Choronzon E10 (8b+) and Muy Caliente E9 Repeated by Steve McClure

Steve McClure has made the first repeat of Neil Mawson's route Choronzon E10 (8b+) at Flimston Bay in Pembroke. Its grade of E10 (8b+) makes it Pembroke’s hardest route yet.

Steve Mcclure repeating Choronzon E10 8b+, 113 kb
Steve Mcclure repeating Choronzon E10 8b+
© Ben Pritchard

Steve told UKC:

"I lucked out on Neil's route. I arrived on Friday, it rained all night but the route was nearly dry on Saturday morning, but good windy weather meant it was dry by the afternoon, good conditions. I spent a few hours looking at moves and gear then went off to do some trad routes. In the evening I toproped it in one placing gear. I thought about going for it then, but it was 7pm and starting to drizzle. But still, should have gone for it!"

Steve repeating Neil Mawson's route Choronzon, 124 kb
Steve repeating Neil Mawson's route Choronzon
© Ben Pritchard

It proceeded to rain throughout the night, stopped at 10.30am and the route remained soaked. Steve waited a few hours then abbed down to towel dry and chalk it, before giving in and accepting the less than ideal conditions:

"I thought sod it, lets go for it! Just got it by the skin of my teeth as it was not in fab condition! Amazing climbing, very sustained and technical, and a great style of route being one where you can think about the climbing rather than the gear. You place some stuff, then just go for a while with no gear, then stop at a rest and place more before going again."

Climbing Choronzon E10 8b+ in suboptimal conditions, 127 kb
Climbing Choronzon E10 8b+ in suboptimal conditions
© Ben Pritchard

Neil Mawson made the first ascent in September 2014 (UKC News Report). ​Regarding the grade, Neil stated at the time of his ascent that a British technical grade would not be an accurate representation of the difficulty of the route, opting instead to use the sport grade of 8b+. Steve applauded Neil on discovering a route of such quality:

"Good effort from Neil finding this and cleaning it up, and persisting! It's another level of complexity here to consider with firing times preventing access. Conditions are hard to get right, and the base of the route is tidal! If I'd not done it yesterday there is a good chance I'd not manage all week, and then maybe ever! Setting off on the route I knew it was not ideal, but I also knew it could be my only chance!"

UPDATE: Steve has also managed a repeat ascent of Muy Caliente! E9 at Stennis Ford. This serious route was first climbed by Tim Emmett in 2010 (UKC News Report) and has since been downgraded to E9.

Steve is sponsored by: Beal, Five Ten, Marmot and Petzl and is a BMC Ambassador.

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