Ted Kingsnorth Climbs Kaabah 8c+

British sport climbing is seeing something of a renaissance at present after the popularity of bouldering surged during the late nineties and noughties. The queues for 8cs at Malham and Raven Tor are seemingly longer than they’ve ever been. One climber, often found in these queues - and quietly pushing UK standards - is Ted Kingsnorth. A property lawyer based in Manchester, Ted has recently broken some significant ground by making the 5th ascent of Kaabah (8c+) at Raven Tor.

Ted’s unassuming nature barely hides his insatiable enthusiasm for climbing. He shows amazing attention to detail (making him a prime candidate when you’re seeking micro beta for those tricky cruxes on many of the routes and boulder problems at Malham and Raven Tor!) and undoubtable dedication. These skills, and plenty of hard work, have seen Ted progress through the grades in recent years.

Ted Kingsnorth on Kaabah 8c+ © Jon Clark
Ted Kingsnorth on Kaabah 8c+
© Jon Clark

On the 6th July 2014 Ted became the 5th person to climb Kabaah (8c+) at Raven Tor. Kabaah was first climbed by Steve McClure in 2004 and has seen repeats by Paul Smitton, Ryan Pasquill and Alex Barrows. Kaabah follows Mecca - The Mid-life Crisis (8b+) but branches off just before its belay and follows a direct line (on tiny holds) up the sustained wall above.

Ted has been on top form recently, making ascents of the British classics Bat Route (8c), Cry Freedom (8c) and Overjustified (8b+) at Malham, as well as Mecca Extension (8c) at Raven Tor. Also of significance is his recent ascent of To Bolt or Not to Be (8b+) at Smith Rock USA. First climbed by Jean-Baptiste Tribout in 1986, it was the first 5.14 in the States and is still considered a significant test-piece, with many great climbers seeking it out over the years including Steve McClure and Jerry Moffatt.

Ted Kingsnorth on Kaabah 8c+

Ted started working Kaabah in June 2013, the same day he clipped the chains on Mecca Extension 8c. He felt Kabaah was a logical next step in difficulty after gaining the skills and fitness required to climb Mecca Extension. Ted found one bolt particularly tricky to clip so chose to skip it on his redpoint attempts. Ted describes the fall: “If you fall off on the moves getting both hands on the Extension flake you will take up to a 25 footer (hard grit comes to the lime!)”.

Ted's impressive fall from Kaabah
© Jon Clark

Ted descibes the process of working and climbing Kabaah in more detail in his blog.

Not content with ticking the normal version of Kabaah, Ted carried on up 7c climbing on the route Resistance is Futile, presumably so that he could prolong his celebrations! 


Ted is sponsored by: Mountain Boot Company and Scarpa

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12 Nov, 2014
Nice one Ted, The Lime Local Hero
Great effort Ted, really glad you got it done. Credit to Jon for those images too, that one of Ted airborne is a real crowd-pleaser - there's a lot of rope out there!!
12 Nov, 2014
Congrats Ted! The best thing about all these hard sport ascents recently is that the people climbing them are veterans! Reminds us that routes like these are still possible even after passing 19 years old and 9 stone.
12 Nov, 2014
Ted still is 9st!
Nice one Ted!
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