Emma Twyford Flashes 'Statement...' - F8a

Emma Twyford on the middle section of Statement of Youth, 242 kb
Emma Twyford on the middle section of Statement of Youth
© Jon Butters
Emma Twyford has flashed the historic F8a Statement of Youth at Lower Pen Trwyn (LPT), Great Orme, North Wales.

Emma climbed the route on her first try after her friend placed the quickdraws and showed her some of the moves.

The route, first climbed by Ben Moon in 1984, is widely regarded as being the first F8a in the UK. It took Moon 8 days of effort to succeed on the line and it is a 'tough' 8a.

I absolutely loved LPT, conditions were amazing which probably helped!

Emma Twyford has a great weekend on the Ormes

Emma's flash ascent is (we think - anyone know better?) the first flash of an F8a route in Britain by a woman.

Emma has previously onsighted F8a in Kalymnos (UKC News) and redpointed F8b at Malham Cove (UKC News). She has also climbed E7 on gritstone, with an ascent of Monopoly at Millstone.

Jon Butters, who accompanied Emma to Wales on a weekend trip from Sheffield, commented:

"Emma set the pace of her weekend, quickly ticking off a few lower grade routes and finishing off the first day dispatching I've been a bad bad boy (F7c) on her first redpoint.

The next day saw much better conditions and as soon as the tide retreated Emma wasted no time onsighting Pink Pinkie (F7a) and Nightglue (F7a+). While trying to decide which hard route to have a go at, Pete Robins (who was working on a newly bolted finish to a route up the centre of the main wall) told her to have a go at one of the best 8as in the country.

Emma Twyford starting the hard climbing in the lower part of Statement of Youth, 202 kb
Emma Twyford starting the hard climbing in the lower part of Statement of Youth
© Jon Butters
Once the draws were in place and some of the beta relayed back to the ground, Emma started strolling up the easier first section of the climb. Statement of Youth is a route which although has no definite crux, increases with difficulty the higher you get and towards the top requires some very tenuous movement on small undercuts and precise smears. Emma breezed through all of this and only really looked pushed on the last few moves before the awaiting glory jugs. She clipped the chains and there was a well deserved round of applause from the many onlookers."

Emma commented:

"I felt pretty relaxed before setting off and enjoyed the first bit, I felt good traversing left and got a good shake out before going into the undercut sections.

I still felt surprisingly relaxed and when I got to the last bolt I was a little unsure of what I was doing and starting to get a bit pumped in my right arm, I had a quick shake out and asked Jon what I was going for and then made the last couple of hard moves which were a bit touch and go.

I had been unsure as to which route to try but am really glad I got on this as the climbing is way better than it looks, it's a superb classic route and it suited me down to the ground."

LPT is a tidal limestone sea cliff on the Great Orme near Llandudno, North Wales. It is home to several famous routes such as Statement of Youth (8a), Liquid Ambar (8c/+) and the unrepeated Big Bang (9a). The steep wave of orange, grey and black limestone is the best hard sport cliff in Wales, despite tricky coastal conditions and tides.

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