Pete Robins enthusiasm for climbing on the Ormes is remarkable, and over the years you may have imagined he'd have grown weary of the regular forty minute drive from his home to get there. But when you consider that for a climber of Pete's ability there are first ascent opportunities as impressive as his latest new route, Dark Energy, then it is understandable. Dark Energy (8c+) takes a spectacular line across the roof of Pigeon's Cave at its widest point.
Arriving at the crag yesterday, having fallen off at the lip on his previous session, he was so excited to find it in perfect conditions he nearly didn't bother with a warm-up. But Chris Doyle persuaded him otherwise.
Pete said: "I clipped my way across the 15 metre roof and did the last move as a warm-up. There's no small holds on it and to be honest it's all about your core strength. Every time I'd fallen off before it was because my body sagged. Your heels are holding you on as much as your arms. It's like climbing with four arms."
Pete added: "It's the first one of all the hard routes I've done that I'd love to do again because it's such fun and on big holds. I bolted the roof in February after standing countless times on the beach looking up at the hanging ramp and wondering if it was climbable."
As for the grade Pete has given it 8c+ but also says he has no idea what it really is because it suits him and didn't feel that bad.
Pete said: "It took me more effort than Pump up the Jam (8c) and about the same as Sea of Tranquility (8c+). It's unique so difficult to compare to anything. I can imagine some people finding it hard."
Dark Energy starts as for Stiff Upper Lip to its crux, then goes to the belay of Cat Among the Pigeons before following the hanging ramp that heads out to the lip of the roof. Gaining the ramp is the crux and probably V9. A knee bar just below the lip and a final weird boulder problem move to pull round gains the lower-off.
Pigeon's Cave now has an impressive concentration of grade 8 routes: Dark Energy (8c+), Pump up the Jam (8c), Thin on Top (8b), Follow your Heart (8a+), Stark (8a) and Stiff Upper Lip (8a). And no doubt there'll be more to come.