Jordan's ascent of Rainshadow, the third after Adam Ondra's second ascent in 2011, is the first repeat of a Steve McClure F9a by a Brit - a worthy prize and one which a number of top sport-climbing Brits have been vying for some time now. Justifiably, Jordan was over the moon: "best climbing day of my life so far!!!" he wrote on his 8a.nu scorecard entry.
Jordan has been focused on repeating Rainshadow for some time during which he's battled with some of the skankiest weather for years – especially during the supposed summer of 2012. Jordan got close to closure last autumn but – as they say – no cigar. A week since he got the coveted send it's obvious that Jordan is still on a massive high: "I'm still bouncing now. Glad I stuck with it!!"
Shockingly, it's a decade since Steve did the first ascent of Rainshadow. However, until Adam Ondra's second ascent in 2011, few climbers – UK or overseas - had seriously committed to the job of repeating any of Steve McClure's top routes. Ondra was clearly impressed with Rainshadow recording on his 8anu scorecard "Honestly one of the best climbs I have done...". Ondra proved that Steve McClure's routes could be repeated and now Jordan has shown that it's possible for a Brit to get in on the action too. Of course, the race is now on for the next repeat in the series! Steve himself is really pleased with Jordan's ascent although given he's hard at work on yet another super-route above The Catwalk he's not taking things easy.
Not surprisingly, Jordan hasn't been the only top climber in action and enjoying success above The Catwalk at Malham. Since the flag went down to signal the start of the 2013 season there's been plenty of others trying hard routes. Without being too partisan about it, it seems to be the Sheffield-based climbers that have been putting in the hours and getting the ticks. Ryan Pasquil has taken time out from trying one of Steve McClure's other super routes, Mutation F9a at Raven Tor, to notch-up quick repeats on both Bat Route F8c and Power Ranger F8b+/c. Joe Cook, a Foundry quiet-man who has been busy pumping-up his scorecard over the last few years, has also grabbed his share of the ticks with Bat Route and Raining Bats and Dogs F8c. Joe's slowly moving rightwards along The Catwalk – he's now on Unjustified F8c.
You can keep up with the limestone action, check out Keith's awesome calendar and see his stunning photography on his website: keithsharplesphotography
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