Mind Control 8c by Maddy Cope

Maddy Cope has redpointed Mind Control 8c at Oliana, Spain. The line is Maddy's second of the grade after climbing Bat Route 8c at Malham Cove in 2017 (UKC news report) and marks a significant milestone in her recovery from a chronic shoulder injury. The 50m endurance-based route was initially graded 8c+, but the general consensus for the climb is now 8c.

Madeleine Cope on Mind Control 8c.  © Madeleine Cope
Madeleine Cope on Mind Control 8c.
© Madeleine Cope

Maddy and her boyfriend Ryan Pasquill have been travelling around Europe in their van over the winter period, sampling crags in France and Spain. Maddy told UKC:

'After spending the autumn exploring new crags and climbing on different styles, we felt like we wanted to get stuck into a project. For me Oliana was an obvious choice - I love long routes - and Mind Control is one of the best looking lines. Also, the route comes highly recommended from numerous friends who have done it.'

Maddy first attempted the route in December but was too enthusiastic, didn't rest enough, and injured her shoulder. She explained:

'My shoulder is an ongoing problem so I should have been more careful. After being forced to rest during our last 3 weeks in Spain whilst everyone else climbed, I was determined to stick to my physio exercises. We returned to Spain in the beginning of January and saw a physio called Pablo who helped a lot. I could climb again and slowly worked my way up to around 7c+.'

Maddy Cope ticks Mind Control 8c.  © Toni Mas Buchaca
Maddy Cope ticks Mind Control 8c.
© Toni Mas Buchaca

With low expectations, Maddy returned to Oliana and was keen to get back on Mind Control. She told UKC:

'I was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt on it and was on redpoint much sooner than I thought. The roll over move was the hardest part for me - probably a combination of my poor shoulder stability and my lack of confidence in it.'

Maddy reached this move on her first redpoint and fell off it 4 or 5 times before ticking the route. She commented:

'I definitely wasn't getting tired of the route yet, though the hot weather meant that I only got one redpoint a day in the afternoon. I was so surprised when I stuck it that I forgot what I was doing for a second, but luckily managed to focus and get to the top...I really didn't want to fall off after that move. I experimented with some mental techniques since I felt like I wasn't in the best physical shape, which was fun and interesting. Those techniques we all know about but maybe never actually apply ourselves to.'

Now that the van trip is coming to an end, it's time to get back to work and some British trad for Maddy. She added:

'My main aim now is to try and build up my shoulder stability so I can enjoy 2019 injury-free!'

Maddy is the third British woman to climb Mind Control, after Hazel Findlay and Emma Twyford's ascents in 2017 and 2018 respectively.


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Maddy has made a name for herself on hard and bold trad climbing. She has made ascents of Dave Birkett's Once Upon a Time in the South West (E9 6c) and Beat Kammerlander's Prinzip Hoffnung...

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Yes Maddie!!
1 Mar

Great stuff.

There's a video clip of Maddy climbing up to the crux floating around on the internet somewhere, it would be good to add this to the article somehow as it's some really classy climbing.

Worth noting that earlier in the trip her partner Ryan Pasquill ticked Speed Intégrale at Voralpsee, strong(est?) climbing couple. Apologies if this has been posted on UKC somewhere else.