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The Best Worst Classics


Justin Skaare · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 90

levitation 29

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Red Rock: Crimson, Geronimo. Crimson I get, it's a big pillar that goes at a moderate grade, even if the climbing is ho hum. Geronimo totally baffles me, it's a crap climb up mediocre rock with a horrible descent. I have no idea why it's classic. 

Eldorado: basically everything there. I wasn't impressed with the climbing there other than the proximity. It's a great local crag, but certainly not worth traveling for, imho. 

Squamish: Diedre. I don't understand the hype on that route, especially with all the great climbs around it. Good, but definitely not great. 

cmqr9001 Black · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 135

Urban Assault, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
John Wilder wrote:

Red Rock: Crimson, Geronimo. Crimson I get, it's a big pillar that goes at a moderate grade, even if the climbing is ho hum. Geronimo totally baffles me, it's a crap climb up mediocre rock with a horrible descent. I have no idea why it's classic. 

Eldorado: basically everything there. I wasn't impressed with the climbing there other than the proximity. It's a great local crag, but certainly not worth traveling for, imho. 

Squamish: Diedre. I don't understand the hype on that route, especially with all the great climbs around it. Good, but definitely not great. 

Hua, I thought Crimpson was pretty rad and far better than most of the other moderates in Red Rocks. Your typical Red Rocks moderate is mostly a bunch of slab romping on really soft rock and little exposure--pretty boring and easy really. Crimpson is a rare change of scenery with the vertical climbing and high(ish) exposure at a moderate grade.

I'd throw Solarslab, Birdland and Cat in the Hat into the list. Like most other Red Rocks moderates, it's just a bunch of slab humping all day.

BJB · · Texas · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 195
cmqr9001 Black wrote:

Urban Assault, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

For the last day, I've tried to go about my work, raise my kid, and be a good husband, but I cannot fully focus on those responsibilities without saying this - you are wrong.  Urban Assault is a great and distinct multi pitch climb in an area that has no other "adventure" climbing within a two hour drive.  

It has a cave belay!  A cool traverse out of the cave belay!  The steepest easy 5.10 climbing you will do anywhere! An awesome giant belay ledge! Pitch 3 can be done as stout free climbing or a thought provoking leaning bolt ladder!  It has a one pitch rappel over a river!    

I'm not saying that I would drive past Yosemite Valley, Red Rocks, or Portrero Chico to get to Urban Assault, but Urban Assault is a distinct, special and classic climb in the state of Texas.

I'll stand by and let people defame the Durrance, but I'll stand up for Urban Assault.   

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Eric Carlos wrote:

 Edge of Time in Estes Park.  

That route is only classic for the great photo composition. I mean, it's fun to climb and all but not that interesting. 

cmqr9001 Black wrote:

Urban Assault, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

They only rebolted it after I left Austin, so I haven't even climbed it. Do people actually state that it's a classic? It looks like an adventure in choss for sure. :-D But come on, any new routes in the Greenbelt are most welcome. You guys should go fix up that Beehive Wall or whatever it's called. 

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767

Most of CT...

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 567
Morgan Patterson wrote:

Most of CT...

Is there even any route in Connecticut which cuts it as a classic? I mean when you consider the general region of the Gunks, White Mountains, Rumney, Pawtuckaway and the Adirondacks...

To contribute to this conversation, High E. I brought brass knuckles to fight off crowds but there wasn't even anyone in line or on route when I got there! Ruined the experience, I had no one on the GT Ledge or rappelling past to impress and I just wound up whimpering there about the move

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Nolan Huther wrote:

Is there even any route in Connecticut which cuts it as a classic?

Ha, yes most definitely. Quite a few...

Caleb Mallory · · Seattle, Wa · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 425
Creed A wrote:

Pear Buttress in Lumpy is kinda dumb. It only has one good pitch.

Does anyone really consider PB a classic though? 

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938

I haven't climbed it yet, but apparently the Great Arch on Stone Mountain in NC fits the bill.

It's a gorgeous feature that amounts to three pitches of lower back pain from constant lie-backs up a slab. 

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330
Dylan B. wrote:

I haven't climbed it yet, but apparently the Great Arch on Stone Mountain in NC fits the bill.

It's a gorgeous feature that amounts to three pitches of lower back pain from constant lie-backs up a slab. 

It is a must-do climb....once.  If that climb were steeper, it would be one of the best climbs out there. The adjacent climb that takes the edge/arete of the arch is pretty awesome too:

Bombay Groove

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 710

Ok I have climbed the Great Arch. Once. Which is one definition of non-classic: worth doing once, but not repeating.

Have to disagree about the Edge.  If you don't like short pitches, there are solutions for that, and likewise if you find it 'wanders' too much then 1) stick to Supercrack and 2) stick to the arete and tell us how it goes, aren't there some .13b-ish variations that straighten out the line?  In its favor I would argue for amazing position, loads of varied climbing, some cool ledges and of course all the classic-ness that come with fondling Layton's crimpers.

The Durrance is merely the poster child for the obvious truth of columnar basalt, which is that the easier lines are the least elegant- and the Durrance is the easiest line on its formation.  

The Nose of Looking Glass: historic, moderate, and obvious. These qualities are frequently mistaken for good climbing, which is why the Nose often ends up on those 'you gotta do it' lists. Which themselves are full of similarly non-sustained, non-direct historic recon lines surrounded by later routes that actually embody the more desirable traits. See: Sundial, Peregrine, Sinsemilla Sunset etc.

Notice that no one here is chiming in to bemoan the impostor status of the classic  Steck-Salathe. I hereby assert that this ancient, eponymous, wandering, grunty reconnaissance effort is in fact an undying classic because of-  and not despite- it's precise embodiment of qualities that are elsewhere decried.  In the immortal formulation of the Valley sage Shaggy, the Steck is somehow both 'Yosemite classic' and 'classic Yosemite', mystically embodying the best of each.  Climb it or die! 

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938
csproul wrote:

It is a must-do climb....once. 

Oh, I absolutely will at the right time.

But from what I hear it fits the bill of this thread.

J Sundstrom · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 135

The Trough at Tahquitz. Probably popular since it was the definition of 5.0 and the first route up. But there are way better easy routes a short jaunt away.

Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60

The Bastille Crack. Maybe because it was one of my worst outings. But there is nothing about that climb that makes me want to do it again, or even recommend it to others.

Brian Carver · · Boulder, Co · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 30

Upper Diagonal, Devils Lake.  It's a great looking climb that protects well, but the movement is just not good at all. 

Peter Lewis · · Bridgton, Maine · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 160
Eliot Augusto wrote:

The Bastille Crack. Maybe because it was one of my worst outings. But there is nothing about that climb that makes me want to do it again, or even recommend it to others.

And those opening 25 feet are slicker than greased owl snot. I still think it's a nice, very steep, moderate outing up an impressive formation. Nasty approach, though (start very early, by headlamp).

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

Epinephrine

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Eliot Augusto wrote:

The Bastille Crack. Maybe because it was one of my worst outings. But there is nothing about that climb that makes me want to do it again, or even recommend it to others.

Once you have climbed it a handful of times, you can rest assured that you never have to climb it again.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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