E8 and E9 for Caroline Ciavaldini

© Adrien Samarra

Caroline Ciavaldini having it on Chupacabra, on one of the best crags in the UK... Huntsman's Leap.  © Adrien Samarra
Caroline Ciavaldini having it on Chupacabra, on one of the best crags in the UK... Huntsman's Leap.
© Adrien Samarra

French climber Caroline Ciavaldini has just made two very impressive ascents in Wales with ascents of the Pembroke classic Chupacabra, E8 6c, in Huntsman's Leap and Chicama, E9 6c, at Trearddur Bay in North Wales. 

Caroline headed to the UK straight from a recent trip to her home of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean feeling tired, both mentally and physically, however after a brief training stint in Zillertal her boyfriend, James Pearson, picked up a finger injury, making Caroline the focus of the trip.

First up, the pair went to Pembroke. After a day of cragging, Caroline decided to have a more chilled day and dropped a rope down Chupacabra in Huntsman's Leap. First climbed by Ben Bransby, who gave it E9 6c, the route has seen three repeats before Caroline's from Steve McClure, Nic Sellers and Neil Mawson who downgraded it to E8. 

However, Caroline did not necessarily have the chilled day she wanted, commenting on her blog: "I really dislike working moves on a static. Stupid, but I always fear the rope is going to get cut, or the belay gear won't lock". Despite Caroline's sport climbing prowess, it took her 4 sessions to complete the route and even had to talk to Ben Bransby to get the sequence for the low crux.

Finally, Caroline decided that she was ready for the lead, having talked through the reliability of the gear with James. First go up, Caroline surprised herself by getting through the first crux, surprising herself again by falling through the upper crux which she described as "ok"

Caroline described the mental battle she had with the route and whether she would do it again, saying: "First I thought I wouldn't go again… and it took only five minutes for me to know that I would go again… I had to win this mental battle."

After a rest day, Caroline tied on again managing to climb the route first go this session, commenting on her ascent, she said: "For sure I climbed better, I was more inside my movements. Still, I just about made it though the low crux, and had to use a little trick James and I use for the high crux: I convinced myself that I had fallen, and was just trying to link the top section. That took off the pressure, and I made my way to the very top. Just about."

Next, Caroline and James headed to North Wales as James wanted to get some beta on Chicama, Tim Emmett's E9 6c that was recently repeated by Hazel Findlay (UKC News Report) and James McHaffie. James abbed the route, clippng in to the pegs that Pete Graham had placed for Hazel, whilst Caroline abbed and looked at the moves. Caroline then had a top-rope go, cleaned the gear and led the route at low-tide on her first go, finding the route a lot easier than Chupacabra. Commenting on the route, Caroline said "With all the new pegs that Hazel's boyfriend replaced/added (as I understood from her blog), this very overhanging wall isn't too much of a faff, and I could happily chalk the holds, try the moves. I was ready to lead it, it didn't scare me so much".

Hazel Findlay going for it on the lead on Chicama - E9 6c  © REELROCK / Matt Pycroft
Hazel Findlay going for it on the lead on Chicama - E9 6c
© REELROCK / Matt Pycroft

You can read more on Caroline's blog, and James' blog.

Caroline Ciavaldini is sponsored by: La Sportiva, Edelrid, The North Face, Kong and Adidas Eyewear.

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20 Aug, 2013
Strange wording on picture caption: 'Caroline Ciavaldini having it on Chupacabra'. Is this some new, rather unfortunate climbing term?
20 Aug, 2013
Fairly common climbing term. "have it" is what you (well, probably not you I suppose!) might say to encourage someone through the crux of their route. Other derivations around the verb "to have it" exist :) Its very Tim Emmett. If you watch films he features in chances are you'll hear it being used.
20 Aug, 2013
You're right. Really it should be "'aving it", no 'h', just an apostrophe. In my opinion (or should that be 'IMO') "falling through" is a greater abuse of language. I assume it is being used to contrast with "getting through" but, as there is common climbing term "falling upward", the meaning of "falling through" is a little ambiguous.
20 Aug, 2013
Great to see some Euros doing some proper climbing. 'Having it' sounds like a rave term, rather than a climbing term. dude
20 Aug, 2013
C'mon, Gordon, get with the programme. Even dinosaurs like me say 'have it'. 'Falling through', on the other hand, is just illiterate. From the context I suppose that 'through' is meant to mean 'after', but it might also be 'during'. Good to see CC, er, having it, anyway. jcm
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