New 8b+ First Ascent by Emma Twyford

© Marc Langley

Emma Twyford has made the first ascent of a new line at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales. Deux Mauvais Melons (Two Bad Melons) links the start of Melancholie (8b) before traversing right into I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy (7c+) and finishing up Pas de Deux (8a+).

Emma Twyford on Deux Mauvais Melons.  © Marc Langley
Emma Twyford on Deux Mauvais Melons.
© Marc Langley

Emma first tried the line last year after ticking Pas de Deux. Initially, she envisaged a longer, harder link and spent time refreshing her memory of the moves on Melancholie, until a friend suggested a different link. Emma told UKC:

"I wasn't very fit or strong last year, though, and my head wasn't really in the climbing zone after my best friend had a major car accident."

This year, Emma approached training differently and asked Buster Martin at Kaizen Climbing for a training plan with the style of Lower Pen Trywn in mind. She told UKC:

"I wanted a better base of overall power and strength as it's always been a weakness. I was route setting a lot and then training but regulating how hard I trained."

Emma planned a trip to Margalef to work on her anti-style. She said:

"I wanted to keep the power up and to get back into being OK taking falls on the sharp end. It definitely seems to be paying off."

She describes the majority of the route as requiring "a willingness to suffer on small holds!"

Emma Twyford on her new 8b+ link-up.  © Marc Langley
Emma Twyford on her new 8b+ link-up.
© Marc Langley

At 8b+, this is believed to be the hardest first ascent by a British woman. Emma said:

"I definitely enjoyed adding my own link-up to the crag! Although there is no new climbing per se, it was a fun process seeing it come together quickly this year, though I got frustrated missing some good days due to work."

Commenting on her next goals, Emma told UKC:

"I'll start to turn more towards trad now but I also want to try the harder version of this link up - all of Melancholie into the Bad Boy Traverse then into Pas de Deux." 

Emma is also planning to return to Canada again in July, when - if it's not too hot - she will revisit The Path 5.14a R at Lake Louise, Alberta.

In 2019, Emma became the first British woman to climb 9a with an ascent of The Big Bang (UKC News), also at Lower Pen Trywn. She has also headpointed multiple trad routes up to E9.

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Emma is one of the very best climbers operating in the current British scene. She has flashed both E7 and F8a, headpointed E9 and is the first British woman to redpoint F9a.

Emma's Athlete Page 42 posts 5 videos

10 May, 2023

Good effort, but what's with the route name?

10 May, 2023

It's a mash up name of the mash up of routes it uses

10 May, 2023

Thanks, got it now.

12 May, 2023

Well done Emma! Great Effort!

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