Gaz Parry getting used to bolting on lead
UKC News, Jul 2014
© Adrian Berry Gaz Parry and Adrian Berry have recently added a new 7 pitch route to Kalymnos. At a moderate grade of French 5, Space Walk is set to become a mega classic for visitors to the island.
Despite niether of them having ever bolted on lead before, Gaz and Adrian set off with a skyhook and lots of batteries, aiming for a big groove feature on the right-hand side of Panorama. However, after climbing and bolting the pitches up to the groove, it turned out to be very dirty, with there being a more obvious line heading left up a slab.
At the top of this pitch they found themselves on a miniature meadow, with another crag behind. This time they decided to bolt the line on abseil, Gaz drew the short straw and after a lot of work in the hot sun had adding another great f5 pitches which Adrian then led.
Adrian commented on the learning process of opening a new route ground-up:
"We hiked up without any particular idea as to how to do it - but as with so many things, you learn what you need pretty quickly. As it was generally quite slabby ground we didn't need to do much hanging off the skyhook - just as well as it would have been pretty gripping - a fall with a drill and a hammer hanging off you is not a pleasant thought. The one trick we did learn was to run it out and place bolts in the easiest places, then lower down and fill in any gaps rather than placing bolts in awkward positions."
Adrian has been adding new routes to Kalymnos for many years, though they are usually in the harder grades and bolted on abseil. Gaz commented on why they chose this new line:
"Every year myself and Adrian head to Kalymnos to run a coaching holiday through Positive Climbing. With Adrian's history of new routing it seems logical to add a little something each visit. This year we decide to add something for everyone. A route that two lesser experienced climbers can experience multi pitch climbing close to the most popular sectors for the first time. Or an option for the local guides to take people on to teach multi-pitch techniques."
Space Walk Topo
UKC News, Jul 2014
© Adrian Berry