Pete Robins has topped a winter of hard climbing with a brilliant ascent of one of the most coveted unclimbed links in Parisella’s Cave. In Heaven V12/8a+ starts as for In Hell but breaks left onto the Left Wall (as per In Life), but then takes the unrelenting Left Wall High exit, which culminates in a desperate on-off section just before the jugs on the arête are reached.
At the start of the winter bouldering season Pete’s hardest bouldering ascent was V10/7c+, however after several months of regular cave visits - not to mention a skip load of dedication and determination - he finally broke through into the grade 8 problems, both abroad in Fontainebleau and back home on the limestone.
Recent weeks have seen him become focussed on the In Heaven link, racing cave devotee Chris Doyle for the first ascent. The big breakthrough came when Pete worked out a very technical, but ultimately easier sequence for the notoriously powerful In Hell start. Judicious use of his ‘golden heels’ brought this section within Pete’s grasp; yet at the same time Chris Doyle worked out a more amenable sequence too.
With both climbers keeping an eye on the finishing line, Pete nosed ahead and on a number of occasions made it out onto the sidewall. However on two separate attempts he was spat off by seeping holds. With increasing pressure and headpoint stress starting to set in Pete was forced to adopt some ‘tactics’. Unlike Chris, who seems to climb every single day of the week, Pete played it cool, taking specific double day rests to maximise power on redpoint days. The tactic worked, and on Saturday he made it to the end in one piece. The ascent was not without drama, that final wall providing Pete with a few anxious moments as he clung on, fighting the meltdown in his arms.
The new beta at the start does affect the difficulty of both In Hell and In Life, reducing these to bottom end V12/8a+. At around 40 moves the bouldering grade for In Heaven might seem a little out of place; Pete has suggested an alternative route grade of F8c as an indication of the sustained difficulties.