Alex Barrows recently enjoyed a productive trip to Leonidio in Greece, flashing 8b+ and onsighting three 8bs.
Having heard a lot about the area in recent years, Alex and his wife Ella teamed up with Stu and Jules Littlefair to explore Leonidio for a two-and-a-half week trip after Christmas. Alex told UKC:
'I wanted to focus on onsights and flashes, and managed to have one of my more successful trips, onsighting three 8bs, flashing another one (which we thought was more like 8a+) and then onsighting and flashing a bunch of other stuff up to 8a+.'
At the end of the trip, Stu kindly shared beta on Gravity 8b+ with Alex.
'It's a (soft?) 8b+ up the middle of Leonidio sector and I was able to flash it. It was a pretty wild weather day with big showers driving down the valley, helping to make it feel memorable. On the easier upper section the sun even came back out with perfect timing!'
Alex has previously onsighted 8b+ with an ascent of Ixeia in Rodellar in October 2017. Onsighting or flashing 8b+ has only been achieved by a handful of Brits. Steve McClure's first 8b+ onsight came in 2002 with Indian Summer at Kilnsey, followed by an onsight of Kale Borroka in 2009 and Take Okame 8b+ in Chulilla in January 2016 (UKC News report). Steve also made an impressive flash ascent of the epic tufa route Tom et Je Ris 8b+ in the Verdon Gorge in 2013. Tom Bolger onsighted L Mens 8b+ at Montsant in 2011 and Jim Pope onsighted Kalea Borroka 8b+ in Siurana in January 2018 (UKC News report).
Ever focused on the next goal, Alex added:
'Now it's back to training and bouldering, trying to get stronger!'