22-year-old Will Bosi has made the historic first ascent of the last outstanding open project at Raven Tor, the Brandenburg Gate (9a+) project and suggested a grade of 9a+. Will's ascent comes just one week after he made the long-awaited first repeat of Mutation 9a+ (UKC News).
Brandenburg Gate leads up the steep wall to the right of Hubble and shares the Mecca chains. The route has attracted attention from some of the UK's strongest sport climbers. John Gaskins was reported to have come close in the early 2000s.
Will commented on his first ascent:
"I am so happy that such an iconic open project was able to go down so quickly compared to my battle with Mutation."
I inspected the route out of curiosity a few years back and abseiled down to feel the holds, but it was only this year that I began to put some serious time into it. Once conditions improved at the crag, I put a number of sessions together and the sequence came together rather quickly for me and once Mutation was out of the way, it was great to return and clip the chains on this one!"
In contrast to the style of Mutation, Brandenburg is more similar in character to another hard classic at the crag, Hubble 9a. Will explained:
"The climb is very similar to Hubble in a sense but the sequence of moves are a lot more complex and technically demanding. I was stuck for a while on the lower section but once I was able to unlock a sequence, the route came together really quickly for me."
Overall, Will required eight sessions to unlock the sequence on Brandenburg and seven redpoint attempts to finally reach the chains. The route was widely assumed to be graded 9b due to its perceived difficulty and being an open project at such a popular crag, however Will has settled on 9a+.
Regarding the line's difficulty, Will commented:
"My view is that Brandenburg was a soft-end 9a+, in comparison to Mutation which I regard as solid 9a+. The climbing was harder than other 9as I have done in the past but not by a large degree, so I feel it just about deserves 9a+. However, again I look forward to seeing the route get more ascents so the grade can settle one way or the other."
2021 has been a phenomenal year for Will, with redpoints of 9b+ (UKC News), multiple first ascents in Spain (UKC Video) and rapid ascents of hard boulders in Switzerland (UKC News) alongside his recent exploits at Raven Tor.
Watch the footage of Will's successful ascent below:
Stay tuned for more information from Will about his whirlwind few weeks...