James Pearson gets the third ascent of the 8c boulder Juneru Sit in Albarracin. For the Briton it is the first boulder of this difficulty. At the same time, Pearson underscores his versatility as a climber with this ascent.
With the world's first and so far only E11 (Rhapsody) has proven to be at home in British trad, has climbed numerous 9a sport routes and flashed lines up to 8b+. And it has left its scent trail on difficult multi-pitch tours all over the world.
With the repetition of Juneru Sit (8c) in the bouldering paradise of Albarracin James Pearson his impressive climbing portfolio. Juneru is one of the toughest problems in the Spanish territory and was 2020 by Translation and Localization first ascents.
Video: James Pearson boulders Juneru Sit (8c)
A fight to the death
On the day Pearson climbed Juneru Sit, he warmed up as usual and tried individual moves. "I wanted to try the knee brace again and see if today is the day to finally be able to decode the mystery." However, the 36-year-old couldn't pull himself together. "The middle fingers of my left hand wouldn't work at the painful tiny underhand grip."
A few tries later, Pearson struggled desperately to a knee lock. He knew that time was running out and therefore worked particularly carefully on his body position. The knee clamp held, but a little later Pearson thundered onto the crash pads. "My knuckles were covered in blood and what used to be my skin was red and white and still clinging to the first crimp."
Shortly thereafter, the Briton tried again. "But I felt empty and burned out," he recalls. When he fell on the first move and couldn't even make the first corner, he decided to call it a day.
The ominous last attempt
In the van he remembered the climbing heroes from the films of his youth. people like Chris Sharmawho always cracked their project on the last day, on the last try. "It had never worked for me before, but for some reason I decided to give it one last try that day," says Pearson.
His expectations weren't particularly high when he got in the last time. "When I got to the kneebar, it felt so bad that I didn't even bother to position myself well." He just pounced on the next hold, completely lost in that moment.
"When I caught him and realized that everything was tight, I was suddenly back in the here and now," says Pearson. Then he suddenly realized what he had just done. At the same time he realized how exhausted he was. "The next three moves, which are usually much easier than the rest, have never felt so hard. But there was no way I wanted to fall down or at least give up without fighting the fight of my life.”
That might interest you
- James Pearson & Caroline Ciavaldini climb difficult gritstone classics
- Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson make first ascent in Ethiopia: Excalibur
- Silvan Schüpbach: First free ascent of the traditional multi-pitch tour
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Credit: Cover picture onceuponaclimb