NEWSFLASH: First British Onsight of Strawberries for McClure

by Duncan Campbell - UKC Jun/2014
This news story has been read 11,773 times

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+Steve McClure's Hand Picked Malham, 44 kb
Steve McClure's Hand Picked Malham
UKC Articles, Oct 2013
© Marmot

Britain's top sport climber, Steve McClure has recently made the first British onsight ascent of Ron Fawcett's classic Tremadog test piece; StrawberriesE7 6b. 

Notorious for being tricky to onsight, due to having a blind sequence, Strawberries has seen just three onsight ascents since Ron climbed it in 1980.

Before Steve, all onsight ascents were from foreign climbers; Stefan Glowacz in 1987, Jorg Verhoeven in 2011 (UKC News Report) and Hansjorg Auer in 2012 (UKC News Report). In addition to this, it was also flashed by Felix Neumarker in 2013 with the gear in place and beta on the crux.

Many of Britain's best trad climbers have tried to onsight the route, including James McHaffie and Pete Robins, but none have succeeded until now.

Commenting on his Facebook page, Steve said: 

+Stefan Glowacz on the first onsight of Strawberries, Tremadog, 146 kb
Stefan Glowacz on the first onsight of Strawberries, Tremadog
© Uli Wiesmeier, Sep 2008
"At last. The monster is slain. Strawberries onsight. One of the most legendary routes in British climbing. Saved it for years, then spent years desperately just trying to get on it, whatever the outcome. A route to do before you die, I wondered if it was going to slip away untried! And then everything just fell into place. Amazing route, as great as its reputation. But was it as hard?"

​We will bring you more information on this as soon as we have it.


Steve McClure is sponsored by: Beal, Five Ten, Marmot and Petzl


Forums ( Read More... | 72 comments, 19 Jun 2014 )
I suspect I've probably blundered into the middle of a discussion without knowing precisely what was being discussed, so should probably retire. At the time, however, I can't recall any doubt as to the route's validity,...
Ian Parsons - 19 Jun 2014

Well, I'm not saying it wasn't. I think it was around after as well though. ("the first lead, therefore ascent", no?) Consulting the guide, I see that in 1989 Mark Pretty et al thought that Big R's was...
johncoxmysteriously - 19 Jun 2014

That's what I was obliquely referring to, it was Jerry only from what I recall in the old guide he didn't climb it in better style but dogged it, he was very young and unaware of the ethic at the time I think "I...
Tyler - 19 Jun 2014

<- a bit like Bouvier when he tried to rename Tequila Mockingbird after he redpointed it.> Ah oui; Gandalf Le Magicien 7c, if I recall. Who's even heard of that these days? (Ok - apart from assorted geriatrics...
Ian Parsons - 19 Jun 2014

>As for Peaches Tyler, there was no move to rename Strawberries. It was the other way around. It was a well known project in N Wales at the time and it was generally referred to as Peaches (to go with Cream, obviously)...
johncoxmysteriously - 19 Jun 2014

I didn't know that. I have consulted his autobiography and it says "..I abseiled down and replaced the top three runners I'd placed the day before, clipping my ropes through them.." By his own admission...
shark - 18 Jun 2014

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