Rands Climbs E8 in Britain

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American Lisa Rands has climbed End of the Affair (E8 6c) at Curbar Edge in England, perhaps the boldest single-pitch rock climb yet by a woman. The route, established by Johnny Dawes in 1986, takes on a striking arête and is considered solid at the grade – which roughly translates to poorly protected 5.12-plus or 5.13-minus. The crux comes near the top and is essentially unprotected. Rands said this sequence felt like a V7 boulder problem at her height, and involved a strange body-tension and balance move where she had to smear with her right foot, pull with her left leg around the blunt arête, and let go with her right hand as she stretched up with her left for a sloping pinch on the arête. The route is highly coveted in Britain, despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that at least one climber has been badly hurt attempting it. Rands toproped the route over two days and then led it on her third day, a blustery afternoon. Last year, Rands climbed White Lines (E7) at Curbar, becoming the third woman to climb at that grade in Britain.