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.
Neil and his home-made portaledge, which he stopped using as he thought it was unethical.
UKC News, Jul 2012
© Martin Allen
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.
"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.