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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cave Life

Well what can you say about Parisella's Cave! What makes some drive for hours for a day trip to sample its delights while others wouldn't piss on it if it was on fire? I think it's simple really, whereas the doubters may pour scorn on the rock quality and aesthetics the enlightened revel in the unique qualities of this grotty hole in the ground. There are a lot of hard problems in the Cave but it is the way they all connect is such a sustained fashion that make it a unique venue. Didn't Jamie Cassidy call it world class climbing "if you keep your eyes shut". And it's so true, the power endurance nature of the problems and the fantastic moves and largely friendly holds all combine to make it rather special. Throw into the mix the fact that more or less you can climb here all year and there is nearly always some dry rock to be had. The place has evolved beyond recognition from the days when Rockatrocity was a sit start from a big mound of earth.
A Brief History of Trigger Cut Trigger Cut is one of the most sought after testpieces in the Cave. It's the next rite of passage after Rockatrocity and Lou Ferrino. The problem was originally written up as Stuart's Problem (V12) in the early Northern Soul Fanzines. No one knew much about the line but the rumour was that the Scottish powerhouse Stuart Cameron had climbed something here. That fat tatooed broken fingered original Cave boy Chris Davies cornered Cameron along with Mr Panton at the Stick It launch party in Sheffield to see if he could remember what he did. He couldn't and Floppy eventually climbed the line and named it Trigger Cut and gave it V13. The problem came down to V12 with repeats from Steve Dunning and Rich Simpson. After a few years some keen boys (namely Neil Dyer, Malcolm Smith and Jamie Cassidy) got involved and worked out some easier beta and the dam began to break. A high right foot, an undercut and a left hand finish brought the problem down to 7c+/8a and the ascents started to mount up. This new beta would prove crucial for Jamie as he started trying the line from Lou Ferrino as a new Cave super link. He lived on inspiration while he was trying it and his problem (Director's Cut) showed what was possible for the strong and talented. For us casual observers we hadn't witnessed such impressive steep climbing waddageness on our own turf. Neil Dyer would eventually extend Director's to give Silk Cut and Halfway House (Trigger Cut from the Lou Ferrino ramp) became a popular problem in it's own right. One day a certain handsome weakling who was weighed down with a rather weighty schlong decided the move to the shothole was a bit tricky so he pushed his knee down from the right foothold and hey presto le statique! That was me and i would be forever remembered as the man who ruined Trigger Cut. A few years later another man wedged his knee down a move sooner and more recently the biggest weakling of all David Noden completed the kneebar rout by sticking it in straight away. What followed was much debate about what to do with the grade of TC and the links. With the knee you do the 3 hard moves with your leg and merely hold on with your arm. It was blatantly a lot easier. The Five Ten kneepad has made the knees even more bomber but the fair thing to do seemed to be to offer 2 grades as the knee were so specific not many people could use them. Trigger feels 7b+ to me now, 2 grades easier than without pads but strangely the links feel more like a grade less. Directors hasn't been done with pads yet but you're looking at probably mid-hard 8a+. Nodder did the first kneebarred FA, Broken Trigger which weighed in at 8a+ (or 8a with Knees). I repeated it yesterday, it was a bit of a long time nemesis for me but using the knee to get the crimp and the 5.10 pad helped me to finish it. Although not an obvious line (or obvious start) it's perhaps the best climbing i've done in there. So funky and interesting. Whether you knee or arm it Trigger Cut remains a classic Cave problem.

The Rest
Grading the Cave is probably Mr P's biggest headache with the guide. Despite the masses who go regularly opinion varies on a lot of problems. New holds by the arch seem to have brought The Highlife down to 7c+. It was definitely a bit harder when i did the FA. Another FA of mine Broken Sam has also been beta'd out but i'm not sure if it brings it a whole grade down, opinion varies. The standard for PE 8a is 7b+ into 7c (or 7c into 7b+). Cave Life and Pit of Hell are two typical 8as. Pilgrim weighs in at soft 8a+ IMO (7c into 7c). In Hell is probably smack bang in the middle of 8a+ though Ed Hamer and Dave Redpath actually found it easier than Pilgrim. In Life is probably soft 8a+ and In Heaven is still top of the grade. Greenheart remains one of the toughest 8a+s but a few slightly easier sequences do exist now from Pete and Nodder. The Wire is likely soft 8a+. Opinion seems to be divided on Bonnie (8a or 8a+). I'm too shit on it to comment but think it would get more ascents if it was 8a. Clyde seems a touch harder so 8a+. The 8b's seem pretty spot on, Silk Cut is no longer regarded as 8b+ (7a after 8b = 8b). East Coker is unrepeated, Daisy from Concrete is 8a (knees), 8a+ (without). And there you have it, why do people find grading so hard. It's actually piss :)

Video of Broken Trigger:

Mike Hart has climbed a worthwhile new low Rockatrocity link. Beneath the wobbly block are some slopey holds and its likely that RA has been done from here before. Mike found a nice start right on the back wall that gives it a logical start. There is a undercut and a big sidepull. It's cool in that it comes out in a straight line. I expect the difficulty is similar to Pit of, perhaps a little easier. Nice one! an attempt:

The dog in the background is known as Hatch and the link is called Hatchatrocity!

1 comment:

Dave Redpath said...

Think broken trigger might be a bit harder for me :( I might order a knee pad and inch slab of rubber to even things out a bit :) Anyway, It's all about crimps for the next 6 months ;)