Maddy Cope has climbed Bat Route 8c at Malham Cove. This was Maddy's first of the grade, after previously climbing Love Amongst the Butterflies at Cheedale, and Predator at Malham. Bat Route was first climbed by Mark Leach in 1989 and breaks down into a 7b route, to a Font 7B crux, after which you rest using kneebars. Once slightly recovered, there is an 8a+ headwall to tackle.
Maddy is a talented all-round climber with many hard trad and sport routes on her CV. She spent last autumn in Yosemite with her partner Ryan, where they climbed Freerider on El Capitan. Once back in the UK, she spent the winter bouldering, finger boarding and building strength after identifying these as some of her weaknesses.
Commenting on why she chose to work the route, Maddy said "Bat Route is one of the biggest routes at the crag and goes straight through the roof in the middle of the cove - it's hard not to be drawn to it.
"I tried the route last autumn before I went to Yosemite. I wanted to see if I could do the boulder problem. The boulder problem is the hardest climbing so felt like the key to the route. I managed to link the boulder problem, so walked away happy and psyched to try it properly in the spring.
On the day of the redpoint, conditions were good and Maddy felt relaxed: "There was a good crowd at the crag, which is always good for psyche. I had got through the boulder problem a few times, but always fallen off a wide slap move in the middle section. Once I held this move I was confident I could finish the route. It was a bit surreal because the crag went totally silent the whole time I was on the headwall. It made it feel peaceful, but also slightly eerie!"