Tim Emmett's Stennis Ford super-route Muy Caliente! is a contender for Wales' first E10.
The route, which Tim has graded E10 6c, tackles the overhanging expanse left of the classic E6 6b Ghost Train in the deep rift of Stennis Ford, Pembroke, South Wales.
After climbing Ghost Train to the threads the line moves out and left via a hard fingery sequence culminating in a position which could result in a ground fall from 20m. Gear then arrives in the form of a wire, thread and cam before the technical crux.
“The section to the gear would warrant E9 in its own right, featuring F8a climbing in a very dangerous position.
The crux comes after the gear and is the equivalent of a V7 boulder problem. It bumps the whole route up to F8b.
It's hard to say whether it's E10 because I haven't done one before! I have done Meshuga and Chicama (both E9) and been on Divided Years E8/9, Parthian Shot E9, Alchemine E9 and Rhapsody E11. Also 'Ghost Train' is F7a and has been E7 for years, now considered tough E6, - 'Muy Caliente! ' is F8b, with the same run out. I think E10 is a fair suggestion.”
As seen on the Welsh Connections DVD, Tim tried the route last year and fell after placing the gear at the end of the runout. Shortly after his first attempt Tim broke his foot snowboarding in Canada which enforced a layoff.
Tim's layoff caused him some worry:
"It was frustrating not being able to try it. I was worried someone else was going to nip in and do it. Steve McClure has tried it in the past, there was talk of James Pearson moving to Bristol last year, or some other young hotshot may have wanted to make a name for themselves.”
Returning at the weekend after a trip with Dave MacLeod to the Hebrides, Tim was fitter, stronger and lighter than last year. After a session on belayer Trevor Massiah's home-board and a quick solo of Pleasure Dome (a tough E3) at Stennis Head to warm up, he dispatched the runout section. Although he nearly blew it on the crux when his leg slipped.
Cameraman Dave Brown of Bamboo Chicken Films was filming from above. He said: “It's the first time I've ever seen someone fall off without letting go!”
Tim closed the barn door with minimal profanity before topping out on Pembroke's new hardest route.
Tim's route tackles the large blank section of rock just left of Ghost Train (route 8 on the far right side) in the photo topo below, taken from the Pembroke Rockfax Guidebook.
Of the name, Tim said:
“It's Spanish for very hot. It's a phrase I use a lot 'Muy Caliente! Bueno! Beuno!' I use it to refer to spicy food, although in Spanish slang it can also mean 'very horny!' Basically I use it for any situation which is a bit spicy!”
Tim gave UKC his thoughts on the grades of routes in Stennis Ford:
- Ghost Train - E6 6a/b (F7a) - 8 quick draw clip up in current state with 2 long runouts :-)
- From a distance - Hard E6/Soft E7 6b/c (F7c)
- Point Blank - Hard E7/soft E8 (F7c+/8a)
- Muy Caliente! - Hard E9/ Soft E10 (F8a+/8b)
NB: UKC's editor Jack Geldard would like to add that he wouldn't recommend tackling Ghost Train as a F7a clip up!
UKC's Initial Newsflash is here: UKC News