Jim Pope has climbed three problems graded Font 8B in a session at Kilnsey. The problems were Jim's first of the grade, who had previously climbed around 15 8A+'s but never quite managed to break through to the 8B barrier.
Bouldering isn't necessarily what comes to mind when Kilnsey is mentioned, but Jim believes it's a great venue:
'People have been training on the boulders there since the '80s. A lot of people will mug off the bouldering there, but when the rest of Yorkshire is soaked the bouldering stays bone dry.'
Many of the hard problems at Kilnsey are based around Steve Dunning's Primitive Notion, which Jim describes as 'a hard 8A+.' Since Dunning's original ascent, Dan Turner has climbed five harder variations. Beta on tap from Jack Palmieri meant that Jim had an efficient session, saving skin and energy. He started by climbing an 8A+ called Diluvian in a few tries, before working the different sit starts and exits. After Diluvian, each of the variations that Jim climbed, he did on his first attempt.
Jim puts his impressive session down to his recent exploits with the other man of the moment, Aidan Roberts:
'I've just been following Aidan around in the Lakes for a few weeks getting my ass kick on his new first ascents. I did lots of climbing up there on loads of different styles, which always helps. I'd also been training pretty hard for the British Bouldering Cup a few weeks back.'
The problems Jim climbed in his session were:
Primitive Notion (8A+)
The last dance (8B)
For the past few years, Jim has been focused on competition climbing and hard ascents on gritstone. A year ago, he came 6th in the European Championships held at Ratho, Edinburgh. Over the previous winter, he'd made ascents of gritstone testpieces such as Appointment with Death and Meshuga. He edited and released a film called Big Balls and Ground Falls which included some spectacular footage: