19 year old Pete Dawson has made the third ascent of Brian 8c+ at Anstey's Cove, Devon on Ferocity wall. The line was first climbed by Ken Palmer in 2003 and links together Poppy 8b+ and Tuppence Ha'penny 8b+. It was originally graded at 8c, but second ascensionist Ellis Butler Barker upgraded it to 8c+ - a grade with which Pete agrees.
The crag is an old stomping ground for Pete, since he first climbed at Anstey's at the age of 11 and began working his way through the grades. He told UKC:
'Empire of the Sun was my first 7b. It took me about 4 sessions. I remember having to use footholds to get past the big moves. Soon I was working the harder routes on Ferocity Wall starting with The Lynch 7b+. As my climbing progressed, my major home project was always on Ferocity Wall. I ticked through Cider Soak, Pet Cemetery, Tuppence, Fisherman's Tale, Chimera and Poppy so by the time I started work on Brian I knew every hold on the route after countless sessions trying the other routes. I never once lacked motivation to go because it's such a beautiful place and the climbing is the best I've found so far in England.'
Pete applied himself more seriously to trying Brian in the Spring of 2016, spending most weekends there and getting closer to a successful ascent. However, the weather got hot and conditions worsened. Pete was running out of time as he booked a trip to Ceuse. He commented:
'I felt pressured and nothing was going right. I remember on my last session trying to get a clip out with a clip stick but the stupid thing wouldn't work and I just lost it. I really wanted to do it that year and it's the most emotionally invested I've been on a climb, so failing really got to me.'
Returning this year, Pete's approach to the route had changed, despite still having to deal with pressure:
'This year I once again had a trip booked so only had three sessions maximum to get the route done. Once again I really felt the pressure. This was one of the best preparations for a route I've done yet. I went running and stretched lots the day before. I ate a big breakfast on the day so I didn't need much more and did more stretching. I warmed up and worked the route in two sections. I didn't fall once when working the route. I was the most nervous I've ever been for a redpoint. I focused hard and managed to find the 'flow' until I got through the hard climbing. My only thought for the rest of the climb was 'You are in here Pete don't drop it'.
Summing up his climb, Pete told us:
'When I first looked at the crag at age 11 I was inspired and I'm so psyched to finally get the hardest route on the wall ticked.'
Watch a video of Pete's ascent below: