Eddie Barbour Climbs Divided Years E8/9 6c

© Paul Swail
Leading Divided Years, Saturday 30th May, 8pm  © Paul Swail
Leading Divided Years, Saturday 30th May, 8pm
© Paul Swail
Eddie Barbour after climbing Divided Years E8/9 6c  © Eddie Barbour Collection
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  © UKC News
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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2 Jun, 2009
Eddie you legend! It seems like you too are not one to die from falling off an E10.
2 Jun, 2009
Brilliant photo. It's going on my desktop.
2 Jun, 2009
yeah great pic....just curious if he's climbing on a single rope, or doubles with one strand hidden around the corner? if the former it looks pretty bold, with what 3-4 pieces of gear!
3 Jun, 2009
Also curious is the strand of rope visible at the top of the picture.
3 Jun, 2009
might just be the ab/top rope pulled out of the way. anyway i had a look at committed last night and Dave Mac does it on a single so i imagine this guy is too.
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