Emma Twyford has sent The Big Bang 5.14d at Lower Pen Trwyn in the U.K. The powerful route was first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carlson and Twyford’s is only the third ascent. With the tick, she becomes the first British woman to climb the grade.
Twyford said after, “It went first go today. Conditions weren’t even that good and there was no wind. I think that helped in a way because I felt no pressure. Angus Kille and I had the crag to ourselves. At the top, I thought to myself did that actually just happen? I wasn’t pumped and it had felt like a path. There was also a fair bit of swearing with the relief of finally getting it done.
Twyford is also a top trad climber and a full-time coach and route setter. She started climbing at 10 and by age 14 was on the national team. She was the British junior bouldering champion and finished fifth at the European youth championships. In 2018, she and fellow setter Evie Cotrulia, started Creative Climbing, which offers workshops for women interested in route setting.
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@emmatwyford has won through with her battle on The Big Bang (9a) at Pen Trwyn in north Wales. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 On an evening when she felt no pressure because the conditions weren’t ideal she became only the third person to have climbed this route and the first British woman to climb 9a. Having got close last Friday, falling off pulling on to the slab, it went first go today. Emma said: “At the top I thought to myself did that actually just happen? I wasn’t pumped and it had felt like a path. There was also a fair bit of swearing in relief at finally getting it done.” Emma will not be able to celebrate too wildly tonight as she is setting for the BLCC tomorrow @beaconclimbing first thing. This Neil Carson route from 1996 was repeated in 2011 by @caffinspain. Link to write-up in bio. • • • #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #9a #sportclimbing #limestone #climbnowworklater #womenclimb #thisgirlcan #northwales 📸 @ray_wood
Watch Twyford climbing the Ogwen Valley arête Rare Lichen, becoming the second British woman to climb the E9 grade. She went on to send other E9s, including Once Upon a Time in the South West E9 6c and The Big Issue E9 6c.