Jenny Woodward Climbs Predator - F8bby Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Oct/2009
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First Female Ascent of Predator:
"I actually did less moves than taller people, which must be a first!"
Jenny's ascent of this route is the first by a woman and is one of very few F8b ascents by a British woman. F8b is the highest grade of sport climb climbed by any woman in Britain.
Some foreign women have ticked super-hard (up to F9a+) routes overseas, and Lucy Creamer is the only British woman to climb harder than F8b with her ascent of Kalea Borroka (F8b+) earlier this year in Siurana, Spain (see UKC News).
Predator was first climbed by John Dunne back in 1988 and tackles the wall just right of the F8a Zoolook on the catwalk at Malham.
Commenting on Predator Jenny said:
"It's great climbing - technical, balancy and most importantly not super powerful. It also seems to suit the short - I actually did less moves than taller people, which must be a first!"
The 22m long route is notoriously technical with very poor footholds and classic crimpy Malham climbing.
"The actual redpoint went relatively easily, partly because I thought there was little chance of success. We'd turned up at the crag with two hours to go before dark, it was raining and so cold that Gareth (who was belaying) was having to wear a T-shirt on his head. The holds felt great though (that elusive sticky damp?) and someone had kindly tick-marked the footholds so they were visible through the gloom. I'm just sorry that Gareth's redpoint was kyboshed, it was so dark by then I could barely see him climbing and only floodlights would have helped!" said Jenny after her successful ascent.
As the summer sport climbing season draws to a close the race is on to get this year's projects in the bag before the winter rain. It was a close run thing for Jenny:
"I'm relieved to have done it as it was starting to feel like I'd run out of time. It's definitely bouldering season now. I might even finally learn how to climb the green problems at Leeds Wall!"
Thanks go to Steve Crowe (Climbonline) for the photograph.