Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, of Sheffield, England, has completed Mecca Extension (8c/5.14b) at Raven Tor in the Peak District, becoming the first British woman climb this grade on UK soil.
“Red-pointing can be tumultuous at the best of times but throw in some classic British weather and you can find yourself knee-deep in something epic!” Leslie-Wujastyk wrote in an e-mail to Rock and Ice. “Having said that, once the weather improved, I thoroughly enjoyed trying it; getting closer each session and each try is really exciting and then finally doing something that you have worked hard for is very fulfilling.”
The 82-foot climb extends from the bouldery Mecca the Midlife Crisis (8b+/5.14a), which she finished in 2012, to a rest and then a 5.13c endurance test with the crux at the top.
With Mecca the Midlife Crisis in 2012, Leslie-Wujastyk became the first British woman to send a 5.14a in the UK in 2012. In part because routes there are often short, they are likely to be bouldery and sustained for their grades.
Steve McClure did the first ascent of Mecca Extension in 1998. Martin Atkinson put up Mecca the Midlife Crisis,the hardest route in the UK at the time, in 1988.
“Climbing something historically significant in your home country feels really great,” wrote Leslie-Wujastyk. “8c isn’t the hardest climb to be done by women in the world and it will, I’m sure, be surpassed in Britain in time too, but I will always have my little footprint in the UK climbing development and that is very special to me.”
Leslie-Wujastyk, 27, climbed strongly last summer as well, traveling to Rocklands, South Africa, in July for an extended bouldering trip. She completed Timeout (V9); Au Bord De L’Eau, Shallow Cave and The Arc (all V11); and Leopard Cave (V12/13).
“One of the real positives was that on a couple of these climbs (Au Bord De L’Eau and Timeout) I had been unable to do all the moves on the previous year!” she wrote on her website.
Early last month, Leslie-Wujastyk traveled to Squamish and sent some “really cool routes,” including White Lion Sit (V10), according to 8a.nu.
Returning to the UK, she finished Supercool (5.13c) and Dog Point (5.12c), both located at the steep Gordale crag.
Next, Leslie-Wujastyk wrote, “I am going to make the most of feeling fit and do some more route climbing here at home and then try to regain some power and go on a bouldering trip to Red Rocks before Christmas.”
Leslie-Wujastyk’s history of hard bouldering includes 36 V11s and 50 V10s in destinations such as Rocklands, South Africa; Fontainebleau, France; and Hueco Tanks, Texas. She has done seven V12s, three of which were in the last year. Those are Rumble in the Jungle, Barefoot on Sacred Ground (both in Hueco Tanks) and Leopard Cave, at Rocklands.
A member of the Great Britain Bouldering Team, Leslie-Wujastyk stepped away from the World Cup circuit this summer to focus on climbing outdoors.
Watch this video of Leslie-Wujastyk on Mecca Extension