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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Arapiles The Pharos (General) Back Wall [ Arapiles Guide | Arapiles Images ] 

Author
Spiral staircase

Groveller
7/10/2013
7:34:23 PM
Could someone please enlighten me about Spiral staircase.
The guide book says it is grade 8 and being a bumbly I attempted it on the weekend.
After about 20 meters on the first pitch I came to a boulder on a ledge. I bailed out because the next half of the pitch was a bit daunting.
Was I off route? Do you have to go right at the ledge?
I would have thought that straight up was maybe grade 10 or harder.
Or maybe am I just a bumbly?

JimmyS
7/10/2013
10:06:05 PM
When you get to that ledge with the little bonsai, move to the far right of the ledge to some lovely big holds and scramble up to the tennis court. If you go straight up from that ledge it's the direct at 14.
Wendy
8/10/2013
10:37:38 AM
On 7/10/2013 Groveller wrote:
>Could someone please enlighten me about Spiral staircase.
>The guide book says it is grade 8 and being a bumbly I attempted it on
>the weekend.
>After about 20 meters on the first pitch I came to a boulder on a ledge.
>I bailed out because the next half of the pitch was a bit daunting.
>Was I off route? Do you have to go right at the ledge?
>I would have thought that straight up was maybe grade 10 or harder.
>Or maybe am I just a bumbly?

I don't think he's talking about the bit to the tennis court, which is a lot higher than 20m up.

The first pitch is quite long and has 2 little ledges in it, the first one is pretty much straight up, the second one, less than 10m from the belay, you go right, up and left again to the ledge with the bushy chimney behind it. Pitch 2 is the bushy chimney, which brings you to a larger ledge with a very short wall that is easiest to climb at the far left and then you are on the tennis court. Because of the ledges and the wandering, it's worth pretending you don't have a rope because you are going to hit the ledge if you come off.

Easy routes at Araps, whilst fantastic and amazing and all, are not necessarily as easy as "grade 8" might suggest - they can still involve routefinding, intricate moves and fiddly gear. If bailing is what you need to do to keep yourself safe, bail away!
martym
8/10/2013
11:48:03 AM

>On 7/10/2013 Groveller wrote:
>>Could someone please enlighten me about Spiral staircase.
>>The guide book says it is grade 8 and being a bumbly I attempted it on
>>the weekend.
On 8/10/2013 Wendy wrote:
>Easy routes at Araps, whilst fantastic and amazing and all, are not necessarily
>as easy as "grade 8" might suggest - they can still involve routefinding,
>intricate moves and fiddly gear. If bailing is what you need to do to keep
>yourself safe, bail away!

Good on you for bailing and not getting into trouble.
It's really worth noting: grades do not reflect exposure nor protection - you could easily have a grade 3 scramble up a slab with 0 placements and risk of death if you peeled.

Here's some background on the Ewbank System;
note that the UK system "technically" reflects exposure and danger; though it's very subjective.

ajfclark
8/10/2013
11:55:44 AM
On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>It's really worth noting: grades do not reflect exposure nor protection

Then from your link (emphasis mine):

Ewbank explained "Grading takes the following into consideration: Technical difficulty, exposure, length, quality of rock, protection and other smaller factors. As these are more or less all related to each other, I have rejected the idea of 3 or 4 grades, i.e. one for exposure, one for technical difficulty, one for protection etc. Instead the climb is given its one general grading, and if any of the other factors is outstanding, this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb"
I read that as saying your slab with grade 3 technical difficulty and zero protection should be graded higher than 3... or that is should state in the description there's no gear on the slab.

