Neil Dickson Comments On Quetzalcoatl E9, Lundy Island

by Neil Dickson As reported earlier this week: In September Neil Dickson reclimbed Hey Gringo on Black Crag (Lundy Island ) without the bolts, renaming it Quetzalcoatl with a suggested grade of E9 6b. Prior to his ascent Neil removed the 5 bolts placed by Gary Gibson in 1988.Neil had this to say on the forums about his ascent. “Just to clear things up as these things often get blown out of proportion. My ascent of Hey Gringo was by no means onsight. I abb?d the line to clean it and take the bolts and whilst I was at it I couldn´t help noticing that the crux run out would be really sustained and hard. I ended up going down to try the line three times (something to do with the Lundy bug and bad conditions) and each time I had a really good look at this crux section which I knew would be very serious. By the time I came to do it I had a fair idea of how I was going to do the moves on the crux run-out section; that said the rest of the route was not looked at and I very nearly blew the safer upper section on the lead. As for the grade, the route was given E7 6b with five bolts in it. Without these the only gear for the 20ft crux section between you and the ground is an RP 0 and three skyhooks. Two of these fell off as soon as I stood up and if you fall off the crux move you´d take an 80 footer onto this gear so it´s pretty bold. The climbing is very sequency, sustained and insecure; 6b moves aren?t easy especially when you have to do about 10 of them in a row, routes like ´Statement´ only used to get E7 6b before French grades were introduced. The kind of climbing on Quetzalcoatl suits me down to the ground, I have onsighted numerous E7´s of this style and think that if it was E8 I could have conceivably onsighted it. I think that Quetzalcoatl is way way harder than the E7´s I?ve done and probably E9. As for taking out the bolts, know one to my knowledge had done the route since it was first established in 1988. I have never met anyone actually on Lundy who is in favour of any bolts on the island and they completely trash the character of the place. There are loads of places to go sport climbing but Lundys isn´t one of them. Even Gary started taking out his own bolts in the end.”