Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Flashing 8a at 18 - Ross Kirkland Interview

Ross on Zona 0 (8b) at Siurana, Spain
The Scottish youngster, Ross Kirkland joined us on our 10 week Spanish Stone trip and managed to impress me more than any other climber on the trip. At age 18 he climbed his first 8b with Zona 0 at Siurana and flashed El Segre 8a at Tres Ponts within the first few weeks of the trip. Ross' modesty and logical approach to his climbing is both impressive and inspiring. He is a special talent for Scotland in my view and has lots more to give to climbing... 

MM: Hi Ross, What is your climbing background?
RK: Ive been climbing for 10 years and I started at the age of 8 at Alian Rock in Edinburgh.

I have also TRAD climbed since I was age 11 up to E5 ( a route called Strapadictomy at Froggat Edge). I mainly sport climb and redpointed to 8a at Disblia in Spain this year.

Ive competition climbed since I was 9 via the Brycks then onto the YCS and was a member of the British Youth Team for 1 year.

MM: What did flashing an 8a mean to you?
RK: It was an important step in my climbing career and I felt brilliant after doing it!

MM: What was the process that you went through to prepare for the attempted flash?
RK:  I trained for a number of years and the mental process I went through was that I just decided I liked the look of the route and just wanted to do it (preferably a flash) but I figured I would give it my all.

MM: What happened during your flash ascent? 
RK: I flashed it...that happened!:-) I nearly fell off the crux at 10m up. After that, the route was just about trying to deal with the pump developed at the crux. The route was 55m long and it was reasonably straight forward through the overhanging wall. However, went it went back vertical it was much more technical climbing. 
Grabbing the chain, I felt a real sense of achievement of managing to flash an 8a which was so long.

MM: What advice would you give to a young aspiring climber wanting to flash or on sight at there limit?
RK: Train hard, find the correct 8a and don't over psyche yourself. then they should man up and just do it! ;-)

Ross exacting his finger strength on some crimpy filth!

Ross taking his rest day in a tree!

Marsh Mallow Barbecue!

Ross was kindly supported by the MC of S on his trip

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