VIDEO: BD athlete Adrian Baxter redpoints Tuppence (8b)
The weather in Britain is well known for being, well, disappointing, and if you are a climber in Britain that disappointment is infinitely exaggerated to levels of diagnosed depression. However, one weekend this summer the rain stopped and the clouds parted over Anstey's Cove in Devon, Southern England… I had my chance to get a route ticked that I'd tried for a half day here and there (in between bad weather of course) over the space of a few English summers.
Anstey's is a really special crag—it contains perhaps the only piece of rock in England that is comparable to steep Spanish limestone, and on it is a very special route, Tuppence. It's one of those routes that contains moves so cool that you promise yourself you will come back to do, and more importantly, moves so cool that that you actually do make the effort to come back and do them! (A few people have spent literally 10 years on and off projecting this route!)
Although it's only 8b, it contains a crux sequence that is so technical it has been passed down through generations of Devon folklore. If you are trying the route, it can only be done one way—yes, that ridiculous set of backwards facing undercut side pulls to get yourself into the deepest rubber-knee-joint-Egyptian, that then enables you to hold the micro crimp to jump to the jug to from. Without this beta you are lost, perhaps forever, as It has never been done without this sequence!
Anyway, needless to say with all the luck on my side (i.e., it not raining), I made the ascent cleanly that weekend, and to be honest it was as much a relief as a pleasure. Although it may not be the hardest or most demanding route I've ever climbed it certainly felt like a joy to be able to climb a route that combines such highly technical and powerful moves together in a sequence. And the relief… it meant I wasn't going to have to make any more six-hour roundtrip journeys from London just to get rained on as I arrived at the base of the route!
— Adrian Baxter