First Ascent of Iridescence 8c for Ellis Butler-Barker

© Tom Bunn

Ellis Butler-Barker has made the first ascent of Iridescence​ 8c at Anstey's Cove​, Torquay.

Chimera Extension 8c: Another of Ellis' first ascents at Anstey's  © Tom Bunn
Chimera Extension 8c: Another of Ellis' first ascents at Anstey's
© Tom Bunn

Ellis told UKC:

"The route starts with twoeasy clips at the starting slab of La Creme, then it steps right into some crimps where the route really begins, it has a hard boulder - maybe something like Font 8A/+ - with really shouldery moves between tiny crimps (possibly the smallest holds Ive used on a route) and then it finishes directly upwards at the La Creme chain."

After completing Brian 8c+ last April, (UKC News Report)Ellis looked for another objective and tried this project line for a few sessions without success:

"There are several straight up projects still left to do at Ansteys and this wasthe one that felt most feasible to me so I had a few sessions on it and didnt manage to get back on it for around 9/10 months.I could kind of see what to do but could barely hold some of the holds and each individual move felt desperate, but I knew in the back of my mind that I could do it if I put some effort into training."

Ellis Butler-Barker on Brian 8c+, Anstey's Cove
© Tom Wright

Having spent around threemonthstraining hard indoors, Ellisdecided tostay at Ansteys for a couple of days with the aim of making some progress on theroute. Significant gains in finger strength meant the moves posed little problem this time round:

"I noticed straight away that I was able to hold the tiny holds much more easily.After spending a while sorting out a sequence it felt like it was coming together so I decided to give it a go and have a redpoint attempt, I went all out and pulled through the hardest move but fell shortly after.

"It then got dark so I ended up trying the route with a head torch and a phone light pointing at the wall. On my 5th redpoint of the day at around 10pm I got myself up the route. It was great to see progress from all the training and also a little surprising as Ive never had so many attempts on a project in a single day!"

Regarding the grade, he added:

"I thinks it's around 8c."

Ellis also recently came 3rd in the British Universities and Colleges Sport bouldering championship, behind Billy Ridal and Joe Swales.

EDIT: In response to speculation in the forums, UKC contacted Dom Taylor - Ellis' belayer - who vouched for Ellis' ascent as follows:

"Yes I can vouch for Ellis's ascent. He spent Tuesday afternoon working the route butthe ascent was done in the dark. We did look at filming for all the reasons mentioned but nothing was showing up on the camera.
Hope this helps,

Ellis is sponsored by: Beet It, Mammut, Optimum Nutrition and Scarpa

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I grew up with a background in sport, competing in gymnastics and then rugby from an early age. I got into climbing when I was around 14 or 15. Straight away I knew that I was in love with the sport, I bought some shoes...

Ellis's Athlete Page 16 posts 1 video

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25 Feb, 2016
Good effort Ellis - any video footage, it will be good to see?
25 Feb, 2016
Have UKC bothered to verify this? Any proof?
25 Feb, 2016
What's going on with his harness?? Haven't seen anything like that before??
25 Feb, 2016
He's wearing a pair of Mammut Realization shorts. They have a built in harness. Really good idea (for sport) but at £130 pretty specialist.
25 Feb, 2016
Can anyone enlighten me why this is getting dis likes? Same for Patrick Hills post?
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