18-year-old Pete Dawson from Devon has had a productive first weekend at Malham since moving up to Manchester to begin his university studies. He managed to tick Bat Route (8c) 8c on his third go and Unjustified (8b+) 8b+/c in just two attempts.
Having not visited the crag since he was 12, Pete had plenty to go at, choosing Unjustified as his first project. He told UKC:
'For me, Unjustified was one of the biggest fights I’ve given in a long time, I was chicken-winging so badly.'
Bat Route, although given a harder grade, felt easier for Pete due to its endurance-based climbing. On his first attempt at working the moves and his first redpoint, the crag was in full sun - making his success on the third attempt even more impressive, as anyone who has climbed on Malham's white rock in the blinding sun will know! Pete was agonisingly close to claiming the route second go:
'I managed to drop right at the top as my foot slipped, which was a heart breaker. I especially loved the bat-hang rest which was the first time I’d used one properly.'
How has Pete reached his current form? He credits a summer of sport climbing, bouldering and training:
'Recently I’ve been training but I also had a good summer where I did all my hardest climbs, Dures Limites 8c then Encore 8a+ onsight - both at Ceuse - and Jack’s Broken Heart 8A/+ in Magic Wood.'
As a new resident of Northern England, Pete is keen to explore his new territory and enjoy the company of other climbers in the area, as well as fitting in some training for upcoming winter sun sport trips. He told us:
'The scene at Malham each day was amazing, I’m used to being at the crag with only a couple of people back home but I much prefer it when there is a good social vibe. In the future I’m going to try and get out most weekends and I’d like to do more classics of Northern England. At Christmas I’m going to Oliana and Santa Linya in Spain, so my main goal is to train hard for that as I have unfinished business at those crags such as Fish Eye 8c and Rollito Sharma Extension 8c.'
Pete has been ticking grade 8 sport routes around Europe from a young age, with a particularly successful trip to Spain in 2014, where he climbed ten routes from 8a - 8b+ (UKC News Report).