Kevin Jorgeson may not be the most famous American climber, but the 24-year-old as certainly made a name for himself in the UK of late, where in mid October he made a rare repeat of the ultra bold The New Statesman E8 7a at Ilkley. Jorgeson toproped the line then waited for perfect conditions, which arrived on the third day, to make this daring repeat. Circa 6 ascents in a 21 year history give a good idea of the importance of this climb...
Not content, Jorgeson then travelled to Burbage South where on 24 October he made an significant repeat of the ultra famous Parthian Shot E9 6c. What makes Jorgeson's climb impressive is not so much the route itself, rather, the style of his ascent: the 24 year old chose not to abseil down the line or pre-practice the moves prior to the headpoint, rather, he opted for a ground-up ascent.
Jorgeson first attempted the line on 23 October, falling off the high crux circa 8 times and pulling the ropes but leaving the pro in place behind the dubious expanding flake prior to each subsequent try. He returned the next day and 4 attempts later finally managed to stick the crux pocket, edging up into uncharted, precarious and highly dangerous territory. Jorgeson kept his mettle and safely topped out in what is without a doubt an important step forward in terms of both style and ethics, as this is the first time ever an E9 has been ascended from the ground-up. As he himself puts it in his fascinating gritstone debrief, "While this ascent was far from perfect, I am happy to have improved upon previous styles. The next step is a ground up ascent with all gear being placed on lead! Then, perhaps an onsight? Who knows!"
Parthian Shot was first ascended in 1989 by none other than local strong man John Dunne. The route was immortalised by a massive Johnny Dawes toprope fall in the cult film Stone Monkey and was the scene of Britain's first ever E9 fall, at the hands of Seb Grieve before his successful second ascent, documented in the film Hard Grit.
Hard Grit - Seb Grieve attempting The Parthian Shot, Burbage South