A Big Day in Magic Wood for Orrin Coley

by Nick Brown - UKC 07/Sep/2017
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Orrin Coley has had his 'best day ever' in Magic Wood, completing three 8A+ problems, before adding a direct and highball finish to Astronautenfiber, which he has graded 8A. Orrin had been trying Dark Sakai, although was struggling with a hole in his finger which eventually stopped play.

He went on to make back to back ascents of Right Hand of Darkness (Low Start) (8A+) and Left Hand of Darkness (low start), followed by The Never Ending Story Part 1 (8A+) – on the first attempt of the day, much to his surprise.

So I accidentally had the best climbing day of my life today. Last night I mentally shut down, the weather looked awful for our last two days my fingers where in an awful state. I just didn't care anymore. But once I woke up today and saw it wasn't raining, I had to have a last ditch effort at Dark Sakai 8B before it chucked it down. Sadly my fingers couldn't deal with it, the holds are too sharp and the hole in my finger couldn't deal with it (even with tape). I gave up and looked for literally anything kind of hard to try and do just so I could feel better about myself. Rather embarrassingly I made back to back sends of Right Hand Of Darkness (Low Start), a soft 8A+ and Left Hand Of Darkness (Low Start), a slightly trickier 8A+. It put me in a better mood so I decided to roll with it and head back to The Never Ending Story Part 1 8A+ which I'd been shut down on for two previous sessions. Somehow I pulled on and it just went first try of the day, no drama, no frustration, it just kind of happened. I was ready to finish for the day, I was content and happy. But Joe then said "How about that project you tried?" Meaning the project in the guide book to the left of Astronautenfieber, a direct, terrifying highball finish. I'd tried it previously the day before after @alexkhazanov cleaned it up and got close but didn't really think much of it. We dropped the pads down, I brushed the holds and pulled on. And once more I suddenly found myself at the end of another boulder. If anyone knows if it has been done before let me know! Because no one seems to think it's been done here! @evolv_worldwide @prana @metoliusclimbing @latticetraining @beyondhopeuk

A post shared by Orrin Coley (@orrincoley) on

He told UKC: 'After arriving and sorting the pads, I gave a section a go that I'd had problems with using some new foot beta and cruised it. I moved through the moves smoothly, got to my crux section, climbed through and was suddenly at the finishing jug! I've climbed harder stuff before, but I'm not often as happy as I was after finishing that climb.'

A friend then convinced Orrin to try the direct finish to Astronautenfiber, which they had cleaned the day before. Once the pads were meticulously arranged, he had his first attempt and despite feeling terrible, threw for the hold which guards the highball finish: 'This time I caught it. It was new territory for me up there and I wasn't willing to fall, as it'd almost certainly ended in injury. I stood there for about 3 minutes, chalking and touching holds and trying to decide what to do. Eventually I committed, reached the top and mantled over.'

Orrin believes the climb has been done to the obvious rest before the highball top out (Space Monkey 8A), but the obvious direct finish had never been completed.

Before Orrin's 'best day ever', he had spent his time ticking off classics and had managed several hard problems including Sofa Surfer (8A+), Muttertag (8A) and Intermezzo Left (8A).

Orrin is now training for the World Cup at Ratho in three weeks' time, as well as setting his sights on the sit start project to Steve McClure's Fat Lip t Raven Tor.

Orrin is sponsored by: Evolv, Lattice Training, Metolius and prAna

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