maybe a bolt or two on the overhang would make it popular again?

1
 Ian Parnell 10 Mar 2020
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Posting on UKC forums ;-)

In reply to Ian Parnell:

Fair enough but purging the original list of the crap that was in there won’t have been such a bad idea... 

3
 Ian Parnell 10 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

Not a lot of crap in there in my opinion - there's perhaps 2 routes I personally wouldn't bother with. But there's the thing my two might be others favourites. Once you begin tinkering where do you stop? You might as well produce a different book. This book is an attempt to bring the original Hard Rock to a new generation. Ken had already started planning a 4th edition and so we were guided by some of his notes and an attempt to honour his vision.

In reply to Ian Parnell:

Preposterous Rock sounds like a great book. Really looking forward to seeing that. What a great premise, and I'm sure it'll be a wonderful, spectacular eye-opener. But, unlike the other books in the series, it will be a thrilling bedside coffee-table book for the average climber (like me). So it won't work for any 'puerile ticker'. BTW, wasn't that epithet one of Ken's greatest creations?

In reply to Ian Parnell:

Or is it just a cunning ruse to make the puerile tickers wipe all the guano off stackpole?

Post edited at 21:23
In reply to kaiser:

> The point is Commercial I'm afraid.  

What where they thinking? Producing a book that might be popular (in a very small niche market) and produce a small profit.

Post edited at 21:27
In reply to Ian Parnell:

> We've kept the essays for those two routes though as historical documents and great pieces of writing. 

That does sound an excellent compromise - nothing lost.

 Sean Kelly 10 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell:

But will it suffer from further updates much as Munro's original Table of Scottish Mountains & Tops. Obviously different criteria apply. I know Ken was concerned about his original book becoming a "tick-list" and did insert an alternative list as a supplement  to spread the traffic in later editions. As Hard Rock has had very few completists in the years since it was first published (1975) and Extreme Rock none, Preposterous rock could wait a long time for anyone to achieve a full house.

In reply to colin struthers:

... interesting, although not surprising, to read the negative comments on here about what, in my opinion, is a fine effort by Ian Parnell and Co. to bring one of climbings most iconic books to a new generation...

... without a steady flow of publications such as this, plus a steady flow of new guidebooks, irrespective of who publishes them... climbing, particularly 'trad' climbing, slowly dies... but hey, there's nothing like the good-ole days...

 James Mann 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Caff is one route shy of extreme rock completion. Hard Rock is hard to tick not just because of The Scoop but because of all of the Scottish routes, particularly living in the SW. I have enjoyed flicking through the new edition. It isn’t my hard rock though. That will always be the first edition; larger in my Climbing life than its size on the shelf. I think for people coming to it for the first time that is much more accessible and doesn’t seem like a musty, antique book of how Climbing used to be. If future generations are to be inspired to visit our traditional mountains and crags, this is an important point. A mammoth job carried out very well indeed. There are a few weird routes in the original list; the girdle at Almscliff never had any kind of classic status. It isn’t even nearly the best route at the crag. I am pleased that Ian stayed true to the original list though. 

James Mann

1
 Andy Moles 11 Mar 2020
In reply to James Mann:

> for people coming to it for the first time that [the new version] is much more accessible and doesn’t seem like a musty, antique book of how Climbing used to be

This is spot on. I get that for older climbers the original Ken Wilson books were a great source of inspiration, but for me they have always been dated in pretty much every way: the image quality, the writing, the culture from which they emerged, the route selection. Still really interesting as historical documents, but too far removed from the world I move in to be inspiring.

With that in mind, I would have supported a more thorough revision of the route selection, even if that did make it a different book, but I do understand the Ian's rationale in maintaining continuity with the original.

1
 spidermonkey09 11 Mar 2020
In reply to James Mann:

Which one is Caff missing?

 Sean Kelly 11 Mar 2020
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Which one is Caff missing?

Well obviously the 2 that fell down. I wonder what will have gone in 45 years from now, Mousetrap?

 Andy Moles 11 Mar 2020
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Revelations.

Of the various fallen-down ones, he still managed to do a bunch that most had dismissed as no longer climbable (though some of those don't sound much fun any more).

In reply to Sean Kelly:

If they've fallen down you can't be expected to do them, has he done all the existing ones?

