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WADzilla [8B] FA & Repeat from Kydd & Squire


Around two weeks ago, Jonny Kydd completed the first ascent of an alternate start to ‘Godzilla’ [8A+] at Biblins Cave, naming his problem ‘WADzilla’ and suggesting a grade of [8B]. Having made the first ascent of ‘Godzilla Sit’ [8B] just last year, Jonny managed to complete ‘Wadzilla’ relatively quickly from his experience on the parent problem. Just one week later, James Squire repeated the problem, just missing the first ascent.

 

PIPPED AT THE POST – YOU MUST BE KYDDING ME

Biblins Cave used to be a “locals-only” crag, guarded by secrecy due to it’s banned access. Local young climber James Squire managed secure access to the venue from Nature England back in 2014. Following this, James was drawn to the line of ‘WADzilla’ and had been working the problem for several years.

I’ve been trying to climb this roof since I opened Biblins 4 years ago and felt to happy to have finally climbed it!

I think it is definitely one of the hardest things I have climbed so either hard 8B or soft 8B+ is fair.J.SQUIRE

TIME WELL SPENT FOR A FIRST ASCENT

Jonny had been working the some moves and secitons of problem for the past 2 or 3 years, with the last 5 sessions being dedicated to the ‘WADzilla’ start.

All in all I think I had 17 sessions, over 2 – 3 years, in which I had tried the moves. Many of those sessions were spent working either Godzilla or Godzilla Sit.J.KYDD

From the UKClimbing.com logbook ascents, the grade of the parent route, ‘Godzillla’ seems to have some question as to whether the line is slightly soft. This could impact the grade of ‘WADzilla’ in the future, however only further repeats will be able to gauge accurately.

Jonny commented, “Grading is always a funny business especailly when matching the finish hold is part of the crux! The stand start seems to be established at ~8A+ and the lower moves, although not as difficult, are still no push over and adds 7 moves of sustained roof climbing on smallish holds with lots of undercuts and feels as though it warrants an increase in grade.

I dropped the last move many times from the start despite being able to do this move almost every time in isolationJ.KYDD

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Coastal Crushing – SW Boulder Roundup Pt. 2


As the warming spring climate directs all but the keenest of moorland devotees to the coast, reports flood in of a wave in coastal crushing. In search of cool-breeze and ‘primo’ conditions (temperature and humidity such that friction does not hinder the climber) those looking to relax and combine climbing with that holiday-feel head to the exposed coastal areas.

Back in 2014 a stern winter storm brought significant boulder re-shuffling to several coastal bouldering venues. With few minor areas having its problems devastated by the storms, Tintagel North saw a one key boulder moved to make way for a range of possibilities in exchange of one previous classic, Kids [7B+]. Tom Newberry, one of the original developers of Tintagel North, swept up the newly available starts to bring the classic ‘AWOL Apprentice’ and other problems.

It was rather surprisingly discovered by local climbers that once again Tintagel North had succumb to the mercy of winter storms. Early in 2016 the large left supporting boulder of the main wall had been washed away, luckily without any damage, paving way for new developments. Local and visiting climbers soon made light work adding of new problems, exits and link-ups across the expanse rock.

ARTHUR [8A+] REPEAT

As is evident on social media, this year has marked a new peak in popularity for Tintagel North including a successful trip from Eliot Stephens and a posse of Southern Welsh climbers. Following swift ascents of AWOL Apprentice [7C], it’s variations [~7C+] and Colorado Dreaming [7C+], Eliot switched his attention to the legendary undercut project, ‘Arthur’ 8A+.

I NEARLY DID IT IN A FEW GOES BUT THEN THE TIDE FLOODED THE LANDING. WE WAITED A FEW HOURS THEN DROPPED THE SWORD LIKE KING ART HIMSELFE.STEPHENS

Having waited for the tide to drop back away from the boulder Eliot dispatched the problem, commenting, “[The problem is] straight forward, bunchy climbing” and that it may be a touch soft for the grade. As any climber knows, it’s not solely about the rock climbing but enjoying the surroundings and setting too.

Eliot said, “The atmosphere is really relaxed and the spot has some lovely places to sit and enjoy the view. There are a lot of problems on one single boulder, and the landing is perfect (often a rare thing on any coastal boulder). I thought the rock quality was very good, high friction rock with lots of holds and options”.

MERLIN’S BEARD [8B] REPEAT

Cornwall’s hardest boulder problem, ‘Merlin’s Beard’ from Alex Waterhouse, has also seen a repeat at the hands of keen holiday maker Dan Turner. In an incredible display of good form, Dan climbed the problem on his first go from the start. (It’s such a shame he can’t pronounce Tintagel though!)

Commenting that he thought the problem a touch soft, Dan said,” [it] could be 8A+” on his 8a.nu account. It should be noted that due to a wider-confusion on the line (more information below) of ‘AWOL Apprentice Right Hand’, Dan topped out the problem earlier than Alex on the first ascent – possibly reducing the grade.

We asked Dan what he thought on the matter and he said,” I don’t think there’s a big difference on the exact finish – it is great climbing regardless. I think the grade is the same as a problem I just did ‘Ropes of Maui’ [8B] in North Wales. Very similar in style [to Merlin’s Beard] a bit soft but everyone seems to take 8B, so who knows.”

ALEX MAY WELL BE LOUDER AND SCREAMIER THAN ME, BUT I BET I COULD CHUCK MY BOOTS WAY FURTHER THAN HIM!D.TURNER

EXCALIBUR [8A] REPEATS

Adding a sitting start to Dan Turner’s tight line of ‘Path of Daggers’, Mikey Cleverdon’s ‘Excalibur’ [8A] has seen repeats from Jonny Kydd, James Squire and Rory Bascombe.

THE AWOL APPRENTICE CONFUSION

In our modern age of social media moguls, Youtube videos and personality VLOGS, climbers – in particular boulderers – have become ever more savvy in sourcing information about problems they aspire to climb. Scouring videos for “the beta” is an increasingly common method of learning the moves before even getting to the crag. However, this seems to be the catalyst leading to confusion at Tintagel of which line goes where, despite fairly defining UKC descriptions.

As it stands, only Alex Waterhouse (first ascent) and Mikey Cleverdon have climbed the line of ‘AWOL Apprentice Right Hand’ (as was climbed on the FA), with all other ascents actually having climbed, what is now dubbed, ‘AWOL Central’ (Essentially a link between ‘AWOL…’ and ‘Arthur’).

A QUESTION OF QUALITY?

Further along the coast at Hartland Quay, although not packing the density of 8th grade problems as Tintagel, the quality of hard problems spread across sectors are highly reputed as some of the County’s best. Between the two venues it seems that opinion differ widely on the quality of the rock.

THE ROCK ON THE CARNAGE WALL IS SOME OF MY FAVOURITE IN THE COUNTRY – SOFT, BUTTERY SLOPERS AND LOTS OF UNDERCUTS!D.MASON

Visiting northern-wad, David Mason, spending some time of his trip ticking problems at Tintagel, commented that he was not all that impressed with the venue’s lines or rock quality – finding it hard to distinguish between problems and the rock being sharp and uncomfortable. In contrast he favoured Hartland Quay for it’s ‘Soft, buttery slopers’ and ‘powerful and tensiony’ climbing style.

