On a quest to climb F8a but not quite up to the mark? Don’t worry, help is at hand!
We don’t have that many soft touches knocking around our wet island, so when I happen across one, it is something of a treat. However they don’t last long before they are down-graded, so you had better tick ’em quick.
The easiest Northern Limestone 8a (in my experience) used to be Back in to the Future, at the esoteric Humphrey Head, in Cumbria. But unfortunately it has been down-graded to 7c in the new Rockfax. Doh! Still, it’s a bit of a give-away at 7c too – get it while you can!
(Hot Tip: when looking for soft touches, esoterica is usually your friend. If no-one goes there, you can grade your routes whatever you like…)
Traditionally, the easiest 8a in Yorkshire used to be Toadal Recall, on the Upper Tier at Malham (no one can be arsed to walk right up there surely!). Toadal isn’t a total path though when compared to the new winner of ‘Easiest 8a in the UK’.
Angel Heart at Trollers Gill wins the prize! Unfortunately Kev has already downgraded it to 7c+ in the UKC logbooks. I’d recommend climbing it asap, as Kev is set to author the new Yorkshire Limestone Rockfax and I don’t think Angel Heart will be going in at 8a. But while the old book is still on the shelves, surely the grade still counts!
Anyway, Kev and I managed to grab a few routes at Trollers Gill on Sunday before it rained including Angel Heart and a couple of others. Trollers is a great little crag and the routes have been recently re-equipped (thanks to whoever put the time in – your work is appreciated).
Here is a shot of the crag with the approximate line of Angel Heart marked on.
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone saw this post and photo and let me know that the line we climbed is actually a 6b+, and Angel Heart is more to the left! That would teach me!
Email: Jack.geldard ( at) gmail.com