Will Bosi has made the fourth ascent of The Prow at Kyloe-in-the-woods (Kyloe-In). The route was originally climbed by Andy Earl at the grade of E9 7a. It was repeated in 2011 by Dan Varian and Ned Feehally, above pads and with minimal top rope inspection to clean the holds. Both Dan and Ned suggested a grade of 8A. The route starts up the arete and trends right, taking advantage of shallow pockets, before an off balance and slopey top out at 10 metres.
Will originally saw the footage of Dan Varian climbing the Prow (video at the bottom of the page) and had his first trip to Kyloe shortly after: 'I was blown away looking up at the Prow. The line is incredible, as it follows a massive arête up the right-hand side of the Kyloe cliff band. Looking at it from the ground with no chalk, the lack of holds and the height scared me away for about three years – until now.'
The first few handholds are tiny crimps, which lead to 'grim' two fingered pockets before the crux move; a huge deadpoint to a one-digit mono, followed by another even smaller mono for the other hand! From here, the holds get progressively better, although Will says 'the top out is not as easy as you would want.'
Will top roped the line on Thursday by himself and again on Saturday before his ascent. He managed it three times in a row, from bottom to top on the Saturday before he decided to go for it.
'I decided that the no fall zone was the last two metres. The actual crux moves are in the middle of the route, so I reasoned out that I could fall there with enough mats. As a lot of psyched climbers from Edinburgh were at Kyloe for a leaving party for Sergio, a Spanish climber who is moving back home, we had a lot of mats! After I linked it three times in a row, most people came over and brought their mats along.
Mark Savage was at the crag taking photographs for his upcoming Northumberland book, and described how Will was feeling insecure on the monos when he arrived. Mark asked Will if he had done any highballing before, to which Will replied that he hadn't and admitted he was slightly nervous! Despite this, Mark said Will seemed very relaxed and took one practice fall before having a serious attempt.
'I had no idea how the actual attempt would feel, as I had never done a highball above a 5+ before. Then I took a minute to relax and get in the zone, I was pretty excited before I pulled on. As soon as my hand hit the first hold, all my nerves and excitement went and the only thing in my mind was the next move. Every move went well and I climbed straight to the top. Only on the mantel move did the nerves hit me...'
Will has had a successful few years, managing multiple 9a's and 8B+ boulder problems, not to mention recently placing 3rd in a European Youth Cup. At only 18 years old, he already has an impressive ticklist and I think it's safe to say we can expect a lot more!
Andy Earl climbed the route in 2003 and refused to grade it at the time, although it was speculated to be in the E9 7a area - as it was Font 8A climbing above a large fall. It is certainly one of the most committing routes in Northumberland.
Editor's correction: The article did say that Andy Earl climbed the route solo and with no pads, this was incorrect. He had some pads, although perhaps not as many as I would have wanted...