IN MY OPINOIN, IF THAT [TINTAGEL] IS BAD ROCK THEN PEAK GRITSONE IS COMPLETE CHOSS!E.STEPHENS

HARD HARTLAND QUAY HAPPENINGS – [8A] & [8A+]

Dave’s main focus was to try two problems on the Speke’s Mill roof, south of Hartland Quay. With limited time during a late evening session, Dave managed to make a ‘lucky flash’ of ‘The End if Nigh’ [8A]. Dave commented, “As it turned dark I started trying ‘The Revolution is Coming’. I managed to do it in two sections really quickly but couldn’t get the awkward finger jam to stay when coming from the start. After getting frustrated for a while, I called it a day.”

Returning the next day, Dave focussed his efforts back on ‘The Revolution is Coming’ [8A]. After a slight tweak in beta for the finger Jam, Dave ticked the problem with one minor issue – “Unfortunately I dabbed on the mats slightly and had to climb again – all good training I guess!

Tom Newberry’s stiff-graded classic of ‘Supersede’ [8A] was next on Dave’s list. With the problem having received a hold breakage on the final move, ‘Supersede’ had not since seen a repeat. Dave investigated closely with use of a ladder to figure out some options for the last few moves.

Now third day in, Dave was starting to feel tired from the previous days bouldering, “The next morning I felt like I had been hit by a bus and I didn’t know if I would even try Supersede but after warming up, I felt good and headed over to give it a shot.”

“I re-worked the bottom and got the moves sorted in my head before getting to work on what to do at the top. The crux of this problem is still latching the campus rung edge with the right hand at about 3/4 height but the top is probably a fair bit scarier now than it was.

“Luckily, second time of latching the campus rung, I managed to commit to move to the tiny left hand crimp and eventually slap for the top. I was full of relief that I hadn’t taken a nasty fall and elation that I had climbed this stunning problem which just felt a bit too hard 6 years ago. “

Dave now considers ‘Supersede’ to warrant [8A+] commenting, “Although I don’t think it’s much harder than it used to be, I think consensus was that the grade was pretty stern before and it definitely seems harder than both roofs.”

THE ‘FLOODGATE’ IS OPEN – [8B] FIRST ASCENT

On the other side of Hartland Quay, in the Acheball Cave, James Squire has climbed a new line right of the Simon Young classic, ‘Ache Ball’. Having tried the line a couple of times in September 2016, James returned this May following a minor back injury to complete the line – ‘Floodgate’ [8B].

James said, “Floodgate climbs out of the roof right of ‘Ache Ball’ to finish on the same jug rail. The climbing is super weird! It’s beta-intensive with undercuts, drop knees and a guppy – not basic pulling by any means.”

We asked James how we came to his conclusion on the grade, with the problem being graded as one of the hardest in Devon. James said, “It’s an odd one! It felt harder than a few 8B’s I’ve ticked abroad over the past year and it has taken longer to complete than almost all of those.”

“With the right beta and body dimensions it could possibly be 8A+. I guess it will need a repeat. There are definitely enough strong people in the South West capable of doing so now, so what you all waiting for? 😉 “

With the North Cornwall and Devon coastline boasting a range of 8th grade problems up to 8B, perhaps the region’s tranquil crags and holiday-feel will attract even more strong climbers from further afield.

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The Wave Sends – SW Boulder Roundup Pt. 1


The Wave – the iconic feature of bouldering on Dartmoor, and indeed that of bouldering in Devon – has consistently received attention from local and visiting climbers alike over the decades. From humble beginnings of the early 90’s climbers using a ‘cheat stone’ to get established on the problem, to subsequent ground-starting ascents in later years from the likes of Chris Nicholson, Dave Henderson et al, The Wave could certainly be considered one of the starting points of modern moorland bouldering.

In more recent years the potential for new problems and link-ups on the eye catching bloc have attracted the attention of local boulderers seeking to climb the unclimbed and push the cutting-edge of the area’s standards.

Following a string of impressive first ascent by Mikey Cleverdon, this past boulder season may well have seen The Wave’s highest quantity of its hard lines repeated from resident local strong boulderers, with multiple Font 8 ascents being climbed. This perhaps compared to that of other, well established, areas would not necessarily be much of note – however, for the South West area scene these ascents represent a local cutting edge in hard first ascents and repeats. This could potentially be the indication of rising standards for the local area.

This thing doesn’t feel like a link up at all, taking an obvious line straight up from the bottom to the top of the boulder.H.POTOKAR

The rather cynical may remark that due to The Wave’s link-up nature, these ascents are nothing short of additional moves added to well-rehearsed training laps. However, those with the knowledge of these problems will concede that although spread along the same wall, the quality of each line is high.

Autumn/Spring 2016-2017 has so far seen the following ascents on The Wave:

[8B] – The Waterman – FA M.Cleverdon 2016
James Squire

[8A+]Pe’ahi – FA M.Cleverdon 2015
James Squire
Hamish Potokar
Cailean Harker
Walker Kearney

[8A 7C+] – Catching the Wave – FA J.Squire 2014
Hamish Potokar
Cailean Harker
Ben West
(Further repeats of Catching the Wave, previous to those listed, in earlier seasons)

A post shared by Cailean Harker (@caileanharker) on

As with every hard ascent, the intriguing interpretations of each ascentionist gives way to tales and insights that often go untold. Having spoken to The Wave devotees it is apparent that high quality climbing, fickle conditions and skin dependence are a recurring theme across the board.

James squire on The Waterman [8B] and Pe’ahi [8A+]


Quality: “I’ve had far too many sessions on the wave but always enjoy going back to the harsh rock and big views. It was great to have climbed ‘Pe’ahi’ and ‘The Waterman’ this winter, ‘Pe’ahi’ being probably the best line on the wave and The Waterman being the hardest.”

Difficulty: “Having some new beta for the sit start and come cold conditions defiantly made the difference this season!”

Big respect to Mikey and everyone in the south west scene for putting up great problems and developing new areas – I’ve got a lot left on the wishlist!

Hamish Potokar on Pe’ahi [8A+]


Timeframe: “Have climbed quite a lot on the wave in the past so difficult to work out exactly how long it took; climbed Tsunami a while back (which shares a move) and did the top section ‘Something or nothing’ a couple of years back. I guess its one of those walls where things gradually come together as you get more and more familiar with the moves and holds”

“In terms of trying the line itself, it took a couple of sessions to get it all sorted and battle my way to the top. The vicious crystal slots don’t permit you that many goes and came away with a fair few flesh wounds!”

Quality: “It seems that there is an almost infinite number of links to be done on this block, making it a good resource for locals looking to push themselves. Saying that this thing doesn’t feel like a link up at all, taking an obvious line straight up from the bottom to the top of the boulder. Its refreshing to have something hard like this on the moor which doesn’t involve going sideways.”

“Big ups Mikey on the FA, great to have hard things like this going up in the South West and i’m sure theres more out there to be done still.“

Grade: “Being a bit taller I was able to keep my feet low after the big move which i think makes things a little easier (I’ve seen Alex’s [Waterhouse] crazy cut loose beta) but 8A+ still feels fair game to me.”

Cailean Harker on Pe’ahi [8A+]


Timeframe & Conditions: After 5 years of avoiding the The Wave I visited again last November. I’d wanted to do Tsunami ever since I first saw it about 10 years ago (I think my motivation was born from thinking how impossibly difficult it looked when I first climbed ‘The Wave’). I managed to tick Tsunami pretty quick and ‘Catching The Wave’ in a few goes. I had wanted to try ‘Pe’ahi’ but by this time my skin was pretty trashed. Despite this I had a few good burns dropping the top out. I ran away with screaming skin but had caught a bug for the place and couldn’t wait for my next trip.

