Extending Chimera, 8c

Today I managed to get myself up what has been my longest project yet… Despite being another hard link at Anstey’s I have to say that this one is probably my favourite! The line does Chimera, an 8b+ which I did last year and then does the top section of Tuppence Ha’penny. I also opted to step left as soon as you do the upper section of Tuppence instead of going right for the good rest. Going straight through seemed a more obvious and much better line.

I had three sessions on this route last year but didnt feel like I had enough endurance to get through it. At the end of a session last Tuesday I decided to gave a quick look and I managed to do the route in two parts. I was left feeling pretty psyched and keen to come back for more as soon as possible!

First Ascent of Chimera 8b+. Photo by Tom Bunn from RustyPeg.co.uk

First Ascent of Chimera 8b+. Photo by Tom Bunn from RustyPeg.co.uk

Sunday came and I could get back on the route; I felt fairly good on it but couldn’t quite get through the Tuppence crux although I did pull through 1 more hard move which showed good progress. After two redpoints where I fell from the same move twice. I was done but pleased with the progress that I’d made and looking forward to the next session on Tuesday.

Today I arrived at the crag, quickly went up to put the draws in, then had a quick go on the first boulder problem of the route which weighs in around V9; it went perfectly, it felt the easiest it ever had and I’d got through it really efficiently, I was even tempted to carry on but I knew I needed to warm up properly if I were to have a chance on it today. I came down and warmed up properly. 45 minutes rest and I was preparing for the route, I knew everything was feeling good I just needed to keep my head together and give 100% effort. Again I got through the boulder at the start pretty efficiently; had a quick rest before moving into the second boulder, I managed to get through that and now I just needed to concentrate on getting through the next section. I just scraped through this part and was left feeling pretty tired but just had a 7c section to finish the route. I spent a while here shaking out and thinking about the upper wall, I knew that dropping it here would be devistatng and I really didn’t want to have to get all the way up here again. I snapped back into focus and went for it, I took this pretty slowely and tried to be as precise as possible. There was one move which I came quite close to dropping but I pulled through to clip the chains of what was to be my longest project yet. It took 5 full sessions of trying and 9 redpoint attempts to get me up this so finally finishing it was amazing for me and this leads perfectly on to my next project.

Peter Dawson working my Chimera, 8b+

Peter Dawson working Chimera, 8b+. Photo by Charlotte Warner

I originally wanted to do this route quickly just as training for Brian but it turned out to be a big project for me and also one of my favourite routes at Anstey’s which takes in some amazing sequences along the way. Personally this route was a pretty big deal and signifies some good progress. Its a brilliant route for people to get on and can be used as the perfect stepping stone to doing Brian. As for the grade I feel that it tested me quite a lot and 8c seems appropriate, although maybe low in the grade but repeats will tell. I also feel that it sits one grade below Brian which seems to be viewed as a fairly hard 8c+ now, denying all repeat attempts in over 11 years. There are many factors which have swayed me towards proposing 8c and I’m fairly confident about it. I’m looking forward to seeing other people repeat the route and hearing their opinon. The breakdown for the route is probably best split by saying 2 8b’s put together or a V9 boulder into an 8b+ maybe.

Its been an amazing process and I’m really pleased with how it all worked out. It was all made easier by a few people who helped a huge amount; so thanks to Jamie and Charlotte for the belays on it! Thanks to Mammut and Five Ten whose kit always seems to make climbing hard routes easer too 🙂


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