Quick Repeat of Spinal Crack, E8

The North Wales scene is currently buzzing at the moment with increased interest coming from the superb rebolting work going on in the Quarries and the brand new North Wales Rock guidebook. A couple of weeks ago saw the first ascent of the long standing project, Spinal Crack, E8, in Cwm Idwal, a line that has been eyed since the 1980´s. After such a long time for the first ascent, a quick repeat was not the most likely of occurrences but it´s amazing what can happen to a mysterious project line once climbed (and plenty of psyched locals). Spinal Crack was quickly repeated by Pete Robins who confirmed the grade of E8 and the high quality of the climbing involved. Below is a report from DMM: The psych among North Wales activists at the moment is running as high as the ´dust-bowl´ temperatures. Yesterday, DMM climber Pete Robins wasted no time in beating other climbers to nab the second ascent of Spinal Crack.Belayed by the first ascentionist, Jack Geldard, Pete described it as solid E8 and much harder than he remembered from having one go on it last year. The repeat had its anxious moments. Having worked the moves to get warmed up, Pete had two attempts at top-roping it in a oner: failing on the first slapping the crack but managing it on the second try at the cost of splitting a tip. Nonetheless he opted to go for the lead.With just the sling on the spike and no runner out left Pete found himself slapping for the crack and having what Jack called a “Neil Dyer moment”. Pete recounts: “When I first went for the crack I got three fingers into it but the jam wasn´t seated right so I slapped again but this time only got two fingers in and thought I was off but slapping once more managed to get a secure jam. Third time lucky I guess.” Jack said: “I thought he was totally off but the boy held on. Awesome.” Photo: Jack Geldard on the First Ascent of Spinal Crack. www.dmmclimbing.com