“Conditions seem to be vital for hard climbing on Dartmoor, so on the next cold day I headed back down. It was freezing. Despite the temperature being prime sun was on the wall and I could hardly hold any of the holds. Before long I had splits in 3 fingers and headed home empty handed. Temperature wasn’t the only condition to look out for. It also needed to be cloudy with some wind. The perfect solution was a night session. Ben West and I were working in Exeter to we popped out after work with the lamps.

I dropped the top out of ‘Pe’ahi’ three times from the last move!

“Finally, I climbed ‘Pe’ahi’! It went smoothly, I could do every move static – a massive difference from a few weeks before when I couldn’t even hold the holds. Conditions were paramount.”


Walker Kearney on Pe’ahi [8A+]


Quality: “The Wave at Bonehill is a rather impressive feature that unfortunately suffers from an overabundance of variations. There are so many alternative starts, exits, traverses that a topo of the wall looks more like my 2 year old was left unattended with a sharpie than any kind of coherent climbing information. While the lack of totally independent lines has been a turnoff of for me it’s hard to deny the quality of the feature and there is one problem in particular that actually had instant appeal to me. Pe’ahi climbs straight out the sweeping wave from sitting and in my mind is the line to do.”

Grade & Conditions: “Peahi doesn’t have a single move that is harder than 7b+ but there are several of those moves that are easy to punt on. The problem is also relatively condition dependent and pretty damn sharp, which limits how many solid burns you can get in a session. I don’t think that makes it harder, in the sense of difficulty but just trickier to do on a warm day or with bad skin. If the grade of 8A+ for Pe’ahi stems from Catching the Wave’s initial proposed 8A grade, I would suggest that although adding those 3 moves [for the sit] does add difficulty, it doesn’t bring the grade to 8A+ as Catching the Wave is at most 7C+.”

Even though it took me a silly amount of time to add those three moves the sit doesn’t add that much difficulty. If I was trying to be accurate I suggest Peahi should likely be reduced, but I’ll leave others to decide by how much.

Ben West on Catching the Wave [7C+ / 8A]


Timeframe: “I started with ‘Something and Nothing’ [the upper moves] before moving onto ‘Catching the Wave’. I’m not sure if it was just me, or the combination of it being dark and bloody freezing but it felt hard for the grade. Even with the amazing conditions I still found myself having to slap quite wildly for the top sloper. Once the top was familiar I pulled on where “Catching the wave” starts. I found the first move hard, I had a lot of trailing leg that I wasn’t sure what to do with. A few goes later I stuck the move and did the bloc.”

Quality & Grade: “I thought the quality of the moves and the problem were first class. It was also the first time I’ve been to Dartmoor where I’ve come away without splitting a tip. In regards to the grade I would say it’s on the friendly side of 8a maybe more like 7c+/8a.”

Well worth a trip, regardless of grade!

After each problem having received a significant number of ascents relative to their grades, their grades seem to have  mostly settled. Whilst ‘The Waterman’ [8B] has been confirmed by James Squire, ‘Pe’ahi’ [8A+] recieves grade confirmation in the most part. Following a number of ascents this season and earlier ascents in previous seasons, ‘Catching the Wave’ seems to have been downgraded from [8A] to [7C+] by most.

With Dartmoor now boasting a plethora of 8th grade problems, you can be sure to see news of hard repeats in the near future. We certainly look forward to seeing what the future of Dartmoor bouldering holds.

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8A & 8B Sends from Coach and Student at Tintagel!

 

After one of the South West’s recent storms, many people were left wondering what state our crags would be in. Following a boulder rearrangement, Alex Waterhouse and his coach Mikey Cleverdon have had a very impressive day at Tintagel North, Cornwall! Between them managing to complete projects and rack up multiple font 8 boulders. We caught up with the pair to find out exactly what went on.

The bouldering season was seemingly over a while ago – where have you guys managed to find some decent temps?

Mikey:
Climbing at your limit can definitely be tricky as things start to warm up! Fortunately, living in the south west, you can be reasonably tactical. By avoiding the moorland granite and heading to the coast, with a cool breeze most venues give reasonable conditions, even during the afternoon. Recently, I’ve been putting some time in at Tintagel, trying some new projects.

Alex:
Granite doesn’t climb well in the heat, but the coast is great – especially Tintagel! I haven’t been able to get out much this year with training for the European bouldering comp circuit, so I grab any chance I can at getting out on the rock, whatever the weather.

You’re not still shuffling around underneath the Wave at Bonehill then? What new projects have you been working on?

Mikey:
Haha! No – I’m not shuffling underneath the Wave. I must say however, the last winter’s projects have been some of my favorite of all time!

It became apparent via social media that one of the rather large boulders had been washed away, leaving a whole new area of rock to climb on. Naturally, I was psyched to get down and check it out! To my excitement I found that a previous project/ FA of mine was climbable from a much lower and more logical start. This also meant other link-ups where highly plausible! Over the following months I set to work trying to link the new lower start/ roof section into some of the original straight-up problems. I decided to start by trying a link from the new start into ‘All Along the Watchtower’, 7A+/B. For me it seemed like the most aesthetic and natural line. I managed to get all the moves in a couple of sessions, eventually dropping the last move!

One of the following sessions, Alex and I hooked up and I introduced him to the crag – thinking that these projects would suit him very well! Unfortunately, we were scuppered by poor weather, which lead to a hilarious (and scary!) experience of Alex climbing the classic ‘AWOL Apprentice, 7C is the soaking wet – in between wave sets as it got dark! We finally returned to Tintagel last week, with far better conditions and a large crew. After Alex succeeded on a new line (more details below!), the psyche was running high and I decided to give the ‘… Watchtower’ low start project a go from the start. I got it first go! Naming the problem ‘Knights of the Round Table’ and proposing a grade of 8A. Now with even more psyche, I was keen to give Dan Turner’s new line ‘Path of Daggers’, 7C+ a try from the same new, low start. With a good bit of group encouragement I was stoked to manage this as well on just my second go of the day, after weeks of trying! I suppose I’d say that this bumps the grade to 8A aswell.

Without the very wet conditions, Alex got to work on some new lines and link-ups. What happened next managed to completely blow the crowd away…

Alex, it sounds like your first trip to Tintagel was rather unfavorable, did you notice any potential new lines despite the weather?

Alex:
With the rain, my first visit was spent pretty much entirely in the cave at the top. Mikey talked me through the established lines on the main bloc, as well as his projects out of the roof so I was really psyched to get back on a dry day! I didn’t actually spy any new lines that day, but I did notice the potential for all sorts of testing links on the bloc. As Mikey mentioned, I managed to climb a rather wet ‘AWOL…’, 7C. I could tell the style of the climbing and the rock were going to suit me.

So with drier conditions and bit of a breeze, how did it go? Do we have some FA’s to get excited about?

Alex:
Mikey mentioned a right hand finish to ‘AWOl…’ had not yet been done, so I set about working it out. It actually went quite quickly in the end, utilizing some pretty unlikely holds moving out right from the top of the ‘AWO…’ ramp/rail. In terms of the grade for this, I’d say it was harder than AWOL and probably around 7C+, though time and some repeats will confirm this of course. I managed to then repeat ‘Path of Daggers’, 7C+ and grab the second ascent of ‘Gypsy Eyes (original start)’, 7C+/8A – by which time Mikey had topped his projects (‘Knights of the…’, 8A). I couldn’t resist the temptation and decided to give one of Mikey’s projects a go as well. With some beta, I managed to repeat ‘Knights of the Round Table’, 8A – grabbing the second ascent.

