14-year-old Leo Skinner climbs Font 8A+

Leo Skinner (14) from South Wales has climbed Evil Sideways, a Font 8A+ first climbed by Eliot Stephens at Dinas Rock. The problem took Leo three sessions and it was his first of the grade. He has been climbing for six years and is currently in the GB development squad.

The problem adds five hard moves into the climb Awesome Shed Direct and has a range of extremely poor holds. Leo had tried the stand start last year and had struggled with the crux move; a blind move to a poor slopey crimp.

Leo told UKC:

"After a long winter of training, I returned stronger this year and climbed it in a few goes. After sending that, I looked to the sit and worked out the beta before trying it from the floor. I worked my way into the stand start quite quickly and started to get fairly close.

I went to the crag on Good Friday and was unsure about how dry it would be after some bad weather the day before, but I was lucky enough to find it in good condition. I warmed up and did the stand 4 times in a row to make sure I didn't drop the top move (wouldn't want to do that!). I climbed the problem on my first go of my third session from the sit start and was psyched to say the least!"

Leo has been quickly working his way through a selection of tricky Welsh problems over the past couple of years. He has also made ascents of Roof Of A Baby Buddha, Tears of the Angels and Jed Black. Needless to say, Leo will be someone to look out for in the coming years!

Leo is sponsored by: Llangorse climbing centre and Monkeyfist Climbing Balms

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