UKC

Ryan Pasquill - Hard Slate Slabs

© mr mills
Seamstress Slab  © mr mills
Seamstress Slab
© mr mills, Nov 2006

Ryan Pasquill, number one male, Climbing Works Masters bouldering competition (24/3/07)  © Alex Messenger
Ryan Pasquill, number one male, Climbing Works Masters bouldering competition (24/3/07)
© Alex Messenger
Ryan Pasquill has flashed two tenuous slate slabs in the same day with his Easter weekend ascents of The Medium and Windows of Perception.

The Medium is a F8a slab just to the left of the classic route Heading The Shot on the Seamstress slab at Serengeti in the Llanberis slate quarries. It was first climbed by Johnny Dawes back in the late 1980's (with an old skool grade of E7 6c) and is known for its sustained and technical climbing.

Flashing both of them in one day is amazing

James McHaffie

Windows of Perception, also on the Seamstress slab and also a Johnny Dawes route, is graded a touch easier than The Medium, weighing in at 'only' E6 7a, but is probably harder to flash. The crux is reportedly a V8/9 boulder problem (height dependent) and the climb would warrant a French grade of approximately F7c+. Windows is extremely cruxy, with an exceptionally thin rock-over crux move.

The peculiarities of slate slabs mean that flashing routes of an E6 7a / F7c+ and F8a standard is a significant achievement.

"Flashing just one of these routes is really impressive. Flashing both of them in one day is amazing." commented local slate climber James McHaffie, who is no stranger to hard slate slabs himself. "I've never seen any two people do The Medium in the same way." he said, meaning that any beta Ryan had for the moves will only have been of limited use.

Guidebook Cover #2 - New Slatesman  © Individual Photographers
Guidebook Cover #2 - New Slatesman
© Individual Photographers
Ryan mentioned that he thinks Neil Kershaw also flashed Windows a few years ago.

Both routes are protected by bolts and have been recently re-equipped in the general overhaul of the slate quarries. However a ground fall is still possible from the easier sections (UK Technical 6b).

On the subject of slate, local climbers and visitors alike are waiting with eager anticipation for the forthcoming slate guide, produced by Ground Up and authored by Mark Reeves, Pete Robins and Mark Dicken. Currently the guidebook editor Simon Panton is in the process of choosing the cover for the slate guide:

"Choosing a front cover shot for a guidebook is a tricky business. Finding that special shot with all the ingredients can be very frustrating."

Simon is looking for inspiration and has just sent UKClimbing.com 3 potential cover images (one is a bit whacky!) and wants some feedback - do you have a preference?

Check out all three in this OI NEWS: Choose a Guidebook Cover


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Ryan Pasquill is perhaps one of the best all-round climbers in the UK, and is known for his understated style, completing many climbs on-site or ground up. His impressive tick list includes Sleepy Hollow (E10, 7a), Gerty...

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15 Apr, 2009
Nice one Ryan, have you got your own rack yet?
15 Apr, 2009
That is amazing!
17 Apr, 2009
he has and its all nice and shiney ...at the moment
17 Apr, 2009
While we are on the subject, great credit to Ground Up for their frequency and quality of guides (This coming from an ex CC guidebook writer and committee member). I am glad they are doing them in the style they are too, proper definitive guides with proper history.
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