Eddie Barbour Climbs Divided Years E8/9 6c

Leading Divided Years, Saturday 30th May, 8pm, 45 kb
Leading Divided Years, Saturday 30th May, 8pm
© Paul Swail
Eddie Barbour after climbing Divided Years E8/9 6c, 120 kb
Eddie Barbour after climbing Divided Years E8/9 6c
© Eddie Barbour Collection
Eddie Barbour, the Belfast based climber, has led one of Ireland's most demanding and famous trad routes. Divided Years tackles a severely overhanging prow in the Mourne Mountains, featuring hard but well protected climbing at a physical difficulty of around F8a+.

Eddie headpointed the route and fell on his first lead attempt. The fall was held by a hand placed 'pecker' - a metal hook commonly used for aid climbing but becoming increasingly popular on very hard trad routes.

Eddie placed the pecker as it was faster and less strenuous than placing a more conventional piece:

"I think that definitely saved me a lot of time!" he said.

Commenting on the grade, which is now settling around E8/9, Eddie said:

"It's definitely a notch harder than any other E8's I've done, but E9 seems like a huge deal to me. I'd agree with Ricky [Bell] and give it a slash grade at the moment. When I've climbed a confirmed E9 I'll be more fit to judge!"

Divided Years was first climbed by John Dunne back in 1995 who suggested a grade of E10 7a. It has previously seen repeats from Lakeland legend Dave Birkett, top Scottish climber Dave MacLeod and local climber Ricky Bell.

Pecker Hooks, 20 kb
Pecker Hooks
Peckers have been quite in vogue on hard trad routes recently, being used on Trauma (E8) at Dinas Mot, The Walk of Life (E9/12) at Dyer's Lookout and on Divided Years.

Eddie Barbour is sponsored by Podsacs

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