UKC

Tom Bolger Climbs 'Old School F8c' in Spain Photos

© Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger, Lynne Malcolm and Dillan, one of the three canine rescue centre dogs they’ve found a home for  © Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger, Lynne Malcolm and Dillan, one of the three canine rescue centre dogs they’ve found a home for
© Pete O'Donovan

Tom Bolger - Cadena Perpetua - F8c.   © Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger - Cadena Perpetua - F8c.
© Pete O'Donovan
On Monday 25th of May, 21 year old British climber Tom Bolger redpointed Cadena Perpetua F8c, at sector 'Disblia' of Sant Llorenç de Montgai, near Lleida in Catalunya.

Although the grade of F8c may seem rather modest by current stratospheric levels, the route, which features extremely powerful climbing out through a 20 metre cave roof, has very probably seen only two repeats (before Tom's) since it was first climbed in 1996 by Dani Andrada, and that's not for want of people trying! “Old school 8c”, Dani calls it.

Tom and girlfriend Lynne Malcolm came over to Catalunya last summer, ostensibly on an extended climbing trip, but almost immediately fell in love with the place and decided to settle. Their work schedule, as English teachers at a private language school in Lleida, consists mainly of afternoon/evening hours, thus letting them climb at least 4 days a week, but only if they get up early — the pair must pack up and leave the crags before most of the local hotshots have barely finished their second espresso!

Tom's previous achievements here include Ingravid Extension and La Nueva Ola, a pair of F8c+'s at Santa Linya, both featuring similarly appallingly steep rock to his latest Sant Llorenç ascent.

Given his age, motivation and exceptional talent, it surely won't be too long before Tom enters that most select of clubs — Brits who've done F9a.

Tom Bolger fighting his way through the crux section of Cadena Perpetua.   © Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger fighting his way through the crux section of Cadena Perpetua.
© Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger and Dani Andrada discussing a mutually interesting  topic — steep rock!  © Pete O'Donovan
Tom Bolger and Dani Andrada discussing a mutually interesting topic — steep rock!
© Pete O'Donovan
Lynne Malcolm fighting hard on Bienmijave, a short, powerful 7c+ in the Disblia caves at Sant Llorenç de Montgai.   © Pete O'Donovan
Lynne Malcolm fighting hard on Bienmijave, a short, powerful 7c+ in the Disblia caves at Sant Llorenç de Montgai.
© Pete O'Donovan
A very happy Tom Bolger, immediately after his ascent of Cadena Perpetua.  © Pete O'Donovan
A very happy Tom Bolger, immediately after his ascent of Cadena Perpetua.
© Pete O'Donovan

UKClimbing.com would like to thank Pete O'Donovan for this report and superb photographs.


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Tom Bolger is a British expat who moved to Catalunya to focus on his climbing career. He's redpointed numerous ninth-grade routes up to 9a+ (Gancho Perfecto). He's also a former GB Climbing Team member.

Tom's Athlete Page 22 posts


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26 May, 2009
Well done Tom. Keep flying the flag for us Brits!
26 May, 2009
Good work Tom, still going well I see, have to get over to see you soon.
26 May, 2009
Great effort Tom, old school 8c must be desparate! Please could you or Lynn send an email to ted_kingsnorth@hotmail.com as I am off fb now. I tried to send you a text but it never got through. I'll be in Rodellar on 4th of July, Independence Day!! and hope to meet up.
26 May, 2009
Amazing looking climb.....how long is it?
26 May, 2009
Cool, i finish Uni in two weeks, so will send you guys an email then. Keen to come out over the autumn/winter time. Hope you are both keeping well. Dan
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