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Ken Jackson on the first ascent of Cosmonaut Direct, Peak Scar. 1964.
© Tony Marr, Jun 1964
Route: Cosmonaut Direct
Climbers: Ken Jackson climbing, Tony Marr belaying.
Camera used: Kodak Box Brownie. Scan from B/W print.
Sadly the original photo[taken by Eric Marr], is badly scratched and faded hence the poor quality. I included it because of the continued interest in old climbing photo's of the NY Moors.
In 1964 this climb set a bench mark for boldness on the NY Moors [only one poor runner to the overhang], and was graded Extreme. It was not repeated for several years until the introduction of nuts and hexes. Today it can be well protected....if you are ever on that wall, spare a thought for Ken Jackson on that first ascent as you clip into your bomb proof runners!
Tony Marr - 03/Sep/13
Excellent stuff Tony, keep them coming! It's an intimidating wall that, even with good runners, but I never knew it was such a testpiece. What was the benchmark for technical difficulty at the time?
Franco Cookson - 09/Sep/13
Hi Franco, thanks for your comments. Your question about benchmark technical difficulty at that time... at Peak Scar, "Astronaut" and "Fifi", were both tuff challenges that sorted the men from boys. [Don't forget the gear in those day's was basic to say the least, and we didn't have any climbing walls to train on!]
Cosmonaut Direct was not particularly technical, but it was extremely bold [the only runner barely supported the rope], Ken half expected the key hold on the crux to snap off, the resulting fall would have been very serious / fatal! Hence the "Extreme" grade at that time...HVS 5a with today's equipment.
PS. Congratulations on your Danby route, superb effort.
Tony Marr - 10/Sep/13
Thanks Tony. I still find Peak Scar pretty pumpy, can't imagine what it was like when there were no walls and you only had sandstone to train on!
Franco Cookson - 16/Sep/13
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I remember doing this in '69 using old threaded nuts on nylon parachute rope. I have a vague memory of also having one brand new moac nut too. It was a real head game, very scary, even with the gear.
hopede - 22/Nov/13