Bristol-based 17 year-old James Squire recently had a very successful trip to the Peak District, climbing two 8A's; The Joker and Snatch, in very quick times at Stanage, despite both being tricky one move style problems and challenging weather conditions.
James climbed The Joker, the classic Plantation 8A, first climbed by Jerry Moffat, on Friday 21st February in an impressive 15 minutes using the 'campus' method. James arrived at a dry, but very windy and deserted Plantation and after a quick warm-up, got straight on with his goal for the day, The Joker. James commented on how it went:
"After a suitable warm up and a few laps on The Green Traverse, I started trying The Joker. I decided to use the campus method. My first few attempts were rubbish, only getting half the distance from the crimps to the top, but every go I got closer and closer.
Whilst resting after 10 minutes of trying I turned around to see a huge black unappealing rain cloud over the other side of the valley. Feeling rushed I jumped back on, pulled, and got my hand in the finish jug, so surprised I let go! I knew I didn't have much time so I gave the boulder a quick brush and the next go I did it. Yes! Very pleased to send it 15 minutes. Followed by a quick pack up, run back to the car park and of course a rain storm!"
With climbing for that day then out of the question due to the rain, James rested up and made plans to return to Stanage again the next day for Snatch, another 8A, but this a more modern addition from Paul Bennett. James had tried this around a year ago after last years Climbing Works International Festival but did not manage it then. James once again managed a very quick ascent of this problem, climbing it in half an hour from starting to try the problem. James commented:
"Snatch involves once again dynoing from two crimps too a good hold on the top of the boulder, but this felt slightly more powerful. I had previously tried it 11 months ago, after last year's CWIF and remember getting close.
Today I was once again getting close. In order to do the move you really have to pull on and just explode upwards. After 30 minutes I had done it, involving a very cool cut loose on the finishing hold. Happy."
You can follow James' climbing by checking out his blog: BeastlySquirrelBlog.com