Here's the thread where this was discussed at length previously.
martym
8/10/2013
2:49:57 PM
On 8/10/2013 ajfclark wrote:
>On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>>It's really worth noting: grades do not reflect exposure nor protection
>
>Then from your link (emphasis mine):
>
>
Ewbank explained "Grading takes the following into consideration:
>Technical difficulty, exposure, length, quality of rock, protection
>and other smaller factors. As these are more or less all related to each
>other, I have rejected the idea of 3 or 4 grades, i.e. one for exposure,
>one for technical difficulty, one for protection etc. Instead the climb
>is given its one general grading, and if any of the other factors is outstanding,
>this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb"
I
>read that as saying your slab with grade 3 technical difficulty and zero
>protection should be graded higher than 3... or that is should state in
>the description there's no gear on the slab.

yeah, but, like, we all know that's not how it works in reality...
martym
8/10/2013
2:55:48 PM
Then from that link (emphasis mine):
>
Ewbank explained "Grading takes the following into consideration:
>Technical difficulty, exposure, length, quality of rock, protection
>and other smaller factors. As these are more or less all related to each
>other, I have rejected the idea of 3 or 4 grades, i.e. one for exposure,
>one for technical difficulty, one for protection etc. Instead the climb
>is given its one general grading, and if any of the other factors is outstanding,
>this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb"


That's the bit I remember from the quote.
I find that most of the time, a climb's grade reflects the actual difficulty of the moves - not the exposure, despite what Mr E intended. I'm sure this has been debated at length by many wiser souls.

For the record, I don't recall Spiral Staircase being particularly difficult when i did it, but Araps exposure is definitely not factored into the grades.

Eduardo Slabofvic
8/10/2013
3:07:13 PM
You're both wrong. The grade reflects the prejudices of the guidebook writer.

Macciza
8/10/2013
3:33:03 PM
And remember 'exposure' is not what it use to be . . .
Modern climbers often feel exposed on standard old school routes . . .

ajfclark
8/10/2013
3:40:34 PM
On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>yeah, but, like, we all know that's not how it works in reality...

From the thread I linked earlier, on 5/07/2012 simey wrote:
>Given that Ewbank wanted a practical grading system and given that technical difficulty is subjective anyway, then the current approach of occasionally adding a grade for boldness is the practical application of his grading system. It embodies Harlin's quote that Ewbank acknowledges in his first article, 'Everything in climbing is relevant to other factors'.

Groveller
8/10/2013
4:04:53 PM
Thanks Wendy, I was talking to a friend who said something like what you described.
I will give it a go next time I'm there.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/10/2013
8:42:42 PM
On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>On 8/10/2013 ajfclark wrote:
>>On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>>>It's really worth noting: grades do not reflect exposure nor protection
(snip)
>>this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb"I
>>read that as saying your slab with grade 3 technical difficulty and zero
>>protection should be graded higher than 3... or that is should state in the description there's no gear on the slab.
>
>yeah, but, like, we all know that's not how it works in reality...

?
Ok, I'll bite, ... it seems your reality is different to mine; ... & I dare say that I have tested mine for a longer period!

Please elaborate.
;-)
martym
9/10/2013
12:53:41 PM
On 8/10/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>>On 8/10/2013 ajfclark wrote:
>>>On 8/10/2013 martym wrote:
>>>>It's really worth noting: grades do not reflect exposure nor protection
>(snip)
>>>this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb"I
>>>read that as saying your slab with grade 3 technical difficulty and
>zero
>>>protection should be graded higher than 3... or that is should state
>in the description there's no gear on the slab.
>>
>>yeah, but, like, we all know that's not how it works in reality...
>
>?
>Ok, I'll bite, ... it seems your reality is different to mine; ... &
>I dare say that I have tested mine for a longer period!

Oh oh I smell a thread hijack coming on. I believe I should have opened my statement with:
[Sarcasm] Yeah, but, like, you know...[/Sarcasm]

I also did think it over and add another reply:
"I find that most of the time, a climb's grade reflects the actual difficulty of the moves - not the exposure, despite what Mr E intended. I'm sure this has been debated at length by many wiser souls."

I was just trying to suggest to the OP that IMO grades don't always reflect the exposure - but mostly the difficulty of actual climbing. That said, it seems that he was faced with a grade 14 climb if he had followed his original hunch.

And to continue the hijack (very sorry Groveller) M9 I believe you (& Simey & many others) didn't grow up in the Gym-Generation; where nowadays most of us get our introduction to rockclimbing. Try as we might, we'll just never know what it was like to actually climb a Grade "N" because our first experience was the grade a climbing-gym route-setters opinion of what "N" is. Usually on top rope, following the dots.

