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Misha Nepogodiev accidentally making (probably) the first free ascent of The Bloodbottle, Gogarth.
© JR, Jul 2018
Route: The Bloodbottle (E4 6b)
Climbers: Misha Nepogodiev, Sam Simpson
Camera used: iPhone 8
Date taken: 21st July 2018
VOTING: from 14 votes
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“Do you know where this goes”, Sam said? “We only came to do it to get warmed up!”
I replied, “It’s up there mate, straight up where you’re going, then right through the crack. It’s a proper battle. It’s a total sandbag!”
I think this was about 2 hours into the route already for them, as I abbed in to do Britomartis. Having just dropped down on to the belay I was delighted to see two people on the belay of Bluebottle. Apparently a 2** E2 5b, I had had a full on battle with it quite a few years back, and I’d thought it was probably at least E4.
As Caitlin came down to join me at the belay, Sam had just pulled a rock off and taken a lob past the belay, bloodying his ankle. Game over, Sam was handing over the reigns to Misha Nepogodiev. By this point I’d made it to the belay on Britomartis and I knew we were in for a show!
“I remember kicking a hold off like that mate, I just about managed to stay on”, I said, with only a limited sense of satisfaction.
Misha set off up into the “choss”, and calmly moved into the “proper choss” territory. “Are you sure it’s up here”, he said?
“Yes, head right, you’ll get good gear and some jugs, but you’re not at the crux yet!” I replied. Misha pulled off some more disposable holds, but managed to hang on and found a jug that triggered some more memories for me.
I described the next sequence: “get a double jam, pull your head round and you’ll find a pocket on the ledge, it’s not a good ledge, then throw your heel up and fight!“
Well, fair play Misha, fight you did. Move by move, in slow motion, Misha repeated the sequence I did, except for one small difference: he didn’t have a cheeky pull on a cam just after the roof (not that I told him this until afterwards). As Misha pulled onto the relative sanctuary of the ledge, he seemed to go into some kind of lactic coma.
I’m not quite sure how he held on so long: the photo timestamps show it took over 30 minutes to go from the first photo to the last, and even then it wasn’t over!
Apparently, according to others that claim to have done it, it doesn’t even go up there. Who knows. If it is actually a first ascent, it’s all yours Misha.
JR - 26/Aug/18
Great pic and even better story.
Kafoozalem - 28/Aug/18
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This picture is copyright. If you want to reproduce or otherwise re-use it, please email the photographer direct via their user profile. Photo added August 26 2018.
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