Newsflash: Toby Roberts redpoints Rainshadow F9a aged 15
- Thursday 3rd December 2020
Toby Roberts has just become the youngest ever British climber to redpoint F9a aged just 15.
Five years ago Toby – then aged 10 years and 7 months - became the youngest ever British climber to redpoint F8a when he climbed Raindogs at Malham in October 2010. Click here for our report. A year later Toby ticked Revelations F8b at Raven Tor; that made him the youngest Brit to climb F8b. Click here for that report.
At the time Climber asked Ian Dunn, the then Youth Team Manager, what he thought of working with Toby and what made him stand-out: “He really competitive, very, very keen and works very hard”.
Since then Toby has continued with harder routes as well as competition successes. Yesterday, Toby redpointed Rainshadow to become the youngest ever Brit to climb F9a; Toby is only 15 years and 9 months. Toby has clearly maintained his enthusiasm and commitment and is now, justly, reaping the rewards.
Following the end of lockdown, Toby spent some time at Raven Tor climbing a number of the classic testpieces. He posted saying:
“Came to Raven Tor to try and tick some of the classics! Been a while since I’ve been leading outdoors...
The tick-list in the first week has been:
- Make it Funky (8c)
- Mecca (8b+)
- Chimes of freedom (8a+)
- The Call of Nature (8a)
- The Toilet (8a)
One more week to go here, psyched to try some of the harder lines!”
Fast forward to the end of September and Toby was back at Malham for the first time since 2015 when he redpointed Raindogs. “I was really psyched to get on the extension Rainshadow - one of the British classics. The moves felt really good so hope to be back soon!”
Well back he was and soon too. Clipping the chains of the Steve McClure classic yesterday Toby shared news of his remarkable “end-of-season” ascent of Rainshadow on his Instagram page. “Can’t explain how happy I am with this route being the first of the grade for me. I remember first climbing Raindogs and looking at the huge roof above and not thinking it would possible to push through it.”
Ironically, Toby focused his attention on Rainshadow because of the impact that Covid has had on this year’s competition season. “With the comp season cancelled I decided Rainshadow would be my goal for something to focus on in 2020. Limited access to walls because of lockdown, birds nesting, changing conditions made this route a real fight, so happy to finally clip the chains.”
Toby’s ascent of Rainshadow is not only remarkable for his age he clipped the chains so late in the season when most of the sport climbing has finished because the crags are either too wet or it’s too cold. Toby told Climber: “Getting the conditions to go right in December was definitely a bit of luck.”
Climber are in touch with Toby and hope to bring you more about his remarkable ascent soon…
Meanwhile, click through here to go to Toby’s Instagram page and watch a short video clip of him on his successful redpoint.