Ally Smith has climbed a new 8c line breaching Kilnsey's steep roof, naming it The Pirate after his pet cat Pluto who recently lost one of his eyes to cancer.
The route follows the obvious break-line rightwards from the belay of Bullet, all the way across into Neil Gresham's 2015 route, Freakshow 8c, and from there onwards to join the crag classic Mandela at it's infamous 'rose' move crux, and then eventually pulls over into vertical ground after more than 25 metres of roof climbing.
Ally spotted the line a few years ago, and bolted it over a couple of weekends in May 2016. He told UKC:
"I only got a couple of sessions trying it that year as it never fully dried. In 2017 I missed out on the best run of dry weather in the spring as I'd injured my finger over the Easter break - only trying the route in the damp autumn once I was back to fitness. This year I was fully psyched to get stuck in as we've had such a good run of weather.'
Last year Ally took some huge swinging falls when skipping two clips in the newly bolted section, which then give you access to jugs on Freakshow. From here, the line follows the top section of Freakshow - 15 metres of 8a+/b climbing to the chains, finishing via the crux of Mandela.
Last month Ally got through his 2017 high-point and felt increasingly confident it would go, so long as it stayed dry long enough. He explained:
'Over the next few sessions I managed to keep pushing my high point a little further along the break-line, but like a complete bumbly, one redpoint was self-sabotaged by nervously clipping a short quickdraw on Mandela, giving me killer rope drag - from then on I extended every one and skipped three in a row on this section to reduce friction!'
On Saturday, Ally didn't have any redpoint nerves due to feeling tired from climbing and training mid-week. He told us:
'Once I got through the crux of the new section of climbing, I fell into a great climbing pace and had just enough juice left to pull over the lip and back into verticality. I was in for a bit of a surprise though, as Karin Magog had removed her quickdraws from the belay (shared with Mandela) and hence I had to take the quick way down!'