By Jacquie Budd // Leah Crane is a climbing powerhouse with some impressive ascents under her belt. Born in 1989, Leah started climbing at the tender age of 5 and joined the Nottingham Climbing Wall Kids Club. By the time she was 10 years old, Neil Gresham, who later became her coach and mentor, noticed her talent. At 12 years old, Leah started competing as a junior Team GB member, subsequently going on to compete in the senior competitions and becoming British Bouldering Champion in both 2009 and 2010. Still on the GB Bouldering Team now, she is an interesting climber to watch competing, showing both strength and gymnastic style. Check out pictures of Leah Crane online and you will undoubtedly find one of her doing the splits on a boulder problem!
Alongside Leah Crane’s indoor achievements, outside her accomplishments are arguably even greater, with a long list of inspired ascents. In 2009, she completed Ben’s Roof at Raven Tor, Font 7c+/V10. Then in 2010, while on a yearlong road trip in Europe, she made the first ascent of Fuerte a Muerte in the well known bouldering hotspot of Albarracin, Spain – Leah graded this as Font 8a/V11. More recently (March 2015), Leah ticked the steep and physical Tourniquet (Font 8a/V11) in Kentmere – originally given 7c+ but graded 8a since a hold broke a few years ago. She first started working the problem in Summer 2014 before having to take a break due to a shoulder injury. This impressive tick came on the back of a productive week in Wales where Leah also ticked Rock Atrocity (Font 7c/V9) in Parisellas Cave and Ultimate Retro Party (Font 7b/V8) in the Llanberis Pass.
Leah is well known for her bouldering achievements and as an accomplished sport climber, but she can also very capably turned her hand to trad climbing, ice climbing and deep water soloing. Aged 15, she climbed Orion F7c+ in Kalymnos and in 2010, redpointed a steep 15m F8a+ at Murla in Spain. On gritstone, Leah has onsighted E4 6a (Jet Runner at Bamford Edge) and also climbed Nosferatu at Burbage South, which is graded E5 6b.
Currently living in Kendal in the Lake District, Leah is a semi-professional climber, working as a route setter and Training Representative/Brand Ambassador for Marmot. She is also an experienced technique coach and was part of the coaching team for the 2014 Women’s Climbing Symposium. Leah’s current sponsors are Marmot, Arch Climbing, Petzl, La Sportiva, Beal and Casa Catalunya, Spain. More information can be found on her website: http://www.leahcrane.co.uk/
Orion, F7c+ Redpoint Kalymnos (Sport)
Ben’s Roof, V10 / 7c+ Raven Tor (Boulder)
Fuerte a Muerte, V11 / Font 8a Albarracin, Spain (Boulder)
Tourniquet, V11 / Font 8a Kentmere (Boulder)
Rock Atrocity, V9 / Font 7c Parisellas Cave (Boulder)
Ultimate Retro Party, V8 / Font 7b Llanberis Pass(Boulder)
Nosferatu, E5 6b Burbage South (Trad)
Jet Runner, E4 6a onsight Bamford Edge (Trad)
Doctor Crimp, V9 / 7c Chironico (Boulder)
Article by Jacquie Budd
We were unable to get any images of Leah to accompany this article, so accompanying images are stock photos. Liam Lonsdale is Leah’s main photographer, so you can find some beautiful images of her by going to either Leah Crane’s website or to Liam Lonsdale’s website.