17 year-old Ellis Butler-Barker has recently climbed the Anstey's Cove testpiece Cyberdog, 8b. He has also been climbing well on the boulders, climbing several Raven Tor testpieces including Ben's Roof Extension, 8A and FAs of boulder problems up to 8A at Churston Cove in Brixham.
Ellis first began tryin Cyberdog, 8b, at Anstey's Cove just after redpointing Postman Pat, 8a+, but really struggled with the first bouldery section, which took him around 30 attempts before he had worked out how to use the footholds effectively enough to stick the dyno.
He then returned a week later to begin trying to redpoint the route. After putting the quickdraws in, reworking the first section and taking a long rest and then climbed it on his first redpoint of the session. Ellis commented on his blog how it felt to climb Cyberdog:
"I was so pleased to get it done so quickly especially after the epic I had on Postman Pat when I was trying it last year. This was my first 8b at Anstey’s and my 5th 8b so far."
Cyberdog is a direct start to Postman Pat, featuring a 7A+/B boulder problem into more hard, bouldery climbing on Postman Pat. On his blog, Ellis gave a breakdown of the difficulty of Cyberdog:
"It’s basically 3 hard boulders put together. The first problem revolves around a hard dyno from a good crimp and a pretty poor sloper on two bad feet. I do a big throw to a sloper before coming into a couple of good jugs where the first problem ends. I’ve heard that this first section is around Font 7A+/B.
Then you move into the best section of the route which is all about the double gastons on the tiny holds and then releasing the gastons to hit a good pocket. This felt around Font 7A/+.
The final section has some big stretched out moves which are really powerful and then a really cool dyno to finish. This is maybe a Font 7A+ to the top from there. I’ve heard that people either find this top section really easy or really hard. Personally I found it really easy to do off the rope but as soon as I added some hard moves before it I just found it desperate!"
Over Easter, Ellis took a trip up to the Peak District where he focussed his efforts on Raven Tor, coming away with some hard sends up to 8A including; Ben's Roof Extension Start, 8A, Weedkiller Footless, 7C, and Perverse Reverse Footless, 7C. Commenting on Ben's Roof, Ellis said:
"At first I hated it and thought it was just painfully sharp and not very fun at all. However the more I tried the moves the more I began to enjoy it and then just wanted to be on the problem as much as possible."
Ellis has also been busy developing bouldering at Churston Cove, Brixham, where he has made a number of first ascents of link-ups including a potential new 8A which is a link up of three existing problems and has called Triple Trouble.
All this shows that Ellis' training for Rodellar this summer is paying off so he should have a great trip out there!
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