Creamer Becomes First British Woman to Climb Grit E8 – Update

On Monday 12th November, Lucy Creamer has become the first British Woman to climb Grit E8 with her ascent of Slab & Crack E8 6c at Curbar in the Peak District. Lucy has been in fine form already this autumn with ascents of Top Loader E7 6c & Janus E7 6b already under her belt. Her headpointed ascent of Slab & Crack is an outstanding effort and it´s fantastic to see a British lady break through the grit E8 barrier.Slab & Crack is a Dawes classic testpiece from 1986 and features sustained, technical climbing in a bold position that is particularly hard for the short (which Lucy is). Her ascent took place on a near perfect grit conditions day being cold, crisp & clear. Lucy first attempted the headpoint lead on Sunday but in far less ideal conditions, taking the fall onto the single RP2 placement. Lucy has put some thoughts on her blog about the route and states: “I have to say it was an amazing experience; I went through a lot of emotions and processess that I have never had to before to climb a route… When I first had a go at this route a while back, the thought of leading it made me feel sick! I just couldn´t imagine putting myself in such a dangerous scenario with the climbing as tenuous as it was. I said to myself I would be so happy if I managed to top rope it in a oner because I found the crux very hard. The whole route just seemed sustained and pretty dangerous” You can read more at Lucy´s blog here. Matt Heason (website) was lucky enough to be there both days and describes the nerves of just watching a dangerous headpoint: “I spotted Lucy on her attempt in fading light on Sunday. It was by far and away the most gripped I´ve ever been in a climbing situation. She cruised to the first gear – an rp (I believe) and a small cam placed next to each other, let out a scream of jubilation, placed the gear, rested, and then moved on up. She placed the next piece – another rp, went on up, and came off!She came off onto an rp 40 feet above a nasty landing, some mats and some very scared spotters. The gear held…. It f****** held. I assumed she´d shout down to be lowered veeeerrry gently back to the ground, but no, she looked down and said ´I knew it would be that move! [pause] I´ll carry on to the top´. Well I don´t know about you, but whenever I´ve fallen off a route onto a small wire (I´ve thankfully never fallen onto an rp) the first thing that my mind is screaming at me is to get down before it rips.She then calmly went on up and placed another rp some 6 feet higher up. Well that´s how it should have happened. It took her 4 trembling attempts to place that wire, each time she was literally willing it to stay, talking to it, swearing at it. Each time it came out as she tugged it. Each time I was visualising her coming off as the wire popped and she overbalanced, falling onto the same rp again, this time it ripping, the next gear ripping too, and having to try to stop one of the world´s best climbers from hitting her helmeted head from fifty feet. She pulled herself together and topped out.I got the call yesterday to go out again. First at 2pm, but it was too hot on the rock, then again at 3.30pm. This time things went smoothly after a minor slip on the very first hold! The gear went in nicely and the moves looked easy (hah!). It was still gripping, but nothing in comparison to the evening before.” Lucy becomes the 2nd woman to climb grit E8 after Lisa Rands ascent of Gaia in 2006. Lucy becomes possibly the 2nd British female to climb E8 after Airlie Anderson who in the mid 90´s climbed Beginners Mind (Llanberis Pass) which gets the grade of E7/8 6c. Keep an eye here and on Lucy Creamer´s blog for a more detailed report in the near future. Related: Lucy Creamer climbs Toploader E7>> Lucy Creamer is sponsored by Scarpa & Marmot