Keen Roof 8B by Frances Bensley

26 year-old Coventry-based climber Frances Bensley has ticked her second 8B with an ascent of James Pearson's Keen Roof at Raven Tor.

Frances Bensley climbing Keen Roof 8B.  © Jonathan Bean
Frances Bensley climbing Keen Roof 8B.
© Jonathan Bean

Frances first tried Keen Roof a few months ago whilst trying to find some dry rock. She told UKC:

'With it being one of the hardest boulders I had tried, the first session was simply a test of whether or not I could pull on the two holds in the roof and launch myself backward towards the lip or not. Without a lot of pads, I initially found this move quite scary and very committing!'

Keen Roof took Frances three sessions, with the crux taking some time to figure out with a little help from her friends. Frances explained:

'On the crux in the previous session, I had been more focused on trying to make the distance to the lip and was unable to keep my feet on, which involved a pretty savage cut-loose. Optimistically I thought it still may be possible to take the cut, but being able to keep my feet on as suggested by a friend made it much easier.'

She added:

'As soon as I managed to get my right toe to stick, I was hopeful that the problem would go. A couple of attempts later I found myself with two hands on the finishing jug - delighted if not a little surprised!'

Frances has been training hard recently and in a more structured way. 'It's a new one for me, but most of all, the psyche is high and I'm feeling quite strong at the moment,' she commented.

In November last year, Frances ticked Fat Lip 8B (UKC news report), also at the Tor, becoming only the third British woman to climb 8B after Shauna Coxsey and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk.


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Frances Bensley became the third British woman to climb 8B in 2018, with a tick of Fat Lip 8B at Raven Tor. She has sport climbed 8b+. 

Frances's Athlete Page 3 posts



16 Apr

Is it so hard to believe that a good climber can come from Coventry?!

Wow mega effort! The tor seems to be the place to be for strong women at the moment, with Holly Rees (think that is her surname) having climbed Mecca recently... strange not to see a news piece on this as there can’t have been many women (Mina and Katy?) that have done this before?

16 Apr

Go Fran!

16 Apr

So nice to be there as Frances sent her proj, so strong and looked so solid on such a challenging route.

17 Apr

Really love the ballroom in Coventry. Well done Frances.

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