A THOUSAND SETTING SUNS E9 7a NESSCLIFFE Shropshire sandstone
The route name must surely refer to the three years of outstanding effort by Nick Dixon to finally top out on his latest Nesscliffe masterpiece and prized line. Once all the 'do able lines at Ness' had fallen to the Sand Master he's obviously focused on raising the bar and producing his second wave of classic horrors.
The route, which repulsed strong efforts from top shots like Ed Booth and Nick Rannor, gains the vague groove line (see attached pic) 3 mtrs right of The Cirque. The main crux of the line, in the top half, is protected by two pegs but that's only reached after the sustained 6c/7a lower wall. Relaxing after the crux is not an option as serious ground rush and decking potential awaits any brave crux beater, topping out provides a radical sting in the tail.
After three obsessive years of effort, Sheila, Nick's partner and faithful belayer on the triumphant day, was surely as elated, not having to see the sun set once more from her well worn belay station.
As yet the route remains un-repeated, although word is spreading fast and the queue will soon form. Nice one Sand Master!
(10.08.09) Post Update: Dave Birkett repeated A THOUSAND SETTING SUNS E9 7c this last weekend!
Dave had a look at the line on a previous visit, then this Saturday started his lead attempts. Sunday morning on his first attempt he got the top confirming the grade E9 proposed by Nick Dixon. To read more about what Dave have to say about this tenuous route, please check the news at UK Climbing by clicking here.[singlepic=526]
Photos courtesy of Pat Novelli.