Top British boulderer Tom Newman has had a busy few summer months, with repeats of problems up to 8B/+ and a couple of first ascents up to 8B - most notably a variation on Fat Lip 8B, with Fat Choice 8B. Since June, Tom has climbed ten problems at 8A or above in and around the Peak District.
A few weeks ago, Tom repeated Fire in the Rain 8B/+, a climb at Anston Stones Wood developed by Mike Adams. Writing on his blog, Tom commented:
"This feels like one of the harder things I have climbed in a while. It involves crimping really hard (obviously, it's limestone), lots of body tension and wee bit of power endurance."
After taking a three week non-climbing holiday to the US, Tom returned to the UK with some objectives in mind. Steve McClure's Fat Lip 8B at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale) was on the cards, a problem which until recently had remained unrepeated. Tom made the fourth ascent following James Noble's first repeat in May this year and Jonny Argue's third ascent shortly afterwards. Tom wrote:
"I started off with Fat Lip 8B. This thing took me a couple of sessions to get done because of a knacky heel hook that took me a while to figure out. Once I managed to suss it, it went down."
Tom had also set his sights on Dan Varian's Dandelion Mind 8B at Deep Dale. He explained in his blog:
"It's a great steep climb with an awesome sequence which made a nice change to your 2D style that limestone usually lends itself to! My attempts resulted in multiple arse rockets towards the ground. My second session was a resounding success (to my surprise). I went back feeling fresher, pulled my knee pad stupidly tight around leg which allowed the knee bar to become a lot more effective and less strength dependent."
Tom didn't stop there though. Temptation won him over as he ended up back at Raven Tor with his shoes on and walked away with the first ascent of an 8B variation on Fat Lip:
"From here I drove back to Raven Tor to meet my friend Dave and give him his knee pad back. My plan was to just give it back to him then drive on but before that had happened, my boots were back on and I was at the start of Fat Lip again. I decided to give it one go with the plan of going up an alternate finish. I pulled on...and went straight to the top. A new alternative was created at the Tor which is something I'm not so proud of. Nonetheless I named it Fat Choice 8B. A good day."
Finally, on a particularly wet trip to Wales, Tom was forced to climb in the only remaining dry spot - Parisella's Cave - where he made a quick ascent of Louis Armstrong 8B.
Check out Tom's summer ticklist:
Big Gay Bear 7C FA
Black Asteroid 7C+
Little Rascal SS 7C+/8A
Fire In The Rain 8B/+
Fat Lip 8B
Fat Choice 8B FA
Dandelion Mind 8B
Louis Armstrong 8B
Enter The Dragon 8A+
Roofs Manoeuvre 8A
Survival of the Fattest 8A
Watch a video of Tom on Fire in the Rain below: