A few days later (Feb 23rd) it was the turn of Gareth Parry (website) 33 of Blackburn who on a visit to Parisella's Cave (Ogof Parisella), the hard bouldering mecca off Llandudno's Marine Drive in Wales, made the third ascent of The Director's Cut, a confirmed Font 8b first established by Jamie Cassidy in May 2004 and a month later repeated by reformed broccoli muncher, Malcolm Smith.
Gaz Parry has quite a bouldering pedigree, he was the British bouldering champion in 2002, is the current British bouldering team coach and is a respected planet Fear climbing coach, as well as being a co-owner of BoulderUK in Blackburn. After a trip roped climbing in Madagascar late last year and ice climbing in France early this year, he has also been concentrating on bouldering and has racked up an impressive series of ascents recently. In February on a trip to Fontainebleau, France, he repeated the classic Karma Font 8a+ and earlier In January he succeeded on 8 Ball the Font 8B sit start to Full Power at Gardom's Edge.
The Director's Cut didn't come easily, it took multiple sessions. You can read an account and see sequence shots at gazparryclimbing.blogspot.com
Gaz does describe The Director's Cut as "A proper hard 8b". Those operating at the cutting edge in the world of bouldering know that there is much variation within a particular grade and there is the whole issue of soft grades at some areas compared to others. The UK is known for it's "proper 'british' hard grades" in the words of someone at UKbouldering.com.
I asked Gaz, how The Director's Cut compared in difficulty to some of his recent bouldering ascents,
"If Karma is 8a+ and 8 Ball is 8b then Directors is top end 8b or possibly +. When I first did 8 Ball I thought it may be 8a+ but now I think it is possibly 8b. You see 8 Ball is very easy to work and you can dog every move easily. It is a complex problem and like most things on Grit or Sandstone they get easier as you learn the balance. If 8 Ball was higher like the stand-up start version of Voyager (Ben Moon's Font 8b at Burbage North) then it would be harder than Voyager for sure. I think Directors is brick, a great effort from the young and talented Jamie Cassidy. Proper 8b. There is no way about it, you have to be strong on the moves because it is quite long, 20-ish moves with number 18 being the link crux."
If you want to see where Font 8b sits on the bouldering grade scale see this Bouldering Grade Conversion Chart
Gaz Parry is sponsored by The North Face, DMM and Five Ten.