Sheffield based climber Ryan Pasquill has redpointed the Jerry Moffat test-piece Evolution (F8c/+) at Raven Tor in the Peak District.
The route, first climbed back in 1995 was Jerry Moffat's last significant addition to 'the' sport crag of the Peak. In the mid nineties TV series Pennine Rock, presented by Chris Bonnington, Jerry described the route and said words to this effect:
"People have questioned why it finishes there in the middle of the wall. But you get to a good hold and it's the obvious place to finish. For anyone climbing at my level they wouldn't even question it."
The route was then extended in 1998 by Steve McClure to give Mutation (F9a).
Nic Sellers, who climbed Evolution around 1995, described the route: "An easy roof leads into a crimpy boulder problem which is just a bit too long to climb on power alone. Heaven knows how Steve McClure does laps on it!"
Ryan Pasquill has climbed at this level before having ticked Baa Baa Black Sheep (F8c+) at Ceuse last year. Closer to home and on the grit he recently made the first ascent of Gerty Berwick (E9 7a) at Ilkley and has also flashed several gritstone E8's including Countdown to Disaster also at Ilkley, End of the Affair at Curbar and Gaia at Black Rocks near Matlock.
Pasquill has been climbing extensively on the grit and recently made a rare ascent of the Ron Fawcett slab nightmare Toy Boy (E7 7a / highball 7C+ ish) at Froggatt and also made the only repeat to date of the decade old Nik Jennings' route That's My Lot at Rivelin.
The stunning square-cut arete was originally graded E8 7a and sported a very uncomfortable landing with a tree stump. Ryan made his ascent above a slightly improved and well padded out landing, and Adam Long has estimated a very highball bouldering grade of Font 7C+/8A in his full report on his blog.
Adam described the route:
"A perfect twenty-five foot quarried edge, slabby on the right but leaning out on the left. A few footholds to get started, then nothing, just the square edge and smooth iron-plated smears. No repeats in ten years, since Nik Jennings' visionary scamper immortalized in A film by some climbers."
Interest was piqued in the route by Neil 'Nige' Kershaw who top-roped the line, brushed the holds and padded out the landing. He came very close to an ascent himself, hitting the large flat hold at the end of the difficulties, but didn't stick it. Ryan had better luck:
"Only Nige and Ryan were making serious inroads, both tickling the jug. For a second it was over - Ry stuck the jug only to swing straight into a solid bridge across the corner, feet on a huge ledge. Cheers turned straight to laughter and hoots of derision. A perfect illustration of how arbitrary these problems can be, but it wasn't diminished, and the challenge remained. Next go there were no mistakes - Ry sucked in, extended like a leech, and snagged the break static." commented Adam Long on his blog.
PHOTOS: Ryan Pasquill on That's My Lot:
Thanks go to Adam Long and Adam Lincoln for the photographs that accompany this report.