Spaniard Grabs First Repeat of UK’s Hardest Route

Eder Lomba has captured the second ascent of the hardest rock route in the U.K.

Rainman checks in at the most challenging grade in the British Isles at 9b/5.15b. It earns its superlative status thanks to its link-up with multiple other routes’ cruxes. These includes the most brutal segments of Rainshadow (9a/5.14d), Batman (9a/5.14d), and Bat Route (8c/5.14b).

Notorious British hardman Steve McClure first climbed it in 2017. Shortly after that, it repulsed Adam Ondra, who tried it right after finishing Silence (9c/5.15d).

If you’re into raw send footage — like, way into it — check out Lomba’s total 18-minute effort. In essence, he climbs it as a series of boulder problems. Multiple long rests on bomb-proof kneebars fragment the otherwise steady action.

Watching Lomba is a far cry from watching Ondra — fireworks are notably lacking.

Then again, Ondra couldn’t climb the route.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.