Pete Dawson's recommended climbs

by Steve Dunning
Posted: 23rd Apr 2018

Pete Dawson's ticklist recommendations


Summer is just around the corner so we got in touch with Pete Dawson to find out his top tips for a season of sending!

- Over to you Pete - 

With the start of a new outdoor sportclimbing season upon us, there's a few things we can do to try and get the most out of it...Apart from getting the latest shiny gear, the next most important thing is to develop a ticklist and pin it up on the wall to inspire you to get out and get ticking.

This ticklist shouldn’t be seen as a set of commandments - but should instead consist of a mixture of routes ranging from nicely in your comfort zone, to well above your paygrade.

This is where I’m going to help - by recommending a few of my favourites through the grades.

Une Arquee pour le criquet 8c near Briancon in the French Alps. The best 8c in Europe!

Grade 6s

I’ll start in the 6’s, and the centre of British 6 climbing is, without a doubt, Portland. Portland is on the south coast by the sea which gives it that holiday feel.

There are plenty of great climbs to get stuck into, Burning Skies 6b+ and Reptile Smile 6a+ on the Blacknor cliff were both great experiences, but the most memorable for me however was Consummé 6a+ at the Cuttings.

The reason why this climb is so great is because of the halfway picnic ledge. You can do ten metres of climbing, have brew, then do the final ten metres. Now that is sport climbing!


Rosanna (8a) on the Cascade Sector of Céüse. The home of steep pumpy sport climbing!

Grade 7s

Moving up into the 7’s - The Peak and Yorkshire start to assert dominance as the best areas close to home.

My favourite in this area is Kilnsey, and Comedy (7c) is a fun, thuggy climb that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. However, there are a few jewels elsewhere and the brightest is Empire of the Sun (7b) at Anstey’s Cove. On this one, you must not forget to send you mate up the hill with a camera phone to capture you looking heroic above the azure sea.

For those serious about climbing 7’s the only place of interest is Céüse in the South of France. Just imagine the best climb you’ve ever done then multiply it until you have a 2 mile long stretch of cliff and you’ll have got somewhere near Céüse.

My favourite routes there are Le Privilèrge Du Serpent (7c+), Lapinerie (7b) and Cent Patates (7b).


Grade 8s

The 8’s in this country are pretty phenomenal with good quality routes scattered across the country. My favourite entries are Cider Soak at Anstey’s Cove, which is an indoor style power endurance test, and Fighting Torque at Portland which is the antithesis and requires ice cool technical climbing. Going up further The Mandela 8a+ ‘The route that’ll never go free’ at Kilnsey is particularly atmospheric and exciting.

The hardest routes in the country are all massive tests of finger strength and tenacity. Routes like Evolution 8c+, Northern Lights 9a and Liquid Ambar 8c+ are all fierce tests that’ll only be climbed by the very best but should motivate every climber no matter what level.

However, to push high into the grades Spain is the place to go. Crags like Siurana, Margalef and Oliana offer incredible test-pieces in beautiful situations. The standout routes are uncountable but Kalea Borroka 8b+ at Siurana, Nina Mala 8b at Margalef and Marroncita 8b at Oliana are the best.


Final Words

One must also be smart with the ticklist and make sure to play to your strengths. If you’ve done nothing but campus all winter head straight to the powerful ones and if you’ve become a fitness beast don’t climb anything less than twenty metres. Also try to pick a range of rock types, which is always the best for the technique in the long run. So now go and hit the internet, do some research and put pen to paper. I look forward to seeing you crushing at the crag!


Pete's Winter Blocs

Pete has been getting out a tonne recently - and he's made a video of the most recent blocs from this winter - certainly worth a watch!

Winter blocs 2018 from Peter Dawson on Vimeo.


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