Nik Jennings has just added a new trad route to the steep limestone crag of Kilnsey, North Yorkshire. Exodus, graded E8 6c, is a direct finish to the existing E6 Warlord Direct, creating what is potentially one of the hardest trad routes on Northern Limestone.
Nik Jennings on Exodus - E8 6c - Kilnsey
UKC News, May 2013
© Nik Jennings Collection (Screen shot from video)
Nik, a climbing coach, climbed the route in a headpoint style taking 6 sessions to successfully complete the route. Despite climbing it in a headpoint style, Nik simply checked the gear placements and ensured he could climb all the moves, but did not worry himself about linking the whole route or even large sections on a top-rope. Explaining his decision to take a less clinical approach on his blog, Nik said:
"If I wanted to do the route as a sure thing then I might as well bolt it... I wanted to do this as a trad route and to my mind this meant I wanted to try and embrace the trad-ness as much as I could"
After 2 sessions, Nik had individually done all the moves on the route and had checked the gear placements, and decided it was time to start trying the route from the ground on the lead. For the next 3 sessions, Nik tried the route from the ground, though on many of these days he clipsticked up the adjacent sport route, Smarter Martyr 8b, and brushed the route as he lowered off.
Nik's successful ascent came on his 6th session, climbing it on his second go of the day, in less than perfect conditions with it raining on the day and Nik having been on the route the day before and the day being his 6th day on.
Commenting on the grade Nik said:
Blue: Exodus (E8 6c), Red: Warlord/Direct (E2/E6), Pink: Smarter Martyr (8b)
UKC News, May 2013
© Nik Jennings
"I can only base the grade on my experience of the route, and to me it felt harder than any E7 I've done (and probably any of the E8's). In sport climbing terms it felt around 8a+, which breaks down to a highball Font 7B to some good gear and a rest, then a much harder boulder problem in the Font 7C region to a directional piece of gear and a poor rest. Following this a few stiff pulls (If the wire rips you'd be close or on the deck) leads to a good wire and steady moves to the belay."
Exodus: Climb Warlord Direct to the thread then instead of moving right into the groove/corner of Warlord continue direct up the bulging face to finish as for Smarter Martyr/Massala Martyr. Nik Jennings, 10th May 2013
Nik would like to thank everyone who belayed him for providing nice, soft catches; "Garry Cummings, Andy McVite, Andy Tappa and lucky belayer Rachel Somerville (and an honourable mention for Cal who entertained Sam, my 16 month old son, while I was climbing)"
You can contact Nik about his coaching here: Nikjennings.com