The only thing left was the full line of the crag – the far left new/low start all the way to the far right ‘AWOL…’ right hand finish (and Path of Daggers low). This looked like it may be a long time project, as I only just made it up ‘AWOL…’ right hand, let alone adding 15 more moves! I went for the burn and somehow managed to get within 3 moves of the top on my first go. After resting for a while – and whilst the sun was setting – I managed to top out with shaking arms and uncurling fingers, completing what I believe is my hardest boulder to date.

I’m going to call it Merlin’s Beard, as I have always associated Tintagel with Merlin, even before climbing there. Besides, the wall doesn’t have enough Arthurian names! I think getting up this was a real testament to the training that I have been doing with Mikey over the last few months, and really showed me how much I have improved while he has been coaching me.

Go on then, what sort of grade and difficulty are we talking about for the big link-up?

Alex:
This is something I have been wrestling over for the last week. On the one hand, it is a whole lot of moves into a hard finish and the climbing suits me perfectly – so it could be quite hard. However, it only took me a few goes to link it all together and I knew all the moves from the other problems it travels through pretty well. I think I was actually really lucky to get up it as fast as I did, and it could have become a real mental battle if I had started to make mistakes.

I think I’m going to take a bit of a risk and give it 8A+/B, but I haven’t climbed anything that hard before so it really does need someone to repeat it and confirm either way.

I didnt manage to get ‘Path of Daggers (low start)’ in the end, being burnt out from the other shenanigans!

What a successful session! How long have you known Alex and been coaching Alex?

Mikey:
I’ve been coaching Alex for around 8 years, we met not long after he started climbing. He joined The Barn Youth Climbing Club quite early on and became one of the first individuals to train within the first youth climbing squad I started in the area. One of the most fortunate things of coaching youths are watching them grow and develop, often into lovely individuals, developing relationships and getting to climb with young psyched individuals, I also think it helps keep the soul youthful too!

I have always found working with psyched youth pushes my climbing as much as climbing with my regular partners. Often younger, new generations have an ability to perceive things that even we as coaches cannot see ourselves and their undeniable confidence to keep trying is so inspiring. It certainly motivates! I’m very passionate about coaching and training with others and myself. I’ve enjoyed developing this passion over many years! Anyone interested in receiving some coaching, feel free to get in touch with me by email (mike.cleverdon@btinternet.com) or drop me a message on Facebook, I provide coaching all over Devon and further afield.

MC

Mikey Cleverdon is sponsored by La Sportiva, Petzl, BealDewerstone Clothing, Jenna Goddard Protocol Ambassador and FLOOD-IT Lamps. Mikey offers bespoke coaching and training programmes for those looking to push their current abilities. 

AW

Alex Waterhouse is Team Captain of the GB Junior Bouldering Team and participates in competitions globally and  Alex also designs and makes his own chalk bags, TinyClimb.
Alex is sponsored by High Sports Climbing.

 

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Cornish E9 Repeat and FA for Alexis Perry!

 

alex-emqm

Not only has Alexis Perry made a historical 3rd ascent of Mark Edwards’ Question Mark ~E9, he has also completed the first ascent of Exclamation Mark – now also given E9! This obvious direct start straightens out the parent route and involves hard climbing straight to the skyhooks and crux moves. Alexis sent in some information – here it is:

“I first got interested in Question Mark years ago, but then surely most climbers in the SW have got a least a passing interest in that pair of amazing overhanging aretes. Top roped it back in the day and couldn’t do it; got on it in 2013 and got a sequence but couldn’t link it; got on it this January and could do it reliably. Given that winter is too short and form is temporary, I got proper psyched up – had one abortive visit where it was too cold and windy but then did it on Feb 3rd. Headpoint was smooth as silk in perfect conditions.

“The lower arete is obvious and although the parent route is great, is does feel a bit odd coming in at half height. Sorted out the sequence for Exclamation Mark the same day as the lead on Question Mark, went back soon after and top roped it a few times. Then there was a month of frustration with conditions. Found that hard, was so psyched every weekend, willing to get on lead, then it would rain, or be warm or whatever. Anyhow, went down there on 5th March, got on it, was going to lead it…then it rained all afternoon. Had impromptu overnight stay (I don’t think I was coming back to Exeter until I’d lead it!), and did Exclamation Mark on 6th March. Split tip on final TR warm up, but was so psyched I did it anyway!

“Reason I wanted to do Question Mark is basically this: I wanted to know how it would feel, clinging to that mental bit of rock above that skyhook. I wanted to know if I could function under that pressure, if I could still pull off those moves despite the consequences, if I could still maintain control. I wanted to know if I could even give myself permission to try it. The mental aspects of climbing are too often underrated – the glossy, physical side is so cheaply seductive – but for me this is why climbing is so riveting and compulsive.

“Having said all that, really, as a headpoint, it isn’t so bad. The holds are fairly positive and the skyhook takes bodyweight at least. You’re only exposed to danger for a very brief period – you don’t get time to worry about it too much; just keep yarding on them crimps! Exclamation Mark is a bit harder, in that you climb an extra 5 m of overhanging arete, so you’re more tired when you reach the dangerous bit of Question Mark. Also, downclimbing the lower arete after placing the hook is fairly entertaining.

“As a true onsight – terrifying! Steep, sequency, powerful, blind holds…and risky consequences.  ”

 

Congratulations Alexis!

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Mikey C FA’s The Waterman, 8B

Mikey on The Waterman 8B-2kpx

Mikey Cleverdon has succeeded in completing his final project on The Wave at Bonehill, Dartmoor. The Waterman starts sitting in the middle of the iconic feature and follows Nazare, 8A to join The Green Room, 8A and finishing along this. Mikey explains in further detail his account:

“On the Eve of Mon 21st March I completed a long term project I’ve been trying at Bonehill Rocks, now called The Waterman. I believe this to me my hardest ascent to date and for me it marks another milestone in improvement since my stroke in 2011.

“After climbing all the blocs The Wave has to offer over the last 2 seasons, I’ve decided to give my opinion of the grade at 8B, this would also be my first boulder problem climbed at this grade, it’s not the purest boulder problem being a link-up of 2 problems I have previously completed, but it is an obvious and fun challenge to take up after completing both Nazare 8A and The Green Room, also 8A. 

Pe’ahi however, is a great problem, in climbing and the direction of the line itself and it was this that originally started me on this small obsession over the last few years and in particular the last 2 Winter’s, but after climbing the first ascent of this in Dec 14 and following with Nazare in March 15 it seemed a shame to waste all the effort put in to learning the moves for these problem’s and not try the challenge that beckoned, it also gave me some motivation to try The Green Room which I had previously avoided due to its length, I was quite keen head elsewhere for the following year and spent the rest of spring and the following autumn checking out some places I had previously not visited and had a few things I was looking forward to trying as things got cooler again.

“I had visited Bonehill about once a month over this time and the summer, just to keep in touch with the moves and sequence, because of the ideal access to Bonehill this has lent itself perfectly to 2 things, night sessions and hard projecting, so the plan was to leave the projects there for just that this season, but after a stiff few weeks setting and a week in Font back in Oct I was having issues with the shoulder again, which fortunately wasn’t aggravated to much by The Green Room, provided I was careful and coupled with the appalling weather and poor conditions due to that, in the end, all things fell back in place to dedicate the time to these goals, I definitely had sessions where I really wished I was going elsewhere, but you also get stuck not wanting to give up after so much has been invested, this is all part of the journey and don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy myself and I’ve been fortunate to have been accompanied by several rather psyched individuals also trying problems on the wave this season for similar reasons and with success all round which is great, I’ve lost count of the no. of sessions spent there over the last 2 seasons but it’s in excess of 40 for sure.

