Dan Turner managed to dodge the torrential rainfall just before Christmas and tick Monk Life (f8B+) 8B+ at Kyloe-in-the-woods (Kyloe-In) in Northumberland. The problem was first climbed in 2003 by Malcolm Smith and has come back into the spotlight recently after a repeat by 17 year-old William Bosi last October (UKC Report).
We sent Dan some questions to find out more about his time on the problem.
When did you first try Monk Life, and what attracted you to it?
Monk Life - kind of speaks for itself. I remember going to Kyloe-In for the first time and seeing that blank face, then going home and watching Malc float up it, mind blowing.
When did you first realise it could be possible?
I first tried it out of curiosity in May on a day trip from Yorkshire with a mate. I only tried the jump move but surprisingly it felt possible. Taking advantage of that cold and windy spell during May, I made a few more trips and felt pretty close on my 3rd/4th session. It's a pretty skin intensive problem, so by June it started to get a bit warm, so I had to bin it off until cooler temps. I started again in September, then had around 4/5 frustrating sessions on it, generally just being a bit of a muppet. I managed to hold that jump move from the deck two days before Christmas and sketch my way to the top. Pretty good Xmas pressie!!
How was your experience on it?
Long! I ain't no young whipper snapper like that William Bosi, the future is bright! Driving three hours to a wet crag is also soul destroying!
Painful, the only way I could do that start was using a pinky mono, but my pinky was a bit too fat, so I had to sand it down gradually a week before. Then before each go I would have to lick the side of my finger so it would actually go in. Most sessions would end with some nasty flappers.
What's next for you?
Not sure really, if it ever stops raining I'll maybe climb on the Grit. One thing is for sure, the standard of British bouldering (male and female) is improving so fast, with so many people operating at such a high level. I find it really inspiring and motivating, keep it up!
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