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Kieran Forrest ticks Pilgrimage (Font 8B+/9a)

© Ray Wood

Bangor-based Kieran Forrest has ticked Malcolm Smith's 2004 Parisella's Cave testpiece Pilgrimage. Fresh from success on Liquid Ambar, the 19-year-old competition climber has shifted his focus onto rock in the past couple of months, with considerable success.

Pilgrimage is graded either Font 8B+ or 9a, depending on who you ask. The climb is a monster, starting in the bottom left of the cave and finishing at the top right. It links several problems together which break down into a 7B+, a 7C, a 7C+, and a 7B to finish. It's about 40 moves long and all roughly 70 degrees overhanging.

Kieran was inspired to try the line after seeing Jack Palmieri's video  © Ray Wood
Kieran was inspired to try the line after seeing Jack Palmieri's video
© Ray Wood

Kieran first climbed Rockatrocity a few years ago and then Hatchatrocity earlier this year – after climbing these two problems which make up a significant section of Pilgrimage, Kieran set to work figuring out the required body positions:

'The crux alone took me about 3 sessions - I was always left confused when I watched Jack and Mike making the crux look so easy.'

Possibly because he always tried it after his sessions at Lower Pen Trwyn. Kieran was clearly in good shape from his battle with Liquid Ambar and didn't train specifically for the problem, which took him roughly eight dedicated sessions.

Kieran's is the sixth ascent after Malcolm Smith, Alex Barrow, Mike Hart, Jack Palmieri and Pete Dawson.

Below is a video of Jack Palmieri on the 4th ascent of Pilgrimage:


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Kieran Forrest is a GB Climbing Team member and has made hard sport ascents up to 9a, including the fourth repeat of The Big Bang. 

Kieran's Athlete Page 3 posts


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