In reply to James Mann:

Yes, there were always a few weird inclusions....in Classic Rock too. Of ALL of the Peak District, three pretty bog-standard routes at Birchen....BIRCHEN.....BIRCHEN!!! were in there. Still, it's all good fun.

 Will Hunt 11 Mar 2020
In reply to James Mann:

On the contrary, the North West Girdle is one of the best trips on the crag and takes you through all the best territory. Really worthwhile and not without historical importance.

 Max factor 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Gaia:

I'm all for inspiration and that, but, Plane Sailing (E3 5c) ?

6 folk have ticked it. 

I've climbed at Pembroke for >15 years operating in this grade range and had never even clocked it in the guide. Must have mentally discounted it because it's a girdle.

And now I feel a strange compunction to go and do it... aarggh.

 MB42 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell:

Bit random and possibly related to Extreme Rock rather than Hard Rock* but I was at a work meeting a couple of months ago and got chatting to one of the other people over coffee, we discovered we're both climbers. He's a middle aged Norwegian and told me that the only time he'd climbed in the UK was when he came for a two week trip at the age of 19 to sample the delights of UK rock. He got photographed leading Quietus, a route that was one of his highlights of the trip, and subsequently discovered the photo got used in Hard(/Extreme) Rock - unfortunately there was a significantly more famous Norwegian climber who was a student at Manchester University at that time and the photographer must have assumed that any Scandinavian teenager leading harder routes in the peak district must be them so the climber credited is erroneous. If the relevant photo is being carried over maybe its time to correct it 

* I don't own them (though maybe I will the new editions!) so haven't actually checked this, or indeed if the story is true. 

 Max factor 11 Mar 2020
In reply to MB42:

No Quietus in my Hard Rock. You'll need to track down someone with Extreme rock I think

 James Gilbert 11 Mar 2020
In reply to MB42:

It's Extreme Rock. Hard Rock was published in 1974 so the person in question would be slightly more than middle aged by now...

 Rob Parsons 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Wheeldon:

> ... interesting, although not surprising, to read the negative comments on here about what, in my opinion, is a fine effort by Ian Parnell and Co. to bring one of climbings most iconic books to a new generation...

As a general comment, I think Vertebrate Publishing have been doing a brilliant job over the past fifteen years or so in keeping climbing publishing alive and well. So thanks to them.

(No connection, other than as a 'satifisfied reader.')

 Frank Cannings 11 Mar 2020
In reply to MB42:

> ...we discovered we're both climbers. He's a middle aged Norwegian and told me that the only time he'd climbed in the UK was when he came for a two week trip at the age of 19 to sample the delights of UK rock. He got photographed leading Quietus, a route that was one of his highlights of the trip, and subsequently discovered the photo got used in Hard(/Extreme) Rock - unfortunately there was a significantly more famous Norwegian climber who was a student at Manchester University at that time and the photographer must have assumed that any Scandinavian teenager leading harder routes in the peak district must be them so the climber credited is erroneous. 

It's in Extreme Rock, published 1987, pages 221 & 222, "Quietus and Old Friends" by John Allen. Two great photos by Al Phizacklea of the Quietus overhang captioned with Per Gustad as the climber.

 MB42 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Frank Cannings:

Brilliant thanks! I was intrigued so I'd meant to track it down when I got back to the UK but forgot about it till this thread. All ties up with what he said, correct caption should be Ole Anders Nøst, well according to him anyway

 Sean Kelly 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Frank Cannings:

As a photographer you always have to ask for a name if it's possible. Most climbers are only too willing to let you take a photograph of their ascent, especially if is an important climb. I once had an irate instructor demand that I delete all the photos I had snapped of a girl climbing (about 16/17 years I should guess) but I refused as it was outdoors at a public place. He wasn't  a happy bunny!

1
 brianjcooper 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> They could have produced a new book "Harder Rock" or " Not Too Extreme Rock" instead.

I've been waiting years for VS Rock to appear.  

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 11 Mar 2020
In reply to brianjcooper:

> I've been waiting years for VS Rock to appear.  


I offered to do that for Ken - he wasn't fussed!

Chris

In reply to colin struthers:

It's great to have a few more routes and a new ticklist to go at. One of the good things about Hard Rock is that it has made me visit areas/crags that I might not otherwise have gone to.

