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First E7 onsight (Read 19272 times)

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#125 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 04:26:18 pm
Rubble, Leigh McGinley & Paul Pritchard,1991.
Must be a contender?
I'm guessing that's not one of the "7c on trad gear" ones  ;D :unsure:

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#126 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 04:35:48 pm
Interesting that Death Wish has held its grade. Personally I don’t think it’s E7. Fair enough I did it with the peg but reckoned F7a climbing at the time. Compare that to Woodward’s Ninth Life of the same era which is F7b, pumpier and more dangerous. Or Beau Geste, also from ‘82, in a completely different league of technical difficulty (F7c+ or Font 7b). But I guess if you name your route ‘Death Wish’ the grade is more likely to stick?!

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#127 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 04:45:21 pm
I'm not sure 9th life is more dangerous if you don't clip the peg on Death Wish, but is it quite artificial not to? I agree it's probably not E7....

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#128 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 05:06:14 pm
Blue Scar - now there is a crag I would love to visit and yet never manage it!!  :chair: Some years I get permission and it doesn't dry, other years I don't get round to getting permission.

What are the routes to do there?

Central Wall and The Shootist are the two that I thought looked good.

Priaprism? What are the E6s like there? Looks like a mega crag.

Maybe 2022 will be the year...?

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#129 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 05:06:48 pm
Chris Gore, Zero, 1983

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#130 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 05:09:19 pm
I'm not sure 9th life is more dangerous if you don't clip the peg on Death Wish, but is it quite artificial not to? I agree it's probably not E7....

Just comparing the comfort afforded by a small wire and a fixed hex whilst stood in balance to blu tacking skyhooks in place hanging off your arms.

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#131 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 06:14:19 pm
Yeah, you might be right - it’s been a while!

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#132 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 06:25:37 pm
When did the Zero upgrade happen? And is it now solidly consensus? Not disputing it, as I've never been on it, but I've only just become aware of it. Would this not make one of the first, if not the first, E7s in the country?

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#133 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 09:56:29 pm
CC guide has the story. E6 originally, straightened out (accidentally) at E7 by Andy Pollitt.





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#134 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 11:14:41 pm
History, like this, is such a hard-to-define thing. This thread is looking back through today's eyes (via grades ascribed in 2021) to the achievements of the past. I keep thinking that things didn't work the way we see them today.

Cave Arete Direct on Laddow from like 1920 gets 'The First E1', but it's short and above heather and I wouldn't be surprised if there were harder leads about at the time.

The Rasp, today, gets E2. Goliath, E4/5. Steve Bancroft once told me that, in his day, Goliath was just the nest thing you did after The Rasp. So in the 1970s they were much the same. Grades put Goliath close to White Wand, but they were decades apart, and rightly so.

Surely the important thing is what were the big leaps in the era in question. And I guess for that you have to ask Ando Popp and his contemporaries, people climbing around when the first E7 onsights / flashes or whatever were happening. What felt like the new thing?

Patch on Raped; Bransby on Impact Day; Leo on Masters; Steve Mac on Nightmayer; James on everything?

What are today's breakthroughs?

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#135 Re: First E7 onsight
November 30, 2021, 11:30:59 pm
Good insight but also the significance of some things weren’t truly appreciated at the time they were done

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#136 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 01:35:06 am
Interesting that Death Wish has held its grade. Personally I don’t think it’s E7. Fair enough I did it with the peg but reckoned F7a climbing at the time. Compare that to Woodward’s Ninth Life of the same era which is F7b, pumpier and more dangerous. Or Beau Geste, also from ‘82, in a completely different league of technical difficulty (F7c+ or Font 7b). But I guess if you name your route ‘Death Wish’ the grade is more likely to stick?!

JD and Leechy climbed Beau Geste "onsight" in ~86. Forgot that ; was belaying. Considered E6 at the time. Of course, beta re gear (the wire), and it still had the pebble.

I think this is an interesting concept, in that E7 is more than just the number on a scale.

The significance is the breakthrough at a particular juncture; next level.

That's the way that new grades are formed, and it's not a fixed or linear/straight line scale. The next level grows from what was before. When the next grade is added - say E8 - the grade before loses it's breakthrough heftiness, and then gets shuffled down to account for - in this case - the harder "E6"s.

So there's a valid question re whether what "counts" (ridiculous to put it that way of course) is the ascent of what would now be given E7, vs what would have been given E7 in it's historical context.

i.e. when was the first ground breaking ascent at the grade, made?

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#137 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 07:41:41 am
History, like this, is such a hard-to-define thing. This thread is looking back through today's eyes (via grades ascribed in 2021) to the achievements of the past. I keep thinking that things didn't work the way we see them today.

Cave Arete Direct on Laddow from like 1920 gets 'The First E1', but it's short and above heather and I wouldn't be surprised if there were harder leads about at the time.

