A CUMBRIAN adventurer has become the first person to complete a self-contained series of dozens of routes featured in a renowned British Climbing Book.
Carrying all of her gear with her, Anna Taylor of Windermere cycled 2,400 kilometers and climbed over 10,000 meters on a self-sufficient journey that lasted 62 days and saw her climb the 83 routes listed in the iconic “Classic Rock” guide.
Facing whatever the British weather could throw at her, she traveled from the South West of England to Wales, the Peak District, the Lake District, and then to the Scottish Highlands, before ending sadly on the famous Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye.
Published in 1978, Classic Rock is one of the most beloved rock climbing books of all time.
Written by senior outdoor journalist Ken Wilson, it features 83 of the best rock climbs (up to grade “very severe” or VS) the country has to offer.
Just as walkers and runners set out to trek the Munro Mountains in Scotland or the Wainwright Hills in the Lake District, some climbers make a long-term plan by checking all Classic Rock routes.
The 23-year-old discovered that a self-powered road tour had never been done before and embarked on her expedition on July 31 from Cornwall.
She cycled between each area and carried all of her own gear, and the only other form of transportation she used was the ferries to the island-based routes.
Not only did Miss Taylor successfully climb all 83 routes, but she also completed the vast majority solo, adding complexity, time and danger to the trip.
“I am both thrilled and relieved to finish my journey in classic rock,” she said.
“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!
“It’s not a lot of fun riding a wet road covered in vegetation, when my legs certainly weren’t ready to cycle hundreds of miles while wearing all my climbing gear. Add to that an episode of sickness and some lively weather and the trick was far from straightforward, but the compensations more than made up for it all.
“Climbing long routes on beautiful high mountain faces with minimal equipment is quite a special experience.
“The journey took me to new and wonderful places in the UK, while also reminding me of why I love my home in the Lake District. I have gained an even greater appreciation for the amazing landscapes of these shores and amazing routes that Ken Wilson collected in Classic Rock.