Mike Owen


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Sport (Worked): 8b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E7
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E8
Notable Partnerships
Phil Davidson
Social Media

Mike Owen's blog https://mikeowenfrance.blogspot.com/

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Sport (Worked): 8b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E7
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E8
Notable Partnerships
Phil Davidson
Social Media

Ascents

14 recorded ascents.

Year Climb Grade FA Ascent Date
1989 Death Wish E7 (Lead Onsight) 19th July 1989
1990 A Wreath of Deadly Nightshade E7 (Lead Onsight) 27th May 1990
The Bells! The Bells! E7 (Lead) 9th June 1990

Third ascent. The week before Mike had set off up the route but had to get a top rope rescue as he couldn't clip the peg.

There was nobody there at all, just Elaine and me. Therefore no chance of a top rope this time. The boulders were slippery and it was very still and quiet. It was do or die. So I set off up the start of The Cad, traversed right to a good foothold and put the HB2 in again. Without hesitating, I committed myself into serious terrain, where it was up to me alone to see this thing through to the end, come what may! I dared not look at the tied off peg as I followed the line of incuts up to the start of the second traverse. There is a shield of rock there where I spent ages trying to get in some dodgy rp's and a tape sling over the top. The seriousness of my position was gnawing away at my concentration (if only I'd known that Hex 4 was nearby!). I have never been so totally frightened in all my years climbing, as I was from that shield onwards. I seemed to be looking down at myself tiptoeing across, with the ropes trailing uselessly down to the left of me. By the time I gained the shallow groove that led to the top I was almost completely spent and there was no meaningful gear to stop me decking out from about 150 feet. There was a nasty sting in the tail: on the last difficult move I felt a tiny foothold break off as I delicately weighted it. For a moment I swear that I thought I was going to fall to my death. At this point, Elaine was well aware of the mess I was in and was weighing up her possible options to run over the slippery boulders in an attempt to take in the slack if I fell. She told me afterwards that she realised there was nothing she could have done! Somehow, I told myself to calm down and test with my foot to see if there was enough left to stand up on. I crawled over the top and just lay there, utterly spent and sobbing as it all sank in. After a long time, I set up an abseil to strip the gear. You should have seen the smile on my face by the time I got down to Elaine. And I've been wearing it ever since! [1]

[1] https://mikeowenfrance.blogspot.com/2013/09/what-do-steve-boote-climbing-hangar-and.html

The Hollow Man E8 (Lead Onsight) 17th June 1990

Third ascent. Mike had previously climbed The Bells! The Bells! which shares the same middle section, the rest of the climbing was completely onsight.

The Clown E7 (Lead Onsight) 23rd June 1990

Third ascent.

The Groove 8a+ (Lead) 8th August 1990

First day with Tim Tim Lowe, who gave me all the beta. Second day managed to red point it first go in front of Jerry Peel, Joe Healey and Martin Berzins, well chuffed!

1991 Flower of Evil E7 (Lead Onsight) 29th March 1991
1992
1993 Austrian Oak 8b (Lead) 11th May 1993
Predator 8b (Lead) 29th May 1993
Huecool 8b (Lead) 20th June 1993
1994
1995 Well Dunne Finish 8b (Lead) 1st July 1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006 Barjoland 8b (Lead) 18th March 2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011 La Queue du Diplodocus 8a+ (Lead) 26th August 2011

At the time of writing (November 2021) Mike has climbed this route 97 times!

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021 Viens Voir Mon Petit Jésus 8b (Lead) 13th October 2021

63 years old!

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Austrian Oak 8b (Lead) 11th May 1993
Predator 8b (Lead) 29th May 1993
Huecool 8b (Lead) 20th June 1993
Well Dunne Finish 8b (Lead) 1st July 1995
Barjoland 8b (Lead) 18th March 2006
Viens Voir Mon Petit Jésus 8b (Lead) 13th October 2021

63 years old!

The Groove 8a+ (Lead) 8th August 1990

First day with Tim Tim Lowe, who gave me all the beta. Second day managed to red point it first go in front of Jerry Peel, Joe Healey and Martin Berzins, well chuffed!

La Queue du Diplodocus 8a+ (Lead) 26th August 2011

At the time of writing (November 2021) Mike has climbed this route 97 times!

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
The Hollow Man E8 (Lead Onsight) 17th June 1990

Third ascent. Mike had previously climbed The Bells! The Bells! which shares the same middle section, the rest of the climbing was completely onsight.

Death Wish E7 (Lead Onsight) 19th July 1989
A Wreath of Deadly Nightshade E7 (Lead Onsight) 27th May 1990
The Bells! The Bells! E7 (Lead) 9th June 1990

Third ascent. The week before Mike had set off up the route but had to get a top rope rescue as he couldn't clip the peg.

There was nobody there at all, just Elaine and me. Therefore no chance of a top rope this time. The boulders were slippery and it was very still and quiet. It was do or die. So I set off up the start of The Cad, traversed right to a good foothold and put the HB2 in again. Without hesitating, I committed myself into serious terrain, where it was up to me alone to see this thing through to the end, come what may! I dared not look at the tied off peg as I followed the line of incuts up to the start of the second traverse. There is a shield of rock there where I spent ages trying to get in some dodgy rp's and a tape sling over the top. The seriousness of my position was gnawing away at my concentration (if only I'd known that Hex 4 was nearby!). I have never been so totally frightened in all my years climbing, as I was from that shield onwards. I seemed to be looking down at myself tiptoeing across, with the ropes trailing uselessly down to the left of me. By the time I gained the shallow groove that led to the top I was almost completely spent and there was no meaningful gear to stop me decking out from about 150 feet. There was a nasty sting in the tail: on the last difficult move I felt a tiny foothold break off as I delicately weighted it. For a moment I swear that I thought I was going to fall to my death. At this point, Elaine was well aware of the mess I was in and was weighing up her possible options to run over the slippery boulders in an attempt to take in the slack if I fell. She told me afterwards that she realised there was nothing she could have done! Somehow, I told myself to calm down and test with my foot to see if there was enough left to stand up on. I crawled over the top and just lay there, utterly spent and sobbing as it all sank in. After a long time, I set up an abseil to strip the gear. You should have seen the smile on my face by the time I got down to Elaine. And I've been wearing it ever since! [1]

[1] https://mikeowenfrance.blogspot.com/2013/09/what-do-steve-boote-climbing-hangar-and.html

The Clown E7 (Lead Onsight) 23rd June 1990

Third ascent.

Flower of Evil E7 (Lead Onsight) 29th March 1991
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade