Cumbrian mono-master Dave Birkett has nipped over to the North York Moors and made a fast repeat of Franco Cookson's new route Psykovsky's Sequins, but not before taking two lead falls in the process.
Dave told UKC that it is an excellent route and if he had made the first ascent he would have graded it E8 7a.... BUT... "I got a bomber piece of gear in one of the monos. Franco soloed it." said Dave, speaking to UKC as he descended a Lakeland Fell on his quad bike.
Birkett repeated the route over two days, initially trying the moves and then returning a couple of days later for the lead. Dave has an old piece of gear similar to a slider that he has filed down to fit in mono holds.
"It was a bomber piece. I was really happy with it. I fell twice on to the runner, you know, the first time up you don't climb so well, but then when I had full faith in the gear it went next try. I've probably got a bit more experience than Franco in getting runners like that."
Dave didn't use bouldering mats beneath the route as he was happy with his gear in the mono hole.
Dave was full of enthusiasm for Cookson's other route The Hypocrisy of Moose (see UKC News), which he toproped on his speedy visit to the North York Moors, saying:
"I'll definitely be going back for that, that one is a really good line, and would be E8 anywhere. It's very similar to Countdown to Disaster (a bold gritstone E8 at Ilkley) in that easyish climbing leads you up to a place where you really don't want to fall, and then you have to do a move..."
Dave Birkett is no stranger to hard routes and tiny monos, having made countless quality and desperate first ascents up to E9 in the Lake District and beyond, including the very difficult E9 7a on Scafell (involving a mono-pinky move) called Welcome To The Cruel World.
And in other news.... Dave Birkett Rescues Sheep
A couple of weeks ago concerned UKC users posted on the forums about two stranded sheep to the right of Golden Slipper on Pavey Ark in the Lake District.
"Two sheep are stuck on a small ledge just to the right of Golden slipper on Pavey.They look to me like they have been there a while. Who can help?"
The first reply to the thread was simply 'Dave Birkett' and true to form the man himself did go and find these stuck animals and rescued them both. Nice work Dave!