Beautiful weather on the gritsone edges brought out both climbers and walkers in droves on Saturday. For the climbers the conditions we almost perfect and there were some notable ascents.
Ryan Pasquill managed to add another to his ever-growing list of extremely impressive flash ascents of bold gritstone routes. A few weeks ago it was Knockin' on Heaven's Door (E8) at Curbar - UKC News report here - this time it was the bald slab pitch of Slab and Crack (E8 or very, very hard E7) just around the corner.
Ryan's ascent was very smooth with no real wobbles. Slab and Crack was first climbed by Johnny Dawes back in 1986 as a direct version of Ron Fawcett's diagonal E6 line One Step Beyond from 1980. Since then it has become the most-climbed route on the slab.
Local Roaches climber Pete Bridgwood has made the second ascent of KP Nuts (E7) on the Roaches Lower Tier. This desperate route was put up in 1989 by Simon Nadin (when Pete was 6 years old). Since then it hasn't seen a single repeat although Pete himself did almost reach the top two years ago in December when he took a huge fall and ended up only centimetres from the ground. The route features a boulder problem start to the half way point and only gear. The technical crux is a hideous mantelshelf on a pebble through the overlap which is then followed by a steep, unprotected slab climbing to the top.
Pete made the following comment after his successful ascent:
“I am well happy. It has been both a burden and the highlight of my climbing skills put in practice so far. It is all too easy to look at the climb and come back another day. All the moves really tense you to the max and falling from any of them is very easy. I know the original KP pebbles have snapped and since I've been on it, several more pebbles have gone west, forcing me to reset my sequence over and over”
Over on the Baldstones, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker were both in good form making stunning solo ascents of Ray's Roof (E7) - the fearsome offwidth roof-crack first climbed by Ray Jardine in the 1970s, and still only having seen a handful of repeat ascents over 30 years later. Two of those repeats had come previously from Pete and Tom climbing in a more conventional roped style. Pete then went on to flash Dangerous Crocodile Snogging (E7) at Ramshaw Rocks.
Here is a video of Lucy Creamer climbing Slab and Crack from the Grit Flick DVD by Posing Productions.
Pete Whittaker is sponsored by Wild Country, Patagonia and Five Ten
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