I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Friday, 24 April 2015

10 year old does 8c, by Stevie 58 Haston.

 A 10 does an 8c, it's big news. Then no body talks about it. Then everybody will forget about it. But I will for a laugh, just for a laugh you understand. Firstly the 10 year old can clearly climb as you can see in her videos, and yes she's a girl, which is more impressive. A few years ago, like maybe a decade I found kids ascents really super impressive, now I just find them totally impressive, in more than several ways. The biggest impressive thing is that there is no analysis, or measuring, or weighing, other than it's a new record!  

 This little route is 8a in the guide book, it's 8a because I can only get my ring finger in the mono. The ring finger is an easily snapped finger, so this route is a bit dangerous for me. The 8a grade or mark is by way of a warning more than a grade.  The 8c route the tiny impressive little child prodigy did,  is called Welcome to Tijuana, it's a very good route, and has been done by other very able youngsters. It's been done by a british climber who is well established and old too, it was done as one of the first female ascents (remember?) In the old days just the talk that a girl had been on it would automatically initiate downgrading procedures! Anyway is the route 8c? That's my simple question. Here is another, as the kids do it by a very different sequence of moves is it harder for them than some big tub of a beastie climber?

An odd bit of stone is the above, it doesn't ponder anything, not even alive to thought, I dropped one of my rock shoes into one of the "Moulins", and had to go rescue it. I slipped the last few feet and couldn't get out, that would have been a fine fate for a heretic like me, an apostate of true grades.  
Many routes are downgraded, the previously 9a Eclatamasters has just been downgraded by a few french climbers despite one of them being a girl-good on her. Era Vella 9a has been de mooted to 8c+ a few times, but nobody is interested. Meanwhile Hubble defies grading, or has it gone up from it's lowly 8c+, to the first 9a in the world, due to the fact that only Brits can do it?

This decaying carpet of rock would be easier to climb if you were very light, as in few kilos lighter, it's fragile, weak, requiring the gentle touch of a butterfly. It had a Golden Oriel streak across it moments before I took this photo. And this particular rock is called Greensand, don't ask me why? Or perhaps you should ask me why, because it's clearly not green! Just as Welcome to Tihuana is probably not 8c! But not because a 10 year old girl did it, and not because I am a cruel and heartless man, but because a friend who is my height says so, and "he who shall not be named" is the great arbitrator of grades pertaining to rock. So holy is this man for all grades-for all gods must be men nowadays-that his image is forbidden by the Holy Book and the Internet and any Trade agreement between North Atlanitic countries.