Chalkstorm Top 50

2 Stars
 E3 5c

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The slab has thin unprotected moves to pass the overlap. It is often climbed with a side runner (E1 to HVS depending where you put it). Arguments about the grade rage on - just to clarify, it is worth E3 for an onsight ascent without a side runner. Often dirty from the top-roping/abseiling hordes' muddy boots.
FA. Ian Johnson 1977


if going for the onsight get a mate too clean the mud off the holds left by the toproping outdoor groups
mark s - 20/Feb/02

Well its hardly a side runner is it, you can still touch the holds on the main route when you put it in, surely thats ok? Anyway its still not HVS even if you put the runner in way up the crack on the left, why not accept that people will put it in at the break if they have any sense and are not soloing and grade it E2/E3 its still miles easier than Elegy however you do iy!
Al Evans - 17/Jun/02

One word GORGEOUS!!
Slab climbing at its best.
Can't wait to have a go at the lead.
Jon Greengrass - 17/Jun/02

Pro can be placed low in the crack without leaving the slab, so surely should be. And then the grade ((E1)/E2/E3?) will depend on how far you could reach to place it...
Seth - 24/Jun/02

Brilliant slab climb. When I did it (a long time ago) it was only E2, without side placement, no top rope, just temporary madness, so where did the E4 come from ?
wurzel - 26/Jun/02

I'd liker to know how long your arms are if you can place pro while still on the climb! Done direct in 1994 deffinitely more than HVS, the pro in the break is of little use though, may as well solo it or top rope!
graham leadbeater - 04/Jul/02

Excellant route but only E3 - you have gear by your feet for the 5c move and above that its "only" 5b. E1/2 with a side runner - depending on where you place it
chris_moor - 15/Aug/02

Did this on-sight. Can get a poor small friend in an overlap once your stood onto the slab. I thought top slab was still tricky (on-sight especially) and considering its death if you fall then E4 seems only proper.
Dave Slater - 29/Aug/02

It's not necessarily death if you fall...mate of mine slid the entire length of the climb to the accompanying smell of burning rubber, only damage he received was a "waxed" chest courtesy of the midpoint bulge.
Al.Smith - 16/Sep/02

Did this onsight and I think E4 is about right for an onsight (albeit low in the grade).
iain whitehouse - 17/Sep/02

Agreed. It feels like E4 when you're doing it, afterwards obviously it felt easier. Also agree that Elegy is both E2 and harder.
Paz - 14/Oct/02

yeah, bob howie went for the onsight without side runners on a drizzly day (!), stuck friends in the break, and lobbed just above where mr thaw is in the photo. i legged it into the trees, and bob ended up having his head glued back together by a nurse at the cottage hospital in buxton. he's fine, so it's ok to laugh. (sorry bob)
martin k - 27/Oct/02

I onsighted it and would say E4 for the onsight, though low in the grade. Possibly hard E3. Once done on toprope probably about E1.
JR - 16/Mar/03

It was HVS when I did it, 2 stars though
andy symonds - 10/May/03

Tiny alien fits in perfectly in the overlap...easy E3 5c
max - 07/Jun/03

Did it on top rope (sorry). Found the overlap crux hard to sus, but it's a superb route. Obviously not allowed to comment on the grade!
Richard Bradley - 26/Jun/03

When we did this route as far as I can remember it needed very little cleaning.We had't done much of note that day and thought we would follow the Woodwards examply and so top roped the slab some 3 times each.Seemed pretty thin to me at the time but we were climbing in EB's (ask yer Dad)and Hots Johnson led the route with a side runner which seemed sensible at the time (still sensible)--this is only led by people without the runner who usually operate at higher grades.

I remember the afternoon being windy and Hot's Chalkbag being up ended by the aforesaid wind - hence the name .We graded it E1 5c which seemed about right, move for move it is definately harder than Elergy but arguably not as scary.
Ditchman Too - 18/Jul/03

lead the route on sight on wednesday, used side runner, which u definetly have to leave the route to place, 5c moves for sure above the overlap and prob E1/easy E2 with side runner
grahamw - 18/Jul/03

I got a good RP in at the overlap. I believe it's now an alien that fits better. Deffo 5c but sill E4 without the side runners as this single piece is your one and only and it's a thin precarious route. Surely it's safer to slightly over grade than sandbag someone who gets hurt? It's fine if you toprope to oblivion but aren't we supposed to be grading for an on sight lead. E4 5c.
FedUp - 19/Sep/03

1. Anyone who top-ropes it should not be allowed to comment on this. Nor on any other climbing topic. A sound beating may also be of benefit.
2. The "gear" at the overlap seam looked useless. A "hard grit" style belay relying on the excellent lower gear felt a lot more suitable.
3. Quite unsure about the grade. One is probably safe, just, at the crux with a good belayer. However it is distinctly bolder than similar style E3s. Easy E4 / hard E3 I suppose.
4. Most importantly, it's really rather a nice route, lovely delicate balancy climbing that gradually eases. Good, respect-worthy, stuff.
Fiend - 19/Feb/04

I found it E4 (on-sight, no side runner) and harder than "The Brush Off"; none of the moves were totally desperate but there was a fairly long sequence of precarious, committing moves high enough on the slab to be effectively unprotected (the kind of sequence that you're screwed if you stop in the middle of). To (mis)quote from the description of The Snivelling: "possibly only E3 for the bold, the specialised or those who've had a sneaky preview on toprope", though. I don't imagine it would pose the same problems if you've done the moves in a safe manner before getting on the sharp end.
Adrian Baugh - 20/Feb/04

