New Grit Route Shocker for Tom Randall - It's not a crack!by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Feb/2013
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The route is a direct version of the existing E7 6c Gecko Blaster, and Tom estimated the route to be a french grade of 8a, but quite dangerous. It's obviously not jamming, as Tom described it as his 'anti-style'.
Commenting on his blog, Tom said:
"Once I'd finally worked out what the hell I was doing on the bottom section, it was a case of linking the whole thing together, which involves some really powerful climbing with big moves, very unlike most grit routes. Whilst everyone else was moaning about the snow and wet crags I knew that Shining Cliff would be my only hope and sure enough on the wettest miserable day last week, the project was perfect. As I'd dragged a few belayers/spotters out over recent months, I felt like I couldn't do it again, so I ended up soloing the line (there is an RP2 on the top headwall for sensible people). Unusually for me, the ascent felt harder than expected, even though I was in a committed mindset. I have to confess, I didn't have as much a margin as I'd hoped for."
Tom recently climbed the Curbar route The Zone, which is graded E9, however there has been much talk of this route being not quite difficult enough to warrant that grade, and Tom agreed:
"After finally completing the route, my mind immediately wondered back to The Zone and how I'd felt on that route – after all, this was my most recent reference point and a "break" from project stagnation. The Zone had felt something like 7c+ and fairly dangerous, whereas My Kai was more like a hard 8a and just as dangerous. It had also taken perhaps 4 times as long to do!"