James McHaffie – New Slate F8b

by Jack Geldard – UKC James McHaffie has succeeded on his desperate slate project.Sauron (hard 8b) takes the awesome blank wall in Lost World known as Heaven Wall.Sauron is the only route to breach this huge sweep of slate and follows a fierce finger crack with extremely poor footholds. McHaffie bolted the line several weeks ago but then went on a walking trip in Scotland and was unable to get back on the route.He finally managed the long hike up to the highest part of the Dinorwig quarries today and climbed the route in fine style. James has now climbed virtually every route on Welsh slate, ticking all the hardest lines including: The Very Big and The Very Small F8b+, Misogynist´s Discharge F8a+, Bobby´s Groove F8a+ and his own amazing line The Serpent Vein F8b.The only line remaining is the super classic Johnny Dawes test-piece; The Quarryman – E8 (6c,6b,6c,7a). Could James be the first to climb this infamous line ground-up and really become ´The Quarryman´?Given his current form and the exciting vibe around the slate quarries at the moment anything is possible.