French climber Caroline Ciavaldini has become the first woman to send the famous Quarryman in North Wales.
The esthetic and run-out multi-pitch was first climbed by Johnny Dawes 31 years ago.
It’s located in the Twll Mawr (The Big Hole) slate quarry near Llanberris and climbs four pitches on solid dark stone at a U.K. grade of 7a E8.
If you were climbing in the 1990s, then you probably saw the film Stone Monkey, which featured Dawes climbing the amazing chimney-ish pitch in bright pants.
It’s full-on three dimensional climbing with big stems and reverse palm mantling up high with a serious and dangerous first pitch.
The groove pitch of the Quarryman In a few years, when I think of the day I did the Quarryman with James belaying me, I will remember this crazy moment where, hands pushing both sides of a glass like groove, I was trying to turn my body around. I nearly did it, realised my shoulder was so much behind my back that I wouldn’t be able to rotate any further, and let go of that hand… fell about 30cm, and stopped, my foot on one side, my ass on the other side… In a million tries, I would never be able to reproduce such a movement. It all went wrong, I should have fallen, but somehow, I didn’t. It took me a few seconds to realise where I was, and I heard James yelling “come on Caro, you can do it, keep on going”… and started moving back up. Trust your luck, It’ll happen. @thenorthfaceuk @thenorthface_climb @lasportivagram @wildcountry_official @gloryfy #climbing_pictures_of_instagram # groove #quarrywoman #neverstopexploring #pureclimbing #grimpeuses Thanks @rikyfelderer and La Sportiva dire this great picture!
Ciavaldini wrote on Instagram, “And it’s done. Three years ago I said aloud for the first time ‘I would like to do the Quarryman.’ At the time, I had seen that groove that seemed so technical, the route scared me.
“But the History has made it one of the most famous routes of Wales. Why is the Quarryman so important to me? Johnny Dawes and his legacy to climbing: he was a prodigy of climbing, with his dynamic, daring style back in the 1980s.
“And the name, as an homage to the generations of men who dug up the slate quarries, unaware of the playground they were leaving us.
“So, I went for the moon. With an over all grade of E8 7a, that giant of a route is indescribable, unique, alive.
I had to grow up to do this route, and I am so glad of the path it made me walk.”
Click to watch the top of the send below.
Watch Dawes on Quarryman below. He moves up by squeezing himself into the steep groove to one side of the right of the main slab.
High on the line, with his feet placed on the left-hand wall of the corner with both hands on the far edge of the other wall, his body is stretched horizontal to the ground.
His feet keep moving until they are level to his head. A fall there would be a face-first dive to ouch-ville, but he crushes the moves.
He then swings a leg across from this position and places a foot by his hands.