[/thread hijack]
pecheur
9/10/2013
1:08:39 PM
On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:
>And to continue the hijack (very sorry Groveller) M9 I believe you (&
>Simey & many others) didn't grow up in the Gym-Generation; where nowadays
>most of us get our introduction to rockclimbing. Try as we might, we'll
>just never know what it was like to actually climb a Grade "N" because
>our first experience was the grade a climbing-gym route-setters opinion
>of what "N" is. Usually on top rope, following the dots.
>
>[/thread hijack]

Course we can, just climb an old school trad route in Volleys and without cams and you'll come pretty close.

By your premise us younger generation should add MEGA grades for exposure and lack of protection since it's like something we totally haven't encountered before.
martym
9/10/2013
1:14:08 PM
On 9/10/2013 pecheur wrote:
>By your premise

Sorry:
On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:
[/thread hijack]

Back to Spiral Staircase...

Pat
9/10/2013
5:07:35 PM
Have always found the lower grades at Araps a bit stiffer than nearby Gramps. Anyone else found this?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
9/10/2013
9:14:58 PM
On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:
>On 9/10/2013 pecheur wrote:
>>By your premise
>
>Sorry:
>On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:
>[/thread hijack]
>
>Back to Spiral Staircase...

On 9/10/2013 pecheur wrote:
>On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:
>>And to continue the hijack (very sorry Groveller) M9 I believe you (&
>>Simey & many others) didn't grow up in the Gym-Generation; where nowadays
>>most of us get our introduction to rockclimbing. Try as we might, we'll
>>just never know what it was like to actually climb a Grade "N" because
>>our first experience was the grade a climbing-gym route-setters opinion
>>of what "N" is. Usually on top rope, following the dots.
>>
>>[/thread hijack]
>
>Course we can, just climb an old school trad route in Volleys and without
>cams and you'll come pretty close.
>
>By your premise us younger generation should add MEGA grades for exposure
>and lack of protection since it's like something we totally haven't encountered
>before.

+1 to pecheur post.
Just because someone learns a plastic grade in a gym, doesn't discount the reality of exposure from the Ewbank Grading System.

~> back to Spiral Staircase, ... an outdoor climb graded by the Ewbank system that takes into account 'exposure';... and any shortcut departure from that system by gym bunnies is like learning to drive a car and not using blinkers to indicate a change of direction!

Wendy
9/10/2013
11:32:59 PM
On 9/10/2013 Pat wrote:
>Have always found the lower grades at Araps a bit stiffer than nearby Gramps.
>Anyone else found this?

What easy routes have you gotten on in the Gramps? I didn't really think there was much in the way of "easy" - certainly Scarab, Minch, Mixed Climb, Debutante, Molar Buttress aren't jumping out at me as easy!
Wendy
9/10/2013
11:37:23 PM
On 9/10/2013 martym wrote:

>And to continue the hijack (very sorry Groveller) M9 I believe you (&
>Simey & many others) didn't grow up in the Gym-Generation; where nowadays
>most of us get our introduction to rockclimbing. Try as we might, we'll
>just never know what it was like to actually climb a Grade "N" because
>our first experience was the grade a climbing-gym route-setters opinion
>of what "N" is. Usually on top rope, following the dots.
>

I think someone should add mega grades to gym climbs and sport routes cause I didn't grow up in the gym generation and have a crap set of blinkers, really suck at long moves on bits of plywood, don't blindly trust bolts and get terrified if I can't lace the route up.

Pat
10/10/2013
7:51:13 AM

>
>What easy routes have you gotten on in the Gramps? I didn't really think
>there was much in the way of "easy" - certainly Scarab, Minch, Mixed Climb,
>Debutante, Molar Buttress aren't jumping out at me as easy!

Done Scarab and Minch and Mixed climb and - but a long time ago so memory is a bit dim, but didn't find Scarab that hard and had the obligatory top out in the dark and rain on mixed climb. Thinking of some of the shorter things such as De Blanc and Regatta ( talk about lacing something up!). Found them significantly easier than say Exploding Tomatoes, Bard, Trapeze or say Muldoon. For some sick reason I seem to climb better and keep my head together on long higher grade slippery slab run-outs than steeper well protected lower grades. Go figure.

There are 20 messages in this topic.

 

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