2017 was a difficult year for Emma, with her left shoulder and neck in pain from whiplash and her job as a routesetter taking its toll on her body. During a trip to Spain early in the year, her climbing equipment was stolen from her car, which didn't get her off to the best of starts. Emma vowed to return to top form in 2018. She told UKC:
'I booked 3 weeks to Oliana in November to give myself a break and try to get fit for the coming year. In the 3 weeks before this latest trip I tapered down the setting to 2 or 3 days a week to try and get some route training in.'
After coming agonisingly close and falling four moves from the top on Wednesday due to a wet foothold, Emma was determined to give it another go and clip the chains. She ticked the line on Friday in a smooth ascent - despite damp conditions. Emma commented:
'It's kind of still sinking in, it's definitely a more positive start than last year after getting all my stuff stolen in Spain. It felt amazing to climb this route and clip the chains, some of the best moves I've done on rock in a while and of course I had Caff (James McHaffie) as a very patient belayer.'
'The line is incredible up grey rock with some very technical climbing. It has been a dream route of mine ever speaking to Caff about it as one of the best 8c's he's ever done. It's the weird thing with redpointing that it didn't feel particularly hard on the send go!'
In 2014, Emma ticked Unjustified 8b+ at Malham Cove, which was originally graded 8c. Comparing both routes, Emma felt that the technical climbing on Mind Control suited her better.
'It's a weird one with Unjustified, it did settle at 8b+ but it's so subjective as I know some strong people still think it's 8c but that's the subjective nature of climbing. At the time it was my first '8c' and I had nothing to compare it to. I did the moves on Mind Control and made good links first time up and it went a lot quicker for me than Unjustified. I found the crux on Unjustified really hard in comparison but maybe the pumpy style of Mind Control just suited me better. Who knows? I'm just psyched out of my mind to have done such an incredible route.'
Emma is the second British woman to tick Mind Control, after Hazel Findlay's ascent in March 2017.