18 year-old Ellis Butler-Barker has just returned from El Chorro, Spain where he managed to tick-off sixteen routes graded from 8a up to 8b in just six days, including an onsight of an 8b.
He commented: "We climbed mostly in a huge cave at the Frontales Medias sector called Poema de Roca. As we only had a 6 day trip, this was a good area to visit as there were plenty of routes to keep us entertained for the entirety of the trip."
Ellis didn't have any particular objectives set out before the trip other than to gain endurance for some projects in the UK, but the desire to climb his 100th grade 8 route arose whilst out in Spain:
"I had the aim of getting my 100th grade 8 route within 2 years of doing my first. Before the trip I knew I'd need to do 15 to complete this goal but didn't think it would be even remotely possible...but as the week went by I thought I might be able to achieve it. The last route of the trip became my 100th grade 8 route!"
The impressive ticklist is as follows:
- Shark Attack, 8b (Redpoint)
- Rima Rockeros, 8b (Redpoint)
- Kervala, 8b (Onsight)
- Trango, 8b (Repeat ascent)
- Mama Endika, 8a+ (Onsight)
- Las mulas comen muchas cuerdas, 8a+ (Redpoint)
- Viejos Rockeros, 8a+ (Redpoint)
- Rima Libre, 8a (Redpoint)
- La Primara y la ultima, 8a (Onsight)
- XXL, 8a (Onsight)
- La Cuca, 8a (Onsight)
- Unamed, 8a (Onsight)
- Mezcla, 8a (Onsight)
- No me mires mal, 8a (Onsight)
- Ajonjoli, 8a (Onsight)
- Thunders truck, 8a (Onsight) - "This has been given 7c+ and called Thunder Struck in some guides but I was using a local one and it personally felt 8a to me."
Ellis' next focus will be on local projects, as he is keen to spend more time improving on projecting harder climbs - an activity which he normally "gets bored of pretty quickly!", whilst also preparing for a trip to Rodellar this summer.
His girlfriend Charlotte Warner was also out in Spain and managed to climb her second 8a (La Cuca) on her second attempt of the route.