24 year-old Rhoslyn Frugtniet has just confirmed herself as one to watch on the sport climbing scene, after a very successful trip to Céüse in France, where she flashed Face de Rat (8a+) and climbed several other 8a+s and 8as. Rhos has previously climbed several 8bs and is hot on the heels of Britain's strongest sport climbing females.
Rhos was in Céüse with friends after competing for the GB Climbing Team in an IFSC lead competition when she watched a friend climb Face de Rat (8a+) and began to think it looked possible. She had a fair few 7c+ flashes under her belt, but this would be her hardest flash to date.
"It's a pretty striking crimpy and overhanging line! On every move I just remembered to breathe, until I was beneath the last boulder. When I was there I told myself I wasn't falling off now... And luckily I didn't."
As well as flashing Face de Rat, Rhos redpointed the 8a+ finish to La Couleur du Vent and climbed two 8as second and third go (Carte Blanche and Petit Tom respectively).
Rhos says she had always wanted to go to Céüse, but put it off "mainly because of the epic walk-in!" It's now one of her favourite crags. "The style just sort of suited me I guess: sustained boulder problems leading to a rest. I was enjoying every minute of my holiday."
Rhos has climbed several 8bs in her time: Euro Fighter at Rhossili, Brean Topping at Brean Down and Lightning in Yangshuo, China. She's not far behind Britain's best sport climbing females - Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Hazel Findlay and Emma Twyford have all climbed 8c.
So where did this young star on the rise come from? Originally from Cardiff, Rhos moved to Bristol about a year ago, where she now works full-time at TCA and UCR climbing walls as a "setter, coach and general mediocre coffee maker!"
Like many of her generation, Rhos got into climbing after doing a taster session at a climbing wall. In her teens she joined the Dynamic Rock Climbing Team in Swansea, where she met the popular coach, Si Rawlinson.
"I began training for local and national competitions with Si and the team, and we also did regular weekends outside on rock. My love for outdoor climbing started here. I was fortunate enough to go to Kalymnos and Rodellar and Gorge du Tarn with Si and the team. They were such fun trips!"
Rhos did her first summer of trad last year and racked up a fair few E5 onsights as well as several 7C+ boulders.
You might have seen Rhos in the climbing news last year when she completed the first ascent of the esoteric Ramp Super Challenge at Avon Gorge with Matt Helliker - "I was basically taken along to take all his gear out, but it was a fun experience getting to climb all the classics on the Ramp!" The challenge involved climbing 11 routes from E2 - E6 in order as if it were one big multi-pitch climb - see video below.
Matt Helliker and Rhoslyn Frugtniet climb Super Ramp - Bristol’s Big Wall Challenge
Rhos did her first season of competing internationally this year and says, "I'm still unsure whether I like competition climbing. I was a little disappointed with my results this summer. Though I guess it's my first season competing internationally so maybe I should cut myself some slack."
"I do really enjoy being on the comp circuit, socialising with the team, travelling around and seeing these amazing places that I would otherwise probably not have visited. I've had a lot of fun this summer." Her best result so far is fifth in the BMC British Bouldering Championships this year and she is also the the current DWS Exeter champion.
What's next? "I guess when my whirlwind summer is over I'll sit down and think about my aims and goals. My favourite climbing genre is outdoor sport so I guess I'll get another trip booked in. I love going to new crags and trying to onsight the classics, whatever the grade! It's always brilliant fun trying to onsight something when you're pumped and unsure what the next hold is going to be like!"
Watch out Mina, Emma and Hazel...
Rhoslyn is sponsored by Beta Climbing Designs, Dewerstone and TCA.
The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland, Berghaus, and Rock Over Climbing, and the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.
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