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Some news and views on Mountain Quarry:
Apparently there is a cracked block that must be pulled on near the bottom of Vader and Fringe Benefits that is loose. This is before you can place any gear so beware.
The top piton on The Force has been removed and replaced with a machine bolt.
There is a cracked block near the top undercling on Star Wars. Caution required.
A massive boulder at the bottom of Double Nuts has fallen off the wall and with it the first bolt. Not sure if the climb can still be done or how hard it is.
Sweet Pea is apparently missing one of its glued on holds in the top section. This should be replaced sometime in the future.
Grade updates (in my opinion):
Sylvia – 22 from 21
Shield of Achilles – 23 from 24Matt RosserKeymaster
With regards to the grades of both Sylvia and the Shield Achilles. I believe that the Shield is a fair 24. It was the opinion of 5 climbers that the Shield was fairly graded at 24. The climb was not graded until I had feedback from a number of people who had attempted the line cold. That is on sight and placing all their own gear. Your view is probably influenced by the fact that you did not attempt an on sight having watched 2 people do the route and that all your gear was pre placed.
I also believe that Sylvia is a 21. I remember when Sylvia was first climbed and graded. Prior to grading the first ascender, Gary Matier, encouraged a number of people to climb the line (on sight, leading and placing gear) and give feedback. I climbed the line with Garry. I am quite sure that Peter McKenzie and Ron & Ronald Master also were approached. After this consultative process the climb was graded at 21. Again the weight of opinion seems to rest with the original grade.Jon GreggKeymaster
What influenced my view on the grades of Sylvia & Shield of Achilles was comparing them to other climbs of similar grades. I climbed Sylvia recently after not trying it for over 5 years and found it difficult, at least as hard as the other 22s in the quarry -The Force, Vader, Urban Ethics and Land of the Orange Druggie. The bottom crux seemed desperate – has a hold broken? A few others who have tried it recently also agree that 22 seems appropriate.
As for The Shield, I think it is not as difficult as Hang Ten (24) and I thought the crux on your 23 at Boya Quarry was harder. I also think the crux on Quarryman (22) at Stathams is as hard as anything on The Shield. Also, one of those who have led The Shield and Sylvia cleanly said that he thought there was not 3 grades difference between the climbs.
My suggested changes are merely an attempt to get consistency amongst the grades of climbs. I’ll guess we’ll see if anyone else has any comments.Matt RosserKeymaster
I will try Sylvia again soon. I climbed it around 4 months ago and agree it could have lost a hold – I pulled off a big hold when I was last on it.
I removed the loose block on Star Wars that you mentioned – it came off with little effort, though the climb is little changed and still a terrific line. I also checked the pegs. The middle peg needs to be replaced with a bolt immediately. It was rusty and a bit loose. Not replacing a peg for ethical reasons is not, in my opinion, worth the risk.
I looked over towards Vader but could not see the loose block – unless the whole corner is loose – but it has always been like that.
With regard grading of the Shield I will leave what I have already said above and add one more point. I would not compare The Shield to Hang Ten in determining grade. There are few 24s in the quarry to draw a comparison.
However, The Shield compares well with Star Wars 24 and outside the quarry with Karma 24. It is very similar with these climbs in that it is not the technical difficulty of any one move alone that has determined the grade, the number and consistency is also a part.
With regard the grades at Boya. I have not organised the consultative process that will provided consensus grades. However, I will ask some climbers to check the grades with me before publishing the Boya update. We will be printing an update for the Boya Quarry soon – we have new lines at Boya and one of Jims is particularly good. As always Jon your input will be valued.
I agree with Jon on Sylvia, that climb has lost a lot of friable holds over the years (esp. the black rock on right side of arete) so is now harder. This happens to many climbs around Perth. Regarding the SoA I can’t comment other than it looked slabby in parts so a comparison with the hard slabs at Mt Cuthbert could be appropriate. I’ll have a go in next few months. Anyway, wouldn’t get too excited about 1 grade difference. Ciao.