In May Dave Pickford climbed a new line at St Govans Head in Pembroke and named & graded it The Brothers Karamazov, E9 6c. With the strength of the current UK trad scene it quickly got a repeat with Dave Birkett climbing it in June.With the fine current spell of weather, Neil Mawson headed down to Pembroke and made a third ascent in a fast time and in excellent style. Overall he thought that it did not deserve the E9 grade and that E8 was fairer. Neil had this to say on UKClimbing.com:“I repeated Dave Pickford´s The Brothers Karamazov at St Govan´s on Friday the 19th October after top rope practice. This was first climbed utilising a hand-placed peg for protection, placed by abseil prior to the ascent and removed after. Dave Birkett also did this for the second ascent but commented the route was easy for the grade. I placed all the gear on lead and so eliminated the peg. I also thought the route was overgraded and should be E8 6c even without the pre-placed peg. It is around 7c+ to top rope, so easier than Chupracabra and San Simeon (both E8), but it is a bit bolder than both. I don´t think you would hit the floor from any of the hard moves but you´d come close! For me it felt easier to lead than when I did Chupracabra 2 years ago.“You can read a detailed report on Dave Pickford´s ascent on planetfear here>> including why he called ith The Brothers Karamazov. A video is also available of Dave Birkett´s ascent at posing productions here>>Source: UKClimbing.com

The line of The Brothers Karamazov with Dave Birkett climbing. Photo:Posing Productions