Id like to see a "multi-pitch Rock" or "Euro multi-pitch Rock".

There is probably a market nowadays for a "Hard Boulder" and "Extreme Boulder"

In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I offered to do that for Ken - he wasn't fussed!

That's interesting. I once (early 1980s?) had a letter from Dave Alcock, saying he was editing VS Rock, giving a list of routes and asking if I'd like to contribute. I wrote an essay about Phantom Rib, on the Grochan and sent it in. As I recall, I never heard any more.

I gather that Extreme Rock didn't work commercially at the time, so I'm guessing that Ken shelved VS Rock. Personally I'd have done VS Rock first (much wider audience, some classic lines, nicely sandwiched between Hard Rock and Classic Rock) but that may not have worked commercially either (1980s recession).

Mick

1
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> I gather that Extreme Rock didn't work commercially at the time, so I'm guessing that Ken shelved VS Rock. Personally I'd have done VS Rock first (much wider audience, some classic lines, nicely sandwiched between Hard Rock and Classic Rock) but that may not have worked commercially either (1980s recession).

I think it would have been an absolute winner, as you say plugging the gap between Classic and Hard Rock. South Face Direct, Great Slab, Eliminate A, Inverted V, Great Western, Spartan Slab - so many great classics,

Chris

 brianjcooper 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I think it would have been an absolute winner, as you say plugging the gap between Classic and Hard Rock. South Face Direct, Great Slab, Eliminate A, Inverted V, Great Western, Spartan Slab - so many great classics,

> Chris

You're just teasing me now Chris. 

Would you pick up the gauntlet? 

In reply to Martin Haworth:

> There is probably a market nowadays for a "Hard Boulder" and "Extreme Boulder"

Essays about boulder problems, with vocabulary like "send" and "sick connies"? It'd be enough to make me go Raul Moat round the Plantation!

5
 GrahamD 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Surely a lot of Hard Rock routes were VS originally?

 Michael Gordon 11 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Some still are, e.g. South Ridge Direct. Also quite a few in Classic Rock (Clean Sweep, The Chasm, The Long Climb etc), but it is on the whole an underrepresented grade in those books.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

It's an absolute plum, just as Peak Rock and The White Cliff were.

If Hard Severe is the (mean, median, modal?) trad grade, VS is slightly aspirational yet eminently achieveable (just place those cams carefully, please!)

My vote would be for Chris to do it.

Mick

1
In reply to Mick Ward:

> My vote would be for Chris to do it.

Although he shouldn't include Inverted V (VS 4b) because its not particularly special.

Anyway, hasn't Chris sold his soul to devil and is now legally contracted to only do Rockfax guides to sunny central European sport climbing paradises for the rest of eternity? From his Facebook feed I've presumed he got eternal youth, enthusiasm and climbing strength for his side of the bargain!

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 11 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> Although he shouldn't include Inverted V (VS 4b) because its not particularly special.

It just popped into my head - maybe Nightwatch instead

> Anyway, hasn't Chris sold his soul to devil and is now legally contracted to only do Rockfax guides to sunny central European sport climbing paradises for the rest of eternity? From his Facebook feed I've presumed he got eternal youth, enthusiasm and climbing strength for his side of the bargain!

If only

Chris - 70 in September

Post edited at 19:37
 brianjcooper 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Chris - 70 in September

A mere sapling then.  

In reply to Chris Craggs:

70 years young Chris, and still putting most of us to shame for the number of routes you get up!

VS Rock does sounds a rather fun idea although I thought a fair number of the routes in Classic Rock now get VS anyway? I don't actually own a copy though so perhaps that's just a wrong impression...

I do own Cold Climbs - I think Chasing the Ephemeral has perhaps taken some of the wind out of the sails of ideas to update Cold Climbs, although it is a different book. But it would be interesting to see what routes get left out of updated Cold Climbs as rarely being in conditions and what could replace them...

In reply to Ian Parnell:

Of the 35 I’ve done, I think the following aren’t worthy of inclusion in a ‘best of’ list or are outright rubbish:


Extol - vegetated, loose sandbag of little merit.

Gormenghast - no good climbing.

The Groove - some good bits but lacks quality overall.

