Last Great Problems on Gritstone (grrr! Get angry Johnny ...)
Talent, power, stamina, bottle, technique, squeeky clean boots, 'unusual' gear, frontal lobotomy, belay slave, spotting circus, 1000 worth of Metolius mats. These are some of the requirements for potential suitors of Last Great Problems. Choose your line, spend a life-time getting good enough to do it, and then pull the crucial pebble off. All yours ...
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The Last Great Problems
SAFE
but
technical
The groove below Fern Hill Cratcliffe Tor A long standing problem which looks a lot easier than it must be. Good gear in breaks but must be hideously hard to gain height up the groove.
Greedy Pig direct finish Froggatt The blank wall above where Greedy Pig scuttles off left into Brightside. Good gear to start but gets bold with height.
Hanging groove right of Big Greeny Almscliffe Even Pete Brown hasn't done this! Two shite pockets mark the way, although John Dunne has declared it impossible!
Wall left of Beau Geste (7a) Froggatt The obvious brush marks show where Ramp Art should have gone. With pegs placed as for that route, somehow gain the crack marooned in the middle of the wall and race to the top and fame. "6c for the tall, 7a for the short", says grit aficionado Paul Mitchell.
'Smiling Wall' (7b/c) Curbar Obvious line facing Ulysses or Bust as demonstrated by an effete Moon on Hard Grit video. Hard rock-over on slopy nothing followed by a huge dyno off slopy nothing. Not to be confused with Andy Pollitt's Jacket as Matt Gallagher once tried to convince me it was.
SAFE
but
sustained
Far left-hand rib of Tower Face   Stanage A few faint 'scallops' are all there are above a good break. Big fall-out zone.
Groove and rib right of Parthian Shot   Burbage South Gear in the crack (assuming there is some!) should protect most of the desperate looking contortions required to move upwards and gain the hanging rib. Good line though!
BOLD
and
technical
Right arete of 'Smiling Wall' Curbar Short but ferociously hard arete. Not amazingly bold but you wouldn't want to fall off it. Looks easier than it really is!
Linden/Hurricane link Curbar From the gear in Linden sratch up and right-ward to the ramp of Hurricane. Not especially worthwhile, in my opinion.
Piece of Mind Direct (E7/8 6c) Roaches Solo. Instead of moving right onto the foothold, just go straight up the blunt arete above - easier for the tall. F7b. Newsflash Neill Grimes has apparently led this in preference to the original step right!
Wall left of New Statesman (E9 7b?) The Cow, Ilkley Very hard dynos between poor pockets. Hardest bit not too far away from the ground, so might just be considered (relatively) safe!
Charlie's Dilemma Prow Brimham Ok, you need blinkers for this one, but the line makes up for it. A very bulging prow with no obvious holds.
Wall right of Beau Geste (E8 7a?) Froggatt Old John Allen project. A vertical wall with no holds! Good gear in the horizontal break at half height, as for Beau Geste.
Wall right of White Wand Stanage Solo. Optimistic brush marks point the way. Good luck!
Buldge right of Long Tall Sally Burbage North Solo. Room for another desperate rockover onto the slab - nasty.
Braille Trail Direct Burbage South Some one will do it! Straight up the arete (E4 6a) to the horizontal break (small Friends) then some hideously difficult climbing to gain the 'rest' on the arete of Braille Trail. Take in the rock-over crux of this but without those pegs!
Headless Horseman Arete Direct (E9 7a?) Lower Tier, Roaches Where Logical Progression moves left, take the blunt arete direct (top-roped at 7a by Nadin) to the nose (gear) and then take this direct. Gulp!
Wall left of Linden Curbar Solo. Thin. Hard. Where are the holds?? Gag!!
BOLD
and
sustained
Arete left of Roof Route Burbage South Bold, hold-less and overhanging arete with gruesome landing. All yours ...
Arete left of Elder Crack Curbar Obvious line, obviously hard, obviously bold. At least three 7a moves in a row. Not at all obvious that it will ever go!
Wall right of Obsenity Crack Burbage North You're going to need perfect technique for this one, and a good dose of luck! Gear at half height (just about), and maybe sneaky side runners to back it up might protect the vertical smearing problem above.
'Wizard Ridge' (E9/10 7b?) Burbage South The left-hand leaning arete above Simpering Savage. From halfway up the corner bridge onto the arete and follow this to the top, taking in as many ridiculously thin moves as possible along the way.
Wall right of MaDMAn Wimberry Solo. Slopers, pebbles, exposure, death!
Face right of Stampede Burbage South Some very directional pockets trend right-wards up the overhanging face. No gear, obviously.

© J.Read '02