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Kipling Groove, Gimmer Crag
© Gordon Stainforth, May 1990
Climbers: Richard Hammond
Camera used: Wista 45DX, 150mm Schneider Apo Symmar lens
Date taken: May 1990
VOTING: from 111 votes
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User Comments

Another of my 5 x 4 shots from Eyes to the Hills
Gordon Stainforth - 13/Feb/07Report
Stunning exposure and feeling of depth and perspective. As always, excellent contrast of light and shadow.
FJC - 13/Feb/07Report
I don't think I have ever seen a better photo of this route. Superb.
tonyw - 14/Feb/07Report
Wonderful, masterful photo. Best I have ever seen of Kipling - it makes it look ruddy 'ard.
Chris_Mellor - 15/Feb/07Report
OK, so you know why Birkett called it Kipling Groove, but do you know why Kipling was called Rudyard? :)
Gordon Stainforth - 15/Feb/07Report
Was he born at Rudyard?
Sean Kelly - 15/Feb/07Report
Didn't Arhtur Dolphin name the route?
Ian Bentham - 17/Feb/07Report
In answer to Sean: Nearly, but not quite. His parents had 'met in courtship' at Rudyard Lake - now Rudyard Reservoir - in Staffordshire (not far from the Roaches), and had liked the place so much they named their son after it. Imagine being named after a reservoir!
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07Report
PS. He was born in India.
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07Report
In answer to Ian: No, it was definitely Jim Birkett, who was well-known for giving his routes witty names e.g. Godiva Groove: 'Somewhat exposed in the upper half', and Harlot Face: 'Looks very attractive from a distance but not so good close up.'
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Feb/07Report
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
Charles Arthur - UKC - 18/Feb/07Report
Why does it not fit my monitor?? Is it cos 5 x 4?
Padraig - 18/Feb/07Report
is the climber Richard Hammond of Top Gear and near death fame?
Benwa - 18/Feb/07Report
The first ascent was in 1948 by A R Dolpin and J B Lockwood
brokenankle - 18/Feb/07Report
Padraig: No, I'm afraid that's because I made the picture deliberately big - to capture something of the feel of the huge original transparenc. Needs a minimum of a 17" monitor to avoid scrolling. Sorry!
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07Report
Benwa: No, I don't think so! Remember this was taken 17 years ago.
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07Report
Brokenankle: That is a very embarrassing mistake I made there, regarding one of the landmark first ascents in British rockclimbing history.
Gordon Stainforth - 18/Feb/07Report
Its still a good picture I gave it five
brokenankle - 19/Feb/07Report
Good to see the Hamster recovering well...
Greg Kirkpatrick - 23/Feb/07Report
Superb picture. There are two parties of climbers. Are there 2 routes, which is which.
J1234 - 23/Feb/07Report
The groove on the left is the classic VS, Gimmer Crack; the route on the right, on the front of the buttress, is Kipling. The leader is on the crux moves shortly after quitting the groove itself. The crux sequence ends on a superb little exposed ledge which you can just see some distance to the right of his head. It is then pure joy on perfect rock to the top.
Gordon Stainforth - 23/Feb/07Report
In response to the stuff about who named the route: a quotation from Arthur Dolphin: "The name Kipling Groove (or wall or what have you)was long preserved for some route which could justly be described as ruddy ard." (source: Cumbrian Rock by Trevor Jones)
Dolphin is described in that book and in the Langdale guide as the first ascensionist.
And to cap it all:"It was first climbed in 1948 by Arthur Dolphin who, apart from being one of the best climbers of his day, was a notable wit. he called it 'Kipling Groove' because 'it's ruddy 'ard, mate!" (Source: Eyes to the Hills, page 191 by Gordon Stainforth!)
Fox - 24/Feb/07Report
There is such a thing as a faulty memory, you know (aka senile dementia)! Thanks for the exact Dolphin quote.
Gordon Stainforth - 24/Feb/07Report
Awsome Shot. Reminds how good that route was and brings back great memories of leading the overlap on the last day of school when i was 14.
It's definatley a Dolphin climb and named so because it was Ruddy 'ard. Dolphin also put up Communist Convery on Raven Thirmere, because it goes from left to right.
Tom Ripley - 25/Feb/07Report
Not totally sure but I think Dolfin top roped it before he led it . Rare in those days ,seems standard for FA's these days
USBRIT - 12/Aug/11Report
According to Alan Hankinson ('A Century on the Crags') he 'top-roped down it more than once, inspected it thoroughly' i.e. he did not top rope it in our modern sense. It is also notable that he used only slings (nylon line) for protection. He did not use a peg below the crux. That was put in by Joe Brown on the third ascent.
Gordon Stainforth - 13/Aug/11Report
Info from Dolphin's mate Pete Greenwood was that Arther top roped up it twice before he led it..
USBRIT - 13/Aug/11Report
OK, I agree that Pete G's testimony must overule Hankinson's.
Gordon Stainforth - 15/Aug/11Report
12 years later I feel I should answer the question I put out there. Rudyard Kipling was named by his parents after Rudyard Lake near Macclesfield because that was where they'd first met in 1863. It somehow sounds like an old, established christian name, but it just wasn't. They invented it.
Gordon Stainforth - 08/Oct/19Report
12 miles from Macclesfield but only 3 from Leek!
mcdougal - 28/Jul/21Report
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