Wednesday 19 January 2011

After visiting White Goods recently and having the usual apres climb grade debate, I started to wonder what the Scottish grades would be for the White Goods dry tooling routes. As sports routes used to get E grades before the adoption of the French system and grit routes have been given sport grades, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to reverse the process and convert the dry tooling routes backwards, hopefully giving people a feel for the type of climbing difficulty that could be expected on a Scottish style mixed route.  Obviously this will only reflect the technical difficulty aspect and the sustained nature of the climb as they all follow a line of bolts, so in relating the two styles, you would have to assume good, easy to place protection. The other thing to remember, is the dry tooling routes are graded for the red point, whereas the Scottish grade should reflect the onsite. As all my White Goods climbing has been worked, its quite tricky to get the conversion right. I've tried to imagine clearing snow off the rock and spending time searching for the holds but some of the moves are so blind, unless you had the strength to hang in there for an hour or two I don't know how you'd onsite them in a Scottish scenario. To put that in perspective a red point ascent would take about three minutes! 
I imagine something like Anubis is graded to reflect the onsite and Dave Mac must have learned a lot from his attempts, making the ascent feel (relatively) easier.

So these are my thoughts. (the numbers in brackets represent the Scottish tech grade ie; the hardest move or sequence of moves)

Left Over Goods D9
Slightly overhanging crack line (8) to a good rest under the big roof, then powerful moves into a fig four and a hard pull to reach easy ground and the LO (11) 
X 11

Doorstep Challenge D8+
As above to the rest,(8) then move right and climb through the roof with powerful moves to get round the lip (11)
IX 11

White Goods D8+
Overhanging ground with some hard moves through the small roofs (9) leads to a semi rest under the main roof, then the obligatory horizontal section with more inverted manoeuvres (10) leads to the finishing crack.
X 10

Jazz D8
Steep climbing, sustained, but with no particularly hard crux, leads to the LO (9)
X 9

Tumble in the Jungle D9
Climbs through four overlaps, while traversing rightwards, on thin, difficult to place torques with some big pulls and no rests (9)
XI 9

Ready Steady Hook D10 
Easy climbing leads to a good rest under the big roof, before launching out with multiple fig fours to the lip, where a dyno gets a good ledge, then footless dangling and heel hooks allow small hooks to be reached and the hardest climbing is over (12) Climb the wall above (8) to a LO 
XI 12
Ready Steady Hook

Powerpact D9
A big reach out to the lip of the first roof and powerful/reachy moves up on small edges gain the wall above (10) which is climbed to a good rest under the main overhang. Now a sustained sequence of pumpy moves lead horizontally leftwards to a massive reach off a stienpull (10) then a hard move past a block (9) and more strenuous moves to the LO
XI 10 

The first roof on Powerpact 


  1. that's really interesting Si, so I can just rock up and onsight Cathedral, right? :)))) No, honest, it's good to see how they compare as I never touched scottish

  2. Some people have too much time on their hands me thinks !!

    Si could you ping us a few of those photos from the weekend so I can put them on the WG blog.

  3. It's all black magic to me. Thinking about it I'd maybe be inclined to give Tumble... tech 10 instead of tech 9 for the longish move up at the end of the middle traverse but it's still just a basic lock and reach so maybe not. The rest of it seems to make some kind of weird sense. Feet off with heels above the head must be 10 or higher I suppose. Like you say I wonder how many overhead heel-hooks, fig 4's or footless lunges there are on The Hurting? Looks like your kind of bag Si, let us all know.