Brian 8c+ for Ellis Butler-Barker

18 year-old Ellis Butler-Barker has made the second ascent of Brian 8c+ at Anstey's Cove and is now potentially the youngest Brit to have climbed 8c+. First climbed by Ken Palmer in 2003, Brian starts up Poppy 8b+ and runs into the crux of Postman Pat 8b before finishing up Tuppence Ha'penny, 8b+.

Ellis Butler-Barker on Brian 8c+, Anstey's Cove
© Tom Wright

The route has been a long-term project for Ellis, who has worked his way through the Anstey's Cove testpieces (including Chimera Extension (UKC News Report)) in preparation for making the step up to Brian - a route which he had been dreaming of climbing since first visiting the Cove in 2012.

Commenting in his blog, he said "I never thought that Brian would be possible for some reason. I think I was partly intimidated by it because it has been rumoured to have been tried by some of the UK’s best sport climbers without any success and having been unrepeated for so long I couldn’t imagine it being me getting that second ascent!"

Ellis first tried Brian in 2014 but felt the need for more specific strength training and made adjustments to his training and diet accordingly:

"I started trying to get into shape for this route; eating much better and more nutritional foods, waking up early before college to go for a run or stretching session and trying new training techniques."

After some more structured campus sessions, Ellis gained the strength required to complete the crux of Poppy, and felt more confident in his ability to redpoint the route in its entirety.

After taking a full rest day, Ellis finally clipped the chains of Brian on April 1st after roughly ten sessions - making him potentially the youngest Brit to climb 8c+. Malcolm Smith climbed Hubble 8c+ in 1992, also aged 18.

Ellis commented in his blog: "I’m so happy to do this route and it hasn’t been an easy process, it's by far the longest I’ve spent on a project and it required me to be a little more tactical with my climbing which is something I haven’t really done before."

Read Ellis' blog post here.



This post has been read 9,493 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

3 Apr, 2015
That is some shockingly lazy bolting in the close up, looks a right mess! If you've got time to bolt, you've got time to cleanup the old ones.
3 Apr, 2015
Video of Ken Palmer doing the FA: Hard stuff!
3 Apr, 2015
Its not the first ascent it was a reascent for the camera.
3 Apr, 2015
Fantastic news. At last, someone has finally done the second ascent and it's a yolkel too. Well done Ellis! There's nothing left for you to do down here now (part from freeing Ferocity and doing the two other longstanding Ferocity Wall projects...). What have you ever done on grit...? And what an amazing effort by Ken in 2003.
3 Apr, 2015
Congratulations Ellis - an awesome achievement.
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest