James Pearson - British ex-pat living in France - has been back in the UK recently and has made an ascent of The Quarryman E8 7a at Twll Mawr. The four-pitch route was first climbed by Johnny Dawes and breaks down into an E6, E5, the renowned '8a' Groove pitch and a 7c+ slab to finish.
Reporting on his Facebook page, James commented:
"Yesterday I climbed one of my childhood dreams - #TheQuarryman, in the Llanberis Slate Quarries. Since watching the master, Johnny Dawes levitate up the amazing groove pitch all those years ago, it's a route I knew that one day I would have to try. However at the same time that route has always intimidated me - the difficulty, the access, the style - so despite spending many days on the Slate throughout my youth, I never went to check it out."
The infamous 'Groove' pitch, which has tested some of the UK's best climbers, was described by James as follows:
"'The Groove' is one of the weirdest pitches I've ever tried, but such an interesting process, a real test of imperfect perfection! At first it feels so hard, but then you let go of your usual obsession for holds, and just go climbing, and suddenly it all falls into place!"
James' wife Caroline Ciavaldini is credited with the idea of trying the route this year. James wrote:
"When Caroline told me she would like to have a look at it this year, I obviously had to try to be a big brave boy! I asked around, discovered the access, and took a deep breath whilst stepping into the void! I went in the route first as a way to ease her into the experience, to show her that contorting yourself into strange shapes whilst dangling 100's of feet in the air, thin ropes passing over razor sharp slate edges, is really nothing to be afraid of!"
Watch this space...
Visit James' Facebook Page.