The unstoppable force of psyche that is Tom Randall has done it again, another crack first ascent, but this time it's a little different.
UK inland limestone might not be everyone's first port of call when looking for new cracks to climb, but Tom, who is one of the 'Wideboyz' and has climbed many hard cracks worldwide, has put three years of effort in to a roof at Dinas Rock in South Wales.
"It was previously an aid line." Tom told UKC, "There's many hard roof projects down there, maybe four that are still unclimbed!"
The route - now named Dina Crac - is E9 7a in UK grades, or Tom has also suggested the USA 5.14a (8b+). Tom's put together a handy list of which cracks he thinks are harder and easier (check his blog for full details) and he thinks this Welsh test-piece is tougher than the Italian roof crack of Greenspit.
Tom placed all the gear on lead, and feels that this crack was, in some ways, one of his toughest yet:
"I think this particular crack project has been one of the biggest struggles for me, due to a combination of factors. The climbing is really quite hard, the conditions on the line are incredibly fickle and the moves are so complicated that each time I would come down, I’d waste at least half a day remembering how to move my body. The route starts up a very strange and steep 2 bolt sport route which is more like climbing a long boulder problem. This then gives you access to an 80 degree finger roof crack. The sequence through the roof is around V10 and involves amazing spins on finger jams, an undercut mono-style move and some funky heel action. All of this has to be stopped in the middle of though, to place two micro nuts, which caused me problems on a few occasions!"
Marginal conditions in the mountains this winter have led to uncertainty and difficult decision-making when planning journeys... Read more
Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll, Siebe Vanhee and Nico Favresse have made the first free ascent of El Regalo de Mwono on the... Read more