Johnny Dawes bolted this line around 1985 and did some great links on it in 1990 but unfortunately pulled off a crucial undercling he used in his sequence and it was left to develop cobwebs for a number of years sat just right of the 1st pitch of the quarryman with the classic groove pitch shown high up on the right in the small picture. Speaking with Johnny in the pub a few years ago he knew every move, fingerhold and foothold in acute detail. It’s his route and he draws a great diagram on the back of a beer mat of the climb.
I’d had a brief look at it in 2005 and tried it properly in 2009 before they shut the quarries to film Clash of the Titans (the 1st one is the best), but didnt give it an effort I was happy with. This was partly because I knew nothing about redpointing and didnt think you needed a fresh body to try a slab.
After doing Big Bang last year I went back on it and was blown away with how good the moves are and remembering the sequences managed to do it with 3 rests rapidly, but a trip to america broke play. I loved hanging out on my own working out the climbs intricacies, like a trainspotter.
I returned in May 2012 to begin a siege, up until then it had been too warm,wet or cold! I had some truly awful goes hitting new low points, too anxious from coffee, too slow or unconfident to give the moves the necessary ‘bounce’ and speed required to execute them effectively. The quickdraw shown in the picture is/was the final bolt (Petes rebolted it) and there is a ‘resting’ foothold at the point you clip it.
The move to gain it I knew as the ‘Sting move’ and was the point I felt I needed to reach. It was harder than the Very Big and the very Small to reach this move and the move itself was really hard (a 1 move V8/9) and I didnt know if I’d be able to pass it but felt reaching it would be an achievement and my primary goal. One evening towards the end of a PYB scrambling week with very tired legs there was a major breakthrough with Robbins. I fell just beneath the Sting and after a min rest climbed through to the end of the hard bit (didnt do the dyno finish). This breathed fire into my efforts. I’d quit coffee 2 weeks before.