James McHaffie - around 30 E7 onsights
The ground-up scene in the UK is still buzzing, with the main players hacking their way up everything, from the loose horror-shows of the sea cliffs to the bullet hard gritstone test pieces.
Adding fuel to the on-sight fire is the forthcoming new film On Sight by Alastair Lee. We at UKC have seen a few clips of this and it is looking like a real pant filler!
Various people have been storming the gritstone cracks - Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall on Ray's Roof E7 6c, Pete Whittaker and Andi Turner on National Acrobat E6 6c and probably much more besides. Over on the Peak limestone Ben Bransby had a look at Tequila Mockingbird E6/7 6c ground-up, not quite making it, but still a fine effort.
Pete Robins has been firing esoterica in the Llanberis Pass, always ground-up, usually with a good lob to test the gear for other interested parties. His recent ascents have included Beginners Mind E7 and Gram-ve E7. Also down in Wales, James McHaffie has been working toward his long-term goal of 50 E7 onsights. Recent onsight highlights have been Demons of Bosch E7, Raped by Affection E7 (UKC News Item) and Isis is Angry; a four pitch Gogarth horror at E7 6c (partnered with mad-man Nick Bullock). James is now on a total of around 30 E7 onsights.
Karin Magog has been racking up more hard ascents in the Scottish Islands, flashing The Bonxie E6 6b, I suppose a cormorant's out of the question then? E5 6b and Perfectly Normal Paranoia E6 6b taking her tick list of onsight/flashed routes of E5 and above to over 100.
Dave Birkett also nipped up north to the Scottish Islands, climbing Every Cormorant is a Potential Shag E7 6b as an on sight first ascent - good effort!
Lots of ground-up ascents slip under the radar, and this is by no means a comprehensive list. If you hear of an interesting ground-up ascent, we'd love to hear about it. We will be running an end of year trad round-up with a full Ground-Up section. Want to read the last one?
It's here: Trad 2007