Evolution (8c+) and two 8c's for Mat Wright

© Marsha Balaeva

21-year-old Mat Wright has climbed Evolution (8c+), Devolution (8c) and Mecca Extension (8c), all at  Raven Tor (Miller's Dale). The Walsall based youngster had been attempting the rarely repeated Evolution since last year, although believed he wasn't quite strong enough at that point. This year he started afresh and completed the route in roughly ten sessions.

For such a short route, Evolution packs a might punch. It's 12m of sustained crimping on sharp, tiny holds. Mat told us: 'The holds are mostly small and positive, meaning you have to climb the entire route perfectly and almost without getting tired as the redpoint crux is at the top of the route. For such a short route, it packs in a lot of hard moves.'

Mat's successful redpoint was 'smooth and fast,' only taking him about 1 minute 30 seconds to climb:

The following day, Mat returned to the Tor and found horrible conditions, with much of the bottom of the crag condensed. Despite unfavourable odds, Mat's aim was to tick Devolution, a link-up which climbs through the first crux of Evolution and then traverses right into the headwall of Chimes of Freedom. Mat made short work of the route and moved onto Mecca Extension:

'I decided I was going to begin getting stuck into Mecca Extension as an intermediate tick before my next big project. I surprised myself and everybody else at the crag by finishing this off on my second go, just about getting through a wet Mecca by the skin of my teeth.'

Evolution was first climbed by Jerry Moffatt in 1995  © Marsha Balaeva
Evolution was first climbed by Jerry Moffatt in 1995
© Marsha Balaeva

Mat has only been climbing for 4 years!  © Marsha Balaeva
Mat has only been climbing for 4 years!
© Marsha Balaeva

Considering Mat has only been climbing for four years, his ascents are particularly noteworthy. As for what's next, he's not finished with Raven Tor: 'I'm definitely interested in both Hubble and Mutation. Hubble is, of course, the ultimate crown of bouldery routes, Mutation is the myth. I would say I'm more likely to get stuck into Hubble towards the end of this year as I feel it's easier than Mutation and suits me better.'


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Mat Wright
Walsall

Mat Wright has quickly become a very capable sport climber, having climbed 8c+ in his first four years of climbing. He's already ticked Evolution, Devolution and Mecca Extension, so...

Mat's Athlete Page 5 posts 1 video


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24 Sep, 2019

I'd be interested to know what his sporting background is - gymnastics, perhaps? There must have been a serious conditioning base for him to be getting up routes like that so fast.

24 Sep, 2019

Great effort Mat!

24 Sep, 2019

Impressive stuff indeed.

Wonder if he's looked at Gaskin's VNB? I think that would be the crown of short bouldery routes, even if it is in a grotty hole in the ground! Has it had a repeat?

24 Sep, 2019

My background is I swapped between weight training and downhill mountain biking. Happy to answer any questions that you might have

24 Sep, 2019

My question is, coming from the West Midlands, is your haircut deliberately or accidentally a homage to the Peaky Blinders? ;-)

Well done! In the video you make it look positively straightforward which is quite ridiculous when you look at the actual "holds".

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