Americans Rampage on British Grit


Kevin Jorgeson makes the key one-handed move on The Groove, one of many gritstone testpieces he repeated this fall. © Cooper Roberts / Big UP Productions

Americans Rampage on British Grit

News Link: Americans Alex Honnold and Kevin Jorgeson have astonished British climbers with rapid repeats of some of the testiest routes on “God’s own rock,” the English gritstone. Honnold, a noted free-soloist, and Jorgeson, a noted highball boulderer, have applied bold tactics to numerous run-out gritstone routes and sparked a fresh debate on British grading. The repeats include:

  • The New Statesman (E8 7a, Jorgeson)

  • The Parthian Shot (E9 6c, Jorgeson, first ground-up E9 ascent)

  • The Promise (E10 7a, Jorgeson and Honnold, second and third ascents)

  • Gaia (E8 6c, Honnold flash, Jorgeson and Mat Segal headpoints)

  • Meshuga (E9 6c, solos by Honnold and Jorgeson)

  • The Groove (E10 7b, Jorgeson, second ascent, with variation)

Jorgeson making the second ascent of The Groove. © Cooper Roberts / Big UP Productions

Americans Rampage on British Grit has extensive reports on these recent ascents, as well as discussion of the climbs and grades. Visit Kevin Jorgeson’s blog for his own reflections on his climbs.

Dates of Ascents: October-November 2008

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Kevin Jorgeson falling off the English Gritstone testpiece Gaia (E8 6c). He clipped a pad at the bottom but was unharmed and later sent the route. The Gaia fall became infamous after Slackjaw's film Hard Grit (1998) when Jean-minh Trin-Thieu took the famous winger off the crux and broke his leg. Sequence courtesy of Kevin Jorgeson.

Americans Rampage on British Grit