Samson E9 7b now a highball boulder problem?

by Mick Ryan Samson, the 1997 Jerry Moffat route at Burbage, originally given a grade of E9 7b has been soloed by John Welford. The route was originally protected with large cams in the adjacent off-width, Goliath. Welford, 42, of Sheffield practiced the route on a top rope then soloed the route with a large mat at the base and two big gun spotters in the form of Neil Bentley and Jon Barton. Welford thought the route to be Font 8a as a highball boulder problem or E7 7a as a route.Rockfax guidebooks created a controversy in 2001 by putting the route in the Peak Gritstone East guidebook at E6 7a. You can see the details here at the Rockfax route database. This was based on information received from Stuart Littlefair and Tom Briggs who had both tried unsuccessfully to repeat the route. Perhaps with a side-runner (as used by Moffatt) the grade of E6 7a wasn´t so far out after all. Full report with a photo at