“It’s been great to have the opportunity to put so much time in to a project and see what happens when you do, but it’s definitely time to head elsewhere now and hopefully I may get the chance to try and climb some other things before it warms up down here.”

Here’s an edit from the man himself, with 5 of the hardest problems on The Wave, Bonehill:

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VIDEO: Tom Bunn Repeats Kagutsuchi – E7

Tom Bunn repeats Kagutsuchi E7

Making use of the recent sunshine, Tom Bunn (author of RustyPeg – and awkwardly, this post) took a weekend jaunt to West Penwith, where he made a swift repeat of Dave Pickford’s japanese-god-inspired Kagutsuchi, E7 6b.

Kagutsuchi “is a fearsome fire-god of the Japanese Shinto religion, whose powers were much feared throughout ancient Japan”, named so since the first ascent was climbed on fiery crimps in direct June sunlight!

With the crux at 10 metres, all previous ascents used only the thread/ RP’s as the last gear at 3 metres, creating a reverent runout. However, Tom opted to place and tie down a sky hook (on lead) at 5 metres and, believing it to be good, suggests this may reduce the grade slightly.

Here’s a short video of the send:

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Mikey Cleverdon Repeats The Green Room, V12 – 3rd Ascent

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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?Mikey Cleverdon on the First Ascent of PE'AHI 8A,A+ Bonehill Rocks. Photo Joe Harris

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.

Pe’ahi -8A+
Green Room – 8A/+
Nazare – 8A
Tsunami -7C+
New Wave Traverse – 7C+
Wave Traverse – 7C
Floater – 7C

Here’s James Squire’s ascent of The Green Room.

New Year Boulder Projects from Beastly Squirrel on Vimeo.

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Super Duper Trooper ~8A Repeat from Potokar

Super Duper Trooper

Strong Bristol lad, Hamish Potokar has made the fourth ascent of Mikey Cleverdon’s Super Duper Trooper ~8A at Saddle Tor, Dartmoor. Following Alex Waterhouse’ swift repeat, it is rumoured that Mike Adams has also repeated the problem. Has the problem become the most popular Font 8 on the moor already?

Hamish comments, “I thought it was a really cool problem. Props to Mikey for putting up another obvious, hard and quality addition to The Moor.”

With the current sunshine and slopey nature of this problem ( and all of Dartmoor?) Hamish decided to head up to Saddle Tor one evening after dark to make the most of cooler temperatures.

Hamish explained, “We got super good conditions, after sneaking out for a quick session, so it went down pretty quickly. I didnt find the sit moves too bad, but I found the moves getting into Super Trooper a fair bit harder. I used diferent beta to Mikey and Alex and for me it felt closer to 7C+ relative to other problems I’ve repeated on the moor. I wouldnt say that definitively and I’m really interested to see what others will have to say!”

 

ABOUT HAMISH

Hamish Potokar is a strong Bristol based boulderer who has climbed up to Font 8B. He loves to train hard and fully enjoys all aspects of the climbing lifestyle. Hamish is a member of the GB Junior Bouldering Team and is sponsored by  The Climbing Academy, Scarpa, Moon Climbing and Banana Fingers.|
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Top 10 Blocs of Bristol, Avon & Somerset

facist direct

By James Squire

Bristol and the surrounding areas of Somerset and Gloucester are defiantly not known for their famous or vast bouldering areas. However if you look closely you will find a wide range of excellent problems that are fun and classic lines. There are a great number of quality crags hidden away in coastal coves and on quiet hillsides, making for a perfect day out or for a quick evening session. I’m sure a lot of people will have their own favourites but here are my own recommendations.

Golden Bicep 6B+ – Huntsham

(0:42 for Golden Biceps) A sandstone, slopey and slappy classic which would be at home in Fontainebleau. This classic mid-6 is worthy of fighting through the overgrown path to get to. It’s best to wear trousers and go in winter to avoid a full-jungle experience. The sit down start goes at 6C.

Starboard Traverse 7A+ – Ladye Bay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALadye Bay is perfect for an evening session in the sun. This traverse is hard for the grade and a great problem to work. There are many other easier problems here with flat landings for beginners or for people with families.

The Bulge 7A – Biblins Cave

Described by many as a world class style boulder problem, ‘The Bulge’ fires straight up the bulge (no surprises there) on the left hand side of Biblins Cave. This crag classic and involves powerful and steep moves on good holds and a jump to a good jug for a dramatic conclusion.

Tombstone 7C – Cheddar

Thought Cheddar was just route climbing and tourists? Think again. A superb and more recent addition from Ben West, positioned spectacularly, high above the road. A series of overhanging, fridge hugging movements is sure to leave a smile on your face at the top!

The Prow 7C – Sand Point

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA nice walk through the National Trust meadow and over the hill leads to a hidden cove with a stunning, overhanging prow and nice top out. Great for hot days in the summer as the cove is well shaded for us climbers and the beach is nice and sunny to relax on afterwards. You can also retreat to Weston Super Mare down the road to pick up a post session Fish and Chips!

The Arête Problem 7A – Avon Gorge Sea Walls

sea walls arete problem
If you’re a boulderer in Bristol and you haven’t tried The Arête Problem then you’re not a boulderer in Bristol. This old school boulder problem is only 10 minutes from the city centre and with a 5 second walk in they don’t come much more convenient. The technical and frustrating moves are sure to keep you busy and trying hard, with a good view of the Suspension Bridge behind you.

Bowl Rim 6A+ – Huntsham

A classic looking layback arête, which is surprisingly tricky until you work out how to climb it. Make sure to enjoy the view from the top, as well as the bottom, and maybe halfway if you can.

Godzilla 8A/+ – Biblins Cave

GodzillaOne of the most amazing lines I have climbed and the hardest in this area. A true test piece, tried by many but only completed by a few. From a stand start in the centre of the dominating roof, really power through crimps finishing via a large move to a pinch and a crux match! The sit start is still a project and is estimated at font 8B… who will be the first to climb it?

100% pain 7A+ – Toll Road Crags

A steep limestone roof tucked away in an impressive cave. First worked out and climbed by Hamish Potokar when he was only 14! Still remains a burly and impressive line.

Hunter’s Roof 8A – Huntsham

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A recent addition to Bivi Buttress and one of Huntshams hardest. Possibly one of the best sandstone problems in the South West (although I would say that!). Make sure to bring some undercut strength and a few good power screams!

ABOUT JAMES

James Squire is a dedicated young boulderer from Bristol who dedicates himself to travelling the UK and Europe in search of amazing boulders. He has climbed up to 8A+ and is sponsored by La Sportiva, The Climbing Academy, Tip Juice and Padstar Climbing Holds.|
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VIDEO: Neon Bloc 3 – From Dusk til Dawn

The climbing event of the year has been and gone. February the 28th saw Neon Bloc 3 – the epic and renowned climbing competition-crossover-party – take place at The Barn Climbing Centre, Milton Abbot. Rowan Spear-Bulmer of RSBStudios was on the scene to create this masterpiece video!

Mark Urdaiday reports his first hand-experience and the nitty-gritty of the results, pictures below:

No competition in the country is quite like it! The lights went off and were replaced by UV lighting to highlight the brilliant and psychedelic decorations covering the place from top to bottom, beautifully topped-off by a crazy laser show. The decorations were not the end of the wild and fun nature of the competition, with the climbing taking on the same feel – there were problems featuring everything from climbing ropes and passing through hula hoops to swinging around on lapis balls and trying to keep a tyre steady as you press out onto it. To polish off the wild atmosphere, several DJs took to the tables over the night pumping out some seriously sick beats. Massive thanks to JBone, sNOOk, and R-O-Chet!

