13 year old Rory Cargill has just had a very successful trip to Kalymnos, where he climbed his first 8a with the classic Fun de Chichunne, a 40 metre stamina-fest through the Grande Grotta.
Rory headed to Kalymnos with a very clear goal; to climb 8a. He set his sights on one of the most classic and iconic routes of Kalymnos, Fun de Chichunne, 8a, a route that played to Rory's strengths. On his first day Rory got straight onto the route to get an idea of what it involved and had this to say about his first attempt:
"The first day I tried this route, I could see why it is so popular. It is very hard to explain how brilliant it is but it really is like nothing I have ever climbed before. I worked all the moves and got the sequence in my head."
Instead of get back on Fun the next day, Rory decided to have a go at another 40m stamina test-piece, Priapos, 7c. Rory surprised himself by onsighting it, giving him a real confidence boost for serious redpoint attempts on Fun the next day. Sure enough, the next day Rory managed to climb Fun de Chichunne on his second try of the day as his first 8a. Rory again:
"Fresh from this success, I headed back up to the Grotte the next day, super-confident and with Fun de Chichunne in my sights. My first attempt that day was a disaster – perhaps I was too super-confident! I took a rest, admired the views and had a snack then went back for another attempt. I stepped on the wall and felt I could do it this time. The sequences started to fall into place and before I knew it, I was 10 metres from the top and looking forward to walking through the stalactites and clipping the chains. To keep myself going, I was speaking to myself all the way up, reassuring myself that it was actually possible...
I can’t quite believe that I have achieved my life’s ambition at just over 13. Thankfully there are lots more in Kalymnos to justify a trip back to tick 8b next year!"
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