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“Rainman”, a beautiful and exhausting process

At the end of 2018 Eder arrived with his van in England to settle in Sheffield, the capital of British mountain culture.

His second day there, he drove up to Yorkshire National Park to check out Malham cave, one of the greatest limestone sport climbing cliff and home to some of the best and hardest sport climbs in the country. “When I arrived, the wall was in the sun and it was about 30°C, but there was something about this cliff that captivated me.”

The first few climbs at Malham were not easy for Eder “The style was terrible for me, polished feet, blunt holds, inverted, sideways and so on in all the routes”. Even so, little by little Eder adapted to the new style and improved his kneeling technique. He began to do the more classic routes such as Transformer, Bat Rout, Cry Freedom and Rainshadow (his first 9a).

After doing the most classic routes, Eder wanted new challenges to face. “I am a climber, and as a climber I want to climb things that inspire me. Rainman was really inspiring to me, the name, the line, the story…”. It is considered the hardest climb in the British Isle since Steve McClure did the FA in 2017.

However, progress was slow, Eder was not making progress on the project and the conditions did not help. Most of the time the route was wet and during the summer the high temperatures and mosquitoes made it impossible to climb there.

In the process of climbing “Rainman”, Eder realized that he didn’t have the finger strength and endurance to make the route. If he wanted to improve those aspects it was going to take him a long time, so he decided to focus his energy on learning how to use the knee pads, a climb he had never done before and had a lot of room for improvement.

Eder concentrated especially on improving a very technical knee lock that was just after the most difficult part of “Rainshadow,” the variant of “Rainman” that shares the same entrance. “It took me several days to be able to stay five seconds on it and a lot of specific leg training.” Gaining that little extra recovery time on the wall allowed him to tackle the final section of the project with assurance.

“Rainman” had become such a physical and mental struggle that Eder himself hardly suspected how complicated the whole process was going to be.

All the effort invested paid off in June 2017. After more than 100 days of hard work, persistence and dedication, Eder managed to get the first repeat of “Rainman” and sent his first 9b. “This took some of the best I had to offer and I had to juggle it around training every day, working full time, working part time, barely working, family issues, earning my way in a foreign country and trying to climb it’s “hardest” route, it truly has been a challenging experience!”. “I swear I’m still exhausted”.

Watch the uncut send footage of Eder Lomba climbing ‘Rainman’ 9b:




To kneel before The Dawn Wall