Pete Dawson Climbs Rainshadow - 9a - Interview

by Steve Dunning
Posted: 4th Jun 2018

Rainshadow

One of our sponsored athletes - Peter Dawson, has just climbed his first ever 9a - Rainshadow at Malham Cove.

We got in touch to ask him a few questions and see how it was.

1. Congratulations on becoming the newest Brit to climb 9a - it’s a pretty distinguished list - how does it feel to add your name?

 

I’m over the moon to climb my first 9a and join the list. I remember going to Raven Tor when I was about 13 only to go look at Mutation because I wanted to see what a 9a looked like. I never thought I’d climb one, I was just awestruck. However the route itself is one of the best climbs in the country and takes centre stage at Malham so I enjoyed every go on the route.

2. What’s the route like? Malham is famed for its tricky sequences - is rainshadow any different?

The route starts with Raindogs which is one of the best 8a’s in the country and has nice flowing moves on sidepulls. Next comes the crux which is a roughly an 8A boulder problem and this took three or four days just to do on its own. Finally you have to climb a 8a+ route which features a move that was my full span and this is where the pump really kicked in for me. The climbing is actually pretty basic for a Malham route but the challenge was to be able to climb at maximum efficiency. This makes it really fun to climb as you cover so much ground so quickly.

3. How long have you been trying the route? Was it longer than usual for you, or did the sequence come together fairly quickly?

I spent 8 days in total on the route, which is one of the longest amounts of time I’ve spent on a route. I struggled loads at first and could barely do the moves but I just tried it lots and made sure I climbed on it until I couldn’t lift a finger. I watched Margo Hayes trying La Rambla and Biographie and I tried to take a leaf out her book. I spent about three days falling from the crux move and then last Monday I had a break through and fell off the 8a+ span move twice. I knew it was on then. 

4. What sort of training have you been doing? Anything special, or just business as usual?

I mainly trained on the board at the Depot Manchester, on this I focussed on undercuts to make it specific. I also did a lot of work on the campus board and this was really brutal but paid off by giving me the explosive power required. After a few particularly intense sessions I had to ice various parts with frozen vegetables in Sainsburys! 

5. Rainshadow was one of your big goals for the year, with it done before the halfway point - What’s next?

Next up I’m going to Frankenjura for a month. I’m looking forward to getting on some really short and intense routes and in particular I have my eye on Wallstreet which was the first 8c in the world but it looks nails! Frankenjura has many classic and historic routes so my focus will probably be ticking through them. In terms of English stuff, obviously the next big goal is to climb a 9a+, which would be Overshadow, however this is a dream at the moment and its not the only route on the bucket list.

6. Have you got anything else you’d like to add? Thanks to people/sponsors etc? 

Thanks to Sam Williams for being a great partner and La Sportiva for the Geniuses.    

Cheers Pete - good luck in Frankenjura, and keep crushing it!

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