The 8C´s just keep on comin´

It seems when someone takes a step forward others are fast to follow. This season we´ve already had three 8b+ onsights and now, here comes the third 8C of the season. Planet Climbing reports: John Gaskins, one of the world´s top boulderers has recently completed one of his projects at the Fairy Steps in Lancashire. Last December Gaskins made the first ascent of “Walk Away”, graded 8B. However the real challenge still remained. The true sit down start, adding a further few moves onto the existing stand up version, rates at around 8A/A+ in its own right, without even attempting to link it into the top out. Apparently linking the two halves of the problem was extremely difficult, as he could never reach the crimps (at the start of the stand up version) with the same control as if just pulling on from the floor. Gaskins climbed the problem, which he has named Walk Away Sit Start nearly two weeks ago but has spent time deliberating over the grade. Thinking of it as the hardest problem he´s climbed so far, Gaskins feels that a “tentative grade of 8C” is appropriate. Gaskins described the problem as having “some smallish poor crimps up a gently overhanging wall”. He also says that he has one or two harder projects on the go, so watch this space! This makes it only the fourth problem in the world to receive this grade, joining the likes of Fred Nicole´s Dreamtime in Switzerland, Fred´s other 8C Black Eagle Sitdown in South Africa, and Bernd Zangerl´s Viva la Evolution in Austria. Having climbed things like Keizen, 8B+, Miroir de Vanité, 8B+ trav, Eightball, Eons, Isla de Encanta etc, John is hardly a new name in the game.