Cailean Harker Ground-Ups Christine, DWS 8a

by Duncan Campbell - UKC Jul/2013
This news story has been read 9,209 times

An unsuccessful attempt on Christine , 160 kb
An unsuccessful attempt on Christine
© Cailean Harker

Gloucestershire-based climbing coach, Cailean Harker, has just capitalised on a recent Deep Water Solo (DWS) run of form by making the 3rd DWS (and 1st Ground-up) ascent of Christine, 8a, at Long Quarry Point in Devon. 

Christine was originally climbed on bolts by South-West hero, Ken Palmer in 2002, naming it after his mother. Ken then went on to make the first solo ascent in 2003. Gav Symonds then made the 2nd solo ascent in 2010 (UKC News Report Here). 

Cailean made an impressive ground/water-up ascent of Christine, banking in a recent run of DWS form including a much coveted flash of the classic Mark of the Beast, 7c, at Lulworth Cove. Last week, Cailean made his first visit to Long Quarry Point and climbed classics of the crag such as; Arapiles, Oh Arapiles, 7a+, Once A Dogger, 7b, and the exquisite Blue Planet, 7b+. He then turned his attention to Christine, but did not manage the route first session, taking a few splashdowns on the first bouldery section, managing to reach the second crux on the last go.

He returned a week later, managing on the route after 7 splashdowns, to make the 3rd solo ascent of this classic route. Cailean commented further on his experience of the route:

"The route breaks down into 3 distinct sections, first up is a board style boulder problem to a no-hands back and foot rest, next you have amazingly steep 3D climbing which culminates in a cut loose right at the lip, you then join and climb the crux of Blue Planet and follow this route to the top. The route is well chalked and in good condition at the moment. Get on it people." 

Holding the Swing on Christine 8a, 162 kb
Holding the Swing on Christine 8a
© Cailean Harker

Cailean now has his eye on more hard deep water soloes, such as; Adrenochrome, 8a, at Lulworth and Jaws, 8a at Pembroke, so watch this space for further news of Cailean's DWS ascents.

You can follow Cailean's climbing, and find out more about his ascent here.

You can see a video of Ken Palmer making the first solo ascent here:

Cailean Harker is sponsored by: Mammut and La Sportiva

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