Alex Megos has visited Kilnsey where he repeated Steve McClure's Northern lights, 9a, as well as Progress, 8c+, and True North, 8c.
As far as I know, this was only the second repeat of Northern lights, which was put up by Steve in 2000 and repeated by Adam Ondra in 2010. The one who made the route famous was of course Ben Moon. He worked the line for years in the mid nineties before he decided to call it quits. It should be said the beta Ben was trying was a bit different, and harder
The route turned out to be not so easy for Alex, who usually only needs a few tries to repeat 9a's.
Hey, Northern lights! What did you think? Distinct crux? Did you flash it up to where you fell seventimes?
It's a world class route for sure!!!
It's really really cool to climb. So I tried it already last Wednesday but it was soooo windy and cold that neither Ben (Moon) or myself could give it a proper go. But at least I got all the beta.
So this Saturday I did twowarm ups and then started straight away with giving it goes. And then I climbed it on the 8th go of the day. Plus the four"tries" I gave it on Wednesday before makes 12 in total.
I didn't really give it a flash go. No chance. So cold, couldn't try hard. It's not a distinct crux though. It's very consistent which is super cool! But there is one move though that is dynamic and less secure then the others. And that's where I fell seventimes on Saturday.
Well, I fell fivetimes on the move. Once going to the hold from where you do the move and once I slipped twomoves before...
Did you check out Ben's original beta? The more straight line?
No. Well it's the same line basically. It's just that atone bolt you go a bit more left into a groove instead of straight up. But the thing with that rock is, you don't see any holds at all.
Even on Northern lights at the crux where I fell so often I found a new hold which I didn't see at all before...
Ok, so the rock is very special? How? Structure? Colour?I mean, what makes the holds difficult to see?
Yeah I guess it's the structure of the wall and the color. There is no big features on the wall so it straight away looks a bit blank. And then it's all in the same coloured grey.
Do you know when a route is climbed very often and even if there is no chalk on the holds they stay in a lighter color than the rest of the rock because there is just nothing growing anymore there?
That's not the case there. So if you didn't brush the hold it's a bit dirty and you just can't see it...
Are you planning to go back and try Northern exposure?
Probably not going back. Haven't got enough time anymore... Next time :)
Alex also made quick work of Progress, doing it second go after he "totallymessedup the flash". Same thing with True North.