17 year-old Ellis Butler Barker has made the most of his half term by climbing a lot of hard routes at Anstey's Cove in Torbay. The best of Ellis' recent ascents include; Poppy, 8b+, Tuppence Ha'Penny, 8b+, A Fisherman's Tale, 8b, and a number of other hard link-ups.
Poppy was first climbed by Ken Palmer in 1994 and graded 8b+, but is thought to be tough for the grade and considered by some to be 8c, having seen few repeats. Ellis first tried the route back in 2013 but realised it was quite a bit above him at the time, so decided to leave the route.
After climbing a number of hard Anstey's routes and link-ups including Tuppence Ha'Penny, 8b+, Ellis decided to take a look at Poppy, despite having had two hard days of climbing already. Upon climbing the crux on his third go, Ellis realised it was a possibility and went for a redpoint attempt, falling on the last hard move of the crux. Knowing that after some rest it would go, Ellis came back two days later and climbed the route on his second redpoint of this session, and overall a very quick repeat. Ellis commented on his blog:
"To break it down it’s something like a V4 into a V9/10 and then a short 7c+ route to finish, it’s given an overall grade of 8b+. It doesn’t have any rests a long it and is around 17 pretty hard moves from start to finish.
It didn’t sink in straight away but as soon as it did, I knew that I could definitely climb harder… I managed to get this on my 4th redpoint go so I knew that I could work something much harder."
Prior to this, Ellis had climbed Tuppence Ha'Penny, 8b+, and A Fisherman's Tale, 8b, in two days, Ellis commented on each of the routes;
"Tuppence Ha'Penny, 8b+, is one of the longer routes at Anstey's and I do it in 40 moves. It's an extension to the already 3 star classic Tuppence and the breakdown is supposed to be something like 8b into a 7c. I had wanted to do it for a long time but had always been a little intimidated by Tuppence so had never had a go on it. However I finally got on it and managed to get it on my second redpoint. I'm so pleased to get this done as it was my goal to do this before Rodellar."
"A Fishermen's Tale, 8b, was another route I had been intimidated by as it's known for being pretty hard at 8b, so again I thought it'd take many sessions to get it done and when I first got on it I just expected to be opening the account and getting some of the moves sorted. However I went for my first redpoint attempt and everything felt really good and I managed to fight my way up it first go. It's actually an amazing route and I thought it was as good as Tuppence!"
You can watch a video of Ellis climbing Poppy and Tuppence Ha'Penny below:
Ellis' ticklist for a week and a half of climbing at Anstey's is as follows:
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