Friday, December 12, 2008

New route New grade

Xtremely Mild Ard Severe

After the recent controversy on UKC about the validity of the E grade system, particularly in the upper reaches of E7 to E12 where most of us operate, it is now vitally important that a new system is invented at the soonest opportunity.

Today Rich Mayfield lead a route and without influence from Climbe Magazine or The South Face gave it the unprecedented grade of X-MAS.

This is his Story:
“I first noticed the line about two years ago, and it captivated me, I become preoccupied with it’s moves. Being instant and spontaneous, just like tree climbing, before it becomes tedious or boring. “

After virtual abseil, (standing at the bottom and visualizing abseiling) he virtually pre-practiced the crux moves from his virtual rope.

The laughably poor protection is two sky hooks both were placed on lead, but not tied off as this would have lowered the grade. The lower of the two is good but too low to protect a ground fall from the crux, the higher hook is particularly poor. See photos below.

He used two brand new Petzl Tinzl 30mm ropes, as these are the only ropes he trusted on such an audacious lead. Danger Mouse Mountaineering supplied 34 bouldering mats which were piled 8 high, this unfortunately meant that the sitting start was not possible. But he did visualize doing it before he got on the route in order to get the full X-MAS tick.

He spoke to several hundred notable climbers who had been on the line earlier and gathered vital information about the moves, hidden pockets, specific to route training program, protection and implemented all aspects into his ascent.

This on-sight (no prior knowledge) ascent (completing the route all of it) is undoubtedly the cleanest to date, it´s difficult to image a cleaner style, perhaps blind folded or-and with rocks in your pockets will be the next leap forwards!

Rich is sponsored by
Tinzl ropes, Danger Mouse Mountaineering, Debalt boltguns and Fatboy chocolate bars.

1 comment:

Panda said...

Wow - that's way too extreme for me ... X-MAS another grade outside my reach!