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NEWS: Hard Grit Repeats by James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini

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 UKC News 28 Dec 2020

James Pearson made the third ascent of Harder, Faster E9 7a at Black Rocks, Derbyshire on 24 December. The bold line was first climbed by Charlie Woodburn in 2000 and the first repeat came in 2003 by the late Australian climber Toby Benham. Shortly after James' ascent, his wife Caroline Ciavaldini made the third female ascent of the classic original line Gaia E8 6c, which trends rightwards from the break instead of finishing direct up the pinnacle.



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In reply to UKC News:

Incredible what Caroline has achieved after child birth! 

 robertmichaellovell Global Crag Moderator 28 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Harder, Faster is one of those routes that I always looked at in my first guidebook (with no aspirations whatsoever, I should hasten to add) with my mind boggling. Pretty cool to see it get done. Also, my excuses about parenthood stopping me from climbing committing trad seem to have been shat on somewhat.. 

 DerwentDiluted 28 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Its funny how things go round in one big circle sometimes. I was at Black Rocks ages ago, about 2000, farting about on some bits. A precocious youth of about 14 was working the start of Curving arete and took repeated long tumbling falls down the gap. Each time returning as undaunted as he was uninjured. Envying his indestructability and chuckling at his optimism I left. As I left I heard him mutter to his mate while looking up at Gaia "yeah I'll work that next"  and I thought 'Pffffffft...good luck with that kiddo'.

No prizes for guessing who that precocious youth was.

Post edited at 16:09
 chrisprescott 28 Dec 2020
In reply to Wizzy:

Without wishing to hijack the news report we've got a film on the way in the new year about Caro and James' life as parents called 'New Life'. It's due to be released on the 8th March (via The North Face's YouTube channel)

 Red Rover 28 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Great to see James Person on hard grit again, full circle! He dropped off the radar here for a few years but he's done some seriously impressive non grit stuff in Austria and Italy and other places.

 SiobhanStraver 28 Dec 2020
In reply to Wizzy:

I wonder why you got downvoted. It *is* incredible. 

 TheGeneralist 28 Dec 2020
In reply to SiobhanStraver:

> I wonder why you got downvoted. It *is* incredible. 

Could someone illuminate us?

 nastyned 28 Dec 2020
In reply to TheGeneralist:

I wish people would stop whinging about down votes. Maybe they're looking on their phone and have just done it accidentally when scrolling?

 SiobhanStraver 28 Dec 2020

It’s hardly whinging. Just intrigued. Is UKC anti-pregnancy talk or have we just missed something? 

 Michael Gordon 29 Dec 2020
In reply to SiobhanStraver:

I would guess the dislikes are from those who don't think it should be surprising what a woman can achieve after becoming a mother. I do find it impressive, particularly the 8b in the Verdon, but maybe I shouldn't, who knows.

 Paddy_nolan 29 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Any clues if there’s going to be a video of the accent?

 MischaHY 29 Dec 2020
In reply to SiobhanStraver:

> It’s hardly whinging. Just intrigued. Is UKC anti-pregnancy talk or have we just missed something? 

As with any social media, people are less considerate about how they react to things written or posted - this is exacerbated by the like/dislike feature being anonymous meaning there is no chance of being personally called out for expressing your opinion. 

As for whether that's a bad thing or not is hard to say - but it certainly does provide an 'honest' community reaction I suppose. 

 john arran 29 Dec 2020
In reply to Paddy_nolan:

> Any clues if there’s going to be a video of the accent?

Audio would suffice, surely?

 GrahamD 29 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Great achievement.

Don't think I'd have risked coming to the UK with travel and quarantine restrictions seemingly changing daily !

 mrphilipoldham 29 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Or maybe it's those who are pro stop climbing as per the thread of the same name. Surely we should be taking it easy and keeping it local and 'safe'*.. 

*not necessarily my opinion, as such.

 Lankyman 29 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I would guess the dislikes are from those who don't think it should be surprising what a woman can achieve after becoming a mother. I do find it impressive, particularly the 8b in the Verdon, but maybe I shouldn't, who knows.


So is Gaia now considered to be an easy day for a lady?

In reply to UKC News:

Amazingly audacious ascents by both of them - with probable life changing consequences if they got it wrong - simply awesome😳😳😬😬

 snoop6060 29 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I remember Toby Benham on the grit scene when I first started climbing. Absolute maniac, they should make a film of his life. Nuts beyond belief when you read it all. 

 gazhbo 29 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I would guess the dislikes are from those who don't think it should be surprising what a woman can achieve after becoming a mother. I do find it impressive, particularly the 8b in the Verdon, but maybe I shouldn't, who knows.

I think it’s because James and Caro’s post children experiences are not comparable to most peoples.  Caro is a full time professional athlete whose partner is a full time professional athlete.

So whilst climbing Gaia and some hard sport routes in France is undoubtedly impressive, it should be considered in that context, rather than being framed as something that’s inspirational to other new mothers.

I’m not sure if it was on here or not, but there was a video recently in which Caro was advising on how to train after having a baby.  It was all well intentioned, but depended entirely on having an enormous training walk in your house.

None of the above is necessarily what I think, but maybe explains the dislikes.  I’m well impressed by both of them, though more so by Caro’s hard sport climbing than Gaia.  I’d be keen to see the footage, but less interested in all the inevitable accompanying interviews about how they’ve managed to keep climbing as parents, because it just won’t be relatable for the vast majority of climbing parents.

