From Emma Twyford breaking the 9a barrier for British females to a 15-year-old bouldering 8B, it's been an autumn of impressive, hard ascents from Pembroke to Scotland, Dartmoor to the Gower. Here's our round-up of the biggest ticks made by Brits on UK soil this season.
Emma Twyford: first British woman to break the 9a barrier
After some time to reflect, Emma shared thoughts about her history-making ascent of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trywn on Instagram, see below. Read more in our interview here: Emma Twyford becomes first British woman to break 9a barrier. We also have a film about the ascent coming soon.
Emma commented on Instagram:
"I haven’t posted yet about this route because I wanted to savour the moment and let it sink in which has just started to happen. On Tuesday last week I finally clipped the chains on Big Bang (9a) to get the third ascent of this route. It felt like a dream..." More on her Instagram post.
Matt Helliker climbs The Big Issue E9 6c
Matt belayed Emma Twyford on her successful ascent of this route, which is at Bosherston in Pembroke, last year. This September, while over on another UK visit from Chamonix where he lives, Matt had a proper look at the route himself. He was disappointed to fall from the last hard move, but returning a week later, managed to tick the route, placing all the gear on lead with the old peg tied off.
Matt commented on Instagram:
"Slightly upset for dropping the last hard move to jugs and rest after all the hard climbing on ‘Big Issue’. Beta though now refined ready to go for next time. Such a fun weekend in Pembroke with friends out getting after it, whether on the rock or behind the lens."
WATCH Matt drop the last hard move on The Big Issue:
And then it all came together:
"After 20 years of seeing and wishful dreaming ... ’Big Issue’ E9 6c. Thanks to all my great friends for the catches, beta, motivation, patience and strong team vibes It wouldn’t have happened without you. Gear was placed on lead."
15-year-old Leo Skinner boulders 8B
Having bouldered 8A at just 13, this Brecon-based youth has been one to watch for a while. The route was Louis Left at Bacon Hole on the Gower.
Leo commented on Instagram:
"First of the grade, a new chapter in my climbing. Super happy to finish this off before the season ends. I really do love this cave."
Dave MacLeod makes the FA of an E10 and climbs 9a
In October, Dave MacLeod made the FA of Mind Riot E10 7a, a longterm project of his at Lochaber. In November, the Scottish hardman repeated Malcolm Smith's Hunger 9a at The Anvil at Loch Goil. Put up in 2010, this route was Scotland's first 9a. The second ascent was made by Will Bosi and Dave is the third to successfully climb it. It's been an impressive year for Dave, who also bouldered 8B/+ this year.
Dave commented on Twitter:
WATCH Dave Macleod climbing Mind Riot E10:
James Squire: FAs of two new Dartmoor 8B/+s
James has been busy in Bovey Woods, Dartmoor, adding more lines to the boulder which is home to Devon Sent, possibly the South of England's most famous 7C+.
James commented on Instagram:
"Rocket Science [8B/+] first ascent! Last Monday I headed back to Bovey Woods and finished off one of the remaining projects from last season, this crazy dyno on the famous Devon Sent boulder.
I tried this dyno on and off whilst trying my other project from last year and had about 5 sessions trying it. In my second session I got my hand over the top but on the attempt after I broke a key foothold, fell off and split 4 tips. Two of the remaining sessions last year I got rained off and the last session was too warm to even do the first move. I was super happy to finally climb this! Probably the hardest single move I’ve done.
As far as the grade goes - I really have no idea how you grade vert walls... let alone vert walls on Dartmoor, let alone vert wall dynos on Dartmoor. Anyway this thing is mega! Time to search for another project.... P.S sorry for the late upload, I had a long week at work, also I couldn’t think of a cool name P.P.S I brushed the tick mark off after I promise"
WATCH James Squire make the FA of Rocket Science 8B/+:
"Infamous 8B? First Ascent. Yeessssss!!!!! Today Alex and I headed to Bovey Woods just to check out a few boulders under the assumption the crag would be wet. By some fluke luck the Devon Sent boulder was dry and after a few attempts I unexpectedly completed my mega nemesis project from last winter. Can’t believe it. I had about five sessions on this earlier in the year and put a rope down it to clean the top holds but was never really sure if it was possible.
Today it didn’t feel too bad... I’m quite uncertain if it is as hard as the grade I have given it.... I don’t really know how to grade climbing on crystals.... but either way I am PSYCHED to have climbed this king line."
WATCH James Squire make the FA of Infamous 8B:
WATCH Ned Feehally and Shauna Coxsey boulder 8A on BMC TV:
WATCH Alex Honnold's Welsh slate experience on BMC TV:
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