Monk Life 8B+ for 16 year-old William Bosi

© UKC News

16 year-old William Bosi of Edinburgh has climbed Monk Life (f8B+) 8B+ at Kyloe-in-the-woods (Kyloe-In) in Northumberland. The problem was first climbed in 2003 by Malcolm Smith and William's ascent is thought to be only the 7th ever and the youngest to date. Making his achievement all the more impressive is the minimal time spent on the problem - just two short sessions, followed by success first go on his third session.

William at Kyloe with his girlfriend Ajda
© Alison Bosi

William initially tried Monk Life in August, on his first visit to Kyloe in the Woods. He told UKC:

"With it being my first visit I decided just to try a lot of the problems, as I had read so much about them, and especially Monk Life, so I gave it a go out of interest. On that day I only gave it a few attempts and didn't manage to get up to the crux. But I was instantly blown away by the problem and knew I had to return."

Returning to Kyloe last week on Tuesday the 13th, William picked up some useful beta from another climber attempting the problem. On his first attempt he reached the crux and knew it could be possible. However, despite getting close, another session would be needed:

"So I returned Monday 19th, still without any expectations, did a couple of problems to warm up, and then decided I would give it a warm up go, to get the movement back. However, before I got on my mum insisted we put the camera on, just in case, which at the time seemed a bit far fetched but I'm very grateful we did, as that go I just managed to climb it right and did it! I still can't really believe it."

The problem is described in the UKC logbooks as follows:

"The line of tiny holds on an otherwise blank face, with a big crux move off a chicken head and sharp pocket to finish on better holds."

Watch a video of William on Monk Life below:

William is sponsored by: Red Chili and Wild Country

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21 Oct, 2015
Anyone who's stood underneath this problem will know how hard it must be. Awesome effort. NB I only started watching the video around 14 seconds in and thought he was climbing in only a T-shirt!
21 Oct, 2015
The video doesn't do justice to the steepness of the problem. I seem to remember Malc saying when he climbed it that it was a funny problem. He'd been trying it on and off for ten years (and Andy Earl as well, I think). Yet it was such a short problem, he could see how someone else might turn up, do it first go and wonder what the fuss was about. So maybe not that odd that this problem has 7 repeats while Malc's other one, Leviathan, and Andy Earl's Prow have had so few (none?)
21 Oct, 2015
// As an aside, it was well chalked up earlier in the year, it looked like someone had been getting close. Monk life is one of the most unlikely looking boulder problems I've seen. When I pointed it out to my OH and said it went she thought I was taking the mick.
22 Oct, 2015
I got the impression from speaking to people that climbed with Malc that the whole 'ten year project' thing is exaggerated a bit, and it didn't take that long once he did start trying it in earnest. Leviathan (and Lothlorian) hasn't had any repeats because it's at least a 9a traverse with loads of rules i.e. you'd only bother with it if you lived there, it was raining, and had done everything else at the crag. The Prow is big enough to scare off most suitors.
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