Last Monday (21st September) Jules Littlefair, 30 of Sheffield redpointed Raindogs a stiff 8a at Malham Cove, North Yorkshire. Jules had been trying the route at weekends over the summer, having probably spent 10 days or so on it. This is Jules' second 8a, her first was In Brine at Raven Tor in the Peak District.
Raindogs, first climbed by Dave Kenyon in 1986 (Dave is now a mountain guide), was one of the first short hard routes on Malham's Lower Wall that inspired many climbers at the time. The early 80's was the beginning of the sport climbing revolution in the UK.
Female ascents of Raindogs now probably run into double figures -the first UK woman to climb Raindogs was the late Rachel Farmer- and is a right of passage for any climber entering into the world of hard sport climbing.
Last Saturday, Jules also redpointed Just Revenge, a reachy and powerful 7c+ at Anstey's Cove, originally put up by Martin Crocker. Jules had tried Just Revenge over three or four weekends spread over several years. The route is a Southwest area classic, and has even been soloed by Devon local Dave Henderson.
Jules has been climbing for ten years and has made great gains recently because of her professional approach to training that involves doing power endurance circuits and campus work down her local wall four times a week.