Keen Roof 8B by Molly Thompson-Smith

Thursday, 22 April

Molly Thompson-Smith, #3 in the Euro Lead Championship last November, has done her first 8B, Keen Roof in Peak District. Amazing is that in March she did her third ever 8A and that she only needed two sessions for the well-confirmed 8B. "Maybe soft? Or just really my style? I don't really know what 8B should feel like!"
Video on her Insta.
The 23-year-old has been an active competition climber since 2011. In 2017, she had her best year ever when she was #7 overall in the Lead World Cup.

So could you please describe the boulder and your feeling once you felt it could down quickly?
I think it suited me perfectly - athletic moves made easier with strong fingers. I was pretty confident I could do it soon & thought all I needed was a cooler day (I first tried it in the sun last weekend). Some easier climbing leads into a backwards snatchy move off of a 2 finger pocket and crossly undercut. Then it’s pretty hard to hold the release, before traversing the lip to the finishing jug. I was quite relieved it did go down in my second session, as I’ve had this experience before of being confident I can send a climb quickly, and it turns into a several session epic. In my first session I tried the big backwards slap, as that was the crux move. After working out the best foot positions for every move I then climbed from the crux move to the top. I decided to come back when the conditions were cooler. Today I perfected the tor sequence leading into the crux move and reminded myself of all the body positioning before trying from the start. Then it took me 3 goes from the start before I did it :) I was really excited as I thought I’m in pretty good physical shape, and climbing a boulder like this so quickly kinda confirmed that to me!

How come you picked up hard bouldering just recently after a couple of years break?
Jan, (Hojer, her partner since 3.5 years), decided he wanted to be a sport climber, so we mainly went on sport climbing trips the last couple of years😂. When I was at home in the U.K., I was focused on training for world cups and didn’t believe that comp training and rock climbing could go well together The last couple of weeks have been great to see that they both can complement each other really well, when planned in properly so I think I’ll carry on doing that. Living a 10 min drive from the Peak District & having tonnes of harder boulders to try just made it really easy to get out after a gym session or by myself. I’d like to start doing some more sport if I can find some keen partners!

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