20 year-old Anna Taylor has ticked Obsession Fatale E8 6c, her first of the grade. The 10m 'ultra sketchy slab' was first climbed by Julian Lines in 1992 and involves some delicate moves near the top.
The route had been on Anna's to-do list for a year or so since she first heard of it. A fortuitous finger injury a couple of weeks ago brought the climb back into her thoughts. 'I could only really climb slabs, so it seemed like the perfect time to check it out,' she explained. 'I still wasn't sure whether or not I'd be able to climb it, but thankfully the holds on the hard section are monos and pebbles, so I could get away without using the bad finger at all.'
On Anna's first session, she climbed it cleanly while self-belaying after working out the moves. She commented: 'This made me think that I could probably go for the solo quite soon, but I had one more session on a top rope to get into the flow of the moves without having to pull rope up every few feet.'
Describing the line, Anna told UKC: 'The bottom section is almost misleadingly easy up until some good footholds at three-quarter height. From there to the top is the crux section, which is really balancy and insecure. It's also pretty committing as if you step off the footholds you can't really go back and you definitely want to avoid coming off the last few moves!'
On the day, Anna had two attempts at the solo. On her first attempt, she reached the rest footholds and couldn't make herself commit to the crux section due to the injury potential. 'After getting rescued, I took about 40 minutes to clear my head and tried again,' she explained. 'It was still pretty scary, but I knew as long as I kept my head together it was unlikely I'd fall off, and I really didn't want to walk away having not tried.'
Anna summed up:
'I'm really happy to have got the route done, as it feels like a step forward from routes I've done before, and it's definitely got me psyched for the grit season!'