Carnage - P1 is a dirty, dangerous horrorshow, P2 is decent but involves aid.

Malbogies - polished and no good climbing.

Bishop’s Rib - nothing to write home about.

Not done Slanting Slab but it doesn’t get good reviews.

Good call getting rid of the aid routes and obviously the collapsed ones! Great to have modern photos as well.

It’s good to have a few classic B&W photos included but, frankly, a lot of the ones in the original trilogy and Cold Climbs are pretty poor by modern standards and of only historical interest - photographic skills and standards have moved on massively. Not a criticism of photographers of yesteryear, more a compliment to present day photographers.

Post edited at 21:23
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 kevin stephens 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

The book’s not really about the routes so much as about the photos and Essays. My copy falls open at Vember; my first ever E1.  However I don’t think It got a mention in the Best E1 thread

 duncan 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell

It looks good, a sensitive update. You can't change too much and still call it Hard Rock,. You've made doing all the South West routes in a day a rather tougher challenge though.

In reply to Martin Haworth:

> Id like to see a "multi-pitch Rock" or "Euro multi-pitch Rock".

Updates of Im Extremen Fels (the original inspiration for Hard Rock) or Parois de Legend

In reply to Max factor:

> I'm all for inspiration and that, but, Plane Sailing (E3 5c) ?

I wondered about this too but then thought it might be a nod to the style of HR1974 which had a number of traverses. I'd be surprised if Pat Littlejohn hadn't been consulted about the Pembroke selection and I know he is very fond of it.

 Ian Parnell 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Extol - vegetated, loose sandbag of little merit.

Misha remind me to introduce you to Dave Birkett sometime to discuss the merits of Extol.

If you don't mind I'd quite like to film the occasion ;-)

 kevin stephens 11 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

I don’t believe the purpose of Hard Rock was to showcase the best routes, but to capture the quintessential essence of the breadth and depth of British trad climbing at the time in the range VS to E2 (and the Scoop) through a combination of route choice, photos and essays. I think the first edition achieved this admirably, but the later editions addition of colour photos diluted this.
 

Having said that I’m still trying to track down a copy of one of the editions with a colour photo of me on White Slab

Post edited at 22:07
 Sean Kelly 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell:

> Misha remind me to introduce you to Dave Birkett sometime to discuss the merits of Extol.

> If you don't mind I'd quite like to film the occasion ;-)

Another + for Extol. That big pitch in the middle keeps going until the end. I wonder if the pro is any better today  than when I led it 47 years back!

 JimR 11 Mar 2020

Good to see Soul Sacrifice included. There’s real quality in some Swanage routes .. and it’s always an adventure 

 Dave Ferguson 11 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

Extol is one of the great adventure routes of the Lakes at the grade, not all memorable routes have to be clean and solid. I thoroughly enjoyed the battle, the sheer nerve and tenacity of Whillans forcing his way up it adds a historical connection which modern cleaned routes definitely lack. Aphasia on Sergeant Crag Slabs you could argue is a better route but I know which one sticks out more for me.

 Michael Gordon 12 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I don’t believe the purpose of Hard Rock was to showcase the best routes, but to capture the quintessential essence of the breadth and depth of British trad climbing at the time in the range VS to E2 (and the Scoop) through a combination of route choice, photos and essays.

Or VS to Extremely Severe (with Great Wall being a bit more extreme than most). It's a historical document of the 'best' routes that were actually Hard at the time, with good writing, also of its time. It will be interesting to see how fairly modern routes like Prophesy of Drowning, which by contrast was pretty easy when it was first done (worries about the sea notwithstanding), fits in with the feel of the bulk of the book. 

"I think the first edition achieved this admirably, but the later editions addition of colour photos diluted this." 

I rate the later editions with a mix of colour and black and white.

Post edited at 07:15
 Dr.S at work 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

How if the problems were described with haiku rather than essays?

 Andy Moles 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

I think it's arguably a good thing that the book is explicitly not a straightforward 'best of'; if it was, then pretty much no one would argue for the inclusion of Carnivore or Alcasan, never mind Raven's Gully or Slanting Slab.

Like I said above, personally I'd have quite liked to see it streamlined into more of a 'best of', but short of doing that it seems more playful and charming to include a dose of traditional/historical weirdness. It also fits better with the looseness of the grade range. It's all a bit ramshackle, but there's something in that which is appropriately representative of British climbing and its history.

