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  • MoonBoxer Jean by MoonBoxer Jean
Trad Climbing 19 January 2007 - 14:26:06 Posted by Freak      

James Pearson climbs The Promise E10 7a: the hardest gritstone trad route

The arete right of Superstition (E8 7a) at Burbage North (Sheffield - UK) has been documented as a "last great problem" for a long time and has been tried on and off by many tallented climbers.

James Pearson The Promise E10 7a
James Pearson on The Promise E10 7a - ph: HotAches.com & Hotaches blog

The landing is very poor, as is the gear and the climbing is technically very hard (font 8A).
James Pearson has tried the route on and off over the last year and succeded in leading it on Sunday 14th January.
James thinks it is both physicaly and mentally harder than Equilibrium (E10 7a) (video ) which makes it the hardest route on gritstone.


James Pearson on The Promise E10 7a
James Pearson on The Promise E10 7a

ph: David Simmonite


Are you guys interested in a bit of info and some of James feelings about the route?

The Promise E10 7a
by James Pearson

"A few years ago I decided I would like put up my own hard grit route. I wanted to climb something that was a great line, had fantastic moves, was technically at another level and also very bold. I racked my brains, asked lots of friends and scoured through guidebooks but nothing seemed right. I realized that if I wanted to stand a good chance doing something really hard then I needed to get stronger and so started to dedicate more of my time to bouldering.
For the last two years I have been pretty much only bouldering and it has made a big difference to my strength and general ability. I first looked at the arête right of superstition about one year ago but it was too hard to contemplate leading, at the start of this season, I got psyched for it once again and I was surprised to find the moves felt a lot easier. I managed to link it in two sections and the process began…

The climbing on The Promise is powerful, technical and very conditions dependant. The landing is very, very poor and the crux comes right at the top. It is a very intense route, you don’t even get chance to chalk. The bottom half is overhanging, with big moves on good holds, the top half is vertical, with crimps, pockets, pebbles and slopers, all of them small and poor. I found it very hard to link in one, falling on the last moves more often than not. The climbing is both physically and mentally harder than Equilibrium E10 7a.

The day of the lead was like most other day on the route in that, on a toprope, I fell off the last move lots and lots. Eventually the sun went down, the conditions improved and everything felt easy on the lead. I even got to make a trade mark sketch!

It feels really good to have it done, for the last month or so this has been a major part of my life and I was begining to doubt if I would get it done. I was planning on bouldering again for the near future but I have definitely got a little of my route psych back and have had a sneaky look at one or two other “last great problems”, time will tell…"

More news on James Pearson:
» James Pearson bouldering by night!
» The video of James Pearson on Equilibrium is online
» James Pearson does the 3rd ascent of Equilibrium
» James Pearson climbs the Buttermilker
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