Maximising the potential of marginal protection

15 August, 2014

In March 2014 Ben Bransby made the 2nd ascent of Pete Whittaker's Baron Greenback (E9) at Wimberry Rocks (news). The only protection on the route is unusual for grit, in that it consists of three very old and small aid-bolts. Aside from using some creative passive protection at the start, to safeguard the E7 section before the bolts, Ben took some steps to maximise the chances of the marginal protection stopping a fall.

In the first video you can see Ben in action on his ascent and in the second one below it Ben talks through the steps he took to reduce any potential loading on the bolts; namely using ripstop extenders, skinny ropes, Revolver carabiners and asking for a 'soft catch' from the belayer. If he was relying on wires then clustering them to make a nest would also be an option.