The South Lakes strongman, John Gaskins, perhaps the most powerful climber in the UK is back climbing again after a lay off. John is author of the world's hardest short sport route, Violent New Breed 9a+ and the boulder problem, Walk Away Sit Start Font 8c/V15 at Fairy Steps, both unrepeated - not to mention his 2006 solo of a hard grit route at Thorn Crag given Font 8b. Consider that the neighbouring route, The Last Temptation is E6 and this route, called A Moment of Clarity is just as high, E10 or E11 anyone?
Gaskins gave up climbing for a while and some say it was due to being accused of lying by the German climber, Markus Bock after Gaskins made quick repeats of Bock's hardest problems, including Gossip, Font 8c in 2004.
Greg Chapman at www.lakesbloc.co.uk broke the news.
That's amazing tf that actually got to him. Is this not just you embelishing the facts Mick? I thought we established at the time that Bock was just mistaken (if he admits it) or full of shit (if he doesn;t). Bock only observed Gaskins fail on a font 8b if his after 15 mins ish after JG'd already had a full day's bouldering in the Jura. But presumably MB did't know this, and was duly surprised when JG sent it the next day (in about an hour wasn't it?). This was crystal clear at the time, has MB really not apologised since? I hope Marcus and Simpson are happy with where their accusations have got them.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Why wasn't this given greater coverage in the climbing new when it's an obvious contender for the 'hardest route on grit'?. Maybe because of it's distance from the Sheffield mafia???
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: In some ways the reporting of this reminds me of the reporting of High Fidelity (Highball 8B) at Caley. Another contender for E11 as it's a long way up, although the fall is safe with pads.
At the risk of coming up with a load of rubbish I shall implausibly and unjustifiably linearly project from only two examples and prove you wrong. highball 7a ish is E5 - tierdrop. highball 7b>= E6, 7c>= E7, 8a>= E8 (Rnegade Master? Samson?) 8b is therefore E9 or E10 max. Correct to plus or minus a font grade. Or something. But you know there's enough confused people who're convinced by the notion that E9 and E10 have to be death to make E11 look a bit big for an 8b. Trad grades go up disproportionately high for doing something sustained like Rhapsody, even more so if it's bold like it is, than they do for highballs, and rightly so IMHO.
Thats a picture of andi on the last temptation, you can clearly see the side of the arete which is meant to be the top part of the route. as for what its like, some of the guys who have been over there said hard........ very very hard.
Just to clarify, I think it's a bit of an overstatement to entitle this news item "The Return of Gaskins" - very Daily Star. He's been doing some climbing and having a bit of fun training, I feel we're unlikely to ever see the return of the free talking Gaskins of yesteryear, even if he climbs 8c+ he probably won't tell anyone. Such a shame.
Also to stop any of the pointless and unqualified guesswork in terms of A Moment of Clarity the facts are pasted below in the form of a selection of extracts from emails I exchanged with John (mid 2007) regarding A Moment of Clarity.
Climb: A Moment of Clarity (Fb8a+/b/E?)
Crag: Thorn Crag
Date Climbed: February 2006
The prow right of Last Temptation (high boulder problem or route?). I climbed it as a boulder problem, after top rope practice. All the hard climbing is in the first few metres (and moves) leading to a high but "easy" finish. It may settle down in grade if/when it loses that initial, and typical Thorn Crag gritiness. Grade-wise I think/thought that it is about 8a+/b, I'm not really sure.
I climbed the arête on its’ left i.e. the Last Temptation side (so more above the flat-ish and higher ground rather than the jumble of blocks).
After working it over various days I rationalised that the only moves I would fall off were at a bouldering height and directly onto mats, in fact I practiced falling off these moves near the start while on a rope but with enough slack to hit the ground/mats to test whether it was more a boulder problem or a route. The day I did it I went up there primarily to work it but did it first go on a shunt, so felt that I had to give it go.
The top half of Moment is pretty reasonable and comfortably easier that Font 7a, from memory I'd have thought it was maybe UK 5c-ish. As with the bottom half I climbed the upper rib on its' left which enabled me to use the horizontal breaks in the wall between Moment and Last Temptation. I think a route grade is really difficult to attach to it, well it is for me but then I've never been that motivated by grades.
The reason I never reported the information originally was to avoid the likely insinuations and conjecture about his ascent and why he hadn't reported it for over a year, so please don't start. Incidentally I would take the comment about the top section being "easy" and "5c" with a pinch of salt...