Neptune's Tool

3 Stars
 E6 6c

Adjacent Routes
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From the foot of The Trident gain and follow the curving flake leftwards out into the middle of the wall (good gear - very hard to place) and climb this trending left again to the edge of the huge overhang and an easier finish. Maybe only 6b for the tall.
FA. Nick Plishko 1986. A 'short stick' was used to place a crucial runner.


Desperate start
Goi Ashmore - 09/May/02

Agreed. Is it the norm to preplace/clip the gear? I seem to remember it was desperate to get the gear and hard to place it...?
Jon Read - 15/May/02

dunno if it is 'normal', i would think given the grade E5 6C however, that the gear ought to be preplaced at this grade...i certainly pre placed it prior to lead...
steve delderfield - 15/May/02

No you didn't you cheeky monkey.

I abbed down & placed it for you.

Improves you style of ascent a smidgeon.
Mike Delderfield - 17/May/02

There was no preplaced gear on the first ascent; I was the second. However, the crucial wire in the flake was cunningly placed from below, though Nick had checked the placement by abseil.
Chris Addy - 02/Jun/02

"crucial wire in the flake was cunningly placed from below"

You mean with a big stick? If so, that IS preplacing surely? Placed with double looped wire extension trick while leading would be ok, but not sure how hard this would be?
Jon Read - 09/Oct/02

It's possible to place the gear on lead by doing an extra move up Trident's groove and laybacking its left arete to reach the crack. Pro in Trident should protect these antics, until a skinny nut & TCU (if your tall) can be secured.
K T - 04/Nov/03

Three question marks Jon. Do you have any idea what you are talking about ???
Rod Jean - 20/Mar/05

Yes. Care to explain yourself?
Jon Read - 21/Mar/05

I realise that I instigated this question and answer situation and will not subscribe to further embroilment. I do apologise to all for the inappropriate use of this space. It does, however, slightly perturbe me to read crass comments from individuals who obviously have very little knowledge of events on which they feel they are able comment.

This particular route was first free climbed in the mid eighties. At the time it was considered to be a high quality climb of a fairly high difficulty. My point is that it was quite some time ago and things usually become less topical, not more. Anyway, to cut to the chase a stick was used to place the first piece of protection but I happen to know that it was not a "big stick". I also happen to know that the total length of the stick and wire would not exceed that of a standard double looped wire.

The protection was "cunningly placed from below". This is correct. A 'stick was used' and it was on lead. A scaffold was not employed on this occasion! Does anyone remember the last time they placed protection from above whilst on lead. Can you Jon ??? What are you on Jon!? you do Ron Jon you Non Non Non Non.

Please don't explain yourself. I can't be bothered.

Again I apologise for
Rod Jean - 05/May/05

Well, apologies if I've offended you in some way by asking questions, and relatively benign ones at that! Sheesh. Anyway, thank you for providing further details, which is what I was after in the first place. The comment in the last guide stated something like: wire preplaced with stick. Not having the good fortune to be involved with the first ascent, and reading of other routes at the same crag employing fishing rods to clip bolts(!), I had no idea how long a stick is. These sort of details matter when (a) a new guide is being prepared and (b) trying to cultivate a ground-up approach. Kevin Thaw's comments above show that you don't need a stick, short or long. I'm just after the facts; no need to be touchy.
Jon Read - 05/May/05

I don't think it inappropriate use of this space. i thought this space was a forum to discuss routes?

As Jon notes, the old moorland grit guide is quite vague about some of the 'antics' involved in first ascents...simply stating the protection was "cunningly placed from below" is very vague, perhaps due to that vagueness i was quite happy for another to pre-place my gear by ab prior to ascent, if i had known differently about what "cunningly placed from below" actually meant in practice i may have acted differently...
ste_d - 03/Aug/05

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