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2 Stars
 S 4b

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From the chock move right onto the arete, swing round the corner (4b, but harder for the short who will have to dangle), then teeter out right and finish up the well-positioned slab. Nice.
FA. David Penlington 1951


Try laybacking on jams to get past the hard start
Matt - 20/Feb/02

This was a severe 4a in the old guide book and there is no way it justifies VS
Simon.A - 13/May/02

I agree, it was a severe 4a in the old guide and still is in reality, just a tough start but no more than severe after that, maybe severe 4b tops
Matt - 14/May/02

I think HS would be fair, the route is reasonably sparse on protection in the upper section. Compare this to heather wall at froggatt which is definitely S, this is quite a bit more necky and definitely harder. (If you're small - wouldn't the traverse merit vs??)
Start can be overcome by good old fashioned thrutching. Get yourself right into the crack and flange your way up it.
brian - 22/May/02

Being only 4' 11" I had to ask a random stranger to give me a leg up!
Lynn - 13/Jun/02

No question of having to dangle on the traverse unless you've broken both your ankles. The hard bit's leaving the ground, and even that was quite easy with a well placed foot jam. HS tops, I'd say S 4a. And yes it's harder than Heather Wall, but Heather Wall is VDiff not Severe, whatever Rockfax (and Brian) say!
Simon C - 27/Jun/02

Sorry to duplicate comments - but I'm not allowed to vote for Severe! A problem start, an exciting but easy (for the tall) traverse, a nice finish up an exposed slab, but nowhere near VS.
Alan - 12/Aug/02

Nasty start!! about 4c/5a start in my view, but it is piddle all the way across/upward (about 4a)
Stephen Barker - 07/Oct/02

my first lead on Grit and only one of a hanful of "VS" leads - if this inspires VS grit leaders to try the same standard route in, say, Avon - they're in for a nasty wake-up!
howard laban - 18/Oct/02

Ace route but no way VS 4c. Maybe the start is 4c if you choose to do it with style but the traverse is easy and protectable and the finishing slab can be protected by bomber gear. HS 4b surely.
Toby Jackson - 24/Feb/03

Whats the opposite of a sandbag, cause this is a huge one! The most difficult parts were un-tourqing my foot from the initial crack and overcomming the drag I created by threading the chock-stone. Nice climbing though (past the initial thrutch).
D Berry - 04/May/03

Severe 4a, unless you look for or create your own problems - but as already stated we can't vote for such reduction and return to old common sense.
Chris - 15/Aug/03

A really great route!! I give it *** 'cause it's 3 classic sections and you get to practice double rope technique. As for the grade - I think it should be in keeping with the rest of Birchen HS (for the move round the face) 4c (for the start).
Robert A King - 26/Aug/03

Nowhere near VS, BUT Feel those Stars.......
James McN - 15/Sep/03

I've just done Spiral Route at Rivelin, another route with a hand traverse. Apparently it is now the same grade as Power Monkey Parade :-|
Simon Caldwell - 27/Oct/03

4a start for anyone who didn't learn to climb on an indoor wall, I'm afraid, fellas.
ander - 30/Nov/03

If you work out the trad/VDiff start, you don't even need to touch the jammed boulder. And climb back down for fun! Chris
Chris - 17/Jun/04

To be honest, a terrible route, and a good advertisment for quarrying.
Alex Purser - 23/Jul/04

The start is easy, just jam your foot, grab the chock, push and pull. Nothing to it.
Si - 06/Aug/04

Found the start very tricky (but obviously completely safe). I'm not flexible enough to jam foot that high and still be able to reach the chock stone but eventually writhed up to it. Rest of route was much easier than I expected even if there was the potential for a nice swing when on the traverse. Hands and feet all the way. HS but maybe still 4c.
tchnorton - 01/Jun/05

definatly severe as it is in the BMC guidebook. The start is thruchy but not hard and not 4c. An easier route than sunset slab or even greengut on frogatt. The last (1996) BMC guide upgraded a lot of birchens routes (but not this one) as they are unprotectable and the objective grades were given when nobody expected runners on gritstone. 'cos the pro is better it is 30 years since anybody expected a leg snapping deck out at the crux of a VDiff. Its not that these routes have become harder it is that they are comparitvely more serious than they were.
davidwright - 16/Nov/05

If the start is climbed elegantly, requires some
careful footjamming 4b/4c. Am sure ungradable thrutching / heaving is also possible! The traverse is basically a walk for anyone climbing
at VS.
Sankey - 01/Jan/06

After the chockstone it feels hard for Severe. Although the climbing is easy, you can't put too much gear in because of rope drag.
mark20 - 15/Jun/08

Severe 4b - no harder. Upper section is easily protected with cams - I had three cams in place on Sat. Use slings to extend the runners to avoid rope drag.
Phil Whitehurst - 29/Jun/09

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 133
    hard HS 0 of 19
    HS 0 of 19
    easy HS 7 of 19
    hard S 4 of 19
    S 8 of 19
    easy S 0 of 19
    hard HVD 0 of 19
    HVD 0 of 19
    easy HVD 0 of 19
    hard 4c 0 of 18
    4c 0 of 18
    easy 4c 0 of 18
    hard 4b 0 of 18
    4b 0 of 18
    easy 4b 0 of 18
    hard 4a 0 of 18
    4a 0 of 18
    easy 4a 0 of 18
    hard 3c 0 of 18
    3c 0 of 18
    easy 3c 0 of 18
    hard 3b 0 of 18
    3b 0 of 18
    easy 3b 0 of 18
    hard 3a 0 of 18
    3a 0 of 18
    easy 3a 0 of 18
    hard 2c 0 of 18
    2c 0 of 18
    easy 2c 0 of 18
    hard 2b 0 of 18
    2b 0 of 18
    easy 2b 0 of 18
    hard 2a 0 of 18
    2a 0 of 18
    easy 2a 0 of 18
    hard ?? 0 of 18
    ?? 15 of 18
    easy ?? 3 of 18
    3 Stars 49 of 96
    2 Stars 38 of 96
    1 Star 8 of 96
    0 Stars 1 of 96
    Bag of ..... 0 of 96

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