The New Slatesman – F8b – Pete Robins on fire

by Jack Geldard – UKC Pete Robins has climbed another stunning new line in the Dinorwig slate quarries.The New Slatesman (Hard F8b) takes the long standing arete project in The Kennels area. The arete was first inspected in the mid nineties by the talented climber Paul Barker, who placed a bolt anchor at the top to enable him to clean the route.The line was left dormant for many years, being quoted as ´futuristic´ in On The Edge Magazine. Last year, Robins bolted the route and started his attempts.Hot on his heels were James McHaffie and the ever strong Adam Hocking, who both made good progress on the line.A little bit of friendly competition saw Robins at the crag on what turned out to be a very grim and wet day. Pete climbed the line this morning, missing the heavy rain by a matter of minutes.The wind was so strong that he was nearly blown from the top of the route. The route breaks down nicely in to two sections; an initial arete of around F7c leads to a semi-rest before launching in to the sequential and desperate V10 crux sequence.The route is a contender for the ´hardest move on slate´ and is substantially harder than the other F8b Bungles Arete. Hard sport routes on slate are lagging behind limestone in terms of grades.This could be due to the insecure and technical nature of slate climbing.The hardest sport routes on slate are The Very Big and The Very Small 8b+ climbed by Johnny Dawes on the Rainbow slab, and the Dave Birkett route Caveman 8b+ in Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District. Lines are being discovered all the time in the Welsh quarries and I would hazard a guess that there will be more routes at the 8b+ standard climbed very soon – watch this space. Pete Robins is sponsored by DMM, Prana, FiveTen and Metolius