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Jordan Buys during the first attempt on Loaded E8 7a at Ilkley Quarry, England
Photo by Scott Mackenzie
Naomi Buys on Snap Decision E7 6c at Ilkley Quarry, England
Photo by Scott Mackenzie

Jordan Buys, first repeat of Loaded at Ilkley Quarry


British climber Jordan Buys has made the first repeat of the gritstone route Loaded E8 7a at Ilkley Quarry, while his wife Naomi Buys made the first female ascent of Snap Decision E7 6c.

A fortnight ago British climber Jordan Buys made the long-awaited second ascent of Loaded at Ilkley Quarry. Graded E8 7a, the route was first ascended in in 1997 by local climber John Dunne and starts up the classic Wellington Crack before breaking right and finishing up the daring, unprotected arete. Buys worked the line briefly then, without having top roped it without a fall, sent the entire route second go. Buys has previously redpointed up to F8c and onsighted up to F8a, while other hard gristone ascents include the second ascent of Dunne's 1998 Widdop Wall (E9 7a) in the Peak District, as well as the first ascent of French Duke (E9 7a) at Earl Crag in November 2008.
Prior to his ascent his wife Naomi Buys climbed the nearby, run-out Snap Decision E7 6c. Apart from being the first female ascent of the route, this is also Naomi's first E7 and motivated Jordan to give it his best, too. He has kindly shared the following insight.

Jordan, what attracted you to this route?
It was the logical conclusion to the Yorkshire grit E8 7a trilogy. I have done both The New Statesman and Reservoir Dogs and just needed this one to make it all good. A big appeal was how hard others found it and how close they had come to doing it but have had to walk away and leave it. Also it is a king line..

First climbed by John Dunne in 1997. Why do you think it waited so long for a second ascent?
I'm not sure really, it is not as if people have not tried it. I think it is one of the rare grit routes which you really have to have sport climbing fitness to do it. Don't forget that John was an ace bolt clipper as well.

How dangerous is it?
As hard grit goes, it is relatively safe. I placed a pad to stop the swing and also promote Moons new bouldering mat... ;-) Apparently at the top John went left once the slopey top was reached whereas I went right, maybe making it a bit scarier. I had not practised that bit which was daft.

How would the crux break down in bouldering grades?
Maybe Font 7b but every move is hard once you leave the crack out left where the gear is. It's hard to say where the crux is to be honest. I had to have a word with myself whilst making one particular move, and it involved making sure my foot didn't shake off a tiny nubbin.

Is headpointing still the norm on gritstone?
Well, when a route is clean and chalked, people are now at the standard of on-sighting or climbing these things ground up. Having said that, if people want to headpoint that's cool, it also means routes are clean for others and everyone is a winner I guess. Loaded is one of those routes that get green quickly so it needs a lot of attention. I'm sure it could be done ground up with lots of patience and a good dry spell.

What about Naomi on Snap Decision? Not an obvious choice for someone's first E7.
Yeah, not the one everyone does, in fact it was the first female ascent. She's an awesome climber and having climbed French 8a+ this summer, this was way below her physical limit. She climbed so smooth on her go that when it was my turn on Loaded I thought "Hey I better not let the team down!"





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