You can argue eternally (witness many a long UKC thread) about the 'best' of a given thing, perhaps it is refreshing to keep the conversation out of that narrow channel.

In reply to Dr.S at work:

> How if the problems were described with haiku rather than essays?

Maybe you have an

Opportunity miss-ed

Hard Rock still V good

Edit: with a bit of rephrasing you can have...

How if the problems

Described with Haiku were

Essays not so good

Post edited at 07:58
In reply to Andy Moles:

I agree. Doing a "best of" would be somewhat akin to grid bolting whereas Hard Rock is a reflection of the variety of the UK climbing experience.

 Paul Ha 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Ken (Wilson) was definitely considering VS rock, I recall a memorable evening with him in the pub discussing which routes on Lundy to include.... or maybe it was him just telling me which routes should be  included! 

 jcw 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Me too: Bovine

 Rob Parsons 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Gormenghast - no good climbing.

I very much enjoyed that day out when I did the climb (a very long time ago now, mind), and I particularly enjoyed the 'mantelshelfs' pitch.

But I also think there is all sorts of psychology going on here: I (and others, I assume) had aspired to these routes, and looked forward to getting on them, precisely because they're lovingly described and illustrated in the book. So of course that must colour the overall experience.

 Andy Moles 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Doing a "best of" would be somewhat akin to grid bolting

I wouldn't go that far, but I do find debates about 'the best' (and I'm guilty of it too) wear a bit thin.

 Lankyman 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

Did Extol, Gormenghast and Carnage decades ago and really enjoyed them. And that was without caring if they were in Hard Rock or not. If only we'd waited for you to guide us instead just think of the wasted time we could have saved.

 Gaia 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell:

Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. I thought the first pitch roof is commonly aided as the roof on Carnage but that’s a different matter! I thought Pembroke was a big omission in the old edition, so happy to see Rock Idol added as I personally thought it was worthy of hard rock status when I first did it! Thanks

 Gaia 12 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

I really enjoyed the majority of the routes I have done and often go back to read the essays. I find myself disappointed at some of the write ups, some fairly dry and akin to a guidebook description which don’t give the routes justice (exceptions include the essay for dream of white horses) but the essays on extreme rock on the other hand are quality!

In reply to Gaia:

It’s hardly an omission; more or less nothing had been done in Pembroke in 1973.

I’m staggered at what you say about the respective writing in HR and ER, but each to his own of course.

jcm

In reply to Andy Moles:

I agree, it’s not a ‘best of’ as such, it’s a mix of ‘some of the best’ and ‘wacky’ (hence the traverse routes for example). However I think the original had a few routes which were neither ‘some of the best’ nor ‘wacky’ - they weren’t particularly good or memorable. 

1
In reply to Rob Parsons:

We looked forward to it as well as we assumed it would be a good route. Distinctly unimpressed.

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with Central Buttress on Scafell either but at least it’s a historic route.

Now Central Pillar on Esk I thought was excellent.

Of course everyone will have their own view. There are no right and wrong answers. Just good for discussion down the pub or on UKC.

Post edited at 18:27
1
 Pedro50 12 Mar 2020
In reply to Gaia:

> I really enjoyed the majority of the routes I have done and often go back to read the essays. I find myself disappointed at some of the write ups, some fairly dry and akin to a guidebook description which don’t give the routes justice (exceptions include the essay for dream of white horses) but the essays on extreme rock on the other hand are quality!

Chee Tor girdle sadly was a "guide book description". I've been to the girdle break on about 30 routes but could never be bothered  to do the route itself. I got rained off Alcasan and never bothered to go back. Not a fan of traverses, I've always thought climbs should go upwards. Honourable exceptions for Dream etc. Great book though, only 37 puerile ticks.

In reply to Misha:

There are wrong answers. Saying that a route that has given great pleasure to many is ‘ a shit route’ or the like is wrong. It’s stupid, arrogant and demonstrably wrong even on its own terms.

