Lord of the Rings | 8b Sport route

Also known as Serious Young Lizards.

Bolted by Kim Carrigan in 1982 this route was ahead of it's time (Kanal im Rücken, typically considered to be the first 8b in the world, was only climbed in 1984). Carrigan came tantalisingly close to making the first ascent but it had to wait for Stefan Glowcaz to finish it off .

Carrigan:

Yeah, The Ring Route aka Serious Young Lizards really proved a bridge too far. The astounding thing was, that I'd bolted this route in 1982, long before anyone thought this would even be possible, which meant that I spent a long time learning the moves and developing the strength and fitness needed for a route like this. There was a complete lack of other routes of this difficulty from where this fitness could be gained. Despite being able to climb every move in my sleep, I could never quite bring it together. I still remember my best effort. I'd been shopping in Horsham for the weekly groceries and my fingers were already strained from carrying the shopping bags, but I thought I'll just pop up and give it a go. It had been drizzling, but because the wall was so steep, the route remained basically dry. First shot, I managed to redpoint straight to the last hold, but promptly slipped off mantling onto the wet slab above. That was it.. [1]

The route later featured in a now-famous Patagonia advert when John Sherman shot a carefully staged photo of himself seemingly soloing the route in flip flops, beer in hand!

References

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629


Pics + Vids

Kim Carrigan
Added at 22:09 on 09 September 2022
Kim Carrigan
Added at 13:09 on 12 September 2022
John Sherman
Added at 08:09 on 10 September 2022

Ascents

4 recorded ascents.

Climber Style FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Stefan Glowcaz Lead (Worked)
Kim Carrigan Lead (Did not finish) 1984

Kim came tantalisingly close to making the first ascent

Yeah, The Ring Route aka Serious Young Lizards really proved a bridge too far. The astounding thing was, that I'd bolted this route in 1982, long before anyone thought this would even be possible, which meant that I spent a long time learning the moves and developing the strength and fitness needed for a route like this. There was a complete lack of other routes of this difficulty from where this fitness could be gained. Despite being able to climb every move in my sleep, I could never quite bring it together. I still remember my best effort. I'd been shopping in Horsham for the weekly groceries and my fingers were already strained from carrying the shopping bags, but I thought I'll just pop up and give it a go. It had been drizzling, but because the wall was so steep, the route remained basically dry. First shot, I managed to redpoint straight to the last hold, but promptly slipped off mantling onto the wet slab above. That was it. [1]

On failing to do it:

I think I learnt that the more time you spend on a route the less likely you are to do it because you become so stupid at it. You lose the ability to believe you're ever going to climb it...The more you try it and fail, all you learn is how to fail, you don't learn how to climb it...I learnt that really, really well on The Ring Route. I learnt how to fall off that on every possible move, there was not one move I did not learn how to fall off. In fact one day I even climbed it! ... It had been raining...I climbed the thing straight through, got up on to the slab, it was all slippery and wet and I fell off! [2]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

[2] The Layback Podcast Ep1, December 2018, from ~60mins https://soundcloud.com/thelaybackpodcast/episode-1-kim-carrigan-get-out-of-your-castle

John Sherman Lead (Did not finish) 1987

The famous photo with Verm climbing the route with flip flops on and beer in hand was carefully staged, with a rope under his clothes keeping him on.

Steve Bullen Lead (Worked) 1991

The first Australian to climb the line.