Pembroke DWS Mega Project Falls to Neil Gresham

by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2012
This news story has been read 10,887 times

On Friday 27th July, the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Neil Gresham completed his 8b DWS project at Forbidden Head in Pembroke.

Close this photo
+Neil and his home-made portaledge, which he stopped using as he thought it was unethical., 159 kb
Neil and his home-made portaledge, which he stopped using as he thought it was unethical.
UKC News, Jul 2012
© Martin Allen

+Neil Gresham checking out 'Olympiad' 8b on abseil. One of the hardest routes he thinks he has ever climbed., 154 kb
Neil Gresham checking out 'Olympiad' 8b on abseil. One of the hardest routes he thinks he has ever climbed.
UKC News, Jul 2012
© Martin Allen
Olympiad (8b), climbs a compact, leaning wall that has been described as one of the great DWS challenges in Pembroke. Having climbed two new routes on an adjacent wall last August, Neil decided it was worth attempting the line. He worked it first on an abseil and commented that this is "perhaps more strenuous than soloing the route." Due to the overhanging nature of the wall it is only possible to do a couple of moves before swinging off and having to jumar up. Accessing the route is also tricky due to its steepness.

Initially Neil tried to solo it from a make-shift portaledge at sea level, but on retrospect decided that this was ethically flawed and managed to find an alternative traverse from a cave on the right. Last September on his best go, he got approximately three quarters of the way up before his season ended with a watery splash-down.

This year Neil got, in his own words: 'a bit carried away' and set out in June wearing a shorty wetsuit to help with the cold water. He almost caught hypothermia and decided to wait a month longer.

The recent spell of good weather enabled him to rack up several consecutive days on the route, which sure enough, produced the result.

Neil commented:

"The only other route I've put as much work into was Equilibrium (E10) on Peak grit, so this feels like one of the hardest routes I've ever climbed. The handy thing is that it has a broad tidal window and seems to be in condition on most fair weather days. I really hope it sees some interest and it would be amazing if someone a lot stronger than me repeated it ground-up."

The ascent was filmed by film-maker/photographer Lukasz Warzecha. Lucasz hopes to release a film in weeks to come but in the meantime, Neil has put together a short home movie that will appear on UKC as soon as possible.

Neil would like to thank Martin Allen and the team at YHA Manorbier for their help and support during the ascent.

+Neil, looking like an Olympiad himself, wearing his shorty wetsuit early this summer (Look at those guns!)., 171 kb
Neil, looking like an Olympiad himself, wearing his shorty wetsuit early this summer (Look at those guns!).
UKC News, Jul 2012
© Martin Allen
+The water hadn't warmed up yet for the year, and despite the wetsuit, Neil nearly caught hypothermia, so had to wait., 168 kb
The water hadn't warmed up yet for the year, and despite the wetsuit, Neil nearly caught hypothermia, so had to wait.
UKC News, Jul 2012
© Martin Allen


Neil is sponsored by Sherpa Adventure Gear, Icebreaker, La Sportiva, Petzl, Beal, Mule Bar.


Forums ( Read More... | 16 comments, 05 Aug 2012 )
This news story has been read 10,887 times
Return to News from August 2012
Share this article on Facebook
Share this article on Twitter