Grit Season Kicks Off with Impressive E7 Ascents

With the week long cold crisp spell coming to an end it´s not a surprise that a number of impressive ticks have been made on the Gritstone with E7 seemingly the magic number. First up on Thursday, Lucinda Hughes climbed her 2nd E7 with an impressive ascent of John Dunne´s Deathwatch (E7 6b) at Ilkley in Yorkshire. The line ascends a wall above a steep gully with the only protection being placed at the start (more to protect a roll down the gully rather than keeping you off the floor). From here a series of thin moves brings you to the crux below the top before a move onto the arete and the top. As conditions were far from perfect, Lucinda´s ascent is impressive and an excellent start to the season. Ben Pritchard was there to film the ascent which will feature in the soon to be released Hard XS from Slackjaw. Read more about the ascent & see  pics at The Climbing Works blog>> With the forecast slowly degrading, Friday saw a trio of ascents of big lines at Millstone in the Peak District with Lucy Creamer continuing her fine recent trad form with an ascent of Toploader (E7 6c).The 28m route features a crux high up that although not a ground fall would result in a long winger. After a few successful goes on top rope including the need to figure out a sequence for the tough crux moves, Lucy tied on and successfully sent for an impressive tick. Lucy states on her blog that “I always find routes come down to one or two moves and this one just happened to be a tricky foot movement a long way above gear”. The tricky moves also meant that Lucy wore two different shoes for her ascent. You can read a full account of Lucy´s ascent on her Scarpa team blog here>> and see pictures of her on Toploader at Lucy´s personal blog here>> Also at Millstone on Friday, North Wales residents Pete Robbins & James McHaffie nipped over to both climb Masters Edge, E7 6c – ground up. Pete climbed it after surviving a fall from high up on his first try, successfully sending it second go. James ascent was a somewhat strange affair as he successfully climbed past the lower crux and was within a few moves off the top (a committing slap) when he decided it wasn´t right because of a bleeding tip and proceeded to downclimb the entire route!After a 20min rest, James tied on again and successfully climbed the route making a very impressive ground up, no falls, ascent of Masters Edge. Possibly only the second climber to do it after Laim Halsey. Not content with climbing Masters Edge, James continued upward with an ascent of Great Arete, E5 5c, a seriously bold route. NB. Masters Edge finishes on a ledge system where it is possible to easily walk off. Greate Arete starts from this high ledge and adds an extra bit of spice to the ascent Lucinda Hughes is sponsored by The North Face, Five Ten & Metolious. Lucy Creamer is sponsored by Marmot & Scarpa.