Revelations 8b by 11 year-old Toby Roberts

© Tristian Roberts

11 year-old Guildford-based climber Toby Roberts has ticked Revelations (8b) 8b at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale), just one year after redpointing his first 8a - the classic Raindogs (8a) at Malham Cove​.

Toby Roberts on his way to ticking Revelations 8b
© Tristian Roberts

Taking a break from competitions after winning the BMC Youth Climbing Series and the European Youth Color Festival in Imst in June, Toby set his sights on a hard outdoor project, which he found in Revelations.

Renowned for being a reach-dependent route, Toby had to figure out a sequence to suit his diminutive stature. Writing in his blog, Toby explained:

'I had been told that the route was really ‘heightist’ with a tough 7C boulder problem at the beginning of the route being particularly hard using the normal beta. The rest of the route included a big undercut move onto a mono and into the bottom of the groove with a knee-bar rest. I then needed to move to the top of the groove and traverse right a few moves pulling onto the technical slab at the top of the route to the belay.

'Apparently Revelations is a 7c route on top of a 7C boulder problem, although I think my sequence used twice the number of moves through the crux (five hand movements and six foot movements). Two of these moves felt really desperate with terrible feet and I needed everything to go perfectly to stick the moves.'

Making the most of his half-term holiday, Toby stayed in Tideswell with his Dad to dedicate himself to working the climb, fuelled by his favourite food - Mum's homemade banana cake:

'After a few more sessions making sure I knew every move I took two days' rest to try and make sure I was at maximum strength, then for the first time got through the crux on the Saturday. I then came back on the Sunday and on my 3rd attempt of the day I completed my project.'

Toby's Dad, Tristian, commented:

'By the time he had been lowered he said he wanted to continue into Rage 8b!'

Toby is now looking for harder projects, after being inspired by witnessing William Bosi's recent ascent of Hubble 9a:

'I saw William Bosi climb it and thought I would love to give it a go and you can never set your heights too high.'

Visit Toby's blog.

Toby is sponsored by: Craggy Island, La Sportiva and Lyon Outdoor

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1 Nov, 2016
Fantastic effort. Youngest Brit to have climbed 8b?
1 Nov, 2016
Yeah but what's he..... just kidding.
1 Nov, 2016
Well that's rather impressive! Translating. When it says: "Apparently Revelations is a 7c route on top of a 7c boulder problem ..." does that mean "Apparently Revelations is a 7c route on top of a 7C boulder problem" or does no-one bother with that convention any more? If not, isn't that even more confusing? (This not aimed at anyone in particular.) I like his blog: "What do you like about working sport routes?" "I just like getting to the top"
1 Nov, 2016
Someone recently pointed out to me that the a vs A convention isn't even used in the Font guides so it's maybe not 'widely accepted' (in the loosest of terms).
1 Nov, 2016
It should be a convention in the U.K. to prevent confusion with English tech grades especially when used for describing routes. I was responsible for that description inPeak guidebook despite having never tried it. Paul Reeve was describing the sequence Toby used to me today which included holds I wasn't even aware of. Jim Pope was remarkably short to do it let alone Toby. Unlikely to be 7C the way he did it. Stu Littlefair (Midgets oftheWorld Unite) of Rainshadow fame still hasn't done it but can no longer play the reach card.
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