In any case, a route is a piece of rock, in its surroundings, with various historical and personal associations. Whether the individual is able to derive pleasure from it or not depends on the capacity for pleasure of the individual. Describing any route as ‘shite’ says a great deal more about the speaker than about the piece of rock, and it seldom says anything good.

jcm

2
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It’s just personal opinion, which is determined by the person’s preferences and wider experience. Some people might think that some routes which I’ve really enjoyed are rubbish (Gogarth horrorshows for example). That’s fine, each to their own. I think the routes I listed above aren’t very good and I’ve certainly done much better routes in the same areas or on the same types of crags. Others might disagree.

3
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I don’t believe the purpose of Hard Rock was to showcase the best routes, but to capture the quintessential essence of the breadth and depth of British trad climbing

Quintessential essence? Come on Kev, I know you and English is definitely your first language.

In reply to Dr.S at work:

> How if the problems were described with haiku rather than essays?

I tried the problem 

I tried the problem again

Finally I sent 

Deadeye 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Of the 35 I’ve done, I think the following aren’t worthy of inclusion in a ‘best of’ list or are outright rubbish:

> Extol - vegetated, loose sandbag of little merit.

> Gormenghast - no good climbing.

> The Groove - some good bits but lacks quality overall.

> Carnage - P1 is a dirty, dangerous horrorshow, P2 is decent but involves aid.

> Malbogies - polished and no good climbing.

> Bishop’s Rib - nothing to write home about.

> Not done Slanting Slab but it doesn’t get good reviews.

I'd respectfully disagree with several of those.

1
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

But surely you've done routes that are "super super amazing world classic ****" and after you think what's all the fuss about?

It's not Hard Rock, but I think its Classic Rock: Main Wall, Cyrn Las as an example. Yes, the arete bit up top is great but my memories are polished ledge shuffling at its British worst to get there.

2
 Simon Caldwell 13 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I think Main Wall is probably my favourite route ever, sustained in difficulty and quality from bottom to top!

Sometime I find that if a route is hyped as brilliant, my expectations are set too high and I end up disappointed. Whereas if people regularly dismiss a route as undeserving its status, my expectations are low and I find myself enjoying it more when it's not that bad after all. An example of the latter being Gillercombe Buttress.

In reply to TobyA:

Quality isn't objective (to state the bleeding' obvious). It's often the climber, the day or the company that dominates. But some routes enable memorable days more readily than others.

Post edited at 16:36
 Darron 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Yes, I always thought it odd that a VS Rock never appeared. Given the popularity of the genre you would have thought it a err....given.

 Lankyman 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Darron:

I have a copy of Great VS Climbs in the Lake District by Tim Noble which went for a small slice of that market.

 Philb1950 13 Mar 2020
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

If he ever passes his guides test, you wouldn't, want to go with him would you? No soul or sense of climbing history.

7
 Rick Graham 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> If he ever passes his guides test, you wouldn't, want to go with him would you? No soul or sense of climbing history.

Perhaps we should club together to book a day to be dragged up a hard classic of the sixties , like er.. Extol.

Did not Don  and Colin do the first ascent in early April ?

1
 Mark Stevenson 13 Mar 2020
In reply to colin struthers:

Unfortunately, I'm still waiting to pick up my copies. 

However, as one of the few people to have actually climbed everything (bar Deer Bield Buttress) in the original, the new additions do fill me with enthusiasm.

I've already done Angel Face (on 1st March 2019) and it is easily one of the best E2s in the entire UK.

Some others will take another few months to get done and Plane Sailing will need to wait until August for the bird ban to lift. The island ones might take a bit longer.

The original list certainly varied in (perceived) quality. I disagree with Misha about The Groove, but quite frankly he's right about the other routes he mentions. Even the author of the Extol essay declined to join us to make a repeat ascent and preferred to climb Praying Mantis with us in 2007 (only 43 years after making the second ascent of it).

I also strongly agree with the poster who highlighted Central Pillar; I loved that route.

Fingers crossed for another year like 2018.

Post edited at 18:18
 alan moore 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> I have a copy of Great VS Climbs in the Lake District by Tim Noble 

Not a bad read. Impressive amount of climbing done in the rain.

 kevin stephens 13 Mar 2020
In reply to The Pulsing Motorik of Neu!:

> Quality isn't objective (to state the bleeding' obvious). 

