UKC

Rainshadow 9a for Stu LittlefairNewsflash

© Guy Van Greuning/nectarclimbing.com

39 year-old Sheffield-based climber and astrophysicist Stuart Littlefair has climbed his first 9a with a redpoint of Rainshadow (9a) - consequently making the 5th ascent of this iconic route at Malham Cove.

photo
Stu Littlefair on Rainshadow 9a, Malham Cove
© Guy Van Greuning/nectarclimbing.com

Commenting on the significance of Rainshadow, Stu told UKC:

"Rainshadow has been a long term goal for me ever since Steve [Mcclure] climbed it, as it's essentially the best hard route in the country. At the time though, I couldn't climb endurance 8a's, let alone 9a."

In 2011, Stu took on Tom Randall as a coach with the specific long-term aim of becoming fit enough for Rainshadow. Stu commented:

"Training with Tom totally changed my climbing; he made enormous improvements to my endurance but more importantly gave me the belief that I could actually get good enough and the psyche to work around the many injuries I've had along the way. Although I don't train with Tom at the moment, I wouldn't have done this route without him."

Describing the ascent itself, Stu claimed that he wasn't expecting to complete the route so soon without having made more substantial links on the climb:

"The actual ascent came as a bit of a surprise. I was still struggling to link through the Font 8a crux from the ground and above that is an 8a/+ headwall that most people fall off at least once. I'm usually pretty good at falling off easy moves, so I was sure I was going to fluff the headwall at least once but in the end I did it the first time I got through the crux! It was quite a bonus to be belayed on it by Steve McClure, who did the first ascent in 2003 - it's such a great route and a testament to his talent as a climber."

photo
Stu Littlefair makes the 5th ascent of Rainshadow 9a
© Mike Cheque/chequepictures.com

Stu also wanted to thank Alex Barrows for the friendly rivalry which spurred him on, adding:

"I probably wouldn't have done it without Alex Barrows either. My focus on Rainshadow got really serious in the middle of last year when Alex and I placed a bet on who would climb 9a first. Since burning off Alex is the most important thing in my life, I really started to knuckle down at that point. I suppose it was inevitable he would get there first, but at least my 9a has some hard moves that can't be knee-barred."

Stu's ascent is 5th in line behind Steve McClure, Adam Ondra, Jordan Buys and more recently Ben Moon.


 

Stu is sponsored by: La Sportiva


This post has been read 11,495 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing 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 UKClimbing 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 porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

9 Sep, 2015
First one to 8B gets a Mcflurry (or alternative ice-cream product).
done.
9 Sep, 2015
Awesome. Maybe even inspiring enough to get me climbing again. Congratulations Stu. Nick
9 Sep, 2015
Very inspiring! Congrats
9 Sep, 2015
5th ascent 14 votes in UKC logbooks
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest