Neil Mawson on a recent trip to Pembroke
UKC News, Sep 2010
© Keith Sharples Neil Mawson has repeated the 30 metre Malham marathon of Bat Route. The route, first climbed by Mark Leach in 1989, was originally graded F8b+ but is now thought of as F8c due to the loss of some crucial holds.
Mawson, no stranger to hard sport climbing having redpointed several F8b+'s and two F8c's (See UKC News) thinks this may be his hardest tick:
"For me it's probably the best route I've done at Malham, and probably my hardest route to date. Hopefully more people will get on it soon as it's such a good route!"
Neil needed seven days in total to make his successful ascent:
"I spent five days in the spring working it out and I realised I needed more fitness as it's so long and involved for its entire 32 metres! I trained a bit during the summer and went to Ceuse for 10 days at the end of August to get really fit. It worked as I only needed 1 day working it again and then I did it 1st redpoint on my 2nd day in the autumn."
Mawson's ascent is likely the fifth overall and the second after the loss of the holds. Steve McClure made the only other ascent in the current harder state using a slightly different sequence to that found by Neil - "I couldn't see the holds Steve used let alone do it his way!" said Neil.
Neil described the route as "an amazing fitness test with rests between hard sections, but you need to be fit to recover enough to do the next section".
Located in the centre of the Catwalk at Malham, the main sector on one of the UK's premier sport climbing venues, and seeing only a handful of ascents in the last twenty years, the route is an obvious three-star challenge for any sport climber at that level.
Keith Sharples Photo Gallery - Neil Mawson onsighting Crock of Gold (F7c+) at Dinas Rock - South Wales
Thanks go to Keith Sharples for his photographs.