Big E9 Sends for Madeleine Cope and Emma Twyford
They are two of only a few women to have sent the grade
British climbers Madeleine Cope and Emma Twyford recently repeated E9 trad routes: The Final Round at Illam Rock in England and Chupacabra at Pembroke in Wales.
E9 is one of the most serious grades in U.K. climbing as it represents bold and run-out sections on hard-to-protect rock. The first E9 was established in 1986 by Johnny Dawes on Indian Face at Cloggy in Wales.
In 2011, Hazel Findlay became the first British woman to climb E9, and that was followed by Twyford in 2013. Eve Lancashire climbed E9 in 2016 and Madeleine Cope in 2018. Other women who have ticked the serious grade include Barbara Zangerl and Caroline Ciavaldini. There have only been a handful of Canadians to climb E9, including Sonnie Trotter and Will Stanhope.
Cope has made ascents of Dave Birkett’s Once Upon a Time in the South West E9 6c and Beat Kammerlander’s Prinzip Hoffnung E9/10.
Last year, at 33, Twyford became the first British woman to climb 5.14d with the third ascent of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn. UKClimbing.com reported: “The line was a long-term project for Emma, who adds 9a [5.14d] to an already impressive résumé of E9 headpoints and E7 flashes. The Big Bang is notoriously sharp with a particularly severe finish.”
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After choosing to ignore summer time Peak Limestone conditions, and trying this route in the heat and humidity, it was nice to go back to Illam Rock yesterday and climb The Final Round (E9 6c). This route takes a nice direct line up this amazing feature. It starts with techy boldness, gives a good amount of pumpy climbing, and the upper crux felt pretty stretched to me! Nice to feel focused on these big moves at the top of the route after falling here last time 🙏 Thanks @minaclimbing and @ollietorr for the belays 🤗 @mammut_uk @mammut_swiss1862 @lasportivauk
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Another classic Pembroke route ticked off. Chupacabra (E8/9 6c), regardless of what grade it is the climbing is superb and really tests your nerve. The weekend before I climbed it smoothly but slipped off the top. This time I nearly slipped low down, didn’t climb it so smoothly, took ages to commit to climbing the head wall but somehow held it together. It’s funny how expectations can play with your head and make you nervous. I just didn’t want to have to get in the ‘zone’ on the run out for a third time. For me the crux comes right at the top with insecure moves on smears, I hung around cleaning my shoes and brushing the footholds because every little thing can make a difference psychologically. Great effort from Tony stone too climbing it today after taking the mega lob the day before! 🤟 📸 @ray_wood @patagonia_climb @patagoniaeurope @patagonia @dmm_wales @scarpa_uk @frictionlabs @edelweiss_connection @climbskinspain @seatosummituk @hard.bar @v12_outdoor