UK Trad News

With much of the country having been out of bounds because of Foot and Mouth for the last 100 days, it is a relief to hear that people are starting to get back on the rock and climb good-ol-fashioned trad routes in good-ol-fashioned style.After six weeks of sport climbing in Southern France (which included a productive week in Font where he climbed Sale Gosse, Miss World, La Longue Marche, all Font7c, and Jacadi, a Font 8a Dyno), Ben Heason (left) has returned to trad climbing in the UK with a vengance. In the past five days he has onsighted Linden, E6 6b, at Curbar, done Ben´s Wall Font 7c+, also at Curbar, headpointed (solo) The Aardvark and the Ferret E8 6b, headpointed (solo) Feed Your Mind E7 6b, and onsighed To bolt or not to be? E7 6b, all in the Avon Gorge. Also in the Peak District, Mike Lea has added a peg protected old aid line left of Saville Street in the North Bay. Named Top Loader, the route has also been offered the french grade of 7c+, has a safe V8 boulder problem crux, and was quickly repeated by Gareth Parry, then onsighted by Steve McClure and Ian Vickers. Ian Vickers, Gareth Parry and Mile Lea have also repeated the long ignored Fawcett route Clock People E6 7a, also at Millstone. In North Wales, local Pete Robins (right) has on sighted One More calorie, Le Fin, and Zero, all E7. The latter appears as E6 6a in the Ogwyn guide. This 1979 Livsey rotue takes an intimidationg line up Suicide Wall and has seen very few ascents to date. Livsey and all subsequent ascentionists traversed rightwards high up the wall to clip a peg on another route before traversing back. Not only did Pete not have the comfort of the peg but the direct version that he climbed turned out to be solid E7; Pete said he was “really gripped, slapping 5c moves totally pumped in a death deckout position” . As well as his E7 onsights, Pete has also been busy onsighting plenty of E6´s including Barbarossa and Ludwig at Gogarth, and Scare City on the slate. Later this month Pete is joining a strong British team to Mozambique, so expect some gnarly stuff