Emma Twyford Flashes Gravity Wave E8

© Julia Wakeling

Emma Twyford has flashed and consequently made the third ascent of James McHaffie's recent new route (UKC News Report) Gravity Wave (E8 6c)​ E8 6c at Trearddur Bay​ - the day after returning from a productive trad trip to South Africa. 

Emma content with a 'surprise' flash of Gravity Wave E8 6c
© Pete Robins

Emma told UKC:

"Just before I left for South Africa, Caff put up a new route at Trearddur called Gravity Wave (E8 6c). Whilst in South Africa Pete and I made plans to go and climb it the day after I got back. On arrival Pete decided to work it on lead placing the gear as he went, whilst he was climbing I got the crazy idea in my head that at 7c+ this route was potentially flashable even though I was cold and there is no real warm up down there.  

"The climbing went surprisingly well and I made it through the powerful crux; though without chalk on the holds and Pete's beta this would have been very hard. The upper wall was more about keeping calm and recovering on flat jugs -  I think I trusted maybe one of the cams I'd placed in the upper head wall as they were very shallow with long whipper potential if they did rip."

Regarding the quality of the line, Emma told UKC: "It's a cool route that I'm sure will get many more ascents over the coming months!" Pete went on to make the fourth ascent shortly afterwards.

Emma's form seemed to run over from her trip to South Africa, returning with an impressive ticklist of hard onsights. She was selected to take part in the BMC trad exchange, and sampled a mix of both single and multipitch climbs. Emma commented:

"I would go so far as to say this is some of the best trad climbing I have ever done in my life and would highly recommend it for anyone contemplating a trad trip. For me this trip was about climbing as many routes as possible though by the end my feet were in agony.

Emma on Lotter's Desire (27)  © Ben Heason
Emma on Lotter's Desire (27)
© Ben Heason

"The other part to this trip was meeting our delightful South African hosts and I am hoping that they will enjoy the UK as much as we enjoyed South Africa. I'm already looking forward to the idea of a return trip as there is so much potential out there, though be prepared to get fit with the walk-ins!"

She added:

"My favourite climbing area was Tafleberg. Sleeping in a cave under the beautiful stars and getting up to do some amazing multi-pitch climbing with every route being 5 stars - it truly was an unforgettable experience."

Emma on No Longer at Ease (25)  © Julia Wakeling
Emma on No Longer at Ease (25)
© Julia Wakeling

Emma's ticklist (onsight unless stated)

Out to Lunch (24) (24) (E4)
Russian Roulette (21) (E1)
No longer at Ease (25) (25) (E5)
Celestial Journey (22) (23) (E3)
Red Rain (26) (26) flash (E6)
Wolfgang (22) (22) (E2)
No match for climb id:133230,"Energy Crisis" (20) (HVS)
Iron Maiden (23) (E3)
Blue Planet Direct (25) (25 but more like 26) (E6)
Echoes and Shadows (25) (25) flash (E5)
Woodrow (18) (S)
Fantastic Time (23) (23) (E3)
Blue Moon (hard 25) (E5)

Waterval Boven (onsight unless stated)

The Day Of The Triffids (19) (19) (6a+)
Toolbox (21) (21) 6b+
Freak On (24) (24) (7a)
Sweet Plumb (25) (25) (7a+)
Monster (29) (29) (7c+)
Snapdragon (29) (29) 2nd go (7c+)
Lotter's Desire (27) (27) 2nd go (7b+)
Jack Of All Trades (30) (30) 2nd go (8a)
Eraserhead (28) (7c)
Jambo (25) (25) (7a+)
Flambeau (23) (23) (6c+)
Heart Of China (23) (23) (E3)
Bikini Red (27) (27) (6c+)
Rock Chuka Chick (23) (23) (6c+)
Urisk The Rustic Brownie (6c+) (23) (6c+)
Endless Summer (22) (22) (6c)

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Emma is one of the very best climbers operating in the current British scene. She has flashed both E7 and F8a, headpointed E9 and is the first British woman to redpoint F9a.

Emma's Athlete Page 42 posts 5 videos

Amazing - nice one Emma! She's been consistently pushing those standards for a few years... and in not just one style. One of the things that I personally think is really important with these bits of cutting edge trad climbing is that the information about style of flash is reported really mega transparently. In my experience the style of flashes can be vastly different and if Emma has put herself on the line then you'd want herself to be credited properly with that further down the line when people will inevitably will do it with tick marks, video beta from >1 people, gear pre-placed or somewhat pre-placed, ropes pre-clipped when their mate was doing it ground up etc etc. It's particularly important in the case of Emma as it's right at the limit, in an adventurous setting, with no history of others flashing before her etc.. etc...
23 Mar, 2016
Great stuff. I'm a bit confused with the four ropes in the pic, what's going on there?
23 Mar, 2016
Probably to pull her in from the overhang
23 Mar, 2016
Yeah I thought something like that but just wondered if someone could be more specific. Just curious.
24 Mar, 2016
Think she is probably just on two ropes and then when lowering back down, presumably cleaning gear has left a QuickDraw in the one rope that is going back to the first piece of gear making it look like there is 4 ropes. I agree with Tom regarding the flash thing and the need to clarify the detail. It's good here as it seems to say exactly how Emma did it (which is a great effort by the way) but I have seen flash ascents by other people in the past recorded in magazines with headlines of 'flash ascent' when the word flash has been taken to the limit of its boundaries and in the particular scenarios I can think of a 5 minute head point or abseil inspection by the climber probably would have been more difficult and more of a natural thing to do, yet the climber has almost gone out of their way to achieve what gets perceived as a better style because of the word or way it is reported, when in actual fact it is not necessarily any better than other pre inspected styles. Ed
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