From fine lines in Norway to crumbly Craig Dorys, via glorious Lakeland and Rhoscolyn, here's the cream of the hard trad that Brits have managed to climb recently, both at home and abroad.
Emma Twyford: FA of Cumbrian Yan E6 6b/c
Emma makes the first ascent of an E6 6b/c at Moelwyn Bach in North Wales. The route, she commented, was one that Caff had been 'going on about', which 'starts up a classic E1 called Igam-Ogam before entering the roof for the new line'. The pair took it in turns to attempt the route ground up. After claiming the FA, Emma named the route Cumbrian Yan after her new nephew, adding that she had been highly tempted to name it Caff's Crackpipe after her friend's many years of 'quality sandbagging'.
Pete Whittaker: FA of Feta Kake 8a+ (trad)
Pete Whittaker makes the first ascent of a trad crack on the Profile Wall in Jøssingfjord, Norway. The line, which, Pete says, includes a reachy 'cartwheel' move and a 'burly dihedral' (the mind boggles) has been named Feta Kake. Last year, Pete ticked every route on this wall, including his long-term project, Nico Favresse's 2013 crack-lover's testpiece, Recovery Drink 8c+ (trad).
Mick Lovatt and Nick Bullock: new E7 in Snowdonia
The route, which comprises two pitches (6b, 6a) and has been named 'Now we're Suckin' Diesel' lies on Craig Dorys on the Lleyn Peninsula, a favourite spot for this pair. To fellow choss conoisseurs considering the route, Mick offers some advice: stuff as many cams as you can in the 'dirty breaks at the back'.
Calum Muskett: First repeat of Dinas in the Oven E7 6b
This route on Cloggy (Clogwyn Du'r Arddu), first climbed by the legendary Nick Dixon, has waited 33 years for a repeat. It was snapped up by local, Calum Muskett.
Will Bosi: fourth to tick Northern Lights 9a
An elite club: the route had previously only been climbed by Steve McClure, Adam Ondra and Alex Megos. It was originally bolted by Ben Moon, who is yet to tick it. Ben belayed Will on his send.
Molly Thompson-Smith: flashes Urgent Action 8a+ at Kilnsey
Molly is on a run of spectacular form on rock. In April, for example, the 23-year-old became the fourth British female to climb 8B, joining the ranks of Shauna Coxsey, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Frances Bensley.
James Taylor: new Rhoscolyn E10 7a (8b)
A spectacular achievement. James commented: 'I am really glad I don't have to climb the bold lower wall ever again, that thing scared the hell out of me for too long!' The route, which took him three years to work, lies on The Painted Wall in Rhoscolyn, and has been named Prisoners of the Sun.
Steve McClure: flashes Impact Day on Pavey Ark (E8 6c)
Steve commented that the Lakeland route was 'relatively safe but hard', and therefore a prime choice for a flash attempt. Steve is also on a run of great form: in May, for example, he made the second ascent of Olympiad at Pembroke, Neil Gresham's masterpiece: 'It’s been waiting a while, but not sure anyone had thought of a trad lead before. Now it’s brilliant in TWO styles! Probably the hardest piece of climbing in Pembroke (that I know of).'
James McHaffie: first to complete Extreme Rock
Last but not least, Caff, the BMC's Youth and Equity Officer, becomes the first person to ever tick every route in Ken Wilson and Bernard Newman's famous 'Extreme Rock' guidebook. Read the full BMC interview here.
As Europe reopens for travel, BMC Travel Insurance has got you covered for Covid-19.
With the autumn nights drawing in, the clouds gathering and the temps dropping, who isn’t dreaming of heading to hotter rocks?
From 4 October, the European climbing dream has become easier, as Covid-19 travel restrictions have been reduced. To make planning your hot rock trips easier, from 1 September we've added Covid-19 cover into all BMC Travel Insurance policies.
Our new Covid-19 cover includes:
£5,000 cancellation cover: if you test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of departure
Medical and repatriation: Covid-19 related illness
Being denied boarding: if you test positive for Covid-19 prior to your return home
BMC travel insurance comes in five policies: Travel, Trek, Rock, Alpine and Ski and High Altitude. Read more about the Covid-travel FAQs here