Dave Birkett had a bit of a set back recently when his truck spontaneously set on fire. It was a write-off and worse, as it contained his wallet, mobile, address book and a whole host of personal belongings.
Although insured, Dave is having to put in overtime at work to recoup his losses. This set back, of course, has not slowed down his climbing.
This last weekend Dave was at Nesscliffe, Shropshire where he repeated Nick Dixon's recent new route, A Thousand Setting Suns (UKC News - 28/Jul/2009 ). Nick proposed a grade of E9 7a. This route took Nick three years of effort, according to the High Sports blog,
A Thousand Setting Suns "gains the vague groove line 3 mtrs right of The Cirque. The main crux of the line, in the top half, is protected by two pegs but that's only reached after the sustained 6c/7a lower wall. Relaxing after the crux is not an option as serious ground rush and decking potential awaits any brave crux beater, topping out provides a radical sting in the tail."
Dave had had a look at the line on a previous visit, then this Saturday started his lead attempts. The climbing is very tenuous and very much on-and-off, although you have to pull very very hard with the fingers and push very hard and very carefully with the feet. He said that although the line itself isn't that brilliant, the climbing is. The start is unprotected and hard, and you wouldn't want to fall off there or at the finish where a fall would see you very near the ground. 'Like a bullet from a gun', Dave described the nature of the climbing and the fall potential.
Sunday morning saw him relaxed and on his first attempt he topped out. As to the grade Dave said that he could see how it gets E9.
Major New Lakes Line
Dave has also climbed a major new route at Dove Crag in the Lakes on the wall above Inaccessible Gully. Dave described this route as being one of the biggest unclimbed lines in the Lakes - until he climbed it of course. He's given it E8 6c. We should have full details about this route later in the month.
We have an exclusive article by Dave Birkett appearing at UKClimbing.com this month, with video.