John Arran


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
Notable Partnerships
Anne Arran

John Arran is a very accomplished trad climber with notable first ascents such as The Zone and Doctor Dolittle to his name.

On 20th June 2003 John and his partner for the day Shane Ohly soloed or descended 536 routes in a mammoth single day. [1] Following in the footsteps of Ron Fawcett's Arran climbed 100 extremes in a day in 2001. [2]

References

[1] On The Edge Issue 130, page 11

[2] On The Edge Issue 113, page 32

Contributors: remus

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
Notable Partnerships
Anne Arran

John Arran is a very accomplished trad climber with notable first ascents such as The Zone and Doctor Dolittle to his name.

On 20th June 2003 John and his partner for the day Shane Ohly soloed or descended 536 routes in a mammoth single day. [1] Following in the footsteps of Ron Fawcett's Arran climbed 100 extremes in a day in 2001. [2]

References

[1] On The Edge Issue 130, page 11

[2] On The Edge Issue 113, page 32

Contributors: remus

Lists


Ascents

4 recorded ascents.

This timeline is missing some ascents where the date of the ascent is unknown. Use the other tabs to view these ascents.
Year Climb Grade Style Ascent Date
1997 Longhope Route E7 Lead | ground up Aug 1997
First ascent.

First free ascent.

When Dave went to quiz Oliver Hill (who did the FA with Drummond) on where the route went up the headwall, he was extremely helpful. I remember Dave reporting his advice, that the FA aided up an impressive thin crack, which according to Oliver might be possible free but extremely hard (what foresight from 1970!), but that an easier way to free the route would be to take a left-hand variation and traverse back to the crack higher up, which we did. Apologies to Oliver if I've misremembered or misinterpreted his message, but it definitely suggests he thought our way would be another way to climb the same route. I'm also mindful of the Scoop on Sron Ulladale, which takes a notably different line at times to its originally aided version.

What I don't doubt is the difficulty and quality of the crux pitch that Drummond aided (no small feat in itself, I'm sure) and Dave MacLeod later freed. I recall looking up at it and thinking it would be amazing if it were to be climbable free, but it seemed well out of our league at the time, especially ground-up! It almost certainly would have been too hard for us even after practice, though that wasn't the game we were playing at the time. Such a pitch at the end of such an adventure deserves a status of its own; whether it's the principal free line of the route or a stunningly good and hard variation I'll leave for others to decide. [1]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/not_a_hope_in_hoy-754177?v=1#x9714420

1998 The Zone E9 Lead | worked 1998
First ascent. 7 sessions.

"The Zone" is a term used in Sports Psychology to describe a rarely-achieved heightened state of awareness experienced by some athletes during major events. This sensation is often accompanied by an extraordinary level of personal performance.

References

[1] http://www.thefreeclimber.com/articles/tfcDiaryZone.htm

1999
2000
2001 Doctor Dolittle E10 Lead | worked 2001
First ascent.

The H[9 grade] was an attempt to grade the difficulty of the headpoint experience rather than guessing at what an onsight would feel like. Aid-climbers don't guess at free grades so why should headpointers guess at onsight grades? The gear and moves of Dr. Dolittle (note one 'o') are so unobvious that a true onsight would be much harder than for other comparably-physical and comparably protectable routes. [1]

[1] Westlake, D. (2010). Froggatt to Black Rocks.

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Doctor Dolittle E10 Lead | worked 2001
First ascent.

The H[9 grade] was an attempt to grade the difficulty of the headpoint experience rather than guessing at what an onsight would feel like. Aid-climbers don't guess at free grades so why should headpointers guess at onsight grades? The gear and moves of Dr. Dolittle (note one 'o') are so unobvious that a true onsight would be much harder than for other comparably-physical and comparably protectable routes. [1]

[1] Westlake, D. (2010). Froggatt to Black Rocks.

The Zone E9 Lead | worked 1998
First ascent. 7 sessions.

"The Zone" is a term used in Sports Psychology to describe a rarely-achieved heightened state of awareness experienced by some athletes during major events. This sensation is often accompanied by an extraordinary level of personal performance.

References

[1] http://www.thefreeclimber.com/articles/tfcDiaryZone.htm

Longhope Route E7 Lead | ground up Aug 1997
First ascent.

First free ascent.

When Dave went to quiz Oliver Hill (who did the FA with Drummond) on where the route went up the headwall, he was extremely helpful. I remember Dave reporting his advice, that the FA aided up an impressive thin crack, which according to Oliver might be possible free but extremely hard (what foresight from 1970!), but that an easier way to free the route would be to take a left-hand variation and traverse back to the crack higher up, which we did. Apologies to Oliver if I've misremembered or misinterpreted his message, but it definitely suggests he thought our way would be another way to climb the same route. I'm also mindful of the Scoop on Sron Ulladale, which takes a notably different line at times to its originally aided version.

What I don't doubt is the difficulty and quality of the crux pitch that Drummond aided (no small feat in itself, I'm sure) and Dave MacLeod later freed. I recall looking up at it and thinking it would be amazing if it were to be climbable free, but it seemed well out of our league at the time, especially ground-up! It almost certainly would have been too hard for us even after practice, though that wasn't the game we were playing at the time. Such a pitch at the end of such an adventure deserves a status of its own; whether it's the principal free line of the route or a stunningly good and hard variation I'll leave for others to decide. [1]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/not_a_hope_in_hoy-754177?v=1#x9714420

Monotheism E7 Lead | worked
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade