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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 898
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Dark Horse and I eventually accrued enough fitness, resolve and balls to do the free ascent of a route we started last year. We had a "Fantastic Time" and it goes free sans X or R rated pitches. The pro is by and large excellent but some of the rock seems dodgy, typical of Yellowwood and some of the positions are outrageously intimidating!.

Like the other routes at YW the technical grades seem so much harder when on-sighting and climbing one or two grade 23 or even grade 24 routes on TM won't prepare you for this route. The British grade of E5 6a is more appropriate.

It is comparable to Prime Time in boldness and overall difficulty.

We climbed the route efficiently in near perfect conditions and were done by 3pm. I doubt I could have done the last 2 pitches on a hot sunny day.

So the challenge is up for an on-sight free ascent!

There is not a single move harder than grade 21 or perhaps 22. But there are so many of them with little respite. The 250m route is very steep and continuously overhanging in the second half.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:52 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
sounds awesome - congrats! one day when i'm big.......


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:45 pm
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Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Nice one Snort, got any pics?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:45 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
Well done guys, awesome! What final grade are you giving it? Surely with these monster intense endurance pitches its time to rethink the old 'hardest move' theory?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
If Prime Time is 23 then so is this. But E55c or maybe E56a is a better way to grade it. It might be slightly easier than Prime Time but someone has to do the onsight of both to confirm


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Well done Snorty and Dark Horse! Big effort :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:26 am
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Lee de Smidt
Nice one guys!

why would it be better to use British Trad grades as opposed to SA grading?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:13 pm
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Well Done Guys,
Fitness, resolve and balls ... lot's of sends to come?

@ Leebo,
There are a number of reasons why the British grading system would be a perfect solution for Yellow wood.

Firstly, it takes roughly half a life time, of deep immersion in the art of traditional climbing to gain some Idea of it’s reasoning. Thus, it would keep those crowding hordes away.

It is also guaranteed to sandbag Frenchman, Scare the crap out of Americans, and belittle any German hardmen that dare place steel fixtures in the wall, by significantly degrading their strenuous and technical feats.

But, I think Charles has an alternative reason for suggesting this system! Any local climber wanting to go climbing in the yellowwoods may very well have to book a consultation with the Doctor, for a translation of what exactly 6a/e4 is? And how it differs from 6b/e1? (Which as I think, I understand it, will have the same technical grade. Mostly, because one would have to carry more gear for the 6b ?) Although, one may sound silly asking how hard a ‘very hard severe’ route is. The grade does sound good to the general public’s ear, turning the moderate climber into hard, very hard, very hard severe.

Maybe we should begin to consider our own severity grading system. We could replace the e’s with ‘nooit’, ‘agg nooit’ and ‘Umshini Wami’.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Dave your literary skills and wit sometimes are astounding. A lot better than you climb most of the time. Where are you?

I am doing - I hope - Prime time with Hilton and Dark Horse tomorrow. If we succeed, especially as it is forecast to be quite hot, then indeed it would make the routes comparable in difficulty.

Drinking my last sip of red wine and slug of whisky and in to bed by 10ish to arouse at 03h30... Yech!

What one has to do to grow old ungracefully.....


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:21 am 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
SNORT wrote:
Drinking my last sip of red wine and slug of whisky and in to bed by 10ish to arouse at 03h30... Yech!


You trad climbers really are an odd lot! :wink: :bom:u


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:54 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
So 03h30 it was and Hilton at 49 years 364 days old, me and Haul Horse (aka Dark Horse), slogged up to Yellowwood and started the first pitch of Prime Time at first light. We styled through the first 4 pitches to the Half Way ledge except for one putrid toxic event when one of our party had to part ways with a disgusting semi-solid load at one of the stances. Not to be outdone another one of our party decided to convert his bowel contents into acrid gases that he emitted from time to time the whole day assaulting our olfactory systems and adding a grade to every pitch we climbed.

Anyway I arrived at the now very sunny hanging stance below the crux pitch 7 without cramping and cruised through in excellent time to arrive there at 13h00. This was going to be a record quick ascent of Prime Time and we would be back for tea by 3 or maybe 4 pm. Hilton followed next having tied into the middle of the rope, and unlike some of the other dudes that I have climbed this route with listened to the beta at the crux and instead of lunging for the impossibly high jug did the elegant little side pull to balance up on the last hard move of the pitch and flashed it. Good thing he did it yesterday because I told him he would never do it once he is 50!


Well so much for tea for 3 at three. At 2 pm, I was still baking in the sun on the same stance with my arse and leg being ground into a sharp knobbly rocky seat as Haul Horse prussicked up having fallen off the horror flake. Woe was he and me. I grit my teeth and Hilton distracted me from the pain with some BS.

Hilton led the next grade 20 pitch which now felt like 21 and I did the next run out 21 that felt very sketchy in the hot sun.

We eventually got down and fortunately Haul Horse got a second wind and carried down Hilton's Pack.

Haul Horse also made the mistake of betting on his own performance so it's a bottle of Lagavulin 18 year old in my favour.

Now that's the really hard part and crux of doing Prime Time - Dark Horse and I have to drink the whole bottle in one sitting. He might have fallen off the crux pitch but this is sure to make me fall off my chair!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:19 am 
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Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
David Vallet wrote:
what exactly 6a/e4 is? And how it differs from 6b/e1? (Which as I think, I understand it, will have the same technical grade. Mostly, because one would have to carry more gear for the 6b ?) Although, one may sound silly asking how hard a ‘very hard severe’ route is. The grade does sound good to the general public’s ear, turning the moderate climber into hard, very hard, very hard severe.


But that it were so simple, sadly a lot more to it than that.

The grade "Moderate" does actually exist in the UK system by the way, it's easier than "Diff" but harder than "Easy". I think I have came across one once.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
SNORT wrote:
We styled through the first 4 pitches to the Half Way ledge except for one putrid toxic event when one of our party had to part ways with a disgusting semi-solid load at one of the stances. Not to be outdone another one of our party decided to convert his bowel contents into acrid gases that he emitted from time to time the whole day assaulting our olfactory systems and adding a grade to every pitch we climbed.


Dare I say it? Old farts go climbing!! :? :bom: What you need is a hot air ballon to capture those emissions and put them to good use, you'll float up those cruxes! Or would that be aid climbing? :roll:

Jest kidding Charles! I think its awesome you guys are keeping the flame alive (albeit with methane gas! :wink: ) and showing the young guns how its done :thumleft:


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