Biblins Cave Series

New Font 8C at Biblins Cave from James Squire

21-year-old James Squire has climbed a new problem at Biblins Cave and proposed a grade of Font 8C. James has been climbing at a high level for several years now, ticking his first Font 8A when he was 15 and has recently climbed The Never Ending Story (Font 8B+) in Magic Wood. James' latest addition, The World Is Yours (f8C), took him 5 years and over 30 sessions to complete. He described his success as an 'initial feeling of happiness, calmness and relief,' although admits he feels slightly lost without a project!

James' new 8C: The World Is Yours  © Tom Maidwell
James' new 8C: The World Is Yours
© Tom Maidwell

The World Is Yours climbs through the middle of a roof from an obvious sit start. Johnny Kydd climbed the problem WADzilla (8B) which finishes in the middle of the roof on an obvious pinch. James told UKC: 'I thought it could continue 3m higher to the lip of the cave and it took a few years to work out the beta. It involves 18 powerful and beta intensive moves through steep ground.'

The climb turned into a protracted mental battle for James and once he had climbed the problem from a stand start he believed it would be a formality from sitting: 'I climbed it from a stand start and thought the sit would take maybe another two sessions. It ended up taking about eight sessions. The last four sessions I had I was unable to reach a previous high point and it became a frustrating mental battle.'

Added pressure came from the imminent closure of the crag for the season and James' time limitations: 'I kept thinking that I could always come back next year but I wanted to do it this season so badly. I don't really know why. I work full time so can only really try it on the weekends. The pressure got worse each session as I just couldn't stop my tips from bleeding. Every time I split a tip, my heart would drop, as I knew I could no longer try the problem that day and would have to wait a week before I could attempt the project again.'

The problem extends Johnny Kydd's WADzilla (8B)  © James Squire
The problem extends Johnny Kydd's WADzilla (8B)
© James Squire

As for the grade, James believes it felt 'a fair amount harder' than the 8B+'s he has climbed, although concedes he hasn't climbed any other 8C's: 'I fully respect the idea that I may be wrong with the grade. There are plenty of people in the UK strong enough to climb this and I look forward to someone repeating it.

'The name is dedicated to Some of the kindest people I have met in the climbing scene suffer from mental health issues and depression.'

James has a few more potential projects locally, with 3 or 4 very hard lines still to be climbed at Biblins. He still has many projects in Switzerland, Fontainebleau and South Africa, so we'll be hearing from James very soon...

James is sponsored by: La Sportiva, Petzl and Sublime Brushes

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