VIDEO: Eliot Stephens Climbs Multiple Peak 8A'sby Duncan Campbell - UKC Mar/2014
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22 year old Eliot Stephens from South Wales had a good weekend in the Peak District, managing to climb several problems between 7C and 8A, including flashing Dangerous Action Man Wrestling (7C), at Anston.
Here's the video:
"It felt easy enough, suggesting either I was having a good day, or its a soft touch 8A!"
In addition to this, Eliot then made an almost flash of Johnny G, 7C, also at Rubicon. The problem revolves around one hard move from an awkward pocket and small dish to a crimp rail where an existing 7A begins. Eliot had climbed this 7A previously so has not counted this ascent as a true flash. Eliot commented:
"I managed to spend a few minutes organising each finger properly in the holds and managed to flash the move, and went to the top of the 7A."
The next day Eliot hoped to climb The Joker, 8A, but found the start a little reachy and so headed over to Brad Pit to see some friends, having climbed it before in 2012, Eliot wanted to get it on film, managing it second go, and then doing it twice again, showing ability on grit as well as on limestone. Eliot commented on the quality of Brad Pit, saying:
"It's still to this date the best problem I've ever climbed, just due to the line, the history and the technical nature of it."
Despite feeling tired from the previous two days Eliot headed to Anston Stones on Sunday keen to check out a venue he had heard a lot about but had never visited before. First up he climbed Bullet, 7C, managing to climb in around half an hour, commenting:
"Bullet felt pretty tricky as the footholds used are quite a way back in this roof (and I'm pretty short at 5ft5 ish)"
As a friend of his had previously climbed Dark Art, 8A, and had some good beta for short people, Eliot began trying this, but did not manage a successful ascent before fatigue stopped climbing for the day. Intending to head home after visiting Anston, Eliot decided that as he had got so close to climbing Dark Art, he would take a rest day and return on Tuesday.
Feeling well-rested Eliot headed back early on Tuesday morning hoping to send Dark Art before the forecasted rain came in. However, whist warming up he felt the beginnings of rain and so quickly jumped straight onto the problem, managing it first go of that session, deciding thn to quickly try and do Dark Beta, 8A, which starts up Dark Art, but then moves back right up a harder finish. Once again, Eliot impressively managed this problem first go. Eliot described these problems further:
"For Dark Art, I had to put one of my socks over the crux hold on the lip to try and make sure a puddle didn't form in it! I was lucky enough to pull on and do it first go with the problem again feeling pretty steady.
After a few minutes I decided to try the problem Dark Beta, which starts as for Dark Art but at the lip heads right and finishes up a harder finish (Beta Blocker 7A). I managed to do this first go after doing Dark Art, quite surprised not to be pumped senseless! The problems are of great quality, in an area which is one of the prettiest I've been to in the UK, especially in spring."
With the rain stopping earlier than he expected, Eliot checked out Dangerous Action Man Wrestling, 7C, at the Woody's Rock Area, an awkward two move problem. Eliot, keen to flash 7C this year, put in a big effort and managed to flash it for his first 7C flash. Describing is ascent Eliot said:
"The problem involves an awkward move off a strange fiddly mono in a roof, to a good pinch, and then a jump to the lip and what was for me a big swing to hold. I had a look at the mono and tried to work out how I'd best be able to hold it and how it would feel. When I pulled on I must have been lucky as I got the hold pretty well and felt good on it, and then managed to keep the tension to get the pinch. I jumped straight for the lip managing to avoid the potential dab and with a bit of a grunt to hold the swing, finished it off! This is the first 7C I've flashed, and as this one of my goals for the year I'm happy to get it done in March! Hopefully I'll have chance to do a few more!"
In addition to these hard problems, Eliot also climbed a number of other problems between 7A and 7B.