Tom Livingstone repeats slew of top winter routes in double quick time
- Thursday 13th August 2020 at 9.02am
Feb 3rd, 2015
In a little over two weeks over late January, Tom Livingstone has repeated some of the UK’s harder winter routes including The Charlatan (IX, 9), Cracking Up (IX, 9), Centurion (VIII, 8) not to mention a raft-full of VI’s and VII’s as well.
The Charlatan (IX, 9) and Cracking Up (IX, 9) are both on the Welsh wonder crag, Clogwyn Du Ymhen Y Glyder whilst Centurion (VIII, 8) is a wee bit farther north up on The Ben.
Keen to get the low-down on Tom’s recent success we got in touch with him for his thoughts. He was still buzzing after his ascent of The Charlatan, the third in as many weeks, which he managed to do on-sight. This route is rapidly becoming a classic after Pete Harrison and Simon Frost’s first ascent on January 19th which we reported at the time (see here).
“The Charlatan is an amazing route, two brilliant pitches; steep, bold and technical. I was really chuffed to get that on-sight. We got the third ascent after Dave Almond and Dave Garry nabbed the second a few days after Pete and Si had done it”.
Tom Livingstone starting Cracking Up (IX, 9). Photo: Will Hardy
Cracking Up (IX, 9), first climbed by Nick Bullock and James MaCaffie in 2006, is something of an established classic although it’s still only had a handful of ascents. Tom again describing his ascent; “I was totally gutted as I blew the on-sight right at the top on the last hard moves. I had a proper hissy fit throwing my toys right out of the pram! Fortunately it went ok on the next go”. Tom was full of praise though about the route; “It’s a fantastic route, probably the best of all the routes. It’s a big crack so it’s very physical all the way although it’s better protected than The Charlatan”.
A profile shot Tom Livingstone and Will Hardy on Cracking Up. Photo: Paul Warnock
We wanted to get a feel for how these compared to Centurion (VIII, 8) which is one of the big Scottish routes on The Ben. Tom again; “Centurion is totally different – it’s six pitches or so for starters. Individually the pitches aren’t too bad but there’s a lot of them and the route is definitely worth it’s grade because of that. It’s got a huge reputation but we managed it whilst it was in great nick”.
And the $64million question – what training have you been doing to help get in shape. “Dry tooling at Clowyn Mannod. It’s brilliant, long and steep and really pumpy. What’s really good about it is that it’s not chipped so you have to take your time and find the holds – just like the real thing”.
And finally, just for the record, Tom’s list of ‘easier’ routes from the last fortnight includes; Blenderhead (VII,8), El Mancho (VI, 7) and Cleft Gully (V, 6) all at Clogwyn Du as well as Unbelievable (VI, 8) on Crib Goch which was a first ascent. Farther up north Tom’s ticked Strident Edge (VI, 7) as well as Centurion (VIII, 8) on The Ben and Un Poco Loco (VII, 7) on Bidean nam Bain. All in all, an impressive tick list for just over two weeks climbing. And watch this space too as Tom’s off up north again with Pete Harrison so no doubt we’ll be reporting again on their activities.
To read more about Tom’s activities check out his blog here…
Thanks to the photographers - WIll Hardy and Paul Warnock for the images...