As a late xmas present to my friend FakeTom i thought i would give him two targets for this year, an easy 6c and an easy 7a on Portland to aim for. Obviously this is not totally objective but i'd be interested in suggestions. He's about 6 ft and is an all round climber so probably sustained rather than cruxy, he's not a trad climber so probably a wall not a crack.
The Accelerator is technically 7a, easier for the tall, and short. However sure to be downgraded soon - it's actually about 6c.
I suggest two absolute classics that are bottom end of the grade for 7a
He may as well do Buoys will be Buoys (6b+) whilst he’s at battleship, as if he does that he’s definitely ready for 6c and it’s one of the finest routes in the isle. Same goes for Burning Skies (6b+), in fact 6b+ is one of the best grade on the island.
A 6c i thought was not too bad at all and really enjoyed this year was The Long Walk (6c). Mainly on jugs but slightly steep, if you pardon the cliche, it’s one of those “hidden gems”.
A bit of a low crux followed by nothing special if my memory serves me well....
I second The Long Walk. I try to do it every time I'm near by, although it doesn't start off too strongly, the top isn't exceptional and very unique for the area at the grade.
At 6ft they are all easy for 7a right? ;)
Thus speaks wisdom!
Mick (5' 6")
One of my first was Tug on This Jody (7a). Boulder start to a massive jug/rest and nice headwall to finish. First 7a I did in one session.
Also Sacred Angel (7a) was another first, but took me a few sessions. Big rest on a ledge before the crux section which is short lived (especially for a 6 footer)
And as said before The Accelerator (7a) which is super low in the grade, and you can tentatively clip the anchor from above for a top rope practice.
Snap! (Also 5'6").
In real reply to the OP it's not strictly portland, but Peppercorn Rate (7a) at winspit is definitely something that should be on your mates radar as should be Ancient Order of Freemarblers (7a). It's not 7a but Red Rain (6c+) is a great route and pretty much there!
Another vote for Last Rose...I onsighted it when on-sighting 7a was not my norm (so, er, my entire climbing life...); however, I am 6'0" with a +4 ape factor which made the blind move to the (beta alert!) hidden crux hold a lot easier. I was so surprised to latch it that I pretty much campused the rest of it in shock, I recall it was sustained but never desperate, and with a modicum of technique is probably quite straightforward.
5'6"?! Respect for your achievements on Portland! Mind you, as weight increases with the cube of height you probably weigh half of what I do!
I hope everyone who read my first comment reads this one too. I hope I haven't put anyone off, it's well worth doing.
It's funny because I tried it when I was onsighting 7a regularly and was quite hilariously shut down on the onsight of this route and I think I barely made it to the top 😂 but slabby vert terrain on small holds was never my forte
The Oldest Profession 7a (Blacknor South)
Thanks for all the suggestions. Once lockdown is over we'll discuss and pick a couple and enjoy ourselves whatever happens.
15-year-old French climber Oriane Bertone has climbed Super Tanker (Font 8B+) at Cuvier Rempart in Fontainebleau, France.