Transcendence | E9 Trad climb at Back Bowden Doors

Originally graded E9 but subsequently downgraded to E8 by Robin Barker after the second ascent. Purportedly has some of the hardest moves on a trad route in the UK, and a distinct lack of repeats has helped cement this reputation.

Contributors: remus

Pics + Vids

Dan Varian
Added at 14:01 on 06 January 2021
Robin Barker
Added at 14:01 on 06 January 2021
Robin Barker
Added at 14:01 on 06 January 2021


3 recorded ascents.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Malcolm Smith Lead | worked 1994
First ascent.
Dan Varian Lead | worked 9th Mar 2019
Robin Barker Lead | worked

Second ascent. Robin had a finger injury at the time!

In terms of the grade, I suspect I was a bit over-zealous with suggesting 6c and 7a is likely the correct grade. In previous discussions with Malcolm I think we agreed something like E8 / 7a / 8b / 7C+. Regardless of the grade, Transcendence is a very fine line with superb climbing and a might good effort from Malcolm at the time. [1]


I held Robin’s ropes when he repeated it. I’ll always remember because he was mid crux and then slapping for the break when a RAF Tornado roared past the crag a few meters away with a body shaking, terrifying, ear splitting boom just as he grabbed the break with one hand just as I clamped both of mine over my ears with the ropes held lightly in one hand. I was mightily relieved that he didn’t fall off. Great days 😳 [2]