8A+ and more for 18 year-old Ellis Butler-Barker

18 year-old ​Ellis Butler-Barker from Brixham had a very successful last month or so in 2014, ticking-off problems up to 8A+ at Bonehill Rocks (Bone Hill) and redpointing Tuppence Extension 8b+ at Anstey's Cove.

Ellis Butler-Barker on Prepossanne Stand 8A  © Charlotte Warner
Ellis Butler-Barker on Prepossanne Stand 8A
© Charlotte Warner

Ellis' ticklist was as follows:

  • Prepossanne Stand (Font 8A), First Ascent, Ash Hole - 23/11/2014
  • Tsunami Extension (Font 8A), Bonehill - 02/12/2014
  • The Wave Footless (Font 8A), Second Go, Bonehill - 02/12/2014
  • Tsunami (Font 7C+), Second Go, Bonehill - 02/12/2014
  • The Wave Traverse, Bonehill (Font 7C+) - 02/12/2014
  • Something and Nothing (Font 7B+/C), Flash, Bonehill - 02/12/2014
  • Innoculation (Font 7B+), Flash, Bonehill - 02/12/2014
  • Diamond District (Font 8A+), Second Ascent, Bonehill - 09/12/2014
  • Tuppence Extension (8b+), Anstey's Cove - 19/12/2014

Having heard about Diamond District following James Squire's ascent, Ellis was keen to try the problem and travelled to Bonehill Rocks on a particularly wet and windy day-off from college: 

"The problem felt really hard to start, I couldn't get the first move but slowly got more comfortable with the next set of moves which followed. The rain started to pick up and my shoes were soaked with no way of keeping them dry. I just needed to stick that first move once and then it'd be done. I did manage it finally and did the problem in about an hour. Good effort to James for putting it up - it's now one of my favourites on Dartmoor."

Anstey's Cove testpiece Tuppence Extension was next on the hit-list for Ellis, being chosen as a project to build up his route endurance: 

"I'd wanted to do this route for a long time but had never really put much effort into trying it, but after a huge loss of fitness due to all the bouldering I've been doing recently I felt that this would be a great route to regain some endurance. This is actually one of my favourite routes of the year despite being a funny line (15 meters straight up and then around 15 meters traversing out to the left). It's a lot of fun, it turns Tuppence - which is a classic power endurance route - into an endurance route. It took me two sessions and three redpoint attempts to get done. An amazing route for sure and I'd say that it might be better and is definitely harder than Tuppence Ha'penny which is a really cool 8b+."

Read more on Ellis' blog.

Watch a video of Ellis on the easier link-up Patpence 8a+ at Anstey's Cove below:


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I grew up with a background in sport, competing in gymnastics and then rugby from an early age. I got into climbing when I was around 14 or 15. Straight away I knew that I was in love with the sport, I bought some shoes...

Ellis's Athlete Page 16 posts 1 video



2 Jan, 2015
According to his blog he also repeated Fatman at Cuvier Rempart in October. This is the first repeat since 2001 I think, i.e. since the holds were broken.
3 Jan, 2015
Looks suspiciously like red nail varnish in the main photo? Is this the latest send trend?
5 Jan, 2015
Also he's currently the highest ranked Brit on 8a.nu in both routes (22nd) and bouldering (56th).