Emma Alsford Reports:
Neil Mawson has been tearing it up in Pembroke over the last month, making a string of hard ascents with strong support from Hazel Findlay.
The highlights of Neil's efforts are an ascent of Muy Caliente! (E10), a quick second ascent of a new E8/9 in Huntsman's Leap and a fast repeat of San Simeon (E8).
He began the blitz with a spectacular ascent of San Simeon, E8 6c, in Hollow Caves Bay. This 2004 route - first climbed by Charlie Woodburn - had not yet received a second trad ascent (it had been deep water soloed), and Neil made relatively short work of it in April, leading it after only a few top rope sessions.
- See UKC News on San Simeon for more details.
Neil then proceeded to make an impressive repeat of James Pearson's new route in Huntsman's Leap, the logical line right of Terminal Twilight (finishing up Dusk Till Dawn), and utilizing the start of The Black Lagoon. We're still unsure of the name for this route, but it is possibly called Hangman's Daughter.
This was only days after James made the first ascent, and Neil managed to top rope it clean on his second go, leading it successfully on 4th May.
"The grade in my opinion is E8 6c, or F7c+ to top rope – slightly easier than San Simeon, I thought – I found a slightly easier sequence than James as I used two unchalked crimps with my right hand in the crux section before the tied off peg."
- See UKC News for more details.
A week later, even Friday 13th couldn't prevent the onslaught from Mr Mawson, who went on this day to climb Muy Caliente! - Tim Emmett's E10 6c from last year - in Stennis Ford.
He linked it on his third attempt, although this was over 2 days and so he had to warm up twice on it. He top roped it again on the Friday to familiarize himself with the route, as it had been 9 days since he had last been on it due to the weather, leaving Muy Caliente! soaked for a week. Neil's successful lead was incredibly smooth, especially considering the huge (decking potential) run out.
During this same period Neil also on sighted many of Pembroke's hard and classic E5s, including Just Klingon, Hungary Heart, Heat of the Moment and also the E6s Ghost Train and Luke Skywalker (Both technically flashed, as Neil had belayed both of these routes a while before).
Lastly, and together with Hazel Findlay, he climbed a new route in Huntsman's Leap, almost traversing the entire West Face, starting up Just Another Day and finishing up Dusk Till Dawn (although it is probably more logical to finish up Witch Hunt, states Neil, as they we were originally attempting to make it all the way to the boulder choke). ? is a 4 pitch girdle at E4/5 6a, 5c, 6b, 5c, involving a very exciting down climb of a large part of the route Minotaur (at least for the second!), to gain the thread and a traverse into Souls.