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Ullrich and Muskett Climb Indian Face (E9 6c/5.13ax)

Last week, the Indian Face (E9 6c/5.13ax) got three more repeats first from James McHaffie (Caff) and then it saw two repeats in the same day from Calum Muskett and George Ullrich, making the 6th and 7th repeats respectively.

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Calum Muskett high on the <em>Indian Face</em> (E9 6c/5.13ax). Photo by Emma Twyford courtesy of UKClimbing.com.” />Last week, the<em> Indian Face </em>(E9 6c/5.13ax) got three more repeats first from James McHaffie (Caff) and then it saw two repeats in the same day from Calum Muskett and George Ullrich, making the 6th and 7th repeats respectively. UKC managed to catch up with the two of them to talk a bit further about their ascents of such a famous route – the first E9 in the world – and an iconic testament to Johnny Dawes’ skill and boldness.</p>
<p>Calum Muskett, a 19 year old Outdoor Instructor from Bethesda, the 6th ascensionist, explained his motivation to try <em>Indian Face</em>:</p>
<p>“I headed up on the tuesday afternoon with the intention of going for the onsight of <em>Master’s Wall</em>, E7 6b, but Caff told me it was a shit route with no line, which, having looked at more closely, I agree with. I then decided to look at the <em>Indian Face</em>, after dropping a top-rope down it, I then climbed it once on top-rope, onsight before walking back down, planning to lead the route the next day.” </p>
<p>Upon returning the next day, Calum did the route on a Gri-Gri a couple of times, still planning to go for the lead despite humid conditions, until photographer Ray Wood informed him of better conditions the next day. He then returned on the Thursday, toproped the route a couple of times before making his successful lead. Commenting on the style of his ascent, Calum said:</p>
<p>“I had the gear pre-placed for the lead, it basically all revolves around one cluster of RPs, which I felt had more chance of holding if equalised and placed off a rope rather than whilst climbing, though there still isn’t much chance they’d hold! I didn”t bother with any skyhooks as I didn’t reckon the placements were any good, but carried one just in case.”</p>
<p>Calum then described how it felt to be on the <em>Indian Face</em>, a very iconic route that has a lot of mystery and aura surrounding it due to the technical and bold nature of the route:</p>
<p>“I didn’t really have too long to think about how scary it was as I spent very little time on it, around 5 minutes with a quick 30 seconds rest on the ledge, I was just in ‘up’ mode trying to keep moving and focused, and not let the history of the route creep into my mind. Overall, I felt the lead went very smoothly, with just one ‘moment’ where I couldn’t pull as hard as I wanted on a poor crimp due to thin skin, I had to make a slight slap for a good side-pull and a quick kick up for the next foothold, which probably gave any onlookers a bit of a fright! I agree with Caff, it felt pretty much like a solo, but the psychological support of having the rope and the slim chance of survival was nice to have.”</p>
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<div>George Ullrich then gave us the details of his own ascent of the<em> Indian Face</em>, starting with his motivation to try the route:</p>
<p><img src=UKClimbing.com.