Saturday just gone saw Mike string together what he describes as the hardest set of moves he has ever climbed.
Serendipity (Mike's original problem was called Serenity, Dan's 8B+, the extension into this, is called Serendipity), first climbed by Dan Varian starts low in a Limestone roof and climbs out and up the striking boss feature of the crag.
- You can read about Dan Varian's first ascent of Serendipity here: UKC News
Commenting in the UKC forums, Mike Adams said:
"As for Serendipity this was first climbed by Dan, which I witnessed, it is a low start to a problem called Serenity of mine. At the time there was some doubt as to weather Serenity was 8a+ or 8b. Dan added a low start to this which he graded as 8a in its own right.
Because of the unconfirmed grade and his own modesty he said that the grade for serendipity was a hard or top end 8b. Now the grade for Serenity has settled at an 8b, so if you are going to grade an extension start as 8a the logical outcome is that the grade for Serendipity is probably an 8b+.
My own personal experience is that Serendipity is a lot harder than Serenity. It was also for me harder than other 8b's I have done. So although I have trouble wanting to stick my neck out it probably is 8b+"
A few weeks earlier and at the South West tip of Cornwall, St Ives. Mike climbed a very hard sit start to an existing problem at Clodgy point.
Groove is in the Heart now weighs in at a high ball Font 8A+.
Mike found the problem by accident after a four-hour drive from a very wet and rainy Lynton in North Devon where we had gone for a 3-day exploratory visit. We knew of a new problem here called "the Groove" V8 Fb 7b/+ and wanted to climb this stunning looking line, but once there it was obvious the hardest line up this groove had not been climbed from the bottom.
Mike, having travelled some 300-mile did not want a project, but with a little persuasion he set to the task in hand. Having come close to climbing the line, this first session came to an end when I, trying to repeat "the Groove", ripped a crucial edge and foothold off in the middle of the wall.
Knowing that the second session would have to be his last (as we need to go home at the end of the day) Mike calmly dispatched the problem on his third attempt.
Not a bad few weeks for a full time worker and a dad of 7 month old Jack!
Thanks go to Tony Simpson for this report.