17 November 2023

Kelly Birch does Muscle Car (8B+)

Kelly Birch joins the exclusive 8B+ club by repeating Daniel Woods’ Muscle Car (8B+) in Coal Creek.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
At approximately 17 moves long, it links together multiple other hard sections of the whole boulder, ending on a heartbreaking “redpoint crux” of a punchy V11.

I’d done many of the other climbs on this boulder, BUT Muscle Car continued to elude me. Still, I kept returning to the boulder with friends occasionally, trying to keep a relaxed mindset about it. I recently returned to it after a few months away, feeling stronger after a very productive summer alpine season. Finally, after probably at least 25 attempts where I’d fallen at the final crux, I finally stuck it and took it to the top! Incredibly proud of myself for reaching the V14/8b+ milestone.

What is your climbing background?
I’ve been climbing on and off for about 18 years. I was a youth competitor for many years, but took a 5-year hiatus during my late teens and early 20s. During this time, I became passionate about powerlifting and strength training. A few years ago, I returned to climbing with renewed psyche, and have since been focused predominantly on hard bouldering outside. I sent my first V13/8B in 2022, followed by three others this year. Hope there’s more to come for me!
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