This year’s competition featured 7 Neon Bloc problems offering fun and funky climbing as well as the opportunity for double points for a successful flash. Each problem was supported by and themed around the competitions main sponsors with completion of any Neon problem entering you into a raffle for extra prizes from that sponsor. In no particular order: Will Hornby took home a Dewerstone t-shirt, Paul Reah and Debbie Cubbit took home a Neon Bloc 3 / CAC t-shirt, Will Bennet took home a Black Diamond beanie, Elaine Budden and Seth McDonald took home head torches thanks to Lyon Outdoor and Ian Lee took home an Evolv Boulder Bucket, brush and chalk.

The best dressed category also returned with Luke Harvey, fairy wings and all, taking home the Best Dressed Male prize of a CORE Fingerboard and Andrea Hayslop taking, for the second year running, home the Best Dressed Female prize of a Fingerboard by Beta Climbing.

The main event of the night – finals – saw stiff competition and some absolutely crazy climbing. Problems featured a variety of regular pulling and wild gymnastic, swinging and otherwise out-of-the-ordinary moves like climbing up one wall only to hop onto a hold suspended by an autobelay which plummets you towards your next hold. Swinging through the air on lapis balls, running jumps onto hanging punch bags and more taxed the finalists to make sure only the fittest survived! Chris Cubit took home first in the O35’s fighting off Alex –DJ sNOOk – Cox who took second and Grant Edwards who was third. The Open Female was won by Hannah Slaney with Charlotte Warner and Kiera Law in hot pursuit. The hotly contended Open Male category was a who’s who in local strong youth with Alex Waterhouse narrowly beating Hamish Potokar and Ellis Butler-Barker taking home third.

Big thank you to The Barn and all the event sponsors and bring on Neon Bloc 4!!

Beta Climbing Designs Climbers Against Cancer DJC Event & Power Solutions

Beyond HopeLyon Outdoor RustyPeg.co.uk

Dewerstone Lifestyle Clothing RSBStudios

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ABOUT MARK

Mark Urdaibay is a keen climber though he spends far too much time on plastic and not enough on rock! He regularly attends indoor competitions representing his sponsors, The Boulder Bunker and his best position to date was second to a member of the British team – nothing you can complain at! |
Mark
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Moor Action from Squire – V12 Second Ascent!

Way back in 2007, one of the regions (if not foremost) leading bouldering pioneers, Dave Henderson, author of the original online South West Climbing Resource, Javu.co.uk, succeeded in completing the first ascent of Dartmoor’s hardest boulder problem. The Green Room makes a full rising traverse link-up across the entirety of The Wave Boulder at Bonehill and was given a grade of soft V12. 8 years gone by and finally the second ascent has been earned by the ever determined James Squire.

On the 8th February James managed his ascent of The Green Room, completing it in just 3 sessions, although having previously worked on many of the other problems that The Green Room utilises.

James commented, “I first tried The Green Room back in October and was surprised to have done all the moves in a session, but I struggled on the link. Distracted by climbing further afield, I left the project until January where an unlucky slip post-crux saw my attempt ruined. I was gutted!

“I returned last weekend and after trying all the moves and feeling a bit tired from looking around universities the day before, I gave it a go from the start. I ended up fighting all the way through to the finish! It wasn’t my finest display of climbing, as I almost fell off about five times, but I’m happy to finish off this notorious Dartmoor test piece!

As always, we like to hear about the nitty gritty! We asked James what he thought of the grade.

James said, “As for the grade, soft V12 is appropriate, I think, as it feels similar in difficulty to The Carpenter’s Apprentice (video) in South Wales. However it is a totally different type of climbing.

“I am now looking forward to getting back on some classic projects in the Peak, and getting on some of the hard stuff that Mikey and Alex have been developing.”

ABOUT JAMES

James Squire is a dedicated young boulderer from Bristol who dedicates himself to travelling the UK and Europe in search of amazing boulders. He has climbed up to 8A+ and is sponsored by La Sportiva, The Climbing Academy, Tip Juice and Padstar Climbing Holds.|
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Mikey Cleverdon Sends Dartmoor 8A FA, Waterhouse Repeats!

With the mint winter conditions continuing into 2015, Mikey Cleverdon has successfully climbed the first ascent of  the sit-start to, Saddle Tor mega classic, Super Trooper – V9. Having recently also climbed the first ascent of Pe’Ahi, a long-standing project at Bonehill, Mikey comments that his latest addition, dubbed Super Duper Trooper, is easier than Pe’Ahi but reckons still to be about 8A.

Mikey commented, “I Tried this problem quite a bit last year after cheerfully working my way through all ‘The Tor’ has to offer, bar the epic Abba Gold. The venue is great with such high quality problems all right next to each other and they dry very quickly, which was needed last year!

“Thwarted by rising temperatures running into spring, I left it for a re-match the following Winter. It’s taken a couple of sessions this season but as the temperature dropped to below baltic, the other night, it finally went!”

Alex Waterhouse, who has recently passed his driving licence (watch out!), has been skipping school to get out and repeat problems on the moor, aswell as sending some of it’s longest standing projects.

Repeating Mikey’s Super Duper Trooper in a single session, Alex comments, “Mikey told me about the sit start to Super Trooper during our coaching session. After trying the beta Mikey had suggested, I resigned the problem to the ‘one for when I’m taller’ pile.  I tried a big move to the right hand starting hold of the stand. I got pretty close within a few tries, but no way enough to be doable.

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“My right thumb was bleeding through my chances felt slim, but I gave it a last real go for the day, and everything came together on that first move and I stuck it! With a bit of luck, I managed to claw through into Super Trooper and finished up the problem.”

Alex has put together a little video of his ascent, as seen above, which also features a Tunesday Track! Commenting on the grade Alex mentioned, “Grade wise, it definitely sits as one of the hardest things I’ve done! I was definitely lucky to get it so quickly, but because it’s so different to other hard stuff I’ve done, I can’t confirm the grade. The quality and accessibility will mean more repeats soon I am sure!”

Mikey Cleverdon on Super Duper Trooper, 8A on Saddle Tor, Dartmoor.
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Waterhouse Sends Cuckoo Crazy Projects

Alex Waterhouse has been taking advantage of the recent crisp conditions to take a peek at the long standing projects at Combeshead Tor AKA Cuckoo Rock. Alex managed to make successful ascents of projects listed on the Javu Combeshead Bouldering Guide as problems 84 (Hanging Flakes Bloc) and 68, right of the granite classic, Proof of Concept – V5.

The first problem to be ticked was Aurora, V8, found on the back of the Hanging Flakes Bloc just left of the 5c crack. On the same boulder, Mike Adams ticked the project line and named in Side Effects, V10 and several other projects on the moor (video below back in August. Not yet satisfied of ticking projects, Alex returned to Cuckoo Rock furthermore to forge his way beside Proof of Concept and extrapolating Hypothesis, V9/10.

 

ABOUT ALEX

Alex Waterhouse is a British Team climber sponsored by High Sports who travels the world competing in international and national competitions. He has made ascents of SW classics Tuppence and Jungle VIP and runs TinyClimb Chalkbags in his spare time. |
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A Journey Through Godrevy


Rowan Spear-Bulmer of RSBStudios has produced this video of West Penwithian (Cornwall) bouldering spot, Godrevy. The video short uses masks to display Rowan bouldering whilst walking by himself and ‘Journeying’ through the bouldering area. Rowan comments below:

“My original plan for this project was to create something surreal with lots of simultaneous instances of myself bouldering at Godrevy. I got a fraction of the way through the shoot before I found most of the photogenic boulder problems turned out to be soaked through in that classic Godrevy way. I had that disappointing feeling when you go home empty handed. However it felt like the footage that I did shoot held a sort of story about travelling to cool places for climbing. Sometimes it’s worth rescuing projects gone wrong.”

