V11/12 Dartmoor First Ascents for James Squire

This autumn, 18 year-old Bristol-based boulderer James Squire claimed the first ascent of two new problems on The Wave boulder at Bonehill Rocks (Bone Hill) on Dartmoor.

On 25th October he climbed ‘Catching the Wave’ V11. This problem is a direct sit start to a recent addition from Mike Adams called ‘Something or Nothing’ V8/9. It climbs straight up the centre of the wave-shaped overhang on the boulder involving a large and difficult first move (video below).

James returned on 7th December to climb ‘Diamond District’ V12 which starts as for ‘Catching the Wave’ but breaks right to finish through the crux of the classic ‘Floater’ V9. This problem currently stands as one of the hardest straight-up boulder problems on the Moors and was later repeated by Ellis Butler-Barker. 

James Squire on Catching the Wave V11, 150 kb
James Squire on Catching the Wave V11
© James Squire

James commented:

I first visited the wave at Bonehill many years ago but could barely climb anything on the boulder so was a bit put-off. However, recently I heard about some new impressive-looking problems from Mike Adams and thought it was time to head over for a quick trip. Surprisingly I was able to get quick ascents of the classics I had been failing on before and managed to climb a number of other hard problems on the bloc. I was going to turn my attention to working the test-piece link-ups on the boulder but I was soon distracted by the obvious unclimbed line firing straight up the wave feature on the left hand side. After three very cold and windy sessions later I had finally managed to get the first ascent, being ‘Catching the Wave’ and one of my proudest ascents yet!

I returned later to climb the obvious link into Floater which I thought was slightly harder and had some of the best moves I’ve ever climbed, being ‘Diamond District’. I have footage of this which I am going to include in a bigger video I am making early next year.

I think it’s amazing how there are still unclimbed lines and problems like these lying around in the UK, even at the most popular crags. I feel I may have ‘cheated’ the first ascent process in a way, as I didn’t search and clean this line for hours I just stumbled upon it, almost by accident.” 

In September, James also managed to climb The Carpenter's Apprentice V12 at Dinas Rock (video here).

Watch a video of James on Catching the Wave V11 below.


James is sponsored by: La Sportiva, Padstar Climbing Holds, The Climbing Academy and Tip juice

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