On Form and On Sight - George Ullrich - E7by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Sep/2009
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North Wales student George Ullrich has enjoyed a good run of form this summer, culminating in an on sight ascent of the legendary The Bells The Bells (E7 6b) on Gogarth's North Stack Wall.
Commenting on his blog, George described his ascent:
"It didn't come without a few heart-stopping moments! A number of handholds snapped on me, and on a couple of occasions caused me to pivot out from the wall like a door opening. This was followed by an uncontrolled scream from Sam who was belaying."
The Bells... was first climbed by John Redhead in the early 80's and is a bold and snappy wall climb. North Stack is a flat, vertical wall littered with tiny, snappy crimps. Gear is sparse or even non-existent and thin slings and sky hooks are carried as standard on the hardest routes, ready to be balanced or draped on the small edges. There are several E7's on the wall and The Bells... is thought to be one of the more difficult due to the extremely serious position encountered on the balancy 6b crux.
George has also climbed a new route in the Llanberis Pass, now named Bananarama. The line forges up the steep wall left of the existing (and unrepeated) E8 The Dark Side, which lies to the right of the Plexus Buttress of Dinas Mot.
"It starts on The Dark Side to reach the ledge, then steps left to the bottom of the arete." explained George. "You climb this to the shallow groove and a block. Shake out and pull right and climb straight up to the top. I think it's about E7 6b, really good crimpy climbing."
George featured in a film last year named Call it What You Want. You can read the UKC Review here.
Below is a video of George attempting to flash the classic gritstone route Gaia (E8). This video featured in an article on UKC last year.