Elm Street (E8), Millstone, being soloed by Toru Nakajima.
© rachaeldanks, Aug 2009
Toru Nakajima Ticks Peak District Project:
15 year old Toru Nakajima has continued his gritstone rampage with ascents of Elm Street (E8) at Millstone and the project arete right of Simba's Pride at Burbage which he has named Black Out - at a proposed a grade of E9 6c.
Commenting on the grade Toru said simply:
"It was harder than Simba's Pride (E8) and easier than Equilibrium (E10)."
Black Out (E9 6c) takes a bold line left of Roof Route at Burbage South and features unprotected climbing on slopers and poor pockets, with a dynamic move to reach the top of the crag. Toru opted to solo the line instead of placing a side runner in Roof Route, which would only protect the easier lower-half. He climbed the route with no spotters above one small bouldering mat.
The line is only around 7 or 8 metres high and Toru described it as "a highball with a bad landing."
The youngster from Japan has made quite a run on the boulders as well as the routes, climbing several problems in very quick time up to around V11, including a flash ascent of the Stanage classic Brad Pit (V10) in mid-summer heat.
He has been looking at several harder lines in the Peak, including Equilibrium, on which he managed all of the moves but one, straight off. The intensely friction dependant route is thought to be around F8b+ in difficulty.
Unfazed by the hot and damp conditions Toru commented:
"To me it feels cold, I think the conditions are good."
He has even had time to experience Peak District climbing at its finest with a trip to Stoney Middleton in the rain to climb Bitter Fingers and Wee Doris (both E4). "Very good routes, very nice." he said.
It hasn't all been plain sailing, the gritstone did manage to bite back a few days ago. Toru fell from very high on Ulysses' Bow (E6) on his onsight attempt, landing hard. "Very bad." he said. "Hurt my shoulder, back and bottom, very bad.".
With just under a week left in the UK, the Japanese climbing phenomenon has big plans - watch this space for more updates and video footage of Toru's trip.
To read about Toru's earlier exploits see this UKC News Item