Neil Gresham solos The Flying Dutchman E7, Lundyby Mick Ryan Sep/2006
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Flying Buttress, Lundy Neil Gresham has made an impressive 'deep water solo' of part of The Flying Dutchman E7 6b on Lundy last week. Gresham took two 60ft plunges into the Atlantic before topping out. "Neil soloed the first pitch of the Flying Dutchman and traversed off onto HVS ground, apparently DWS 1 7c and very impressive", says Paul Harrison.
The first ascent was completed after attempts spread out over several days by Nick White and Dave Thomas in 1989, the route received a one day single pitch ascent by Nic Sellars in 2003. The Flying Dutchman takes the obvious line up the overhanging rear face of the Flying Buttress at The Battery.(see photo). The underside of this huge leaning flake results in a natural arch with a narrow sea channel beneath, giving a restricted window of opportunity for the soloist. Last week saw spring tides running, resulting in high highs and low lows, creating perhaps the best possible conditions to try this route as a DWS. After two failed evening attempts resulting in 60ft falls, Neil was down to the last tide of the holiday before returning to the mainland on Saturday afternoon. Mike Weeks was on hand to take some video footage when Neil suceeded on his early morning ascent.
However comment just in from Dave Thomas who says at UKClimbing.com forums:
"Can we have a bit more realism in the reportage on UKC please. I spoke with Nick White last night (followed him on the first ascent), and we both agreed that the first pitch was E5 6b or f7b max."