New Dartmoor Boulder Problems for James Squire

© Keiha Dhruev

James Squire has added two hard boulder problems on Saddle Tor, Dartmoor. The first problem, 'Take a Chance on Me (f8A) ' (8A), is an obvious line that has been 'hiding in plain sight' according to James. 'The Winner Takes It All (f8B) ' (8B) climbs directly up the steep overhang on the main wall.

The Winner Takes It All (8B) at Saddle Tor  © Keiha Dhruev
The Winner Takes It All (8B) at Saddle Tor
© Keiha Dhruev

James told UKC: 'I have been climbing on Dartmoor quite a bit recently and have been really enjoying it. The boulders are some of the best that you can day trip from Bristol and the landscape is amazing. However, the sharp rock and "character building" conditions definitely make it an acquired taste. The rock is a coarse granite and most of the crags sit on exposed hilltops.

'It is crazy some of the problems that can be found in the middle of main areas when you take the time to figure out beta and simply clean a few holds. I wonder what other unclimbed problems there are in well-known crags… looking forward to the rest of the season and hopefully seeing the strong locals repeating some of these new problems.'

The harder of the two problems, The Winner Takes It All (f8B), was a much less obvious problem that 'initially looks impossible. It is made doable by swinging a heel-toe out left and doing a large "snatch" move off the tiny crimps to a big edge. The session where I climbed this was quite unique. There was a foot of snow and perfect blue skies. The rock was almost warm from the amount of sun reflecting onto the boulder and topping out was quite scary as you had to avoid wet holds where the snow had melted.'

Take a Chance on Me (f8A) was an obvious unclimbed line: 'I had one session where the wind speed was about 50mph and it was probably the coldest I have ever been in my whole life so gave up after 30mins. I came back a week later and finished the boulder problem in about an hour.'

See a video of James climbing the problem below:

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James Squire is a top British boulderer, mainly operating in the south of England. He has established many grade 8 boulder problems. His crowning achievement so far is the first ascent of 

James's Athlete Page 14 posts

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