19 year old Ben Davison from Alnwick, has just climbed Pata Negra, 8c, in Rodellar, Spain. This is Ben's first 8c, made all the more impressive by the fact that 3 years ago, he had never before put a pair of rock boots on.
Commenting on the route on his blog, Ben said: "The climbing on it is pretty cool: heel hooks left right and center, a knee here and there, a couple of cut looses which always look cool, even a bat hang if your front calves are up to the challenge but your forearms aren't."
"It can be split into main sections separated by a massive rest. The first section boils down to 3 moves revolving around a lovely lump of sika... The second section also comes down to 3 moves but on edges around the lip of the roof, a lovely proposition after 25m of roof climbing."
Progress came quickly to begin with for Ben, but after a couple of sessions, Ben found himself hitting a highpoint just one move before easy ground, then Ben got a case of "man-flu", and it began to rain, causing the route to get wet. Eventually, Ben's perseverance paid off and he finally clipped the chains. Ben commented on how it felt to have finally redpointed the route:
"Simply by clipping an arbitrary piece of metal placed in an arbitrary position by someone I've never met, I am lifted of this weight which has been hanging over me... All the stress, doubt fear and frustration has been washed away in a wave of satisfaction. It was worth it. Somehow."
Having started climbing just 3 years ago, this is an impressive feat, with Ben having previously redpointed Rollito Sharma, 8b+ at Santa Linya and onsighted up to 8a. To achieve this level in such a short period of time, Ben has taken his training very seriously as can be seen in previous blog posts.
His belayer, Micha Vanhoudt has also put up a report on his website.