Name: Emma Twyford
I started climbing with my Dad and his friends on the Mountain Rescue Team at the age of 7. I was immediately hooked. At the age of 10 I started doing climbing competitions and came 2nd in my first ever comp. I represented the GB team for about 8 years but at the age of 18 I contracted glandular fever and my love for competition climbing never returned.
I headed back to my roots and to the places I first fell in love with climbing. I like to be a Jack of All trades mixing between bouldering, sport, trad and alpine climbing. I’m also one of few female route setters in the UK and with fellow Scarpa athlete Evie Cotrulia we have set up ‘Creative Climbing’ in an attempt to inspire more women to try setting.
Get to know Emma
Tell us about your successes so far?
I became the first British Woman to redpoint 9a with an ascent of Big Bang, also the third ascent of this route. I’ve managed to headpoint a few E9’s and flash/onsight a few E7’s and one E8. I’ve bouldered 7c+ and flashed 7b+.
What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?
At the moment my season has come to an end and some of the goals I had have been achieved but some will roll over till next year. I’d like to climb Muy Caliente (E9 6c) in Pembroke and to get some of my sports fitness back post Covid. I guess my goal is to just keep trying to improve and have fun at the same time.
Why do you climb? What do you love about climbing?
It’s all encompassing and I love that it is a physical and mental game, climbing and being outdoors is where I’m truly happy. It has given me some great friendships and taken me to some truly magical places, those memories stay with you for a lifetime.
Which Scarpa shoe is your favourite?
Definitely the Chimera! Though the Drago is a firm favourite for bouldering. I love the fit and sensitivity of both these shoes.
Tell us about your best day climbing?
That’s really difficult because most climbing days are fantastic! I guess the best one for me recently was onsighting/flashing an E7 6c in Pembroke called Always the Sun. It’s hard to have a bad day in Pembroke but this line was aesthetically stunning and the moves were wild. For me, I’d really been struggling with my head game this year so this felt like a real turning point where I went in with full commitment and got the ultimate reward of success.
What do you do away from your sport?
I love to spend time baking, crocheting and having fun days out with friends. Though sometimes admin takes over my life. I’m also a professional route setter and climbing coach.
I love being close to home, I think I’m truly lucky to have such a wonderful place on my doorstep. But if I had to choose just one place to go back to it would be South Africa in the Cederberg valley – the trad climbing there was really something special
Keep up with the latest from Emma on Social Media
John Bunney/ Marc Langley/ Ray Wood/ Lena Drapella