Rowan/ RSBStudios has previously produced other bouldering videos such as “South of the Border”. It fetures Dan Turner (from north of the border) climbing several hard problems , first established by local activist Tom Newberry, at Tintagel North and Hartland.

RSBStudios have confirmed that they will be filming the legendary Neon Bloc event at The Barn Climbing Centre in February.

 

ABOUT ROWAN

Rowan Spear-Bulmer is a climber and film maker/photographer (RSBStudios). The majority of his time is spent either video editing or bouldering on the system board. He has a slight obsession for camera gear and sometimes goes outside for vitamin D.|  
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Alex Waterhouse Repeats The HUGE Careless Torque Ground-up


Devon Local Youth, Alex Waterhouse, 17, has repeated ‘Careless Torque’ at Stanage, Peak District in ground-up style over 2 sessions. The route, now given Font 8A, Was originally climbed by Big Ron Fawcett who jumped from the neighbouring route (not To Be Taken Away) at increasing heights as a tactic for testing the landing, in 1987. Thank you to Simon Rawlinson Photography.

Alex Comments:

“I tried it first after the youth open lead in the first week of December, and had reasonable success, sticking the crux multiple times but I still hadn’t managed the first move and had never got the top move either. I went home and got some new beta from videos of Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Cailean Harker on it. From then I knew it was possible and planned to come back after Christmas.”

After liasing with Billy Ridal and his father Wayne Ridal, Alex and his Father Phil Waterhouse joined the Ridal’s to make the journey in the Ridal family 4×4. Deciding to continue despite snowy and icey conditions, Team Ridal-Waterhouse safely made it too Stanage and got to work on the route, drying the top jugsfor over half and hour before even attemping to climb.

“I couldn’t actually do the first move for ages, but once I’d managed the knack of it I was getting it almost every time. I soon got past the crux again and was standing up on the easier upper section, which compared to the crux is much easier [F7B/+?] but also a lot higher.The problem is about 7m high and on my first go of the day past the crux I dropped the very last move, and as a result took a pretty hefty fall onto my arse. Thanks to the spotting of Billy Ridal and his dad it was okay, but I suspect I’m going to ache tomorrow!”

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“The route is 7m high and I only had 5 pads. When I took the big fall, Iactually missed most of them, and only hit the corner of one. If you’d like some numbers, from 6m and a final velocity of 11m/s, I stopped in 0.16 seconds… a decelleration of 7G!”

Alex eventually managed to succeed on the route and he explains what atracted him to climb it:

“The problem is one of the most striking and impressive lines in the country, where the high arete is gained through a delicate and powerful rockover. This style of move suits me well as I have pretty flexible hips! I decided to climb the route without toprope practice and therefore took about 10 falls past the crux in my 2 sessions.”

Alex has recently been accepted to Dartmouth College, and Ivy League university in New Hampshire, USA. He will attend in 2016 after a gap year.

ABOUT ALEX

Alex Waterhouse is a British Team climber sponsored by High Sports who travels the world competing in international and national competitions. He has made ascents of SW classics Tuppence and Jungle VIP and runs TinyClimb Chalkbags in his spare time. |  
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Tunesday Track: 20syl – C.Y.D.T.T.

When we heard this one from Le Musicien Français, 20syl, we knew! This week’s Tunesday Track ,#cydtt, comes from Nantes, France and the brainchild of the legendary Hip-Hop/ Jazz group ‘Hocus Pocus‘. Many of you will have experienced the ‘scratch music’ band C2C, whom have featured in several climbing videos in the past couple of years including ‘Red River Gorge The Movie’ from Cédric Lachat, shown below.

Can You Dance To This?

 

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It’s Back – Neon Bloc 3!

The winter is upon us and Christmas is approaching, which can mean only one thing, The Barn Climbing Centre’s Neon Bloc is nearly back! Mark Urdaibay, Paignton, gives us the low-down on the UK’s First & Very Best UV/ Glow-in-the-dark Boulder Competition. A special thanks to Tom Last for the photographs.

Have you ever slowly lifted the lid of a toilet seat to look underneath? Was there a climbing hold? Importantly, is it better or worse than the hold screwed onto the lid? If you have never had to deal with this kind of question, you have clearly never been to Neon Bloc at The Barn!

Neon Bloc is a unique event merging the lines between an insane ‘fun competition’ with crazy and unusual problems and a serious bouldering competition typical of the boys at The Barn where you will expect to have to crank hard. Last time round there were problems featuring toilet seats , hula hoops, tyres, buoys (yes, the things that float in the sea!) and a lot more besides! The finals are a true spectacle, seamlessly combining the hard pulling with the wild gymnastics of trampolines, swings and zip lines.

The whole competition is set to a backdrop of, as the name suggests, a UV glow in the dark party. Lasers, strobe lighting, UV effects and crazy decorations combined with the live, in house, DJs mean it is one of the best nights out you can have even if you just want to watch. Confirmed for this year are DJ’s JBone, sNOOk, DANZIE, Ric-O-Chet and HOOK-ONE. To add to the party atmosphere there is a licensed bar and food available on the night.

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“Thank you so so much to everyone at The Barn for making last night so amazing! So much effort went into making everything happen, can’t wait for next years!”A.M-C.
“Just the best climbing party ever, well done to every one involved in the comp, was so good. Thank you all……boom!”R.V.

 

 

 

 

 

As well as a wild night, Neon Bloc has it’s heart in the right place too. An established, central part of the competition is the limited edition and 100% exclusive Neon Bloc Climbers Against Cancer tshirt. Printed locally by the excellent Dewerstone Clothing, they are guaranteed to be eye catching and make all of your friends jealous. Available for pre-order soon.

Categories include Open Male, Open Female, Open 35+, Under 15 Male and Under 15 Female so there is something for everyone. It costs a mere £15 to enter or £5 entry for spectators. The youth prizes are given out before the adult finals – which start at – and the party carries on late into the night.

You know where you need to be on the 28th February 2015 from 5pm…

ABOUT MARK

Mark Urdaibay is a keen climber though he spends far too much time on plastic and not enough on rock! He regularly attends indoor competitions representing his sponsors, The Boulder Bunker and his best position to date was second to a member of the British team – nothing you can complain at! | 
Mark
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Winter Styles from Local Brand Dewerstone Clothing

dws-slackDartmoor-based lifestyle clothing brand, Dewerstone, send news of a winter clothing launch. From T-Shirts to Beanies, Dewerstone Clothing will be releasing fresh threads every day over a 7 day period. Co-Founder Rory Atton gives us the low down..

“Our Winter range comes a little late, although perfectly in keeping with this seasons European snowfall! We’re bringing out plenty of new products for the men and really starting to increase our womens range. There’s more merino wool with the introduction of a couple of new beanies, both of which are made in the UK using merino wool from New Zealand.

Our t shirt range expands, particually on the mens side, with new designs and long sleeves options for the winter. The womens range brings new t shirts, vests and finally, a hoody. We’ve plenty more in the pipeline and will be releasing new products everyday up until the 16th December. All products are in stock and will ship out in plenty of time to be wrapped up for Christmas! – #dewerstone”

Take a look at Dewerstone on Facebook and Twitter to see the other products in the series…

The Trip Tee | Dewerstone Clothing | Dewerstone Clothing

The Trip Tee

Daily we dream about the mountains, their magical lure pulling us back time and time again. There’s something that trips the mind when you see or think about them.

