Flying Buttress Direct Top 50

3 Stars
 E1 5b

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Exhilarating climbing on large holds. The grade is quite close to the HVS/E1 boundary so the arguments will go on. Climb the slab, build a safety net then head across the centre of the roof, first right then back left, with heel-hooks and some brute force.
FA. D.Lomas (with 4 pegs - outrageous!) 1956. FFA. Paul Grey 1966


HVS, surely. Easier for the tall, but the holds are huge - loaves of bread was the phrase Grimer used, I think. Marvellous.
Charles Arthur - 01/Sep/02

What an awesome awesome route. Do it and you will feel like a god as you sit belaying atop the summit block.
RobS - 08/Sep/02

Agreed, fantastic. But definitely E1, serious, no pushover.
Simon.A - 05/Mar/03

Mmmm. Big roof but big holds. Reminds me of the Gunks!
stow - 22/Apr/03

Great Route E0 5b
mark s davies - 22/Apr/03

Awsome! My second E1 on Grit! I'd recommend taking plenty of Friends (2 and 2.5), having a comitted approach and looking at the landscape behind you, upside down! great fun! Tired arms!
Neil Morbey - 03/May/03

Big holds, but powerful moves. Definately worth the grade.
Nathan - 30/Sep/03

Always was always will be HVS - safe as houses. Indicative of the multiple instances of Overgrading in the Gritstone east guidebook.
stuntman - 17/Nov/03

People shouldn't die on safe as houses HVS's. It's E1.
RobS - 17/Nov/03

It is E1
soft lad who believed rubbish ab - 13/Feb/04

I didn't like hitting the slab first time - awesome first ever E1 - surely.
James B. - 29/Mar/04

stop laughing! i'm the retard who fell of this one sunday and went to hospital in a helicopter.

my opinion is its HVS and its a sore fact that i've soloed harder climbs but still muffed this one up.
omar - 14/Jun/04

Lovely climb!
One long reach to get a hand on the lip which would be pretty desperate if you are short, but from there great gear and huge holds. Easy for the grade as long as you have your bold lead head on. After all these years looking at it and thinking I'd probably never be able to climb it I was surprised it didn't put up more of a fight. Very chuffed.
MeMeMe - 23/Aug/04

E1 without a doubt... even with the in situ number 7 nut at the top of the slab.
Nick - 07/Sep/04

No in situ nut last week, nor before Christmas! Doesn't matter what grade it is as it is a brilliant route! *** two 2s in the big break and then a 1.5 out left or a nut in the crack once you're back on the vertical. Awesome route.
Iggy_B - 16/May/05

sadly upgraded, seems to be the way in climbing these days. It has been asked how do you climb E4? Well climb E3 and wait for it to be upgraded. This is the same, better men graded it as HVS and that's the way it should stay
Matt - 18/May/05

Brilliant route. Everyones differing but strongly held opinions on the grade reflect the unusual climbing style - big holds and good gear but only a tiny proportion of HVS's cross 2m roofs. Comparison with The Link would make it E1 for sure.
bored at work - 19/Sep/05

you wanna try the roof no feet the makes the route so much more fun but great climb

gangsta - 22/Jun/06

I have now tried anf failed twice on this despite being pretty strong in the arms and climbing E1 reasonably consistently at the moment. I just find it completely desperate at the break. Do all these people claiming HVS have a clipstick for mwhich to place their cams or what? Do the yjust stick them in any old how and keep climbing? Its not a particularly friendly break for placing things quick, being polished to buggery and out-of-sight while you hang to place them...
Si dH - 11/Aug/06

My first E1, that was until i heard it was down graded - gutted! not as hard as it looks, strong but nice jugs.
Jonathan Hale - 29/Aug/06

It may be E1 for the short, just because getting the first friend runner is a way long stretch. Heel hooking at its ultimate, probably easier than Sloth.
Al Evans - 30/Sep/06

Awesome Route, over far too soon, but totally brilliant. HVS 5B, it would have made a nice first E1 though.
Joe Larner - 04/Apr/07

Can't see how this can be possibly be HVS. Strenuous to get the gear in at the lip. I think this is as hard as plently of definitive E1s. e.g. Left Unconquerable, Strapiombante
Neil Binns - 17/Jun/07

Anyone who thinks this is E1 is a punter. Please stop overgrading. This route has always been a thuggy, well protected HVS.
craig devonshire - 21/Jun/07

For craig: anyone leading easy E1's at their limit is a punter. Probably a tough VS solo for solid extreme leaders doing it for their nth time ;-)
Offwidth - 02/Jul/07

For off width: That is not the case at all. The average climbing grade in the UK is way below E1. It just winds me up when routes get upgraded all the time. When i started climbing 25 years ago you had to work hard to climb extreme and now it seems people can do it easily by upgrading routes. Three pebble slab to quote the usual suspect for overgrading on this website is never E1. Neil Binns quotes definitive E1's such as left unconquerable and strapiombante (the first is easy for the grade, the 2nd is HVS). It is not people leading easy E1's that i have a problem with it is people fooling themselves into thinking they can climb harder than they can by constant upgrading.
craig devonshire - 02/Jul/07

