Welwyn Garden City's Buster Martin ascends into British climbing history

PUBLISHED: 18:23 05 December 2019

Welwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: ELIS REES

Welwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: ELIS REES

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Welwyn Garden City climber Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades.

Welwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: ELIS REESWelwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: ELIS REES

The 23-year old achieved the milestone with an ascent of a "stupidly steep" 60-degree overhanging rock in Catalonia, Spain.

Martin's climb of First Ley in Margalef was rated 9A+, almost the toughest grade of climb, and it has been 12 years since the only other British climber completed the grade.

He said: "I always wanted to find out what it took to do it. It's 12 years of passion, obsession and big dreams realised.

"It wasn't so much about the grade as about seeing if I could get anywhere near doing what those guys I loved reading about when I started out were up to."

Welwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: HENRY KINMANWelwyn Garden City's Buster Martin has become only the second Briton to climb at one of the world's highest grades. Picture: HENRY KINMAN

His passion for climbing was fired at his eighth birthday party at the University of Hertfordshire climbing wall and he took up the sport aged 11.

He has since become part of the GB junior climbing team, taking part in many European events and two world championships.

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