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  • 2013 off with a Bang

    Outdoor bouldering over December was going pretty slow for obvious reasons so spent most of my time training indoors and eating far too many mince pies! However I sat down on New Year’s Eve and searched almost everywhere online to try and find a dry crag in Britain for a day trip on New Year’s Day. As luck has it, good friend and fellow Base Cubic team member Ellis Butler Barker had done a highball historic classic at Portland the day before. Psyched after hearing this, Portland was the plan!

    After an early start, my family and I drove down to Portland, picking Ellis up on the way and headed over to The Cuttings crag and boulder field. The problem I was hoping to try was called Guy Fawkes (font 8a) originally climbed by Jimbo Kimber in 1999 and given 7c+, but afterwards a good starting jug (used for crucial feet in the crux) had broken off and was then climbed by John Gaskins at 7c+/8a and was then climbed again by strong traveller Dan Kennard and thought to be benchmark 8a. History lesson over, back to the climbing…

    … After a gentle warm up, I flashed the stand-up version called ‘Gunpowder Plot’ at soft 6c and started working this sit start being ‘Guy Fawkes’ 8a. Within about half an hour I had all the beta and moves sorted: undercut into side pull, over to two horrible crimps, big move out left and into the stand! The next 45 mins was spent trying it from the start involving many close attempts but finally I pulled on and screamed my way through to the finish! Making that my first font 8a since my finger injury and my first climb of the year! (If you heard my power screams from anywhere further than London please let me know).

    Me and Ellis then quickly fired up a classic V6 called ‘Phat Slapper ‘ which had some great moves. We then both started working ‘My Chemical Romance’ also font 8a but after many close attempts (especially for Ellis) we both dropped the last move – a highball slap for the finish! Next time…

    Enjoy some of the photos from the session below:

    Thanks to everyone for reading, to Ellis for giving me some beta for the send and to my family for driving me there!

    Also big thanks to my sponsors: Tip Juice, La Sportiva/Lyon Outdoor and Base Cubic! 

    Have a great 2013. As Tim Emmet would say “live 2013 like it’s the only year in your life”,

    James Squire (Beastly Squirrel)


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