Young, talented climber Ellis Butler-Barker (17) is currently out in Rodellar, Northern Spain and is climbing extremely well. He has redpointed his first 8c, Welcome to Tijuana, and proving that he is no slouch at onsighting he became the youngest Brit to onsight 8b with ascents of La Kanabica, Cuchills For Your Fingers and Alter Ego.
Ellis travelled out to Rodellar with aims to onsight 8a+ and redpoint 8c, and had been training by doing lots of hard link-ups at Anstey's Cove up to 8b+ (UKC News Item). After trying a couple of 8c's, Ellis eventually settled on the bouldery Welcome to Tijuana, which contrasted his training which he had focused on 40 metre stamina-fests.
After just a few sessions working the moves, Ellis felt ready to start redpointing, climbing the route on his third redpoint as he described:
"On my third go I climbed the route perfectly and exactly how I had imagined, this time I reached the last move feeling a little more fresh than last time. I threw for the last hold, caught it and clipped the chains! I'd just climbed my first 8c, I was so chuffed and also surprised to have climbed the route as quickly as I did!"
After surpassing his original aims by onsighting three 8a+'s, he began thinking about potential 8b's to onsight. After having a look at another 8c, he decided to try Cuchills For Your Fingers hoping for a quick redpoint. Ellis described how his first go up the route went:
"I got on the route and just kept going, move after move, every move felt hard but what could I expect from a short 17 meter 8b? Before I knew it the chains were in sight, I fought harder than I ever have on a route and somehow pulled myself up to the chains! I had done it! I couldn't believe it but it was done, my first 8b onsight."
Two days later Ellis onsighted his second 8b La Kanabica, and a day later yet another with Alter Ego, showing that he still has a fair way to go before he reaches his limit.
Ellis' ticklist for his trip so far is as follows:
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