Soft E4 for an onsight. I stacked a load of gear in the crack at the break which makes the crux move reasonably safe (you probably won't deck). Runners in the cracky flakey thing are rubbish, if you think you'll fall off the next bit get a fast belayer. The rest is superb 5b friction climbing, quite intense and hugely enjoyable (in retrospect). If you do it when it's cold it would be impossible to fall off without jumping, the friction is awesome!
Andyhob - 08/Mar/04

Standing at the break and placing a side-runner (or two) at full stretch, it's no more dangerous than, say, Impossible Slab. I'd give it E2 5c for an on-sight. The slab is quite sustained for a few moves so soft E4 is probably right if you just use the break for a runner.
Duncan Irving - 04/May/04

It's good climbing wherever you put the runners, as long as you don't top rope it as I have seen many SPA group leaders doing, seemed to have the top rope hanging below the crux...
Iggy_B - 22/Feb/05

Steady E4 if lead with runners in the break below the overlap solid E4 for the solo, on-sight for both ways obviously.
Ropeboy - 02/Mar/05

Found this easier and less scary than Elegy; surely Chalkstorm is only E2, even for an onsight? The top slab is OK if the conditions are good; if you can get up to the groove OK then you'll be fine on the top slab. I reckon it's only E2. While i'm at it, I also reckon side runners don't make it that much easier, unless they're so high up that you're effectively on top-rope.
Sean_J - 15/Apr/05

hello yes, was leading this the other day, had just got above the crux and was feeling slightly as though i might mess myself when all of a sudden a hoard of small children with an instructor appeared and started watching, this was all well and good till the instructor started loudly telling the kids about how my gear was so low down and what would happen if i fell off...i really appriciated it at the time and definitly didnt want to shout abuse at him... great route though :D
krd103 - 17/Jun/05

solo'd this route a few years ago, possibly an E4 for an onsight, more likely an E3, thought I. Then my partner tries, backed off and asked me to do it again to show him the crux moves. feeling rather brave, i set off again, only to wake up next morning in North Staffs Infirmary!. watch the boulders on the floor if you fall - they hurt your head
rich - 28/Jun/05

An excellent route with nice moves. Led it with a high side runner on the left - still felt harder than HVS. Similar to Three Pebble Slab in everything including the controversy over the grade. Probably E1/E2 with a siderunner and E3/E4 without. Definetly 5c at times.
Sam Doyle - 07/Oct/05

Great route! Onsighted it and felt quite nervous on the crux moves even though the gear wasn't too far below. Above that it eases and becomes enjoyable. The grade? Hmmm, before I did it I thought it would be E3, now I'd say E4 cos it makes me sound better! But seriously, I'm not sure - 4 Pebble Slab is E3 5c but I trusted the gear on it far less than on Chalkstorm. I'd say soft E4.
Andrew Barker - 09/Nov/05

An E2 5b, with the side runner low in the crack to the left. E1 5c implies a safe route, which it isn't. Potential to face-plant the ground/swing into something hard from the final moves even with the low side runner.
Steve Banham - 18/Nov/06

did this with the sensible side runner in the lefthand crack at about e2 5c i reckons. There is no point doing it without side runner, its there so use it! Fantsastic route though however you do it
wig - 18/Nov/06

"Anyone who top-ropes it should not be allowed to comment on this. Nor on any other climbing topic. A sound beating may also be of benefit."

people who talk crap like that shouldnt be allowed to post comments. and should definately suffer a sound beating.
simes303 - 08/Feb/07

Shut up simes. If you think that top-roping this shouldn't be discouraged then you might as well give up climbing.
Fiend - 08/Feb/07

top roped it when i first started climbing and thought you would have to be mad to lead it.led it yesurday no side runners must be mad now
martin - 12/Apr/07

solo 29.3.08. not sure why there is such a big debate on this route, if you do it properly its E4, if not E1/HVS. easiest 5c solo on the roaches
jim - 31/Mar/08

Lead this yesterday onsight. Wasn't going to use the side runner but after I stepped up it seemed pointless not to unless you want the solo? Where I put it wouldn't have stopped a ground fall. Either way its a great little route worth 2 stars - hats off to those people that solo it.
SGD - 26/Aug/08

Many many years ago (20) I led this, it was E3 at the time if I remember correctly and it had controversy around it then as being too easy for the grade. I roped up, had a go and fell off in obligatory chalkstorm with my second jumping backwards. I was annoyed took my ropes off and soloed it. its only ever been E3/E4 if you solo it which is noy how our grading system works. Put the gear in, be sensible and enjoy a wonderful E1/E2 slab climb.
lovetosummit - 31/Dec/12

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 198
    hard E4 0 of 36
    E4 15 of 36
    easy E4 9 of 36
    hard E3 12 of 36
    E3 0 of 36
    easy E3 0 of 36
    hard E2 0 of 36
    E2 0 of 36
    easy E2 0 of 36
    hard 6a 0 of 88
    6a 0 of 88
    easy 6a 0 of 88
    hard 5c 0 of 88
    5c 0 of 88
    easy 5c 0 of 88
    hard 5b 0 of 88
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    easy 5b 0 of 88
    hard 5a 0 of 88
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    easy 5a 0 of 88
    hard 4c 0 of 88
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    easy 4c 0 of 88
    hard 4b 0 of 88
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    easy 4b 0 of 88
    hard 4a 0 of 88
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    hard 3c 0 of 88
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    hard 3b 0 of 88
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    hard ?? 3 of 88
    ?? 65 of 88
    easy ?? 18 of 88
    hard ?? 2 of 88
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    3 Stars 27 of 74
    2 Stars 38 of 74
    1 Star 5 of 74
    0 Stars 4 of 74
    Bag of ..... 0 of 74

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