Anna Taylor aims to be first woman to complete continuous Classic Rock round Product News

© Marc Langley

Climber Anna Taylor is about to start an attempt to be the first woman to complete a continuous round of every route that features in 'Classic Rock', the iconic guidebook written by Ken Wilson. Carrying all of her kit with her, Anna will cycle between each set of routes, covering 2,400 kilometres and climbing over 10,000 metres. The climbs are located around the UK, from the North West Highlands of Scotland, to the spine of Wales, and down to the south west tip of Cornwall. Accompanied by adventure photographer Marc Langley, Anna will start her Classic Rock Tour in Cornwall on Saturday 31 July. She is being supported by Berghaus, which has supplied her with the latest performance outdoor kit and will be showcasing her progress online.

Anna Taylor  © Coldhouse Collective / Berghaus
Anna Taylor
© Coldhouse Collective / Berghaus

First published in 1978, Ken Wilson's Classic Rock features 83 of the best rock climbs (up to the grade of VS) that England, Scotland and Wales have to offer. In a similar fashion to Munro or Wainwright bagging, some climbers make a long term project out of ticking off all of the routes, travelling all over the country to get them done. A continuous round of the Classic Rock routes has been done before on at least two occasions, by Jamie Fisher and Oli Warlow. Anna Taylor is aiming to be the first woman to complete a round and has planned a trip that is as sustainable as possible. She will cycle tour between each area, carrying all of her own kit, and only using ferries when necessary, in order to get to the routes that are located off the mainland.

Anna Taylor comments: "Over the past year and a half, just about every idea I've had for an adventure style trip has been foiled thanks to COVID. It's not the end of the world by any means, but I can't deny that I've been itching to get out again now that things are finally starting to ease. International travel still seems like a step too far in my eyes, so I thought it would be the perfect time to come up with something UK based. I've always wanted to try cycle touring, so after a bit of thought, linking together all of the Classic Rock routes by bike became my plan for the summer."

Training for her Classic Rock tour  © Marc Langley
Training for her Classic Rock tour
© Marc Langley

Anna's adventure will start in Cornwall at Chair Ladder, with a day of linking together multiple crags. She will then head to the island of Lundy to climb the famous Devil's Slide via the Dewerstone, followed by a quick trip to the Avon gorge, before journeying up through Wales. The golden gritstone crags of the Roaches and Peak District are next on the list, before Anna heads through Yorkshire towards her home patch of the Lake District. After the Lakes, she will head north and over to the Isle of Arran, before journeying up the side of Loch Lomond towards the famous Cobbler, then on to Glen Coe and the UK's highest peak, Ben Nevis. Next, Anna will enter the vast expanse of the Cairngorms National Park, before cutting back across the country towards Skye, via the infamous Bealach na Ba pass, and ending her journey on the Cuillin Ridge.

Anna adds: "I'm looking forward to this trip just as much as I have for exciting, overseas adventures, and I am really grateful to Berghaus for the support that is helping to make it possible. I think that the UK is almost criminally underrated sometimes. Yes, it rains a lot, but there's a whole lot of variety on our little islands, and in my opinion there are places here that are just as beautiful as snowy European mountain ranges or magical South American jungles. To be doing a trip that's almost entirely human powered is a good feeling too. It's not perfect, as we are going to have to take ferries to and from the odd island – sadly, I'm not that good of a swimmer! But to be free from planes and cars is a start. All that's left to do now is to get going!"

Sir Chris Bonington knew Ken Wilson and has been following Anna's career. He comments: "Anna is a very talented climber and she's certainly set herself a challenge that will really test her. I do hope that she is also able to enjoy the journey and the climbs. Classic Rock is genuinely iconic and I know that Ken Wilson was very careful when selecting the routes that he featured. Ken was a very important figure with strong opinions and we had many lively discussions over the years. Whatever he thought about ticking off the routes in a round, I am sure that Ken would have admired Anna's appetite for adventure and her pioneering spirit!"

Anna Taylor climbing in action ahead of her Classic Rock tour  © Marc Langley
Anna Taylor climbing in action ahead of her Classic Rock tour
© Marc Langley

Soon after she is underway, Anna's progress will be showcased on Keep an eye on @berghausofficial on Instagram, @TheRealBerghaus on Twitter and for updates.

Here's the full list of climbs from Classic Rock: 

Login as Existing User to subscribe, which will show the climbs you've already ticked.

