Dan Varian and Ned Feehally haven't been letting the hot summer stop them from climbing hard problems up to 8B, including a number of first ascents. Highlights incude; Stumble. Stop. Repeat. a highball 7C+/E8 7a at Eastwood Rocks from Ned and Wilson, a highball 8A from Dan.
Ned has been busy, returning to Eastwood Rocks having heard that the protection tree for Jon Fullwood's Lip of Fools had fallen down, which opened up a potential new route he had tried after highballing Lip of Fools. He decided to drop a rope down it to get the crux sorted, though didn't climb it in a single go to retain some of the unknown. Ned climbed it above pads, grading it 7C+/E8 7a and calling it Stumble. Stop. Repeat. Commenting on the climbing on the Beastmaker Blog, Ned said:
"Difficulty wise it felt way harder than Lip of Fools. Probably 7C+ climbing in a position where you really don't want to fall off. It is at a height where you can dangle and drop off in control (just) but the landing isn't perfect and the nature of the move means that if your knee scum slips or your foot pops mid move you will land on your back."
In addition to this, Ned has been finding new lines on the grit, including a great looking highball 7C at Ramshaw that he named Slow Show, but that Dan repeated on his way back from the Exeter Quay DWS Competition. Ned also climbed a new problem at ??? in the spring; Big Willy Attitude, a 7C+ sit start to Cock 'O The Rock, which you can see a video of below:
You can view a video of Ned on Stumble. Stop. Repeat. below:
As well as first ascents, Ned has also repeated Compact Culture, 8B at Sheep Pen in North Wales and flashed Jack's Broken Heart, 8A+ in Switzerland. You can read a more detailed write-up of Ned's summer here.
Dan has also been busy, making the first ascent of Hobbie Noble, 8B, in Northumberland in July, (UKC News Report) and went on to make two more good first ascents. For years, Dan has been searching high and low throughout Northumberland for a prow project that he was tipped off about by a friend. Finally, this summer Dan found the prow, climbing it from a standing start to give Star Slinger, 8A. However with a hard sit-start still to add, Dan is keeping the boulder's location under-wraps.
Another long-term tick on Dan's wishlist was another arete/prow, this time at St. Bees Head. Having looked at it in previous years, the positioning of blocks at the problem's base made the landing a no-go and with 8A climbing the risk was too high to justify. However, these blocks were moved around giving a good landing, and making the start actually do-able. Dan jumped straight onto it, giving an excellent new highball 8A, calling it Wilson.
You can read more about Dan's summer on the Beastmaker blog.
Dan and Ned are both a large part of the team behind Beastmaker