15-year-old Leo Skinner has climbed Louis Left, a Font 8B at Bacon Hole on the Gower in South Wales. It was first climbed by Liam Fyfe in 2014 and had only seen one repeat from Eliot Stephens until Leo's.
He first started working on the problem in 2017, figuring out some good beta for the crux, although the following year he had unfortunately grown too much and had to start from scratch.
Leo told UKC: 'The climb is very powerful but subtle all at once, due to all the handholds and footholds being pretty bad, so getting any body-positions slightly wrong results in falling off.'
Refining his beta this year, Leo realised that it was much harder linking sections together than he anticipated, despite finding the individual moves quite easy. Leo's method is about 18 moves long, without any rests:
'I had to focus on training power endurance to not be too tired on the last bit. It's mainly tiny sharp crimps but the crux revolves around a bad slopey pinch which I had to have good conditions to use. The session before I climbed it I was feeling a lot better and the conditions were better than the day I did climb it, but I caught some of the holds wrong which caused me to power out on the last hard move.'
He came back the following week and whilst the start of his session didn't go to plan, he managed to pull it out of the bag.
Leo has been on an upward trajectory for a few years now; when he was 13 he climbed his first Font 8A and then last year his first 8A+. This was his first 8B. His plans for the future include finishing off some other climbs in his local area and then heading further afield. Not to mention the never-ending quest to become stronger for next year!