The Force 8b for 14 year-old Rhys Langlands

14 year-old Rhys Langlands from Inverness has just climbed his first 8b at Brin Rock​, Invernesshire, making light work of The Force​. 

Rhys Langlands: A name to watch out for!
© Pete Langlands

Rhys first went to Brin Rock in the summer and had his eye on The Force, but didn't consider an attempt as he had "only" climbed 7b+ up to that point. He told UKC:

"Following my first visit I was there again with some friends who were trying it and decided to give it a go. In total I only had 5 worked sessions on the route because of competition commitments. On one of my earlier sessions I came really close, but ripped off a hold after the crux section resulting in me having to change my sequence. It took me a couple of sessions to find the new sequence that worked for me."

Being particularly burly in nature, Rhys explained that the route required a fair amount of power and body tension:

"The route is quite short but has very powerful moves, it has pretty decent hand holds but is very limited for feet. The crux section is about half way up where you have a left hand crimp side pull and a right hand under cling and very high feet, then pull hard and at full span latch a 3 finger right hand crimp."

Rhys Langlands climbing The Force 8b
© Pete Langlands

He added:

"After that it's fairly sustained but you could still blow it at the top section!"

Rhys has been climbing since his dad first took him to the local wall at the age of 3 and a half. He has an elder sister and two younger brothers who also climb. 11 year-old Louis lead his first outdoor 6b on the same day that Rhys climbed The Force.

Summing up his achievement and describing his future ambitions, Rhys has his sights set on more hard ticks on rock as well as continuing with his talent for competitions:

"Overall this is my first experience of projecting a route of this calibre and I really enjoyed the whole process and am truly chuffed with myself for sending it. My main aim for the future is to continue enjoying my climbing, climb 9a before I am 16, and to reach the finals of an international competition."

The short video below is an excerpt from a longer film called "School of Rock," by Mike Webster of Spiral Out Pictures about the Langlands - a climbing family - which has been filmed over the last year, following the family through all their climbing trials and tribulations. The full film will be released in the near future.


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