Did this today wow!!! What ever the grade this is a great climb and the gears all there if u can hang about to place it, I did! But just because this route was originally graded HVS and history says it is HVS it isn't, easily E1 for a proper on-site ground up ascent like mine. Cave crack at Frogatt was originally VS and is now E3 what does that tell u.
Michael - 05/Aug/07

What a fantastic route I have been thinking about the moves all day. I'm going to stick my neck out and say its HVS, and its easier than kellys overhang. I am definatly going to do this route again.
robert bridges - 10/Jun/08

I do not think the grade (E1 or HVS) is to important with this route, although I agreed with the 5B part. You can easily see what you are about to take on before you start the route! and if you are not confident about placing gear on a overhang, worried about your stamina, or climbing above gear then this is probably not for you! It has excellent gear and very positive holds! So climb on the good holds and wait until its comfortable before placing the gear. A excellent climbing experience and one of my most memorable grit climbs. Shame it is so short! Go do it!
Trevor Olive - 28/Oct/08

E1 any day of the week, it's a beast of a route no matter how you look at it... Got the lead in the bag finally on my *cough* third time of trying. Very intimidating, but ultimately amazing route. Obviously once you know it it's much easier, but still say E1 any day of the week...
Rob Cole - 08/Apr/09

....but it's only HVS at the weekends....
craig devonshire - 13/Apr/09

E1, but then I'm not any good on steep stuff. Put it this way, I don't know of many HVS's around which are as hard as this.
Byron Buck - 14/Jun/09

obviously it's a boring debate but, the facts in my mind are:

stanage hvs's are stuff like queersville, the scoop, eliminator, etc, while stanage e1s are stuff like morrison's redoubt (at the bottom end), left unconquerable (again low in the grade), and the tippler (at the top). this is much harder than the bottom end, and probably a bit easier than the tippler. definitely a grade harder than queersville or eliminator, and comparable in difficulty, or easier, than some top-end hvs's (say, suicide wall, terrazza crack), but much less safe - this one involves placing gear, a bit blind, while hanging off your arms, and it's very common to get pumped and lob onto it. so, as hard as a top-end hvs but more dangerous...that's definitely e1.
Jon Stewart - 15/Jun/09

This was graded HVS when I first climbed it. But definately worth an E point for anyone who leads it. It saps enegy fast and my forearms were like stone afterwards. Think it warrants E1 as there's only one way to go if your arms blow. I have talked to a climber who broke his shoulder falling onto the slab below so "safe as houses" is probably not the best way to describe it. Agree with the comment below - it is more about eyeing the route from the ground and thinking - "do I like the look of that?". Enjoy.
Colin Webb - 14/Jul/09

Reasons why its E1:

Hard to onsight if your grade is HVS/E1 or even E2. Lets not forget that the E point is for an onsight ONLY. I think its piss now, but 20 years ago on my first go it was harrowing and I failed. I dont know many people who have onsighted it.

Gear is placed under duress. Lobbing before solid gear is placed at the lip is dangerous. It's easy to faff the time away, especially if the cams are on the wrong side!

So what if it used to be HVS, grade drift is a well understood, global, very human phenomenon that is brought about by routes that demand comparison. A better way to look at it is saying: its E1 now, but E1 is easier than it used to be.

For the full tick, do it naked, get the lie down rest, bum facing out; the fLYING BUTT-rest. Guilty as charged.
Jon Leighton - 13/Oct/09

"Total votes cast 268". Look at the size of the E1 bar. Democracy has spoken
Chris Parson - 16/Aug/10

out of the 268 votes, 26 are for E1. I admit that only 12 are for HVS. As i've said before my issue is how easy people expect E1 to be not this route or TPS. It used to be hard work climbing E1 and now with grade slippage people expect to be gifted the grade.
craig devonshire - 19/Aug/10

Exhilarating stuff!! After a good fall, I got it on second. Back for a rematch on lead next time. No point arguing over grades, just get on and enjoy!
Ingo - 22/May/11

Fantastic...this one really gets the blood pumping. Solid at HVS and not E1, simply because of the gear at the start of the roof. Two big heel-hook/mantle shelf moves and your done. Loved it!
Clovehitch131 - 29/Jan/12

Finally !!! After walking past thinking I'll never be good enough. First route of the day, no warm up, flashed on lead. Can't believe how straightforward it was.
Can't claim the onsight as I've watched videos etc - but I'll claim my punter onsight ;-)
Mark Reed - 18/Jul/14

I'd give it E1 as I've seen a fair few people plop off the first jug from getting pumped and not committing and then having a nasty landing on the slab. I guess it's HVS if you can climb E1, but E1 if you can climb HVS!!
Matt Pigden - 03/Aug/14

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 292
    hard E2 0 of 46
    E2 0 of 46
    easy E2 0 of 46
    hard E1 0 of 46
    E1 1 of 46
    easy E1 31 of 46
    hard HVS 7 of 46
    HVS 7 of 46
    easy HVS 0 of 46
    hard 5c 0 of 126
    5c 0 of 126
    easy 5c 0 of 126
    hard 5b 1 of 126
    5b 107 of 126
    easy 5b 15 of 126
    hard 5a 3 of 126
    5a 0 of 126
    easy 5a 0 of 126
    3 Stars 118 of 120
    2 Stars 0 of 120
    1 Star 1 of 120
    0 Stars 0 of 120
    Bag of ..... 1 of 120

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