McHaffie and Robins - Big Ticks in Welsh Sport Climbing

by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Aug/2010
This news story has been read 9,040 times

Close this photo
+James McHaffie (right) and Pete Robins, still flying the flag for hard climbing in North Wales, 79 kb
James McHaffie (right) and Pete Robins, still flying the flag for hard climbing in North Wales
UKC News, Aug 2010
© Mark Reeves / Life in the Vertical

+Pete Robins attempting The Very Big and the Very Small (F8b+) two years ago, 92 kb
Pete Robins attempting The Very Big and the Very Small (F8b+) two years ago
UKC News, Aug 2010
© Mark Reeves / Life in the Vertical
North Wales based climbers Pete Robins and James McHaffie have both ticked significant but very different sport routes in the last few days.

Pete balanced his way up the slab nightmare of The Very Big and the Very Small (F8b+) on the Rainbow Slab in the Llanberis slate quarries and James powered his way up Infanticide (F8c) the very steep limestone sport route at Lower Pen Trwyn on the Great Orme at Llandudno.

The Very Big and the Very Small was first climbed by Johnny Dawes and has seen repeats by Steve McClure and James McHaffie. Infanticide was first climbed by Neil Carson back in 1995 and had, until now, only one repeat to date by Pete Robins.

Pete had tried The Very Big... (known locally as 'Biggie Smalls') on several previous occasions, but was thwarted by the extremely sharp nature of the holds. He surprised himself by making short work of it on his re-acquaintance, despite not having brand new rockshoes. He initially thought having brand new shoes would give him the edge (pun intended I'm afraid!), being able to stand better on the tiny holds, but a slightly worn pair turned out to hold better.

Commenting on his ascent, Pete said:

"I am really pleased with this one, as I've not really climbed on slate for a couple of years. My sequence this time was skin-friendly which makes it such a cool route."

McHaffie, known more for his CV of hard trad onsights, has recently focussed more on sport climbing and, unsurprisingly, he's not too bad at it. Fast ascents of some F8b+'s such as Malcolm X at Cheedale in the Peak District have paved the way to his rapid redpoint of Infanticide at LPT.


James McHaffie is sponsored by Wild Country and Red Chili and works at Plas y Brenin as a Mountain Instructor.

Pete Robins is sponsored by DMM, prAna, Five Ten and Podsacs

Extra thanks go to Mark Reeves for the photographs to accompany this piece. Mark is a Mountain Instructor in Llanberis, North Wales and he blogs at Life in the Vertical.


Forums ( Read More... | 8 comments, 19 Aug 2010 )
This news story has been read 9,040 times
Return to News from August 2010
Share this article on Facebook
Share this article on Twitter