Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has redpointed Bat Route 8c at Malham Cove, making its first female ascent. First climbed by Mark Leach in 1989, the line starts up Seventh Aardvark 7b before leading up a headwall via a tricky boulder problem through a bulge, and includes an infamous bat-hang knee-bar from which its name is derived.
Mina's inspiration to try the route came last summer when she watched Adam Jeewooth's successful redpoint. She told UKC:
"It's so exciting watching someone climb something for the first time and it just looked like such good climbing. It was on my agenda from that day on really!"
Working the route in sections, Mina was tactical in her approach and began by solving the crux boulder in the bulge:
"The route is really interesting and varied climbing. I worked the boulder in the roof to begin with as I knew this had the hardest single moves and would be the key to the route for me. Then I began doing links, in route-climber style!"
Mina managed to link the boulder problem to the chains - without Seventh Aardvark - before beginning to redpoint.
Once on redpoint, the struggle was doing the boulder in the roof from the ground:
"I made minuscule progress each session, one hand movement or sometimes only a foot movement further! Once I finally got through the boulder, things sped up much more than I expected!"
On Friday 29th May, Mina managed to get through the boulder, for the third time, on her fourth redpoint of that day and made it to the chains. She explained:
"It was really exciting, especially as the very last section (after the hard climbing is done but it's still not all jugs) was really wet and there was a waterfall of run-off raining down on me as I climbed! I thought I was far too tired to do the route that go to be honest, and maybe that helped a bit; expectations and nerves fell away and I was able to just enjoy the fight."
When asked what's next for her, Mina told UKC:
"Some easier classics for the time being and then I'm sure I'll get stuck into something else….maybe at Kilnsey. Then in September I'm off to Waterval Boven and Wow Prow in South Africa."