Actually it is, well according to Robert M Pirsig anyway

In reply to Philb1950:

I’ve done a fair few trad routes which I thought were brilliant. Some historic and featuring in Hard or Extreme Rock, others not so well known or even a bit esoteric. It’s just that I don’t think the routes I’ve listed above are particularly good in comparison. All personal opinion of course.

1
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

I’d swap in Aura / Pinnaclissima instead of The Groove - much better climbing on an equally if not more impressive crag and without the vegetated bits and chossy finishing pitch. The Groove has its good bits but on the whole lacks consistent quality.

I wonder if people who extol the virtues of Extol and the like did these routes a while back, when they were more often climbed and hence cleaner and less vegetated. Having said that, I’ve done routes which were a bit dirty but still really enjoyed them. Copious vegetation is kind of off putting though.

1
 kevin stephens 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Ian Parnell:

So how about a new version of Extreme Rock? Due to scarcity of the original and no reprints there would be no need for the continuity that has rightly been preserved with the latest Hard Rock. Just as well as the selection of routes in the original version was more flawed than in Hard Rock.

 kevin stephens 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

Llech Ddu deserves to be in Hard Rock but I think Great Corner is a better route than the Groove. Even better combine the best pitches of both linking the routes with a downward slabby ramp thing as we did

 Andy Moles 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> If he ever passes his guides test, you wouldn't, want to go with him would you? No soul or sense of climbing history.

Harsh. He identified a few rock climbs he thinks are overrated or not very good, hardly makes him soulless.

There should be no obligation on anyone to maintain piety to the tastes of yesteryear in the interest of appearing to respect history.   

 Sean Kelly 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

Agreed, Aura is a phenomenal pitch, so good I've done it twice!

However it is perhaps wise to remember that Extol in the late 60's and early 70's had a tremendous reputation. It was a big Whillan's climb, there was that article by Colin Mortlock, and then the guidebook notes in Eastern Crags and route description was enought to deter the most hardened suitor. Almost the Indian Face of its times!

Post edited at 10:42
 Dave Ferguson 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

> I wonder if people who extol the virtues of Extol and the like did these routes a while back, when they were more often climbed and hence cleaner and less vegetated. Having said that, I’ve done routes which were a bit dirty but still really enjoyed them. Copious vegetation is kind of off putting though.

Its really not that bad, especially with the Hangover start. I did it 6 years ago and the main pitch wasn't that dirty apart from the very top groove which was a bit mossy. Its really important to do these routes when they're stuff dry, you can just brush the moss off then, they are a nightmare if even slightly damp. I've done dirtier routes on cloggy, the Mostest and Woubits are filthy. Still great routes mind.

In reply to kevin stephens:

I don’t really attach much importance to Pisig’s views on the subject.

Post edited at 20:11
2
 kevin stephens 14 Mar 2020
In reply to The Pulsing Motorik of Neu!: Nevertheless if you haven’t already done so I recommended you read his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 

In reply to kevin stephens:

I have. It’s ok. I’ve probably still got it somewhere.

I haven’t read Lila. Am I missing anything?

Post edited at 19:42
 kevin stephens 15 Mar 2020
In reply to The Pulsing Motorik of Neu!:

Lila is crap, I struggled though it a couple of times on account of his claim of it being his finest work.  I think many agree with me.  I've read ZATAOMM a few times and really enjoy it and the notion of Quality being an absolute fundamental principal.  How this interpretation applies to rock climbing would be a long debate indeed

In reply to colin struthers:

New inclusions in Hard Rock:

Angel Face, Beinn Eighe.
Vulcan Wall, Isle of Skye.
Prophecy of Drowning, Pabbay. 
Totalitarian, Raven Crag. 
Nimrod, Dow Crag. 
Plane Sailing, Stackpole Head. 
Heart of Darkness/New Morning, Mowing Word. 
Rock Idol & Zeppelin, Mother Carey’s Kitchen. 
Double Diamond & Quatermass, Lundy. 
Mars & Soul Sacrifice, Swanage.

No longer in because they were aid routes and are now free: The Scoop, Kilnsey Main Overhang.

No longer in because they have fallen down: Deer Bield Buttress, North Crag Eliminate.

Post edited at 19:51
 kevin stephens 16 Mar 2020
In reply to Cumbrian Climber:thanks. 5 out of the 14 to try and tick this year


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