By Jacquie Budd // Emma Twyford has an impressive tick list! Born in Exeter in 1986, Emma grew up in the Lake District and first started climbing with her Dad. She entered the world of competition climbing and become the British Junior Bouldering Champion, subsequently going on to finish second, to Lucy Creamer, in her first Senior Lead Competition.
Since giving up competition climbing in 2008/9, Emma has made significant ascents outside in bouldering, trad and sport climbing. Her first F8a was a redpoint ascent of Call of Nature at Raven Tor (Peak District) in 2010. Also in that year, she onsighted F8a in the Grande Grotte at Kalymnos, spending over 2 hours (using rests and kneebars) on the 40m roof climb Fun de Chichunne. In 2011 she went on to tick Raindogs F8a, Zoolook F8a and Predator F8b at Malham and just last year (2014), she ticked Unjustified at Malham which has a split grade of F8b+/c.
Emma’s trad climbing achievements are equally inspiring. In 2013, she headpointed Rare Lichen, E9 6c on Clogwyn y Tarw in Wales and, in 2014, became the first woman to climb the sustained classic Strawberries at Tremadog, E7 6b. In the same year, she flashed Yukan 2 E6/7 6b at Nesscliffe, Shropshire and then consolidated this with a flash of Bucket Dynasty E7 6b at Dove Crag in the Lake District, placing the gear as she went – in Emma’s own words, this was her “first proper E7 flash”.
In bouldering, she has flashed Font 7b+ and recently (in Feb 2015) ticked Jerrys Roof in the Llanberis Pass, graded Font 7c. The following day, Emma visited Parisella’s Cave and ticked Rock Atrocity Font 7c (V9).
Emma has a degree in Sports Science and Coaching, currently lives in Llanberis and is sponsored by Rab, 5.10, DMM, Climbskin and supported by V12 Outdoors (where she works part-time). Her blog www.emmatwyford.com is open and honest, talking about facing fears and the impact that bouts of depression have had on her life, plus climbing updates to keep the reader posted on the places she has visited. It’s well worth a look and makes you realise that climbers who tick hard climbs are not invincible super humans, just regular people who work hard to reach their goals.
In 2014 Emma was involved in the Women’s Climbing Symposium as a coach and if you’re interested in spending some time being coached by her in the near future, check out the BMC Climbing Movement Masterclasses which are being held nationwide during April 2015. More information on the BMC Movement Masterclass weblink.
You can find out more about Emma Twyford in our online interview.