VIDEO: Dan Varian Climbs Dandelion Mind (Font 8B+)by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Apr/2011
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Dan's new line is called Dandelion Mind, and he has suggested a grade of around Font 8B+.
Dan commented on his blog:
"I have been secretly hammering a project into submission (metaphorically not literally) for the last 2 months..ish. I've gone from finding the crag, to noticing a possible line, to holding the positions, to doing the moves, to doing the problem, which is now called Dandelion Mind."
The 'new' crag has been nicknamed Badger Cove and is a small and steep limestone crag in the Peak District.
As with all first ascents, grades are only a stab in the dark, but Dandelion Mind is certainly hard:
"Ned (Beta Destroyer) Feehally found some slightly easier beta for the last move which was the secret to success (that and perfect conditions and the fact that I felt well light) but this has certainly dropped the problem from mid-high 8B+ (the last attempt in the video shows me getting painfully close this way) to low 8B+ possibly even 8B." explained Dan on his blog.
The video below shows the first ascent, and then for those that are interested in the long process involved in climbing a problem of this difficulty, the video goes on to show many of Dan's attempts.
Dan also reports on the same blog post on other hard Ground-Up climbing and bouldering - it would seem that many shorter Gritstone routes (such as Living in Oxford - originally graded E7) are now better described by highball bouldering grades. Although I wouldn't recommend falling off!
Dan Varian likes hanging off Beastmakers in the hope it'll make him stronger.