UKC

INTERVIEW: Predator 8b For Maddy Cope

Maddy Cope on Bouddha Club (7c+), Salvan, Switzerland, 164 kb
Maddy Cope on Bouddha Club (7c+), Salvan, Switzerland
© Jack Geldard

Twenty-five year old Madeleine Cope, originally from Warrington but now a Sheffield resident, has recently redpointed the classic 8b sport route Predator at Malham Cove, North Yorkshire.

Particularly impressive is that Madeleine, known as Maddy to her friends, is still recovering from a subluxed (dislocated) shoulder back in the winter.

Maddy is a talented all-around rock climber with a varied CV including hard trad and sport routes. She has also dabbled in big-wall climbing and summer alpine rock climbing.

UKC caught up with this hard climbing, hard partying queen of Malham to find out more about subluxing, redpointing and future big-walling.


Jack: Where do you live?

Maddy: I currently live in Sheffield, in the same house as Hazel (Findlay) although she's never there.

You design online learning resources part-time, right? Does this give you the money and freedom to climb?

Yeah, I do choose to work part-time - 4 days per week - and I work from home, which is great, but yeah, it's a balance - when rent and bills go out or something goes wrong with the car, it just eats your money. Later this year I've got 5 weeks unpaid leave potential, and with that I'm hopefully going back to Yosemite in October, I won't get paid whilst I am there, and I am going to come back skint, but it is worth it, and time to climb is really valuable to me. It's great having that kind of job flexibility!

So what happened to your shoulder?

Well I was going down in to the cellar to put a bouldering pad away, and the light bulb had blown. I stepped down in to the dark and on the first step there was a rogue chalk bag, I stood on it and slipped down the stairs, that wrenched my shoulder backwards, my arm got caught behind me, and I subluxed it. This was back in December and it still sometimes feels bad. Although it wasn't so bad climbing at Malham, as you kind of keep you body tense and do small moves on small holds, I can feel it more when I'm trad climbing, hanging on my shoulder-socket on big holds, it really aches after that.

I'm hoping it will be ok in the US later in the year, but climbing El Cap granite is so shoulder intensive. I am still doing loads of physio, so fingers crossed.

How did you manage the injury, and get back in to climbing?

With my job I just sit at a desk all time, which was really handy and I could just rest it, so that's lucky, and I realised that it is pretty good not having a physical job for that kind of thing.

I injured it on the 2nd week of December, and thinking back it was a good time to get injured, as it was Chrtistmas and New Year, so it was a strong pub scene. I had a month off climbing, but then I knew I needed to have a break from partying!

And you went out to Spain as part of the recovery?

Yes, that's right. It was fun living in Barcelona for a couple of months, and as I work from home then I could just work from there too. I was going climbing at the weekend, then doing loads of physio during the week. The first weekend I got there though it chucked it down, then it did the same the second weekend, and I was thought - 'it's worse than the UK!' but then it got ok!

What kind of climbing did you do in Spain, and did it prepare you for Malham?

Well, I was taking it easy and just getting back in to climbing. In Barcelona itself we went to this funny outdoor climbing wall tunnel. So crusty! Absolutely stunk of weed, loads of dogs, loads of dredlocks, but it was actually really bad for my shoulder as even though I stayed on the vertical walls the feet were so polished and slippy. I guess that's a bit like Malham!

Maddy training in Barcelona, 110 kb
Maddy training in Barcelona
© Hazel Findlay

And tell us about Predator at Malham?

It's a well good route. It took me a loooong time! I tried it last year - it requires some patience. I think I did it maybe my 7th or 8th session this year, but I also tried it last year in the Autumn. It was funny because I was much stronger then, but I managed to do it this time!

Malham's good for conditions for the UK, you can climb there in the rain and stuff, but it is still not like Spain, where you can pretty much expect good conditions all the time.

I loved working out all the beta, it was really beta intensive for me, I could 'do the moves' really quick, but then I ended up tweaking them all for the redpoint. It's got some moves that are quite stretched feet-wise, so I ended up changing the beta and doing loads of really small moves, especially this year on my shoulder, I didn't want to do long moves.

The big moves I was doing last year really made me realise that I was way, way stronger last year. But last year conditions were bad, damp and humid, and I had a lot of other 'business' in my life, with relationships and stuff. Working the route out was a really good distraction from all that, but I wasn't turning up at the crag with load of fight in me. This year I felt way more psyched to try hard.

And what's next after Predator?

Now I've done it? Well I did go partying last weekend. But I may have to become a serious climber now. The other day I tried Overnight Sensation, different style, so I thought that would be a good change.

It was good to try some thing a bit more bouldery, as I went to the Climbing Works the other day and did an easy circuit and I was so weak! Climbing 8b at Malham doesn't transfer. And I want to start trad climbing for the summer now. I went to Millstone last night - crack training for Yosemite.

Maddy Cope leading the crux pitch of Path to Rome (E3 5c), Lleyn, Wales, 170 kb
Maddy Cope leading the crux pitch of Path to Rome (E3 5c), Lleyn, Wales
© Jack Geldard

Have you got something specific in mind for Yosemite then?

Well, me and Howard went up Freerider last time, and I realised I can't climb offwidths! The hard pitches were hard, but the easy pitches were harder!

It was really good fun, so I'd like to go up El Cap again, maybe Freerider or maybe another route - as long as the shoulder can keep up to it.

And what about Malham, have you thought bout doing any of the routes through the steep bit?

Hmm, I'm not sure. It was good you don't have to hang on your arms on Predator - I went to kilnesy the other day - well steep! I was thinking of trying Bat Route, it looks amazing - the upper bit that is - but you have to get your ass through that roof! When I am in roofs my ass feels heavy! And it's getting heavier as I am getting older!

Ha! Thanks for talking to us Maddy and good effort on Predator. Good luck for Yosemite!



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