New Statesman E9 and Charm E8 for Phillips and Dunning

With the cold conditions turning slightly more amenable, the grit has seen some action over the last few weeks, with Robbie Phillips repeating The New Statesman E9 7a at Ilkley and Steve Dunning making a rare repeat of Charm E8 6c at Caley.

Robbie Phillips on The New Statesman E9 7a, 89 kb
Robbie Phillips on The New Statesman E9 7a
© Finalcrux Films

The New Statesman is a hard and bold route that was originally graded E8 by first ascensionist John Dunne back in the late 80s. The route has long been considered hard for the grade and this has now been addressed with an upgrade to E9 in the new Yorkshire Gritstone guidebook.

Robbie commented on his Facebook page: "I had a couple of hours the night we arrived and scoped the moves but yesterday after having a really good work session on it, it was apparent to me that I had no excuse not to lead this thing...I had cleaned it once from ground on top rope and I knew it was possible to lead!"                                 

He explained: "The biggest factor affecting a send would be skin... Grit is harsh on the skin!"

Robbie adds this route to his growing list of trad climbs, including a quick ascent of Off the Rocks E8 6c at Back Bowden Doors in January.

Steve Dunning on Charm E8 6c
© Steve Dunning

Charm follows a vague ramp feature and was first climbed in 1988 at E6 with protection from a side runner on an adjacent route. Steve also repeated The New Statesman in December (UKC News Report), so the spring grit season looks promising if he continues his recent run of form.



Robbie is sponsored by: Edelrid and Evolv

Steve is sponsored by: Scarpa

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