True North (F8c) for Rob Sutton

It seems British sport climbing is undergoing a little bit of a revolution with multiple ascents of 8cs being reported in recent months. Robin Sutton is the latest to join this trend after completing the Kilnsey super route True North.

Hopefully Rob's ascent is encouraging for people who still believe that the high 8s are the preserve of those without a real job, no ties and no commitments; Rob is father to two young children, a regular commuter, is not seen down the wall everyday and still manages to climb at the highest level. Indeed he has left many of the climbers in Glasgow, where Rob is based, wondering just what it is he is doing so right and if they should be doing that too!

Related Photo:

Chris Savage attempting True North at Kilnsey (F8c), 221 kb
Chris Savage attempting True North at Kilnsey (F8c)
© Jack Geldard

Rob Sutton and family celebrate Rob's 8c success, 116 kb
Rob Sutton and family celebrate Rob's 8c success
© Rob Sutton
Rob's ascent came on the second of two day trips from Glasgow this year and in less than perfect conditions. Seepage was taking its toll on the route which suffers infamously after rain and he and I had to make an effort to dry holds prior to every redpoint attempt. Despite these problems, Robin climbed the route with no major hiccups on his second redpoint of the day. It must be added that he had come close to an ascent three years ago before the aforementioned seepage stopped play. Children, weather and other commitments put a return visit off until this year.

The difficulty of trying a project a long way from home when only a day here and there can be grabbed away from life commitments is high and makes Rob's ascent all the more commendable and the speed of Rob's ascent shows the power of training, no matter how little time you have for it, when it is thought out and followed through.

In Rob's words:

"I'm an average family guy who loves getting out climbing (amongst other things) in my spare time and have achieved a milestone. As a result I'm acutely aware of juggling commitments and getting up early to squeeze everything in."

There is no doubt that we have yet to see the best of Rob, not least because he has recently opted to step away from his career as a Hydrologist and is currently looking forward to starting a new position as the Operations Manager for The Climbing Academy Glasgow on June 20th.

The Climbing Academy Logo, 52 kb
TCA Glasgow is a new bouldering centre - now in the final stages of development and is aiming for opening in the Autumn. You can follow progress here: Facebook.

With the ability to fit in plenty more training there can be no doubt there will be many more hard ascents to follow from Rob.

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