Post edited at 17:21
 tehmarks 29 Dec 2020
In reply to gazhbo:

> there was a video recently in which Caro was advising on how to train after having a baby.  It was all well intentioned, but depended entirely on having an enormous training walk in your house.

Can those less fortunate not go for a massive training walk outside?

 Bilberry 29 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Sigh.  They live in France, right? 

Anyone that's just given up seeing parents/siblings/kids for Christmas in order to follow the guidance has probably got mixed feeleings about them coming to show James' family the baby and nipping out for a few routes.

Yeah, the ascents are great...but FFS context guys.

 tehmarks 29 Dec 2020
In reply to Bilberry:

I spent Christmas on my own for the first time in my life. I have no mixed feelings — what's the point of a climbing website that doesn't report climbing news?

 Bilberry 29 Dec 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

> I spent Christmas on my own for the first time in my life. I have no mixed feelings — what's the point of a climbing website that doesn't report climbing news?


Sure - I was just suggesting why there might be some downvotes (not mine FWIW)

 SiobhanStraver 30 Dec 2020
In reply to gazhbo:

Thanks, this is an interesting point of view and I hadn't really thought of it like that 

 Spanish Jack 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I know more women that struggle to get back to fitness after a kid than those who are really getting back into shape. So examples like Caroline are inspiring.

 Michael Gordon 31 Dec 2020
In reply to Spanish Jack:

Perhaps. I struggle to say what's inspiring or not on behalf of others. Personally I tend to find reports of a lot of hard routes often interesting, sometimes impressive but rarely inspiring.

 Franco Cookson 31 Dec 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Well done! Harder Faster always seemed like one of the properly bold grit routes. 

I think Adam Watson has also repeated it though - not that I think he ever told anyone. 

 UKB Shark 31 Dec 2020
In reply to Franco Cookson:

> I think Adam Watson has also repeated it though - not that I think he ever told anyone. 

Be useful if you contacted him to confirm as from what I’ve heard about the route it’s a big deal. 

 Arms Cliff 31 Dec 2020
In reply to UKB Shark:

> Be useful if you contacted him to confirm as from what I’ve heard about the route it’s a big deal. 

What have you heard about the route?!

In reply to Arms Cliff:

Err, it's 7a moves with nasty insecure slopers and if you come off you WILL hit the ground from 40-50 foot up - hence E9 and not many takers - in some ways it may be the grit equivalent of Indian Face.

Happy new year - hopefully 2021 better than 2020

 Arms Cliff 01 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I was hoping Shark might have heard something that wasn’t immediately obvious from the guidebook description! 
 

Unlike Indian Face it sounds like it may actually have some hard moves. 

Post edited at 07:55
 UKB Shark 01 Jan 2021
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> What have you heard about the route?!

That it could be E10

In reply to Arms Cliff:

I've only ever seen the brief Rockfax description. I didn't know whether you'd any knowledge of the route (especially as from your "name" Black Rocks might be a bit too far south from the county 😁) so answered as if you hadn't any knowledge.

As a punter, I've only ever stood below it and thought, that really looks rather bold, especially since it's hard climbing on non-positive holds - so, so easy to fluff. 

 Arms Cliff 01 Jan 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

> That it could be E10

Interesting, would make it second on grit as it was Nov 2000 and Equilibrium Feb. 

 GrahamD 01 Jan 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

How does it compare with Widdop Wall - another route with a very short queue ?

 Cusco 01 Jan 2021
In reply to Arms Cliff:

"Unlike Indian Face it sounds like it may actually have some hard moves."

LOL. That's one of the funniest comments I've read on UKC in ages. Are you DJ Viper?

It reminds me of that classic quote "When 6c's not that hard and 6b's approaching a rest". 

To a large section of UK trad climbers, English 6c is hard.

I can count on one hand the number of English 6b moves I've ever done in 29 years and English 6c is unachievable for punters like me.

It makes me think that soon I had better start training at home for my next VS for when we're back in Tier 2.

 RawPowa! 02 Jan 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

He didn't have a boring life that's for sure, and managed to film a lot of his near death experiences.

 Phil Lyon 02 Jan 2021
In reply to RawPowa!:

We were recalling seeing Dan Bradley do it once. 
but he might have been practicing it on a top rope when we were there. 

 Franco Cookson 02 Jan 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

> Be useful if you contacted him to confirm as from what I’ve heard about the route it’s a big deal. 

Aye, he says he did it about 8 years ago. Gotta be the hardest in the peak ? Maybe one of Whittaker's would be more tricky, although you appear to be able to fall off them. (Posted from my armchair) 

 UKB Shark 02 Jan 2021
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Nice one. Cheers Franco. 

 Ed Booth 03 Jan 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

So cool that somebody can repeat a route like Harder Faster and genuinely doesn't feel the need to tell people. 

 UKB Shark 03 Jan 2021
In reply to Ed Booth:

Unfathomly so

 Michael Gordon 03 Jan 2021
In reply to Franco Cookson:

> Gotta be the hardest in the peak ? Maybe one of Whittaker's would be more tricky, although you appear to be able to fall off them. (Posted from my armchair) 

there's Equilibrium and The Groove also, the latter still unrepeated I think

 ralphio 03 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Didn't Kevin Jorgason (Probably not correct spelling) repeat it when he visited from America?

 GrahamD 03 Jan 2021
In reply to ralphio:

> Didn't Kevin Jorgason (Probably not correct spelling) repeat it when he visited from America?

Only the bottom section.

 GrahamD 03 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I'm not sure where Widdop Wall comes on the scale of hardest grit routes either.


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