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Next Meet

"Wild Camping"

1st - 3rd March 2013

Next Social

AGM. Portland D136.
map

Thursday 14th March
8.00 pm

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Ice Climb

Manchester Indoor Ice Wall
Friday 1st December at 8:30am

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Climb

Pineapple Grading

It soon became clear that some pineapples were capable of repelling the attentions of all but the most crazed ascendants. This was not about rock climbing as an art or a science, just about standing on top of a rock, without resort to any unnatural aids. Appart from the Inaccesible Pineapple at the Woolpacks, which, obviously, no one could get close to climbing, we soon found that there was a number of other rocks which the self-declared elite pineapplers could all do (in a pretty desperate struggle the first time, and easier with practice) , and 'ordinary ramblers' could not. Our chronicler Martin Spiers served as an excellent benchmark, as he was prepared to have a go, but was not exactly a natural conquerer of the vertical plane. Over the months he persistently battled, struggling his way up three of our original pineapples, leading to their instant downgrading. Doomed never to climb a full-grade pineapple, he nobly took on the role of timer and historian of pineapplery.

The relatively small size of the rocks meant that you could fling everything in your bodilly arsenal at them without constraints of risk or constant managing of ropes and equipment. This was basically somewhat more fun, and far cheaper than rock climbing. The grading is somewhat skewed towards the cautious of nature, as Mr Spiers was not one for speculative leaps at sheer rock faces fumbling for out-of-sight holds that if missed left you sliding peatwards down rough granite. This explains why some recent MPS expeditions have found the p-1 Lurve Rock, with no exposure or leaping, a discouraging start to the day. P grade Iggy is probably somewhat easier, but, a bit like a first abseil, requires a certain upfront committment when you lean across to it from the neighbouring rock, knowing the only way back is forwards, or a plunge to the bog far below.

Some pineapples, particularly The Salt Cellar and Robin Hood's Stride SW may be no taller than the Woolpacks but involve a certain amount of exposure above greater drops off one side, as they stand on the edge of small cliffs. The Tegness Quary pinnacle is left out of the tables completely as it is about 30ft high, and more like a conventinal but easy rockclimb. I don't know of any occasion where anyone has been hurt through a conventional fall while pineappling, but I find that over-exposure to drops takes a bit of the fun out of it, and the technique becomes a lot less creative and carefree.

The traditional rule about only using the footware you walked in with, was designed to keep rockboots out of the Woolpacks, but Mad Martin once walked in from Edale in them and found they were no help on the inaccessible one, and certainly not conducive to good times on the relay. However Chris Smartt did get up the Hen Cloud pineapple in them, which is helpfully near the road, and which had repelled all previous attempts in walking boots.

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Page last modified on April 09, 2008, at 01:58 PM