Two Font 8B+'s for Orrin Coley

Orrin Coley is in superb form at the moment having ticked New Base Line (Font 8B+) in Magic Wood, Switzerland, and Monk Life (Font 8B+) at Kyloe-in-the-woods (Kyloe-In) in Northumberland.

He has been to Magic Wood every year for the last five and felt the need to step up to a level where he would have to invest some time. He had dabbled on New Base Line previously, although only to pass time:

'I already knew I could do all the moves on New Base Line; it was just a matter of stringing it together. Unfortunately, I'd injured my shoulder about a month and a half before leaving. I took a couple of weeks off, so once I arrived, I had no clue what sort of shape I was in. As it turned out I wasn't as rusty as I thought, just a bit unfit. most of the time was spent redoing the moves and trying to make progressively harder and harder links on it until I got to a stage where I knew I could do it. On my 5th session, I went from the start and fell off about halfway up but got super annoyed because I didn't feel like I was struggling. So, I pulled on from the move I fell off on a few seconds later and continued on all the way to the top. That's when it really hit me that I could do it this trip.'

Orrin also managed to tick Sofa Surfer Direct, a classic 8B, and Massive Attack, a short and powerful 8A+. Ticking both of these gave him a confidence boost for New Base Line. On this trip, he spent six sessions on the problem.

Closer to home, although still a four-and-a-half-hour drive away, Orrin had caught wind of Monk Life, a classic Font 8B+ first climbed by Malcolm Smith. After a spate of repeats from the likes of Will Bosi, Dan Turner and Ben Freeman, Orrin got 'quite excited' about attempting the problem. He obsessively watched videos and read every bit of information he could find.

'When I first went up to Kyloe I wanted to try everything there! There where quite a few classics to be done and realistically I didn't think I could do something like that in just a session. After ticking most other things there that I could at the time I gave it a go at the end of the day. I was surprised though, it obviously felt hard but achievable. I basically just went till I couldn't try it anymore! And that more or less planted the idea in my head of "I need to come and do this."'

This was after the ASBO competition at Climb Newcastle in 2018. Fast forward a year and Orrin was back at Kyloe, again after the competition and the summer heat and thin skin were making things tough. The holds on Monk Life and at Kyloe, in general, are notoriously sharp and small and good skin is important. Returning in colder conditions, Orrin was able to swiftly climb the problem during his third session.

Orrin's goals now lie close to home at Impossible Roof where he has been attempting climbs such as Apache and Tomahawk. He's obviously climbing very well going into winter, so I'm sure we'll be hearing from Orrin very soon…


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Orrin Coley is a top UK boulderer based in Leicester. He has climbed several hard first ascents at Forest Rock, including two Font 8B+'s and has repeated Ben Moon's Voyager Low Start (Font 8B+).

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