On a recent short holiday to El Chorro in Spain, Scottish climber Alan Cassidy redpointed Cous Cous (F8c) and onsighted El Oraculo (F8b).
Commenting on his one day ascent of Cous Cous on his blog, Cassidy said:
"I came with one objective in mind, to climb Cous Cous a stunning line on the Makinodromo sector which I had eyed up on my last trip here 5 years ago. I never imagined I'd ever be good enough to climb such a route, let alone do it in a day. If I take the guide book grade of 8c, then this is my first 8c "in-a-day" and marks a major milestone in my climbing."
Cassidy, wary of claiming an 8c tick when he dispatched the route so quickly made the following comment in his UKC Logbook:
"Stunning 100% natural classic. 4th go and in a day... most likely that means it's 8b+... we shall see how the rest of the trip goes!"
After his redpoint ascent of Cous Cous he turned his attention to onsighting:
"I felt like I was climbing well, perhaps my best ever and with a few more 8's ticked my mind turned to a lifetime ambition tick of 8b onsight. I had identified a soft-touch target at Chorro that I knew would suit me; fulfilling all my favourite criteria: very, very long (45m at least), tufa-y, blobby and not a hard 8b by all accounts. Though it had a few wet tufas, reading from the ground they didn't seem to interfere too much and happily that turned out to be the case...
...Summoning everything I had for one last pull, it was a relief when the next hold turned out to be better than it looked. Job done!"
As far as we know this makes Alan the first Scottish climber to onsight F8b - unless someone knows otherwise?
Alan also ticked several other hard routes in his two week trip - see his UKC Logbook for more details.
You can read more details on Alan's climbing on his blog: alancassidyclimbing.blogspot.com
Alan Cassidy is sponsored by Podsacs and CragX