2014 has been amazing for my climbing to say the least. I came into the year having some precise goals which I felt I had maybe set a little too high, 5 goals; climb 22 grade 8’s (includng sport and boulders), climb 8b+, onsight 8a and do at least one font 8A. Put simply I quickly completed all of these goals within around 5 months which was completely unexpected but I figured I’d push on and see where I could take it all.
The first big trip of the year was to El Chorro with Charlotte in February I thought that this trip might be good for trying to onsight 8a, on the second day I came pretty close but dropped it at the very last move! I was gutted, I couldn’t believe it and I thought I’d blown my chances of onsightng an 8a on this trip. I then went on to do an 8b second go and then decided to switch my focus back to onsighting; I ended up grabbing 3 8a’s onsight and came very close to getting my first 8b+ too. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68751
Next came a week in the Peak District where I managed many cool boulder problems including Ben’s Roof Extension Font 8A/8b+, it was like doing two goals at once although I knew that if I really wanted to compete my goal then I’d have to do an 8b+ on a rope and another Font 8A which wasn’t like a route. Shortly after I managed to do an old 8A project of mine so that was another goal complete. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68925
Straight after that came an amazing fortnight at Anstey’s Cove; firstly I did Postman Pat, an 8a+ which I’d been trying for ages, then I did Cyberdog 8b second go, then came Patpence 8a+, Patpence Ha’penny 8b, Tuppence 8b, A Fisherman’s Tale 8b, Tuppence Ha’penny 8b+, Pet Cemetery 8a+ and then Poppy, a very tough 8b+. I then did some cool links which included Patpence Extension 8b and also Chimera which is one of my favourite routes of the year which I gave 8b+ but now think it could be low end 8c, a few people have been trying but none yet succeeded but repeats will help to give a more clear picture of the grade. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68958
Rodellar was the trip of the year; I managed to get 25 8’s there; 2 8c’s 2 8b+’s, 4 8b’s, 4 8a+’s and 13 8a’s. The trip included my 1st 8c which I did on my 3 redpoint after about 4 working goes up the route, I managed my first 3 8b onsights and my first 3 8a+ onsights too. The trip also saw me climb my first Font 8A+ boulder problems and allowed me to get my first Font 7C+ flash. Overall it was an amazing trip which taught me so much about my climbing and has allowed me to progress much more than I would have expected. I was also told that I am the youngest Brit to onsight 8b too. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69065
After being in Rodellar I wanted a project closer to home so I headed to Cheddar to have a go on The Death Star 8c, I came very close on my second session, third session was close but I was tired from the day before and then I did it first go on my fourth session on my fifth redpoint attempt. I also managed to onsight the cool Stars Wars: The Triology E7 6c aswell whilst learning to place some nuts. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69186
October bought a trip to Fontainebleau where I did my first Font 8B’s both in a session which came as a huge surprise! I had a great week there where I managed to do many cool problems there and I can’t wait to go back for several other cool problems which I had a look at out there such as Traphouse, Gourmandise and Partage Assis. This was were my bouldering phase really started and I continued to boulder for most of the year this included several more font 8A’s, a repeat of Diamond District font 8A+ and some first ascents too. See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69413
Overall it has been an brilliant year and I completely surpassed my goal of climbing 22 8’s and I managed to do 86 in total; 24 boulders Font 8A and above and 62 routes 8a and above. I am also on 8a.nu’s list as one of the Teenagers of 2014 being the only Brit on there which felt pretty cool!
I have some big goals and some big plans for 2015 and I’m looking forward to getting on it as soon as possible! Thank you to everybody who has supported me this year especially Charlotte Warner and my sponsors Mammut and Five Ten.
Happy New Year!