Pembroke Easter Weekend 2014 Round-Upby Duncan Campbell - UKC Apr/2014
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The Easter Bank Holiday Weekend saw some of the best weather of the year, and with one of the best attended Range West briefings in history occurring, it is no surprise that Range West saw a lot of attention. There were multiple E7 onsights from James McHaffie and Dan McManus, a new E8 from Dave Pickford at Greenham Common and a quick repeat of Daddy Cool, E8 6b for Dave Birkett.
Fresh back from Chulilla a few weeks ago, James McHaffie was obviously on good form and headed straight to Greenham Common on his first day. After warming up on the E5 of the crag, Tasmanian Devil, Caff set to work on Steve Mayer's 3 E7's, onsighting Wolverine, E7 6b, Wash Doubt, E7 6c, and finally Courting Disaster, E7 6b. Caff commented on his first E7 'hat-trick' day:
"Wolverine was the most bouldery with good but hard to place gear, Wash Doubt the best involving a committing heelhook move a bit out from RPs and a wild airy finish, Courting Disaster was the most serious, having burly, slippery climbing and hard to place gear. They were all unchalked which made it surprisingly difficult on some sequences with a few near misses on the final one of the day, Courting Disaster. If chalked it would of felt a steady affair unlike how it went high up."
Caff was climbing with Dan McManus who climbed Wolverine Ground-Up on the first day, and flashed Wash Doubt a couple of days later. In addition to this, the pair also climbed numerous E5's and 6's throughout the weekend.
On the same day, Dave Pickford climbed a new route at Greenham Common, calling it Robot Heart, and grading it E8 6c. Dave pre-practised the cruxes on a Gri-Gri and checked out the gear placements before leading the route. Dave gave a route description:
"The new line climbs the first 5 metres of the classic Littlejohn E6, Fear No Evil, to the horizontal break where FNE goes right. It then ascends the very shallow twin cracks directly above (crux) protected by two difficult-to-place DMM offset number 4's to a rest on a narrow ramp. Good gear can be placed here before the route launches straight up the very steep wall above to a second crux move - a huge lunge to gain the top of the crag. Quite an entertaining quest. The difficulty is around F7c+. I think the route is E8 6c because the gear that protects the crux section is very blind and hard to place, and would make an onsight attempt a serious proposition."
On the Monday, Dave Birkett made a quick repeat of the Carreg-y-Barcud test piece, Daddy Cool, having worked the route on a top-rope.