First 'School Uniform Ascent' of Raindogs 8a?

9 year-old Jack Ibbertson has redpointed Raindogs​ 8a at Malham Cove​ - in his school uniform! Even more impressive is the fact that Jack has just bounced back after three months of recovery from a broken leg following an injury whilst playing football at school.

Jack - always happy to be at the crag, 164 kb
Jack - always happy to be at the crag
© James Ibbertson

The route is Jack's first of the grade. His father, James Ibbertson, commented:

"Jack showed real determination in achieving this goal, putting somewhere in the region of 10-12 sessions into it and taking numerous falls from the top before the successful ascent. The trickiest part of completing route was getting the fitness to link all the moves together. It didn’t take him long to work out the individual moves, but he needed to build up the endurance after such a long break from climbing."

The trip to Malham didn't come about without a compromise, though, as James explained:

"When he said he wanted to go out after school I said he needed to make sure he got his homework done. The following morning I came downstairs at just gone 6am to find him working on his maths!"

Jack Ibbertson - first ascent of Raindogs 8a in a school uniform?
© James Ibbertson

What's next?

Jack is now keen to climb lots of slightly easier routes to improve his onsighting ability and aims to climb outdoors regularly over the summer.

You may recognise the Ibbertson name, as Jack is the youngest of a keen climbing family - his older brother Josh, aged 11, is a member of the GB Junior Climbing Team and regularly hits the headlines here on UKC, with multiple hard redpoints up to 8a+ under his belt. Jack follows in his brother's footsteps with this ascent, as Josh climbed Raindogs last year (UKC News Report). Their Dad James is also a strong climber, but will he be able to keep up with his young kids for much longer...?

Jack on his first 7c in Frankenjura, aged 8, 187 kb
Jack on his first 7c in Frankenjura, aged 8
© James Ibbertson

The key to their dedication and achievements? A love for the sport with a relaxed approach. James told UKC:

"They are just kids! Jack is just as excited about his school sports day where he thinks 'I've got a real chance in the three legged race and skipping race as I came 3rd in the practice run!'"

Let's hope he doesn't forget his P.E kit...

Jack is sponsored by: Allcord, Boreal and is supported by Leeds Wall and The Depot Climbing Centre.

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