Robertson and Mayfield Conquer Blackpool Towerby Mick Ryan Jan/2008
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Blackpool Tower (click to enlarge) Mike Robertson and Rich Mayfield climbed Blackpool Tower yesterday, onsight, just missing the cut off for Jack Geldard's UK Trad 2007 article just published at UKClimbing.com.
Blackpool Tower - situated at the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire - is 158m tall (518ft 9 inches) and Mike and and Rich split the route into three pitches, protection was good, consisting of slings slung around the metal girders, with an overall grade of HVS 4c. Mike told us that some of the holds were a bit rusty, although the rusty bits are being slowly replaced as the tower is refurbished. He also said that there were many ways to go.
Blackpool Tower was opened to the public on 14 May 1894 and was the idea of Blackpool Mayor John Bickerstaffe who was inspired by the the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, which Mike Roberston also climbed, illegally, in November, to protest against Total's - the French oil company, based in Paris - continued involvement in Burma.
See the UKClimbing.com news report here
This ascent though was totally legal and is part of a promotion for the new Sony Alpha 700 Digital SLR camera that Mike is involved in. Mike is touring Britain climbing various towers, bridges and buildings, and taking photos with the Sony.
More details, including Mike's blog of ascents at www.sony.co.uk/unseenbritain
Rich Mayfield, Mike's partner on the Blackpool Tower climb is part of the Orange House and also, with Mark Stevenson climbed all the routes in the Ken Wilson's 'Hard Rock' last summer as part of the Hard Rock Challenge.
See a future issue of Climber magazine for a full account of Mike and Rich's climb of Blackpool tower.