The Rasp, today, gets E2. Goliath, E4/5. Steve Bancroft once told me that, in his day, Goliath was just the nest thing you did after The Rasp. So in the 1970s they were much the same. Grades put Goliath close to White Wand, but they were decades apart, and rightly so.

Surely the important thing is what were the big leaps in the era in question. And I guess for that you have to ask Ando Popp and his contemporaries, people climbing around when the first E7 onsights / flashes or whatever were happening. What felt like the new thing?

Patch on Raped; Bransby on Impact Day; Leo on Masters; Steve Mac on Nightmayer; James on everything?

What are today's breakthroughs?

I think this is an excellent point. I've had a few goes at putting together 'first of the grade' lists on climbing-history.org but it always seems to work out strangely: if you just go by the numbers you end up with things that have recently been upgraded going in, whereas at the time they were clearly not such a big thing.

All complicated by changes in technology and style too. I can imagine The Rasp and Goliath feel fairly similar if you've not got a phat rack of cams dangling off your harness and some sport fitness from your recent kalymnos trip. I bet they weren't milking the kneebars on the rasp back in the day!

The 'first 9a+' is a good example of this, with the answer spanning 4 routes and 5 years depending on who you ask and which routes you retrospectively upgrade.

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#138 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 07:55:41 am
History, like this, is such a hard-to-define thing. This thread is looking back through today's eyes (via grades ascribed in 2021) to the achievements of the past. I keep thinking that things didn't work the way we see them today.

Cave Arete Direct on Laddow from like 1920 gets 'The First E1', but it's short and above heather and I wouldn't be surprised if there were harder leads about at the time.

The Rasp, today, gets E2. Goliath, E4/5. Steve Bancroft once told me that, in his day, Goliath was just the nest thing you did after The Rasp. So in the 1970s they were much the same. Grades put Goliath close to White Wand, but they were decades apart, and rightly so.

Also in the early to mid 70’s people were still using a resting point on the thread on the Rasp.

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#139 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 12:05:11 pm
. I bet they weren't milking the kneebars on the rasp back in the day!

 :-\   -   I'll bet the mortgage that Don didn't layback the whole thing on the FA.

I suspect he was somewhat milking the kneebar as he threaded the chockstone.

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#140 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 06:55:29 pm
History, like this, is such a hard-to-define thing. This thread is looking back through today's eyes (via grades ascribed in 2021) to the achievements of the past. I keep thinking that things didn't work the way we see them today.

Cave Arete Direct on Laddow from like 1920 gets 'The First E1', but it's short and above heather and I wouldn't be surprised if there were harder leads about at the time.

The Rasp, today, gets E2. Goliath, E4/5. Steve Bancroft once told me that, in his day, Goliath was just the nest thing you did after The Rasp. So in the 1970s they were much the same. Grades put Goliath close to White Wand, but they were decades apart, and rightly so.

Surely the important thing is what were the big leaps in the era in question. And I guess for that you have to ask Ando Popp and his contemporaries, people climbing around when the first E7 onsights / flashes or whatever were happening. What felt like the new thing?

Patch on Raped; Bransby on Impact Day; Leo on Masters; Steve Mac on Nightmayer; James on everything?

What are today's breakthroughs?

I think this is an excellent point. I've had a few goes at putting together 'first of the grade' lists on climbing-history.org but it always seems to work out strangely: if you just go by the numbers you end up with things that have recently been upgraded going in, whereas at the time they were clearly not such a big thing.

All complicated by changes in technology and style too. I can imagine The Rasp and Goliath feel fairly similar if you've not got a phat rack of cams dangling off your harness and some sport fitness from your recent kalymnos trip. I bet they weren't milking the kneebars on the rasp back in the day!

The 'first 9a+' is a good example of this, with the answer spanning 4 routes and 5 years depending on who you ask and which routes you retrospectively upgrade.


.."if you just go by the numbers you end up with things that have recently been upgraded going in, whereas at the time they were clearly not such a big thing".

That's the point I was making. I hadn't seen Grimer's very un-grimer like post above.  ;D

But surely that's the context in which we're really asking the question. What ascents were breaking new ground from what had gone before?

A slightly different point, is that from a historical perspective it's also worth thinking about practices at the time - what was the norm - what would have been considered no great deal at the time.

Re not having a rack of massive cams on Goliath - and perhaps related to current practices at the time, a funny incident occurred with Dave Pegg on the route.
He'd made the trip out to Burbage before the rest of us, and when we arrived, we all waved back to Dave, who was waving to us from the edge. We dived into the quarry to muck about for a while. When we came out and started walking up to the edge, Dave was still waving and yelling, hugging the chockstone on Goliath, having tried to solo it. We found it very funny  :lol: He was definitely milking the knee-bar.

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#141 Re: First E7 onsight
December 01, 2021, 07:20:06 pm
 :clap2:
Brilliant, Dave.

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#142 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 09:59:27 am
On the subject of "ascents that were breaking new ground from what had gone before", when you did Terra Cotta, Dave, was it onsight?

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#143 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 11:23:21 am
When you did Terra Cotta, Dave, was it onsight?

Abseil inspected, but not as much as he might have wanted!

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#144 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 11:37:19 am
On Sight: The First E7.

I hate the idea that if I’ve climbed one route on sight then I can’t claim to on sight any other route that shares any climbing with the former.

This is such an interesting topic with some great stories and it’s all those varied approaches and the honesty (dishonesty) of what went on that’s so engaging.  Rather than trying to identify one ascent as the first perhaps someone should write this all up in a book for Vertabrate Publishing.

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#145 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 11:44:40 am
When you did Terra Cotta, Dave, was it onsight?

Abseil inspected, but not as much as he might have wanted!

It's a funny thing isn't it, if you were to apply the strict definition you'd have to say that Dave had worked the route, but on the other hand it is one of the boldest pieces of climbing I know of, so out there you'd have to throw away the atlas and get out the star map!

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#146 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 12:16:35 pm
Rather than trying to identify one ascent as the first perhaps someone should write this all up in a book for Vertabrate Publishing.

Documenting hard impressive ascents done in good style would make for good reading and include typical onsight disqualifiers such as shared starts, abseil inspection, minimal practice and some beta.     

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#148 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 10:20:49 pm
When you did Terra Cotta, Dave, was it onsight?

Abseil inspected, but not as much as he might have wanted!

It's a funny thing isn't it, if you were to apply the strict definition you'd have to say that Dave had worked the route, but on the other hand it is one of the boldest pieces of climbing I know of, so out there you'd have to throw away the atlas and get out the star map!

Weird things happen when you become familiar with some crags.
I'd been looking up from the cave with a view to just doing it as a lead anyway, but could tell from the ground that the large block on the lip could well be loose, so thought I'd better give it a look. I'd done Caveman a couple of times - btw, no one has soloed Caveman, as the hardest climbing is after the cool roof bit - and just thought the direct would be cool as a single pitch blast from Moonraker.

Abbed it, and knocked the block off, so wanted to see if it would still go, but just tried that one move - a completely stupid way, with weight on the rope, and thinking "That'll do". No aspirations of soloing it at that point, so wasn't sure where the large block beneath was.

Arrived with Frank Ramsey, and had already "joked" about soloing it. Got to the move on the lip, and realised it didn't climb as I thought. It may not be too bad - edit. It's probably easy, but just one of those "Oh flip" moments; biggish move - but I was just in commitment mode, and in a bit of a rush  ;D
Would love to go back with someone to lead it if anyone fancies. Part of Caveman pitch two has fallen off, so needs re-climbing anyway.

I can't remember what it was, but something reminded me the other day of how close to binning it I'd been on Call to Arms a year or so later  ;)  :lol:

There were a lot of folk soloing stuff back then. It was just a different scene. Simon Nadin's solo of Menopause is the one I'd put out there. A real stand-out that.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 10:33:22 pm by DAVETHOMAS90 »

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#149 Re: First E7 onsight
December 02, 2021, 10:51:43 pm
When you did Terra Cotta, Dave, was it onsight?

Abseil inspected, but not as much as he might have wanted!

It's a funny thing isn't it, if you were to apply the strict definition you'd have to say that Dave had worked the route, but on the other hand it is one of the boldest pieces of climbing I know of, so out there you'd have to throw away the atlas and get out the star map!

Weird things happen when you become familiar with some crags.
I'd been looking up from the cave with a view to just doing it as a lead anyway, but could tell from the ground that the large block on the lip could well be loose, so thought I'd better give it a look. I'd done Caveman a couple of times - btw, no one has soloed Caveman, as the hardest climbing is after the cool roof bit - and just thought the direct would be cool as a single pitch blast from Moonraker.

Abbed it, and knocked the block off, so wanted to see if it would still go, but just tried that one move - a completely stupid way, with weight on the rope, and thinking "That'll do". No aspirations of soloing it at that point, so wasn't sure where the large block beneath was.

Arrived with Frank Ramsey, and had already "joked" about soloing it. Got to the move on the lip, and realised it didn't climb as I thought. It may not be too bad - edit. It's probably easy, but just one of those "Oh flip" moments; biggish move - but I was just in commitment mode, and in a bit of a rush  ;D
Would love to go back with someone to lead it if anyone fancies. Part of Caveman pitch two has fallen off, so needs re-climbing anyway.

I can't remember what it was, but something reminded me the other day of how close to binning it I'd been on Call to Arms a year or so later  ;)  :lol:

There were a lot of folk soloing stuff back then. It was just a different scene. Simon Nadin's solo of Menopause is the one I'd put out there. A real stand-out that.

What fell off caveman Dave? And when? Pitch 2 as in the crux bit into the niche hanging belay?

 

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