New Dorset E8 for Tom Randall

Tom Randall has freed an old open project at Blackers Hole in Dorset. He has proposed a name of 'Supernova' and believes the physical difficulty to be around 8a+. The route is an old line of Pete Oxley's from 1993 The Schwarzechild Radius which Pete never redpointed although he did work all the moves.

Tom discovered the line by accident whilst he was trying Laughing Arthur and describes one of those scenarios "where you look at a line on the crag and think "wow, what's that?!" and then check the guidebook and see that it's unclimbed... which is quite a nice surprise!"

Tom Randall on the lower section of Supernova, 137 kb
Tom Randall on the lower section of Supernova
Tom climbing through the steep roof, 141 kb
Tom climbing through the steep roof

The route didn't all go to plan in the early stages however. On an early attempt, Tom got his leg stuck..

"In the middle of the roof is an upside-down by the feet double foot jam and I took a rest here... but as I weighted the jams, one of my feet suddenly pulled through a bit of a constriction and got proper jammed - really jammed down on the bone. I had Mike Hutton staring at me hopeless on the ab rope (he couldn't get back under the roof to me) and a belayer on the ground. I'd say it was 10-15 mins off getting really serious as after about 5-10 mins I really wrenched it out . Just took the pain a bit as I preferred to hurt myself rather than have a major rescue epic."

Luckily, the ascent went a lot smoother despite feeling quite tired and missing a crucial ticked pocket on the upper sequence. "I'd put the tick mark in not quite the right place for the line of your eye and I nearly cocked it up as I was fairly tired and didn't have a great deal spare to mess around with new sequences. It's a funny cave though - sometimes the conditions are great and it feels ok down there and if they're just a tiny bit off everything feels like 8c!"

Blackers Hole Topo, 200 kb
An impressive quartet of routes in Blackers Hole (from the Dorset Rockfax)

To an outsider looking in, it appears things always go to plan when Tom's partner in crime is around. Tom and Pete Whittaker (Wideboyz) had a very successful trip to Utah recently where they climbed the world's longest roof crack - The Millennium Arch, weighing in at a colossal 5.14 and 300ft.

"Yeah of course it's always hard when Pete's not around, but we've got an open relationship. He's out in Yosemite at the moment and been spending quality time with Jacob Cook, so it's been good to be apart... you know, it keeps the fire in the relationship."

Tom hasn't had his fill of the area yet though - there are several other projects down there. "The next one might take me a bit longer though as it's really quite tricky."

Tom Randall is sponsored by: Climb On, Five Ten, Rab, Sterling Rope, Primal Pantry and Wild Country.

Tom is also a part owner of Climbing Station, a Director of Sublime Brushes, and a Director of Lattice Training.

You can view more of Mike Hutton's photos on his website

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