New 9a Raven Tor link-up by Alex Barrows

Alex Barrows has discovered a new link-up at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale), joining a variant of Belly of the Beast 8B+ and Waddage 8b, which he considers to be around 9a in difficulty.

Alex trying not to hurt his fingers at 'The Tor.', 173 kb
Alex trying not to hurt his fingers at 'The Tor.'
© Alex Barrows

Alex told UKC:

'It's a bit of a dumb link-up, although compared to many Tor links it's actually pretty cool and logical. It climbs out from the very back of the cave to the top of the crag in a pretty straight line. You do Belly of the Beast to the lip, but then instead of heading left you do a variant finish (Sympathy in Choice). The boulder problem of Sympathy finishes at good-ish flatty - an obvious finishing hold for a boulder, but not a rest. From there you're straight into the crux lower section of Chimes. Once through that it's a relative romp to the top of the crag.'

Alex was motivated for the line since it was something local for him to try whilst his fingers recover from injury. Other hard, crimpy Tor routes were ruled out and may still be off-limits for a while, as Alex explained: 'The hand specialists I've spoken to basically don't have a clue as to whether one of my old injuries will ever properly fix itself.'

Alex on an earlier attempt of Keen Roof, Raven Tor, 206 kb
Alex on an earlier attempt of Keen Roof, Raven Tor
© Alex Barrows

Commenting on the grade, Alex suggests 9a, but isn't 100% certain.

'I'm not really sure on the grade - it kind of feels like it would be 9a compared to other cave-style boulder/route hybrids I've done, but then it's a bit more bouldery and thus less my style, so it could be easier. It's basically a harder version of Belly into an 8b without a rest.'

He added:

'You can always find a dumb link to do at the Tor!'

Watch a video of Alex on a shorter 8c+ version of the link-up:

Alex is sponsored by: Edelweiss, Friction Labs, Organic and Scarpa

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