Josh Ibbertson, an 11-year-old from Great Britian, climbed Raindogs (8a/5.13b) in Malham Cove, England earlier this month, becoming the youngest person to have climbed the route. Raindogs is Ibbertson’s fourth 5.13b, following Innuendo, Sàtiva Patàtica and El Guardià in Margalef, Spain, earlier this spring.
“I wanted to try an 8a in Britain,” Ibbertson said in an interview with UK Climbing. “I also wanted to try it because it is a really famous Malham route. It’s also short and steep, which is just my style.”
Raindogs, a 12-meter, powerful limestone route, has been considered a benchmark for the grade at Malham Cover since it was established by Dave Keyon in 1986. Before Ibbertson, Aiden Dunne held the record for the route’s youngest ascent after climbing it in 2012 at the age of 12.
According to UK Climbing, Ibbertson began projecting the route in May, but took a week off to compete in the Youth Color Climbing Festival in Austria on June 6 and 7, where he placed seventh in his age group. After returning home, he redpointed Raindogs in an afterschool climbing session with his father, British climber James Ibbertson.
Josh Ibbertson told UK Climbing that he plans to project The Bulge (8a/5.13b) and The Ashes (7c+/5.13a) at Kilnsey, another classic English limestone crag, but he also wants to branch out from sport climbing and project some traditional routes.
Josh Ibbertson on El Guardià (8a/5.13b):