James McHaffie - More Hard Sport and E8 Onsightby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2011
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30 year old Cumbrian climber James McHaffie has continued his run of exceptional form (See UKC News on his 9a ascent) by having an extremely productive day at Malham Cove in Yorkshire climbing Unjustified 8c and Predator 8b in a single day session.
Although James had never tried either route before that day, they both went down quickly.
Predator is a classic 8b on the Catwalk at Malham and Unjustified is an extension to the 7b Something Stupid, also on the Catwalk at Malham. There has been some talk of this being low in the grade for 8c or even a tough 8b+, but regardless of which, James' fast ascent shows a man on good sport climbing form.
McHaffie - primarily known for his bold traditional climbing - hasn't forgotten how to place wires and just a few days after his Malham efforts found himself at Raven Crag in Langdale where he made a casual onsight of the now classic Dave Birkett route Dawes Rides a Shovelhead (E8 6c). James warmed up on the two E5s Trilogy and R&S Special before casually onsighting Dawes...
Steve Ashworth of The Epicentre climbing shop in Ambleside told UKC:
"Caff made characteristic short work of this fine line, chatting as he went."
The route takes a stunning central line up the steep main face of the crag, following a vague flake which has worrying peg protection, before romping over the final capping roof. Dawes... has climbing at a level of around F7c+, a thin and technical crux and relatively poor protection.