8b+ and more for Ethan Walkerby Duncan Campbell - UKC Jun/2013
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Ethan Walker has just had a very good couple of months, ticking many hard Peak limestone sport routes, including Zeke the Freak (8b) and Kneedless (8b+). In addition to this, Ethan has climbed up to 8a+ in the Frankenjura and a V11/8A grit boulder problem, River of Life.
Ethan headed to the Frankenjura in April with Ed Hamer, despite having to cut the trip short due to poor weather and almost injurying himself on the first day, as Ethan explained:
"Our trip to the Jura was full of ups and downs and unfortunatley we decided to fly back home a couple of weeks early... with many crags having a large amount of seepage. But its all about learning to deal with these kinds of situations... It was pretty dissapointing as I was just starting to get back into the style of climbing there again."
Ethan still managed a good ticklist in the short period he was out there.The best of which were:
On returning home, Ethan immediately put the strength and fitness gained throughout a winter of training and a trip to the Frankenjura to good use on the sport crags of the Peak, with an ascent of Zeke the Freak, 8b, at Rubicon the day after flying back from Germany. Making the use of an early start saw good conditions and a very quick ascent for Ethan:
"We warmed up, put the clips in, got the moves dialed, had a brief rest and it was done. Such a crazy feeling clipping the lower-off on this route."
Next up, Ethan switched back to grit bouldering after hearing that River of Life, 8A, at Turning Stone, was dry. Ethan commented:
"I've been down here all winter so when I heard it was dry, I was over there in a flash. Amongst the rhododendrons lays one of, if not the best roof problems on grit. This proved to be a huge mental battle for me even though it suits my style but it succumbed in the end... Sometimes we do really just have to try harder."
Finally, Ethan had a very good day sport climbing, managing to climb Kneedless, an 8b+ linkup at Raven Tor, followed by two 8a's and an ascent of The Sissy, 8a, at Rubicon the next day.
Ethan's Peak highlights are as follows:
You can follow Ethan and his climbing on his blog.
Jon Clark and Ethan have made a short film about bouldering at Rowtor Rocks:
They are hoping to make more, so keep your eyes open over the coming months.