Some call it real climbing, some call it scary shit. I call it trad. I'm not sure this is a very accurate description though... I mean, traditional normally means following tradition, which means the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation. Now, what customs or beliefs would that be? 100 years ago, climbers just wanted to get to the top, by any means necessary. What we call trad, is rather avant-garde if you ask me. Oh, you didn't? Sorry. Let's get on with it then, shall we?
UK Climbing reports: "South African Ex-Pat Mary Jenner, now based in Cumbria, has climbed the brutally fingery Bleed in Hell (E8 6c) at the Bowderstone Crag in Borrowdale in the Lake District." Mary's husband, Dave Birkett, who made the FA in 1992, reportedly named the route Bleed in Hell due to a razor sharp crystal-filled pocket that ripped open his finger tips when he was trying the line.
Ben Heason has slapped his way up Meshuga, E9 6c, the, more or less, unprotectable arête at Black rocks, made famous by Seb Grieve in Hard grit back in the day. Ben commented: "Meshuga is one of the few remaining grit routes I was motivated to headpoint, and I'd wanted to climb it for years; that photo of Seb on the cover of ?Hard Grit?, a constant, nagging reminder. I finally got around to trying it just before Christmas and was surprised to find the quality of the climbing to be even better than I expected; but shortly afterwards I left for Spain in my van for a couple of months. Returning from Spain's coldest winter in 95 years, having on-sighted an 8a and redpointed an 8b I knew I could climb Meshuga..."
Meanwhile, Tom Bolger fought his way up the considerably safer, but also way harder, Open your mind direct, 9a, at Santa Linya for his 3rd of the grade: "After a couple of familiar boulder problems at the base of the crag to warm up, and waiting for the good conditions to arrive I found myself clipping the chains. Looking up at the extension shaking out I wanted to continue but looking at the soaking tufa holds I knew that it would have to wait for another day..."