Doesn't sound so hard anymore with grades pushing into the 5.15 stratosphere. I can still remember when Jibe sent 'To Bolt of Not to Be' at Smith. Today, there are plenty of 13-year olds climbing 13, but just try it at age 59 - now that's impressive.
This just in from Rab...
Rab Carrington, the renowned British mountaineer and founder of Rab, England’s premiere manufacturer of mountaineering and climbing apparel and gear, has successfully climbed his first 8a (5.13b) sport route at the age of 59.
Carrington started climbing in the ultra-traditional Scottish scene in the 1960’s. Although best known internationally for his high profile ascents in the European Alps, Himalaya and Andes (first ascent Rouse/Carrington route on the Pelerins, first Alpine ascent of Jannu in Nepal, many technical first ascents in Peru), Carrington has always considered himself first and foremost to be a rock climber.
Living in Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District has allowed Carrington to maintain a high standard on both gritstone and limestone while spending 20 years creating and building the Rab brand. While he remains an important design consultant to the brand that bears his name, the sale of Rab to Equip Outdoor Technologies, ltd. in 2003 allowed Carrington to focus more energy on his original passion for hard rock climbing. This has clearly paid off for Carrington who, in May, sent his first 8a (5.13b) with an ascent of New Age Traveler at Malham Cove in Yorkshire. This is likely but a milestone in his illustrious climbing career, as it has been only two years since he broke through the 7c barrier.