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James Pearson making the first repeat of Gerty Berwick at Ilkley, England. The route was first ascended by Ryan Pasquill on 10/01/2009.
Photo by David Simmonite

James Pearson grabs fast repeat of Gerty Berwick, Ilkley


James Pearson has made a fast first repeat of the gritstone testpiece Gerty Berwick at Ilkley Quarry, England.

After taking time off climbing and skiing in the Alps, James Pearson has returned to form with a fast repeat of Gerty Berwick, the recent route to the left of New Statesman at Ilkley. First ascended by 25 year old Ryan Pasquill on 10 January this year, the route is characterised by four giant moves between tiny edges and was described by John Dunne as "the hardest route on grit by a long way". Pearson, who had attempted the line prior to the first ascent, now needed a mere 2 days to successfully link all the moves. Both Pasquill and Pearson protected the start with crashpads, Pearson noted that to climb it without pads, he would probably have had to invest a full year into the route, which is reckoned to have a Font 8a/8a+ crux.

Pearson is obviously enjoying great form on gritstone: a few weeks ago he managed to onsight an epitome E8, The End of the Affair at Curbar, the first person ever to do so, stating "This idea had been sparking in the back of my head since I could comprehend such things but I have always been wary of being impatient and wasting the opportunity forever. Finally everything fell into place, and with my balls in my mouth, I committed to, and stuck the last hard move.  I am really pleased to have seen it through to the end, especially since avoiding gaining any beta was almost more difficult than the actual climbing!"

Check out the video of Pearson attempting Gerty Berwick in Febraury 2008, prior to Pasquill's ascent. More footage of of Pearson climbing is available on Committed.

James Pearson attempting Gerty Berwick in February 2008





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