Our third exclusive story in this week’s mini-series comes from Madeleine Cope, one of the young British climbers who are pushing the boundaries of female climbing achievements. Last year she climbed an 8c route at Malham Cove (‘Bat Route’) – only the 4th female Brit to climb this grade. She’s also ticked numerous hard trad routes in the UK, and has made free ascents on Yosemite’s El Capitan. We caught up with Maddy to find out what has made 2018 a particularly memorable year for her.
Personal celebration: climbing The Doors at Cadarese (8a on gear/E8 crack)
“I first visited Cadarese 5 years ago. Granite was a new rock type for me and crack climbing a new style. It felt like learning to climb again. Despite struggling, I fell in love with this style and was motivated to learn so that I could climb these amazing crack lines. The Doors, following a curving crack, with its diverse climbing, became a dream route. It requires a wide variety of skills to climb and the final move requires full commitment to throw to a finishing jug. It has a controversial history. The route was initially bolted, but had the bolts chopped, and was originally graded 8b, though now has settled around 8a. The route is completely protectable by gear and it is a good challenge to climb it in this way – it adds another dimension to the process and it is a greater mental challenge to be looking up at rock, with no protection or bolt to aim for.
I went back to Cadarese this year and managed to climb the route, placing all the gear, second go. It’s not a big number, and not my hardest route to date, but climbing it represented the time I had put in to learning this new style of climbing.”