Lisa Rands climbs Gaia E8 6cby Mick Ryan Apr/2006
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Gaia is one of Johnny Dawes's grit routes that was also made famous in the film Hard Grit when Jean Mihn Trin-Thieu survived the fall from the slopy finishing moves. You can read descriptions of the Hard Grit routes, including Gaia, at Jon Read's Grit List pages.
Rands was staying at Ben Moon's house in Sheffield with film makers Josh Lowell and Mike Call, who wanted to film her climbing some gritstone. On her second day trying Gaia, Rands was ready for the lead but was thwarted by bad weather; either too warm, too cold, too wet or too windy. As grit aficionados know conditions are crucial on God's rock especially when you are putting your life on the line. She finally achieved the headpoint early on Easter Sunday morning in attempt to beat the Easter break crowds at this popular tourist spot (Rands doesn't usually get out of bed until after 10am so you can imagine how keen she was).
You can read Josh 'Dosage' Lowell's illustrated report on Rand's ascent of Gaia at his website Big Up Productions.
The 5ft 4 inch Rands is on a roll after three knee surgeries in the last two years and she is very happy that she is once again able to push her self physically.
Her other notable hard grit ascents include White Lines E7 6b/c at Curbar Edge in 2003 and Shine On E7/8 6c at Stanage in 2005. You can read a full account of Lisa's Grit experiences, in her own words and illustrated with photos by Dean 'Stone Nude' Fidelman at Lisa's website