Leeds based climber Tom Peckitt has added perhaps the hardest Almscliff link to date with his Bulbhaul at a tentative Font 8B+.
Bulbhaul is on the Keel boulder and links the C&A Traverse into The Bulb without using the block at the back of the roof.
"I had done the end section from the obvious half way crack a few months ago and I have been summoning all my strength for the full link."
He described the difficulty:
"Individually the moves on Bulbhaul are not altogether that hard. There is no 8b move on the problem. It is the linking of them all that renders the difficulty. Having never climbed, or ever really attempted, an 8B+ before I am reluctant to give that grade. I have tried Kaizen at Woodwell (a John Gaskins 8B+) but that is incomparable. Therefore, I propose a possible 8B+ and leave it for someone to confirm, or not, as the case may be."
Although Tom hasn't climbed a problem of this difficulty before, he is no stranger to hard Almscliff link-ups, with his ascent last year of Real Keelhaul (Font 8B). Another Yorkshire first ascent from last year was X-Calibre Direct (Font 8B) at the Hunter Stones. He has now climbed most of the boulder problems at Almscliff, and given the sheer number and difficulty of the problems there, that is quite a feat. He is still as enthusiastic as ever about his local crag and is sure there is more to come:
"I have done most things at the cliff but there's stuff I haven't - that's the beauty of it. There is ALWAYS something to do, not to mention the routes, which I haven't even looked at!"
"Recently I was trying a new problem by a local called Andy Crome, which tackles the blank wall next to Pistol Whip. I fell on the last move after the crux twice in the dark but I was surprised that I'd walked passed it so often. Cherry Falls is very difficult and more likely Font 8B, that is one that has thwarted my efforts so far. There is other stuff too."
Watch a video of Tom on Bulbhaul:
Tom is sponsored by Evolv and Metolius