Pete Oxley says Goodbye to Dorset

Climbers in the UK have a lot to thank Pete Oxley for, roughly 800 new routes, the majority established on the southern limestone of Portland and Swanage, including authoring three guidebooks to the South's most popular sport climbing area. Now with a move to New Zealand at Christmas, with his partner Jan Rostron, Pete is leaving his beloved Dorset behind.

After several years at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth where he got a first in Graphic Design and a handicap of two extra stone, Pete got fit this year and has ended his affair with south-coast limestone with two high-quality new routes in the Palace of the Brine cave at Swanage. First off was Haka Peruperu 8a/8a+ during the summer and last weekend he completed his project, Lifeforce, at a possible 8b, which takes a 20m roof on immaculate rock.

Oxley said of Lifeforce, "It's one of the most inspiring hard sport climbs in the South, on superb rock, and probably the widest sport overhang ever climbed in the UK? I first bolted it 14 years ago and then abandoned it after failure. Recently I rebolted it and success was achieved after six half days, with cool conditions the key to success. During the ascent I had a very emotional and overwhelming sense of the presence of my great friend the late Brian Tilley. He filled my mind all the way up as we had done great things in this cave many years ago. When I got home Jan said the phone had rung about 2.00 in the afternoon about the time I was on the route, the caller asked 'Is Brian there...'. I dedicate the route to his memory." Oxley is as keen as ever however and said of New Zealand, " I have a sneaking suspicion there could be some new rock there to sort out, looking for the biggest caves ever!" says thanks to Pete for all his hard work in helping to create perhaps the finest sport climbing area in the UK and best of luck to Jan and himself in New Zealand.

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