2 Stars
 HVS 5b

Adjacent Routes
<< Sail Buttress < Roger the Cabin Boy I  |  Amazing Grace > Sail Chimney >>

Often started via Sail Buttress, the direct start up the thin crack left of Sail Chimney improves the overall experience. Climb the crack, move left to the ledge then step up and right again to reach a good flake. Climb through the bulge by a bold high step to reach the upper slab.
FA. Len Millsom 1963


A better route if started up Amazing grace.
Steve - 13/Dec/01

deserves the grade if only because a fall from the crux would be onto the ledge(ouch!)If this is E1 then give me more.
brianb - 21/Feb/02

Definately E1 for the awkaward move(s) above gear but it's not worth 3 stars.
Mark Stevenson - 29/May/02

Easiest E1 I've ever done (not a bad thing!). But an alien helps.
Mark Grist - 23/Jul/02

wasn't that hard back in the old guidebook at hvs 5a... doesn't appear any more polished now. I am sure IT DID begin up A.G. in the opd guide, which is indeed better.
uncle nick - 25/Jul/02

Excellent route (esp if started up the groove to the right, making it an independant line) 3 stars for Birchen although definately a contender for E0 5b!
mark s davies - 20/Oct/02

thought it worthy of E1 because of the fall out zone as mentioned - i couldn't get any worthwhile gear in the 'blindish' flake. also felt towards the upper end of 5b to me and very reach dependent?
steve R - 09/Jan/03

Having fallen from the 'bold high step' I can confirm that the landing is indeed bad, in my case a double fracture in the left ankle! and a long and painful hobble to the road means this is a route I won't forget.
Ford - 19/Dec/03

A nice, odd route, but I'm not sure one move deserves 3 stars. I found the crux sequence difficult to work out, reachy, strenuous, and a little worrying, I'd say E1 5b is about right.
Karl Walton - 11/May/04

A nice route which is extremly reach dependant, being short the crux was very hard, definitely in at E1 5b
Andy Newton - 25/Jun/04

My first E1 and fair enough the bold reach is a bit bold but a couple of good friends in the break below the flake do the trick for gear. no gear after that but the tops a piece of piss anyway.
Adam Moroz - 12/Dec/04

If orpheus wall is hvs, this isn't E1. Nor is it reach dependent if you think about it...
bomb - 10/Apr/05

adam and steve u are muppets the grade is e1 so if it felt e1 thats probably because it is so it is easier for tall people thus the grade is not height dependent
Cragdog al - 13/Jun/05

E1? Very well protected 5a move, VDiff padding thereafter. VS 5a in my book. A doddle.
Owen W-G - 05/Sep/05

are you sure this is vs 5a owen? i know several people that have broken their ankles after falling off the crux and hitting the ledge.
lps - 05/Sep/05

Maybe it was because I led this straight after Orpheus Wall but it felt ridiculously easy at E1. Fair enough, if you do fall off you have a ledge under you, but IMO the crux was about as hard as on Topsail and you do have gear by your head when you set off to do the move. VS could be uncharitable, so soft-touch HVS at best.
Owen W-G - 06/Sep/05

It was VS 4c when I led it ;-)
RichardMc - 18/Jan/06

Much easier than Orpheus Wall......
Glen - 21/Mar/06

Fell off on the crux and a small freind in the flake held me. Then used the flatty out left rather than reaching for the high smear and so felt 5b for those that couldn't reach it. Reckon it gets soft E1 overall though
Gareth Watkins - 13/Nov/06

Off-balance, but relatively easy, 5b move.
I got gear in the horizontal breaks, and it felt soft E1-ish, but I would believe that with gear in the flake, it would be more like HVS.
Definitely start up Amazing Grace.
Pythonist - 19/May/07

Not that reachy (I'm on the short side of 5'9) and well protected with a size 1.5 cam in the break to the left and a size 5 nut in the bottom of the flake crack. Grab the flake crack, get your feet high and grab the good sloper - one 5a move with good gear, though the fall would be onto the ledge, so bog standard HVS 5a for me ...
Tim Higgins - 06/Jun/07

found the route brillant. It was given VS 4C in nunns old guide. I managed the reach ok and I'm 5'8. I'd have given it solid HVS 5a.Its only a one move wonder. also my dad found it easy and he is old and unflexible.
robert bridges - 14/Aug/07

why are people surprised that Ratline is easier than Orpheus Wall, it is after all a grade easier at 5b, with OW at 5C.

I think E1 and 5b is spot on.

Wish I'd thought of the amazing grace start as it was certainly a one (nervy) move wonder.
Phil Lyon - 17/Sep/07

Nice route this. I think HVS 5b is about right but it is reach dependant I'm 5.6 and only just managed to get my finger tips on the hold after playing with my foot placements for awhile. But I had good gear in the flake and a cam in the break so it was safe. As with many things in climbing if you have the reach use it, if not find another way.
SGD - 14/Jul/08

HVS or soft E1? who cares - it's a nice crux move either way. If you can't get gear in the flake then it's probably worth spending more time leading VS using nuts instead of cams ;P
AlanM - 06/Apr/09

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 112
    hard E1 0 of 11
    E1 0 of 11
    easy E1 4 of 11
    hard HVS 2 of 11
    HVS 5 of 11
    easy HVS 0 of 11
    hard VS 0 of 11
    VS 0 of 11
    easy VS 0 of 11
    hard 5c 0 of 51
    5c 0 of 51
    easy 5c 0 of 51
    hard 5b 0 of 51
    5b 0 of 51
    easy 5b 0 of 51
    hard 5a 0 of 51
    5a 0 of 51
    easy 5a 0 of 51
    hard 4c 0 of 51
    4c 0 of 51
    easy 4c 0 of 51
    hard 4b 0 of 51
    4b 0 of 51
    easy 4b 0 of 51
    hard 4a 0 of 51
    4a 0 of 51
    easy 4a 0 of 51
    hard 3c 0 of 51
    3c 0 of 51
    easy 3c 0 of 51
    hard 3b 0 of 51
    3b 0 of 51
    easy 3b 0 of 51
    hard 3a 0 of 51
    3a 0 of 51
    easy 3a 0 of 51
    hard 2c 0 of 51
    2c 0 of 51
    easy 2c 0 of 51
    hard 2b 0 of 51
    2b 0 of 51
    easy 2b 0 of 51
    hard 2a 0 of 51
    2a 0 of 51
    easy 2a 0 of 51
    hard ?? 2 of 51
    ?? 38 of 51
    easy ?? 7 of 51
    hard ?? 4 of 51
    ?? 0 of 51
    easy ?? 0 of 51
    3 Stars 4 of 50
    2 Stars 34 of 50
    1 Star 12 of 50
    0 Stars 0 of 50
    Bag of ..... 0 of 50

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