Blood is sweeter than honey - the beta...

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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
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Blood is sweeter than honey - the beta...

Post by SNORT » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:41 pm

Blood is sweeter than Honey: The beta……

Tony Dick and Charles Edelstein climbed the route on Friday 26 October. The route was first climbed on the Yellow Wood Amphitheatre in 1987 by Paul Schlotfeld and company. The description can be found in the 1988 MCSA journal. It is a serious route for it’s grade and requires competent and careful trad climbing on all the pitches. The least serious pitch and the best protected is actually the 8th pitch that is graded as the crux at 22. In fact, I found this particular pitch to be only grade 20 or at most 21.

The first two pitches belie the grade of 17 and requires some lateral thinking to climb. Don’t bother combining them as the rope drag that ensues merely slows one down.

The third pitch is excellent and is grade 21 not 20 but the route description is a little confusing. It states: “climb up past the open book”. When it should merely state “climb the open book” that is directly above the right side of the belay ledge. The open book has a tricky start and found myself having to do a balancy step up with using a very reachy pinch grip with my right hand. The climbing then requires technical stemming moves but the pro is OK.

Don’t combine this pitch with the 4th unless you are going well and you found the 3rd easy. The 4th 19 pitch is very serious if you fall off as there is a long side-ways run-out with no worthwhile gear placements until you are virtually through the crux in the overhang.

The 5th pitch is fairly straightforward and the 6th is again run-out but experienced trad climbers will find it superb and positive.

The 8th grade 20 pitch is a little sketchy with regard to the protection and the rock and the moves seem to force you into a strenuous layback at the crux. But the way to do it is to do a stemming move.

The 9th 22 pitch is well protected and is only about grade 20 or, at most 21 if you continue to the top of the recess before moving out right.

The 10th 19 pitch is serious with poor rock going left at the first traverse and is also not well protected.

Descent: We did not climb the last 16 pitch but instead abseiled off a sling around a huge block that tapers to a pinnacle point at the top of pitch 10 just before the stance. 60m ropes get you to an abseil point left in situ at the crux of the 8th pitch. Then it’s two abseils down the bolted route from the halfway ledge. All very user friendly and quick.

General: Blood is Sweeter than Honey is, in my view a superb route with excellent and consistent climbing on a good line up a fantastic face. Although the grade is generally moderate with only a few grade 20 or 21 moves here and there it is a potentially serious route and not for the faint hearted. I would give it a seriousness grade of at least S2 (compared to say Armageddon time at S1.) It requires competent trad climbing with lateral thinking here and there. The on-sight grade is considerably harder –perhaps even by two grades - than a repeat ascent and overall it warrants a grade of 22 or 21 S2. I would rate it as a “must do” for any aspirant trad climber.

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Post by codger » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:09 am

wow ... glad you had fun on the route.. congrats ... Tony has quite the history on Yellowwood. Your description takes me way back! We certainly had a blast on it 20 yrs ago. ( I am the \"company\" part of the opening party) Paul and I had planned to do a celebration repeat after 10 yrs. At the time it seemed like so far off, now seems like so long ago.

I cant comment on your description of each pitch, but it seems accurate. I remember a 3-friend as pro half way through the overhang on pitch 4 before pulling the roof (Paul let that pitch first.. brave man in those days). Pitch 6 was my favorite, but pitch 9 came close for me.

We climbed to the half-way ledge on our first outing, then sent the whole route a few weeks later. From the top it is easy to walk to the descent gulley near to Smalblar and do that rap ... the thought of rapping the route at the time seemed intimidating ... although you seem to have been fine!

The route has remained one of my favorites over the decades and I have been always a little sad it had not been enjoyed by more folk. It is named after the Dali, but felt very appropriate.

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Post by SAMSON » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:14 pm

Did this route with a chap called Dave Schewell... I broke my arm on the descent. I remember thinking the route was pretty good.

anyone know where dave is ?

I have been to yellowwood 13 times this year.....

Jeremy Samson

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Post by Brussel » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:51 pm

Jeremy you are a glutton for punishment, or you have a short memory that forgets the pain of the slog quickly! :D

How far are from sending the Sean Maasch bolted route. I got some cool pics of you and partner on it last time I was up there some months back. pm me if you would like them.

Happy climbing....

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Post by codger » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:03 pm

Jeremy ... Hellllllo.
I am still out there ... although still a little out there!
I will email you.
I remember when you broke your arm ... you were quite brave (sortoff). You looked at your bent arm in surprise, after your tumble. You insisted on taking the hard way down that little crag. It was straight by the time you got to the car .. I caught lank flank from Ed for carrying your pack down for you ... but I would carry it again, given the chance. That was the second or 3 complete ascent of Blood ....
I remember working on the Sean Marsh route with you when I placed that bolt a little high for some to reach.
YW is a really cool crag ... still one of my favorites.
Last edited by codger on Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SAMSON » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:03 pm

Please email... some pics as well

I am out of shape at the moment but hope to do the route soon, in the next month.

Please email, use both my adresses

Life is good this side of the pond.

later + thanks for getting in touch...


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Post by paddy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:27 am

Codger, does this visit to the site mean that you have started climbing again. I heard that fatherhood caused you to sell your climbing gear.

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Post by codger » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:28 am

armchair ... armchair only.

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Post by mountainmailorder » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:44 am

Hi Dave
This is David Davies. Tony Dick and I did the second ascent in 1987 on a Sunday the day before Tony and I opened \"Second coming\". I remember this weekend very clearly sitting around our little campfire, Tony came up out of the blue saying it would be his last weekend of climbing for a long time, as he had 2 little children at home and wanted to spend more time with them. He stuck to his word and didn't climb for 10 years. At the age of 60 he's still giving us all carrots.
Great route
Cheers Dave :D

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