Over the last month Owen Hayward has made a series of excellent additions to the Porth Ysgo roster. On the Far Side block he climbed Larsen 7B+, an intense problem with a morpho crux that may favour tall climbers. Sit start as for School for the Gifted and follow it to the good edge at the base of the arete. Make a big crux span to latch the slopey edge in the centre of the face to the right, sort your feet then pop for the top.
"I was ecstatic with this one for some reason - felt so unlikely at first and I only just held it together on the FA." Enthused Owen after the ascent.
On the same block he added the obvious extended start to The Thagomizer with a sitting start with hands and feet on the jammed block. This is harder than the original, but Owen still reckoned it was worth 7A+ (Si Panton and Chris Doyle had thought this would be 7B). Regardless of the grade this is a brilliant problem, like an easier, dolerite version of Lou Ferrino.
On the nearby Made in Heaven block added sit down starts to the two big highball lines on the south east face. The Prodigal Son is a 6B+, or E3 6a from standing but now has a 7A!! sitting start.
”This is an awesome highball with a burly sit start crux and more tricky moves just where you don’t need them....right at the top! Start sitting below the obvious juggy side pull with right hand undercutting the low break and left hand on a side pull. A couple of powerful snatches gains the juggy side pull. From here click into highball mode and move up to a good hidden slot/pocket then on up to another good pocket in the thin crack above. Tricky moves gain edges just below the top then good lip holds. Topping out is easy....thankfully.” Explained Owen.
To the left is The Buttermilks Buzz, originally 6B, or E1 from a stand start, but now 7A! from a sit down start. Pull on with the obvious good side pull in thin crack and feet on the jammed block at the base of the wall. Make a long move up to gain slopey edges then span left into a side pull. Get your feet sorted then go for the big, high side pull flake above. One more move gains big holds and an easy but high finish past the small sentry box then up and left to a ‘musical’ flake/block on the arete.
Staying in the same bay Owen also got busy on the back face of the Rafiki block. American Idiot 7A+ starts sitting at the base of the steep landward arete with specified start holds: right: pockety side pull in seam out right, left: wide pinch on arete below level of the right hand side pull. Pull on and slap into a better part of the arete higher up then go again to catch the finger flake, sort your feet then slap for the lip. Mantel out.