|A few weeks ago the 21 year-old Britsh climber Ben Bransby flashed the bold and technical 'Carmen Piccaso' E9 6c at Gorple in Yorkshire. This route, first climbed by John Dunne three years ago, has only scant protection and takes a bulging prow to a sloping crux around the lip. |
Bransby first on-sighted the nearby 'Eternal' E7 6b and then watched the toprope ascent of Carmen Piccaso by Scottish climber Dave MacLeod. Bransby then flashed the route with the gear in place, but subsequently removed the gear and reled the route, placing the gear as he climbed. He found gear on the lip that John Dunne had not and consequently felt the route to be more like E7/8 6c.
Bransby has been making a name for himself recently in the British climbing scene with his swift repeats of cutting-edge trad routes. His ascent of Carmen Picasso is remarkable in that E9 used to be the top end of the British trad climbing scale. It was first established in 1986 by Johnny Dawes and his 'The Indian Face' on Cloggy and was breached only last year by John Dunne's 'Divided Years' in Ireland, Neil Bentley's 'Equilibrium' and Mark Edward's 'Rewind' in Cornwall, all three graded E10 7a.
Neil Bentley climbs Equilibrium E10 7a
PlanetMountain.com's article about Trad climbing in England and Wales
Rocktalk discussion about Ben Bransby's ascent