1) Baba O'Riley, f8a, Malham
Years ago, when I was still obsessed by head-pointing routes at Sea Walls, Avon, I had my first taste of Yorkshire sport climbing on the easiest route at Malham - the short and grotty "Bergozi and the ledge lizards", f6a+. I remember at the time looking up at a solitary bolt in the bulge above the belay, and thinking - what goes up there?
Twelve years later (yes that does make me feel old!) in late 2015, Ian Dunne bolted a new 6c+ called "Whodunnit" just to the left of the aforementioned 6a+ and upon repeating Ian's route, my interest was piqued to once again look at that un-climbed bulge.
My first attempt at bolting a new line was an abject failure when I left the drill battery at home; the second only marginally more successful, with a belay and runners in the bulge successfully placed, but the battery running out halfway through placing the final bolt midway up the head-wall.
With just a day of the bolting season remaining I was unable to fix the final bolt as I was stuck in work and hence I was reduced to using an 12ft long sling hanging off the belay as a runner whilst working, and making redpoint attempts on the route.
|A big block I had to trundle - however despite being obviously loose it took a good number of blows with my weedy ice-axe to dislodge it.|
After making a number of exciting falls from the final slap having skipped the second clip in the bulge, I reworked the sequence and found I could make just 3 of the 4 slaps and rock further on to the heel, snatch a side-pull and thus avoid another plummet. the first time up the route with the new sequence, Baba O'Riley was born, f8a?
|The line of Whodunnit 6c+ (blue) and my new extension, Baba O'Riley 8a (red) with the large scar left by the trundled block easily visible.|
N.B. The route name comes from classic The Who track used as theme tune to the modern TV Whodunnit classic, CSI: New York.
A fun juggy extension to Jerry Moffat's classic 7A boulder problem "Parisella's Original" with a "technical knee" (01:46) deployed for the finish into the excavated scoop below the belay (another large block needed trundling whilst cleaning it prior to the FA - a developing theme?!?)
Adam Lincoln flashed the second ascent using an extra hold I hadn't discovered up and left, suggesting f7c.
Variations and projects:
- Sit start/reverse Right Wall Traverse before joining the original, FA Ally Smith, f7c+/8a (You could do the Clever Beaver Sit Start into it at the same grade? Edit - did this link-up on 20th August - felt slightly easier - 7c+?)
- Trigger Cut/Almost Familiar, FA Chris Doyle, f8a+
- "Almost Halfway" = Halfway House/Almost Familiar, FA Chris Doyle, f8b/+ (video shows the easier finishing method Adam found - starting 02:44)
- Broken Heart/Parisella's Original/Almost Familiar, project. A bit more stamina needed than the Trigger Cut link up, hence f8a+/b? (Edit - I completed this link in August 2016 at f8a+)
- The Wire/Parisella's Original/Almost Familiar, project, baby f8c?
- Director's Cut/Almost Familiar, project, f8c? The better and more direct line then the previous suggested link-up? (Edit - Doylo completed this link in August 2016; confirming my speculated grade of f8c news item and 1st ascent video here)
- The big daddy - a direct line from the back of the cave to the lip - i.e. Hatch start/Rockatrocity/Almost Halfway. A slightly easier counter diagonal to Pete Robins' concept f9a+ link-up of Lou Ferrino/Bonnie extension, maybe somewhere in the realm of f9a?
3) Leftwall Reverse 7B (or f7c+?) Parisella's Cave
Does it exactly what it says on the tin - start at the finish of Leftwall and reverse the classic sequence; climbing rightwards and ever so slightly downhill on the final, crux sequence (portrait/smart phone footage in the video compilation) to finish at the Leftwall starting position.
I did shake out and try and continue back up Leftwall on the FA, but fell after 3 moves when I failed to leave enough room to match the horizontal shot-hole - one to go back to next winter?
UKC logbook keeper-of-the-cave Rich Hessian gave it an online slating, but i think it's a worthwhile thing to do when the cave is otherwise condensed out/seeping?
4) Oh yeah, I might have had something to do with the FA of this classy f8a too...