Wednesday 31 July 2013

Chimaera Solo UK 7a

On the 21st July 2013 Matt Cousins made the first solo/highball ascent of Chimaera, a UK 7a sandstone route located at High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells. Named one of the hardest routes in the south east standing 10 metres high, Chimaera was first climbed by Dave Turner on 14th July 1990 on top-rope, along with only a few others who climbed it after on various other dates. This is a very significant ascent to top rope, let alone a  highball/solo!

Sandstone can only be top-roped or soloed. No gear can be placed due to the delicate texture of the rock. Sandstone is a very delicate rock with a thin outer-layer or crust which has taken millions of years to form. Once this outer layer has worn away you are left with almost unclimbable rock. Climbing on sandstone requires specific technique and trusting your feet on the sandy rock can be quite sketchy.

Publicity of this ascent has been covered by UKClimbing and also EpicTv

Well done to Matt, your name will be in the sandstone history books for years to come.