grough – Anna Taylor Completes Self-Powered Classic Rock Tour, The “Wainwrights” Climbing Challenge

Bob smith, Editor
Friday 01 October 2021 20:29 GMT
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Anna Taylor rides the last section of Cioch Nose on Skye in the rain. Photo: Neil Gresham

A rising star of rock climbing has completed a self-guided tour of all routes in Classic Rock.

Anna Taylor traveled 2,400 km to reach the climbs and climbed over 10,000 m during her 62-day challenge.

The 23-year-old has soloed most of the 83 routes described in Ken Wilson’s famous 1978 guidebook, Classic Rock. Climbers see part of the challenge the same way hikers might see completing any Munros or Wainwright.

Taylor had to deal with extreme weather conditions in the UK on his quest, which began in the South West of England before traveling to Wales, the Peak District, the Lake District and the Highlands Scottish, ending at Cuillin Ridge on Skye.

The tours of the Classic Rock routes have almost been completed at least twice before, thwarted by bad weather or bird nesting. Initially, Anna Taylor believed the self-powered rounds were over as well, but discovered early in her journey that she could be the first.

Taylor rode between each zone and took his own kit with him. She said: “I am both thrilled and relieved to end my classic rock journey.

Anna Taylor despises the wet conditions on the last leg of her turn on Skye.  Photo: Neil Gresham

Anna Taylor despises the wet conditions on the last leg of her turn on Skye. Photo: Neil Gresham

“I have learned so much over the past two months and the experience has certainly been a memorable one – it has been good, bad and sometimes downright ugly! On my own, a chimney covered in wet vegetation isn’t much fun, while my legs certainly weren’t ready to cycle hundreds of miles while carrying all my gear.

“Add to that some typical British illness and weather and the journey was far from straightforward, but the compensations more than made up for it.

“It was quite special to do long solo throws on beautiful high mountain faces with minimal equipment. The tour took me to wonderful new places – physically and mentally – and I gained an even greater appreciation for the rock climbing available on these shores.

“As for the 83 routes that Ken Wilson put together in Classic Rock, I think I can understand why he chose almost all of them.”

Outdoor brand Berghaus sponsored the Mountaineer Challenge, providing him with the latest performance kit and tasked with photographers documenting the route.

Seasoned mountaineer and adventurer Leo Houlding, who along with Taylor is a Berghaus ambassador, chose the then 21-year-old to join his 2019 expedition to free-climb Guyanese tepui Roraima, her first ever mountain experience. “Great wall”.

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