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Staple Merino Beanie | Dewerstone Clothing

Staple Merino Beanie 

Merino wool is natures finest work. It’s warm, it’s breathable, it’s naturally antibacterial, it doesn’t itch like regular wool and it stretches. It was made for the outdoors.

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ABOUT RORY

Rory Atton is a skier, a mountain biker, an occasional paddler and loves to travel. He can be found working all hours, 7 days a week, to make dewerstone what it is.
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Tunesday Track: Spectrasoul – Away With Me (Calibre Remix)

Calibre’s Remix of Away With Me by Spectrasoul brings a BIG beat to the Tunesday Track this week. The Brighton boys, Spectrasoul, released their debut track ‘Alibi‘ way back in 2008 which stood the DNB community to attention and forced an eager anticipation of future tunes. Calibre, from Belfast, managed to get this track on Spectrasoul’s ‘Delay No More (The Remixes)‘ album which was released in August last year.

Go Listen!

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Hazel Findlay Talks Society’s Influence on Girls and Fear

Hazel Findlay is possibly the most accomplished female British climber to date, having made many landmark ascents including the first British Female ascent of an E9 and becoming the first British Female to climb 8c.

Being a full-time professional rock climber is not something everybody could achieve. Aside from being an incredibly talented climber, Hazel has driven her life towards doing the thing she is most passionate about and breaking the boundaries of what society would expect of ‘a girl’. In this video from the 2014 Banff Film Festival Shorts, Hazel compares how she see’s climbing between male and female climbers.

Here’s a video of Hazel cruising Dave Birkett’s ‘Once Upon a Time in the South West’ – E9.

 

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Top 10 Classic Blocs on Dartmoor

Mark Bullock bouldering at Bonehill, Dartmoor.In this weeks issue of Active Dartmoor, the magazine based on everything about Dartmoor National Park, local legend Tom Newberry writes an article of the many facets of bouldering on Dartmoor, from it’s trivialities to it’s hidden gems. Tom reckons Dartmoor is a strong contender for some of the best bouldering in the UK and he’s listed the Top Ten Classic problems that are sought after.

What you waitin’ for, get on t’moor!

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Tunesday Track: The XX – Crystalised (Dark Sky Remix)

Bringing in the Tunesday Track this week is an artist formerly known as ‘The Boogaloo Crew’ (We think they should have kept the name!). London based artist Dark Sky released their debut album Imagin in August this year. Imagin was released through Monkeytown Records and featured their top track Rainkist, which they later released in October as a single.

We found this remixed track, Crystalised, hidden in the depths of their SoundCloud Page along with a whole playlist of others. This tune definitley does it though!

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Tunesday Track: Alt J – Breezeblocks (Jumo Remix)

We had some time to look into the Tunesday Track this week and found the very talented artist, Jumo! Check out their SoundCloud Page for an endless array of amazing tunes, we found it hard to choose. Alt J are a British indie, alternative, experimental rock band that often produce intriguing audio with their ear engaging sound. Jumo has remixed Alt J’s classic tune, Breezeblocks, to huge success…

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Major New Bouldering Guide for Cornwall

luxylyan-coverAfter much anticipation, the relatively recently developed bouldering area’s of Luxulyan Valley, near St Austell now have a FREE online guide. Photographer, guidebook author and general nice guy Tom Last has produced this visually impressive and easy to use guidebook over the past year or so.

Tom Last reports:

“With West Penwith and The Lizard to the west and the mighty Cheesewring and the moors to the east, the bit of Cornwall in the middle – that is to say the most densely populated part of the county – can feel a little underrepresented in terms of decent rock. So with practically every inch of the likes of Roche Rock and Helman Tor scoured for possible problems, it was probably surprising to find a largely underdeveloped area of good quality rock sat within a stone’s throw of these two popular venues. That was exactly the situation a decade ago in Luxulyan Valley Woods where up until that point a handful of trad routes and a couple of sports routes – including the three star classic Strongbow f7c – guarded what was a wealth of mossy potential.

Since then a steady stream of development has revealed several venues throughout these wooded slopes. The previous inertia is easy to explain, since dense woodland and difficulty of navigation are not to every climbers taste. Nevertheless, on a winter’s day, when it’s too cold for the moor, the woodland provides an unsurpassed ambience and I’m confident that this guide will provide the means with which to find all the developed problems – plus a great many unclimbed lines – that exist in the woods today.
This guide is designed to be used in conjunction with Barnaby Carver and Sean Hawken’s Cheesewring and South East Cornwall, A Climber’s Guide (the most recent existing comprehensive guide to the area) as only the routes first climbed since its publication are represented here. These amount to over 120 boulder problems and 16 new routes from VB-V5 and Vdiff to E5, plus a number of potential projects all covered in over 50 pages of photo topos.

No single venue within the woods can in truth claim to be a major venue, but collectively the area represents a significant proportion of the established rock climbs in inland Cornwall and with luck and the use of this guide and a little perseverence from you lot, the place with not only stay clean, but the climbs will continue to grow in both number and difficulty for some years to come.”

 

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Tunesday Track: Singularity – Horizon (ft. Nilu)

Another Tunesday Track belter of a tune from the state of California, with Los Angeles based artist Singularity. The 20 year old electronic artist began to recieve attention following the popularity of his early remixes, such as Martin Solveig – Hello which currently have over 30,000 plays via his SoundCloud Page.

This tune, Horizon, is an original piece from Singularity from April 2013 and is one of his most popular tracks to date. Listen and find out why whilst having a look around his SoundCloud and Facebook Pages.

 

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Vote Shauna Action Women of The Year!

 

Shuna Coxsey Nominated for BT Acion Woman Award

Two-time Bouldering World Cup Champion and British Mountaineering Council ambassador, Shauna Coxsey, has been nominated for the 2014 BT Action Women Award. Following her success at the IFSC ClimbingWorld Cup in Laval, Shauna went on to Magic Wood, Switzerland to attempt several hard climbs and at the top of her list, New Baseline 8B+ (V14).

After an initial foray to find out just how hard it would be, Shauna managed to work out a very intricate method for the moves, but struggled to bring it all together. After 3 solid days of rain, on a the last day of her trip, the weather providing an unlikely environment for sending, Shauna became the 3rd female to climb 8B+.

An incredible bounce back from a long load of recovery having, just two years previous, broken her leg whilst stepping off a boulder whilst trying Piranja 7C+ (V10) in Magic Wood.

To find out more about why Shauna Coxsey has been nominated as Action Women having a look through her Blog and Facebook Page, and follow her on Twitter.

VOTE SHAUNA!

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Checkout The Stella Features On This Cosmic Boulder

The City of Rocks is one of States climbing Mecca’s which lies in rural Idaho just near the border with Utah. The very rich history of ascents in this area has clearly inspired continued development and in the past decade or so, the boulder revolution has pushed locals to find new venues.

The imaginatively named, The Channel, is essentially a dried up watercourse situated below a large reservoir that local farmers use for irrigating their crops (potatoes probably!). It’s clear that The Channel’s incredible features have been formed by water moving over the rocks for thousands, if not millions, of years and have created some of the most futuristic bouldering around!

Tunesday Track: Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High) – Hippie Sabotage Remix

Earlier this year in March, popular Californian brother-duo artist Hippie Sabotage released their remix of the Tove Lo track, Habits and offered an alternative name of Stay High. This Tunesday Track borders on mainstream, having received over 82 million views on the Official Video, but it’s such a mega tune we had to include it.