Cratcliffe Prow – Update with Photos

Last week we reported that Ben Bransby had climbed the Cratcliffe Prow. Below is a more detailed report of the ascent with a sequence of photos from Ben Heason: In what was undoubtedly the best conditions of 2007 so far, Ben Bransby made swift work of one of Cratcliffe?s sought after ?Last Great Problems?. The Steep prow, between the Grimoire Block and Hueco Wall, had been eyed by many, tried by some, yet remained unclimbed – partly due to the hard climbing (approx. Font 7c), but largely due to its intimidating landing. A few days earlier Ben had a quick look on abseil, to clean the line, but returned in better conditions on Sunday. Unsure of the difficulties of the dangerous top out Ben opted to have a quick try of the finishing moves. Having been previously unable to do the starting moves from the ground, Ben opted to first climb the prow by stepping in from the block on the left (at a slightly more amenable grade of Font 7b+). After a smooth ascent, first go, Ben decided to have a proper go from the floor. After despatching this first go too, Ben then coolly repeated it from the block for some photos. With three pads and a couple of precarious spotters, the bulk of the hard climbing wasn?t too dangerous, but the not insignificant top out moves climb above a large, uneven drop off. Falling off at this point is not advisable, and Ben felt that a ground up ascent would warrant a grade of around E6/7. Ben slightly regretted trying the finishing moves on a rope, realising that he could actually have climbed it ground up, but the style of his rapid ascent was excellent nevertheless.