Dan Turner has climbed Bewilderness at Badger's Cove in the Peak District near Buxton. The problem was first climbed by fellow Cumbrian Dan Varian in 2011, grading it 8B+ (V14) making it one of the hardest problems on limestone in the country.
Dan told UKC:
"The problem is ultra basic, around 50 degrees overhanging and the meat of the problem involves doing a move to 1/4 pad undercut above your head, and reeling it in until your shoulder feels like it is going to fall off."
Dan had spent quite a few sessions the previous year repeating the neighbouring problem Dandelion Mind and would look at the holds on Bewilderness and think it looked ridiculous. Fast-forward to early June, after a run of good form, Dan went down to the Cove to sneak a birthday send of Badger Badger. That session he had a play on Bewilderness and surprised himself by doing quite a few of the moves.
"And that was the start of a month of insanity. I had around 10 sessions on Bewilderness, mainly with another North Cumbrian, Ben Freeman, who was trying Dandelion Mind. Most of the sessions involved leaving work at 17.00, getting to the crag at 19.00 for cooler conditions and leaving the crag at midnight (hoping my left arm had't fallen off in the process) and getting home in the early hours of the morning to start work at 8.00 the next day.
"After three or so sessions I had done all the moves and started trying from the deck, but always struggled moving off the undercut (several times landing on my neck). A couple of sessions before I did it, I had a really good go, but managed to break a hold post crux making the top a bit harder (could be tough 8B+ now). At this point, I had kind of had enough, but I just loved the drive, so after another two sessions it went first go of the day."
Summing up this crazy month of effort, Dan told UKC:
"I was pretty stoked to do the Bewilderness as it's probably as hard as it gets in the UK and by far the hardest thing I have climbed. Big shout out to Dan Varian for putting it up and Ben Freeman for coming down every session with me, even after he had done Dandelion. Also, thanks to my mental coach Tim Stubley, physio Tom Woodcock and to Mark Katz for bringing back to reality! Oh and apologies to my Girlfriend!"
Watch a video of Dan and Ben Freeman on Bewilderness and Dandelion Mind below: