UKC

Hajj 8c for Ted Kingsnorth

Ted Kingsnorth has continued his run of form on Peak limestone's hardest lines by making the 5th ascent of Hajj 8c at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale) and completing the Mecca Extension trilogy. 

Hajj is a direct finish to Mecca Extension, leaving it at its upper rest at a large sidepull pocket (where the Extension traverses right) to climb a distinctive black shield.

David Petts of Volodigital.co.uk has sent us in a video of Ted's climb:

Ted told UKC: "I wanted to climb Hajj as it is the third of the trilogy of Mecca Extensions, the other two being the Extension itself (8c) and Kabaah (8c+). While I had Mecca wired, it made sense to give it a go."

Hajj consists of 10 moves on some tiny crimps with very poor footholds past two small fingertip undercuts leading to a good hold at the end of the difficulties just below the Cream Team break. The route then traverses rightwards to lower off from the Mecca Extension belay.

After doing Kabaah in July last year, Ted initially spent quite a few sessions over the summer working out the crux moves past the two undercuts but couldn’t find a way that was red-pointable. He finally hit upon a viable sequence and first managed to link from where the route leaves the Extension to the top over the summer. Ted commented: "This 10 move link must be at least Font 7B+, possibly Font 7C."

Following an ascent of Cry Freedom in September, Ted got back into redpoint mode and managed to link from the Mecca belay to the top, which adds an awkward 7a+ into the crux moves. He told UKC: "I had quite a few redpoint attempts from the ground but a redpoint seemed far away as I couldn’t seem to make any impression on a hard undercut move with the pump in my arms from having climbed Mecca."

photo
Mecca Extension Topo
© Ted Kingsnorth

Ted then ticked a consolation prize of Mecca Extension/ The Whore of Babylon link (8b+) in December, as the Tor season finally ended with some very cold conditions. Ted decided to train hard over the winter and try and return in the spring. After coming back from a trip to Smith Rock in May, the upper resting pocket on the Extension was persistently wet, not completely drying out until late June.

After increased bouldering sessions, there then came a tense time of waiting for good conditions. Commenting on his ascent, Ted told us: "I felt fresh and strong on the crux moves, linking from the 4th bolt to the top as part of my warmup. While the air temperature was around 15 degrees, there was a nice breeze blowing and all the holds felt grippy and dry. Clipping the chains was a great feeling after all the effort I had put in last year and means I am free to try other projects and finally move on from Mecca."

Regarding the difficulty of the climb, Ted reckons it's a hard 8c and the hardest he has done so far: "The moves up the black shield are harder than the cruxes on any of the other 8c’s I have done. I think the crux moves are harder even than the upper section of Kabaah, although the rests at the Mecca belay and the upper Extension pocket are better than the shake out on Kabaah so it is slightly less sustained overall.

Ted's ascent is the 5th overall after Steve McClure’s first ascent in 2004 and repeats by Paul Smitton, Ryan Pasquill and Dave McLoughlin. Steve, Paul and Ryan have also climbed all three of the Mecca extensions, making Ted the fourth person to do so.

Read Ted's blog on attempting Hajj here.

Watch a video fo Ted's first ascent of Terminator 8b+ at Malham below, also from David Petts of Volodigital.co.uk:

Ted is sponsored by: Scarpa



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