Tom Newberry has just made the 2nd ascent of Chris Savage's route Death Star, 8c at Cheddar Gorge. Tom cancelled a trip to Font in order to dedicate more time to redpointing this, his first 8c.
Death Star was first climbed by Chris Savage in 2010 and at 16 metres long features technical, and bouldery climbing in the typical cheddar style. Tom described the climbing on the route:
"The route roughly breaks down into a hard 8a+ route into a 7B+ boulder and concludes with some tricky/frustrating finishing moves. The route is sustained with no rests or shakes and limited options to clip and chalk (I ended up skipping clips)."
Tom spent three sessions on the route back in 2013 before giving up due to the very hot summer. He returned to the route this year in March as he was at the crag with some friends. Having previously climbed a few 8b+'s, Tom commented on what made him try the line:
"As with most routes at the Remnant it’s by no means the prettiest line, yet it has some quality moves and flows well. Unfortunately, the line is a tight one and you must adhere to one or two rules; mainly, don’t use anything that is used on either of its neighbouring routes. If I’m brutally honest though, it’s the grade that first attracted me to this route not the quality."
Tom returned in early April to find the line much drier, managing to link the route in two sections, Tom was now confident he could climb it. Deciding to prioritise getting it done, Tom cancelled a trip to Font and got stuck into redpointing. The trip cancellation paid off and Tom climbed Death Star on his fifth session of the year as his first 8c.
Tom spoke about how it felt to clip the chains on the successful ascent:
"As with a majority of hard ascents, I was rewarded with another of those anti-climax feelings. That said, I had great fun trying it, possibly because I put little pressure on myself to climb the route. 8c is a big grade to me and I never expected to be in the right shape to tick something this difficult. I just thoroughly enjoyed the experience of pulling on and fighting hard especially going all out on the top boulder crux, it’s inspired me to find something else hard to get involved with, maybe even reopen my account on Brian at Ansteys?! Who knows…"
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