Local moorland hobbit and nocturnal boulderer, Mikey Cleverdon, has made the third ascent of The Green Room – one of Dartmoor’s hardest boulder problems. After a significant amount of time spent at Bonehill, Mikey decided to focus his efforts on the mega-link of the width of The Wave.
Dave Henderson, author of the original online South West Climbing Resource, Javu.co.uk, made the first ascent of The Green Room back in 2007 with an 8 year gap until the second ascent by James Squire last year. We asked Mikey a few questions:
Why hadn’t you worked The Green Room previously?
“After the FA’s of Pe’ahi and Nazare last season, The Green Room was swimming around my mind and although wanting to head elsewhere for a change in scenery, I knew I would be back sometime to put some effort in.
I’d not started working this in the past for three reasons, first was the intimidating landing – coz I’m a wimp and I didn’t have many pads back then. Also was my lack of endurance. I simply knew this was going to be a complete battle for me even if I felt the moves were alright.
I’d wanted just to focus on the two long-standing up projects on The Wave anyway.”
MIKEY CLEVERDON ON THE FIRST ASCENT OF PE’AHI © GRANT EDWARDS?
Why at night?
“My sessions have been at night mainly due to time available on the few dry days around – the conditions certainly haven’t been all that good this season! With the weather being quite warm and wet, I’ve had many very frustrating sessions because of either temperature and seepage, or the forecast has turned on its head! I’ve been very grateful for having a powerful lamp supplied by Flood-it, which has enabled me to enjoy the few dry periods around, I think I would be pulling my hair out by now without it.
The additional friction of climbing in the cold of night is nearly always favourable. As long as you’re organised with plenty of warm clothing, hot drinks and are happy to run round to keep the blood pumping, it’s not too bad.”
What challenges did you face along the way?
“As things started to get colder I was getting psyched to complete some stuff I had been working in lesser conditions. In October, after a few brutal weeks of route setting, training and a quality trip in Font, my shoulder impingement came back with vengeance. That spoiled things for a good month or so and back on the rehab I was getting frustrated.
After a healthy stint of rest I was still aware that climbing really steep projects wasn’t the greatest idea. So I headed back to Bonehill and found that, fortunately, the moves on The Green Room didn’t aggravate the shoulder as long as I was careful.
As my shoulder began to recover, I started to push harder. In recent sessions I had effectively climbed Floater 7C/V9 up to 9 times each session!”
How did it go on “the night”?
“Things looked a little gloomy, being overcast, no wind and feeling quite humid to start. Then the night took a complete turn and the skies opened up! The moon was unbelievably bright, a small breeze freshened the air and we got stuck in. I took to new tactics and tried warming my chalk a little (thanks to Grant Edwards’ hand warmers!) which felt like it was helping (although perhaps a placebo). After one good go, followed by several weird goes where I fell off the start, I was very pleased to finally top out!”
Ofcourse – All we want to know if the grades 😉 …
Throughout this process I’ve had time to think a bit about this and now I’ve manged to climb them all. For me they have settled at the following, but it will be interesting as the get more repeats and others get to enjoy these blocs as I have.
Green Room – 8A/+
Nazare – 8A
New Wave Traverse – 7C+
Wave Traverse – 7C
Floater – 7C
Here’s James Squire’s ascent of The Green Room.