Friday, December 19, 2008

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Mad Dog at Echo valley is E7 6c gets the notional grade of F8a. Or does it?

Yesterday, after cleanly tope roping the route first try and a gear inspection on the way down, I decided to lead the route. The climb went very well and I topped out with power to spare. The only regret is that I didn’t onsight it, something I’m certain is well with my ability.

So how does this compare to other routes I’ve done recently; Lynch at Ansteys was E6 6b now F7b+ is about the same length but more sustained and has more difficult moves. Devonshire cream E5 6a is more serious and more committing. The route Caribbean Blue is immensely more serious, committing, three times longer and with harder moves.

The route was originally given E8 6c by Mark Edwards in the 2001 Rockfax and downgraded in the latest to E7. I feel aggrieved that I lost the onsight due to this ridiculous over grading. At the end of the day it is a brilliant 3 star route I should have climbed years ago. I´m going to offer the grade at a very soft touch E6 6a and notional sport grade of easy 7b.

Gaz Parry is joining us for the new year and he´s psyched for some hard stuff on trad , watch this space................

1 comment:

Tom Phillips said...

It's up to the first ascentionist to give a route a grade isn't it? And often new routes are down graded rather than upgraded. I think it's a bit unfair to criticise someone who has put a huge amount of effort into developing new routes in the area!