Add Climb name Grade Height Crag name
Cuillin Ridge Traverse (Summer)VD ***?Cuillin Ridge...
Cioch DirectS 4a *150m• 5Sron na Ciche
Arrow RouteVD ***61m• 2Sron na Ciche
IntegrityVS 4c ***76m• 2Sron na Ciche
Cioch NoseVD ***200m• 7Sgurr a'...
The Long ClimbVS ***420m• 11Ben Nevis
Tower RidgeD ***600mBen Nevis
Clachaig Gully (Summer)S ***520mAonach Eagach -...
Archer RidgeS 4a ***?• 3Aonach Dubh
The Long CrackS **?Aonach Dubh
Crypt RouteVD ***?Bidean nam Bian
North Face RouteS *220mBuachaille Etive Mor
Agag's Groove (Summer)VD ***105m• 4Buachaille Etive Mor
The Chasm (Summer)VS ***450m• 16Buachaille Etive Mor
SquarefaceVD ***90m• 3Beinn a'...
Cumming-Crofton Route (Summer)S ***?Beinn a'...
Savage Slit (Summer)S ***80m• 4Cairn Gorm - Cairn...
The Clean SweepVS 4c ***185m• 4Hell's Lum
The Talisman (Summer)HS 4a ***100mBen Macdui -...
Eagle Ridge (Summer)S ***250mLochnagar
Ardverikie WallHS 4b ***185m• 6Binnein Shuas
Recess Route (Summer)S ***110m• 8The Cobbler
Punster's Crack (Summer)S ***?The Cobbler
Ardgartan ArêteVS 4b **54m• 3The Cobbler
Sou'wester SlabsVD ***110m• 5Cir Mhor
LabyrinthVS 4b *120m• 6Cir Mhor
Little ChamonixVD ***70m• 4Shepherd’s Crag
Gillercombe ButtressS 4a ***?Gillercombe
Troutdale PinnacleS ***105m• 6Black Crag...
Bracket and Slab ClimbVS 4b ***97m• 5Gimmer Crag
Ash Tree SlabsVD ***?Gimmer Crag
'C' RouteS 4b ***?Gimmer Crag
Bowfell ButtressHS 4b ***110m• 4Bowfell
Murray's RouteS 4a ***?Dow Crag
Jone's Route Direct from Lord's RakeHS 4b ***?Scafell Crag
Moss Ghyll GroovesVS 4c ***79m• 4Scafell Crag
Needle RidgeVD ***114m• 5The Napes
The Wasdale CrackHS 4c ***17m• 2The Napes
Tophet WallHS 4b ***75m• 4The Napes
New West ClimbVD ***?Pillar
Rib and Slab ClimbHS 4b ***?Pillar
Great GullyS ***267m• 11Craig Yr Ysfa
Gashed CragVD **190m• 6Tryfan
Overlapping Ridge Route (First Pinnacle Rib)D **150mTryfan
Grooved ArêteHVD 4a ***230m• 8Tryfan
Direct RouteVD ***85m• 5Tryfan
Pulpit RouteVD **87m• 5Tryfan
Direct RouteVS 4c ***88m• 7Glyder Fach
HopeVD ***135m• 4Idwal Slabs (aka...
LazarusS 4a ***43m• 2Idwal Slabs (aka...
The AreteVD **24mIdwal Slabs (aka...
Grey SlabVS 4b ***81m• 2Glyder Fawr
NeaVS 4b **75m• 4Clogwyn y Grochan
Crackstone RibS 4a ***55m• 3Carreg Wastad
The WrinkleVD **75m• 3Carreg Wastad
Flying ButtressVD ***87mDinas Cromlech
Spiral StairsVD ***84mDinas Cromlech
The CracksHS 4c ***90m• 6Dinas Mot
Main WallHS 4b ***140m• 6Cyrn Las (Gyrn Las)
Avalanche/Red Wall/LonglandsS 4b **286m• 12Y Lliwedd
Creagh Dhu WallHS 4b ***65m• 2Craig y Castell...
Will o' the WispHVD ***95m• 6Craig Cywarch (aka...
Red Pencil DirectHS 4b ***?Pen-y-ghent
Parson's ChimneyHS 4b ***17mAlmscliff
Sail ButtressHS 4b **14mBirchen Edge
TopsailVS 4c **12mBirchen Edge
Powder Monkey ParadeS 4b **16mBirchen Edge
Flying ButtressHVD 4a ***24mStanage Popular
April CrackHS 4b ***16mStanage Popular
Hargreaves' OriginalVS 4c ***18mStanage Popular
Central ClimbVS 4c ***38m• 3Hen Cloud
ModernVS 4b **20mHen Cloud
K2S 4b **30m• 2Hen Cloud
Via DolorosaVS 4c ***32mRoaches Lower Tier
Black and TansS 4a ***30m• 2Roaches Upper Tier
Technical SlabHS 4a ***24mRoaches Upper Tier
Piton RouteVS 4c **58m• 3Avon Gorge (Main...
The Devil's SlideHS 4a ***117m• 5Lundy
Demo RouteHS 4b ***19m• 2Sennen
Terrier's ToothHS 4b ***40m• 3Chair Ladder
Pendulum ChimneyS 4b ***59m• 5Chair Ladder
DoorpostHS 4b ***67m• 3Bosigran
Climbers' Club OrdinaryVS 4b **52m• 3The Dewerstone

227 stars
278 pitches
Users who have completed the full list are:
beds74, Graham Westbrook, mattkemp70, Nigel Bond, jimorothy

For more information visit Berghaus

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3 Aug

best of luck Anna! hope you have a brilliant time and look forward to hearing about it when you finish on Skye!

I remember reading the article about yours and thinking it sounded amazing journey.

It's something I'd love to do someday, but the thought of sitting in a saddle for that long brings tears to my eyes. I'd need to put some serious time and effort into toughening my bottom up before giving it a go...

For those who haven't read it, Oli's article about his own journey can be found here:

3 Aug

It's been great seeing Anna progress from a "one to watch" to a bona fide star of UK climbing, being the first woman to achieve this will put a huge marker in the sand!

Go Anna!

4 Aug

Excellent - a great challenge. Apart from anything else, it must be a huge cycling distance to link all of the routes. Hope she manages it and has a good time.

9 Aug

Can anyone give me a link to some sort of progress page? Berghaus link 404'd and I'm not on any of the other platforms...

Have a great trip Anna, one form my bucket list for sure.

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