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The Ticklist #22 - New Scottish Winter Climbs and Bouldering Repeats

© Greg Boswell

This week's Ticklist features some hard new Scottish Winter lines, repeats of difficult boulder problems around the world and an inspirational video. Roll on 2021!

New Scottish Winter lines for Boswell, Johnson, Frost and McGrath

Greg Boswell has had a busy week on Bidean nam Bian in Glen Coe, teaming up with various climbers on three separate visits to the mountain. Firstly, he teamed up Callum Johnson and they added New Age Raiders (IX, 9) to Church Door Buttress. The pair climbed the new route onsight. Callum described Greg's first pitch effort on his Instagram:

'Gear and hooks were well spaced, giving the climbing a committing feel. I followed, cutting loose on the first steep section to swing feet from right to left to twist and reach for the next hook. The climbing was a lot of fun (with the rope above me!) And thankfully my pitch wasn't as steep.'

Callum's second pitch, whilst not as steep, still involved a puzzle of 'flared crackless grooves and sloping feet, steep pulls and fiddly gear.'

A week later, Greg returned with Hamish Frost and Graham McGrath in tow and made the first ascent of False Penance (IX, 10), again on Church Door Buttress. Greg had spotted the line earlier in the week when he repeated Un Poco Loco Direct with Hamish. Writing about his ascent, Greg said:

'I love finding virgin ground that hasn't been climbed in summer or winter as when you are forging your way upwards, you have no idea what will unfold. There might be a hidden splitter crack through the obvious steepness and lots of gear, or there might be no hooks and progress is impossible. Thankfully we found something just before the later. Our line took on some very overhanging terrain and had just enough tiny placements to make it possible to link through the steepness.

'Unfortunately, the gear was a long way away as I had to commit to the crux moves, so ledge smashing was highly apparent in my mind as I steadily prayed my axes wouldn't rip on the tiny placements. Eventually, I found a way through and got situated high up the wall on a semi hanging belay, ready for someone else to do the next bit. Arms cramping and thankful to be secured to the crag I brought Graham and Hamish up to my position.

'The second pitch was no give away and Graham did a sterling job of putting his mind in the right place and tackling the very bold and commuting second crux section. Then it was in the bag!'

Nathan Williams ticks Sleepwalker

22-year-old American climber Nathan Williams has made the 5th ascent of Jimmy Webb's Sleepwalker (Font 8C+), his first of the grade. The problem is in Black Velvet Canyon just outside of Las Vegas and is possibly the hardest problem in the US. The difficulty of each move was estimated by Webb to be 7C to 7C+ with a couple of harder moves thrown in for good measure.

Williams has previously climbed two Font 8Cs: Brass Knuckles in Dayton Pocket and Esperanza in Hueco Tanks

Hard repeats in Ticino by Alex Megos

Alex Megos has been quickly ticking some of Cresciano's hardest problems, climbing Dreamtime (Font 8C), The Dagger (Font 8B+) and The Story of Two Worlds (Font 8C). Fellow German Yannick Flohe also managed an ascent of Fred Nicole's Dreamtime.

Below is a video of Megos' trip:

The Swarm for Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb has topped off her best year of climbing yet with her 6th Font 8B of the year. The 23-year-old climbed The Swarm in Bishop. Writing on her 8a.nu account, she said: 'Never wanted a rock climb more, and it finally all came together. The most lovely moment topping out the slab of this dream rig.'

Mellow Vid: Brooke Raboutou and Natalia Grossman

Mellow have released a video of Raboutou and Grossman's impressive summer of bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park. Between the pair, they climbed eight Font 8Bs. The video showcases eleven of the best problems from 8A+ - 8B+.


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1 Jan

Impressive. But how can these activities be achieved with the current levels of lockdown/tiers in Scotland? And, isn't it rubbing our English noses in it somewhat, showing these wonderful conditions that we can't get access to?

They probably live in Scotlands highland council area. They could live in Durness and legally travel to climb in Glencoe or live in Aviemore and travel to climb on Skye, you get my point. I also suspect they might be covered by the professional athlete training exemption. For Hamish Frost the photographer for work will likely cover him. I dunno, not saying it's fair.

1 Jan

Some people are bending and breaking the rules, some people live in the areas and aren't breaking the rules. And this might come as a surprise to you, but some of the people who live in the areas, and aren't breaking the rules......are English!

haha get over it. How many Scottish trad climbers in lockdown would be complaining about how good the summer conditions are in England and wales whilst its pissing it down in the north? they have it good at the moment so why wouldn't they be out if they can do it within guidelines.

Plus there's been a fair number of winter routes ticked south of the border. I know plenty of locals who've been taking advantages of the good conditions whilst breaking no rules whatsoever.

Is there such a thing (in Britain)? Even if there was, I doubt it would be intended for relatively risky activities like trad/winter climbing...

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