Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Thoughts on Dalkey

Indecent Assault E8 6C, Dalkey Quarry, Dublin
A few weeks back I caught up with Ron and Howard at the Fair Head meet. I got to talking about Indecent assault and the story behind it. Turns out my comment about Ron "working it over a period" is misleading, apologies. He put a few sessions into it before leading it on trad gear - it wasn't a prolonged siege affair by any means and was a mind blowing ascent for the time. The thing is… I’ve been left thinking that Ron’s ascent became an understated piece of Irish climbing history. I mean Ron’s ascent was at the cutting edge 20 years ago and I don’t think he got the credit he deserves or really appreciated how good he was (is) climbing. Weighing it up against any other E7 or E8 I’ve lead (or tried to lead) in Ireland or the UK – it feels E8. If my estimate is closer to the mark it would mean that Ron lead Ireland’s first E8 20 years ago, around the same time John Dunne put the mournes on the map with his ascents of Tolerance and Divided Years. As with all these things it’s just a personal opinion – some routes I think are overgraded, some undergraded. By being honest and voicing these thoughts (while backing up that opinion through comparison to accepted climbs at those grades) future ascentionists step up to the route with a fuller picture of whats involved and grades settle in time through consensus. You suggest a downgrade – you’re a sandbagger! You suggest an upgrade – you’re a grade whore! Well I’m probably a bit of both but all I have to go on here is what I feel it took from me to do the route on the day and the buzz it gave me following the top out and they weigh up to E8 from my experience.

On another note, I’m loving Dalkey these days – been cleaning some classic lines and will update here with what’s in good nick. Saturday I gave Bitter Aftertaste a clean and a ‘mini’ and the Prisoner got a brush too. Get on them if you’re keen for some of Dalkey’s finest ;)

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