Crazy Aussies – Direct Start to Parthion Shot by Head Torch!

Ben and Lee Cossey, visiting climbers from Australia have had a frustrating winter to date. Basing themselves in Sheffield they´d hoped to get to grips with some serious grit routes, but have been thwarted by the worst winter for years. Still, head-point ascents of Gaia (solo), End Of The Affair, Paralogism and Crack & Slab would be a fairly good winter for most.Not content though, the pair finished work yesterday and decided to take advantage of the cold and dry conditions – despite the lack of light! Having previously abseiled down the line just once, last Wednesday, and tried it on a top rope in wet conditions, Ben decided to have a bash at Parthion Shot at Burbage South. Arriving at the crag at around 8pm, some 3 hours after sunset, Ben top roped the route just once before leading it with a head torch!You´re probably thinking that this sounds worthy of the ´ascent-of-the-year´ award, but it gets better. Rather than climbing the traditional start to Parthion Shot up Brooks´ Crack (HVS 5a), Ben climbed the ´official´ direct start to the route, up Child´s Play (E7 6c – though he reckoned 6b). This ´fun little slab´ joins Parthion at the undercut (that Johnny hangs one handed in Stone Monkey). He placed all gear on lead except the nuts in the infamous hollow flake, reasoning that it was too dark to place them by head torch (his brother Lee did attempt to climb the route immediately afterwards, placing all gear on lead, but became too pumped to continue as he struggled with reflections from the metal-work from his torch light). We asked Ben what he thought to the grade, whether the direct start inflated the E9 6c of Parthion? ´Not really, it just makes it more sustained´…You may wonder why such urgency? Lee heads home on Wednesday and really wanted to get something done before he goes. Ben is around until September or October so we can expect more high profile ascents from him if only the weather would break. We are pretty confident in saying that this is the first direct ascent of Parthion Shot. First they whoop us in the cricket and now this. 😉 Respect.