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Birkett Project Exclusive: Part I

Posted on: July 16, 2007

Website: Posing Productions
Film By: Alastair Lee
2007

Alpinist has teamed with Posing Productions to bring you exclusive footage of the UK's boldest trad climbing. For this first exclusive Posing Productions short, watch Dave Birkett work one of the longest and most difficult projects left in England's Lake District. Stay tuned to Alpinist TV for more exclusive clips from Posing Productions, including follow-ups on the Cam Crag project. Here's what filmmaker, Alastair Lee, has to say about the line:

"Cam Crag is one of the most difficult to access in the Lake District; it rises out of the top of a very steep and unstable scree slope, which is largely covered in ferns and bracken. It's about an hour and a half from the car, and Dave Halsted has described the approach as: 'My idea of what hell must be like.'

"Dave Birkett famously climbed the flying arete of Cam Crag—Nowt Burra Flee in Thing (E8 6c or 5.13c/d R)—in 2004 and he's been considering the line to the left of the arete since we went back up there last year to film for Set in Stone. Dave describes the line as probably the longest unclimbed wall left in the Lake District. The line itself is about 25 meters of steep, sustained climbing with a 6c crux at about 8m. The protection is often dubious and very well spaced. It's an intimidating and atmospheric place; the rock's all dark and jagged which seems to up the fear factor, plus the area acts as a wind tunnel so it's always a few degrees colder up there.

"The UK has had a very frustrating season due to the serious amount of rain over the last couple of months. Dave's made five trips to Cam Crag, yet he's only managed to climb twice due to the weather. When Dave first went to the crag birds were nesting and the bracken was dead; now the vegetation is flowering and the birds have learnt to fly. It's like a whole season has passed and he's only managed two successful sessions on the route. Dave plans to go for the lead in the next weather window."

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