Anna Taylor ascends the final section of Cioch Nose on Skye in rain. Photo: Neil Gresham

Anna Taylor ascends the final section of Cioch Nose on Skye in rain. Photo: Neil Gresham

A rising star of climbing has completed a self-powered round of all the Classic Rock routes.

Anna Taylor cycled 2,400km reaching the climbs, and ascended more than 10,000m in her 62-day challenge.

The 23-year-old solo-ed most of the 83 routes described in Ken Wilson’s renowned 1978 guidebook Classic Rock. Climbers view a round of the challenge in the same way hillwalkers might view completing all the Munros or Wainwrights.

Taylor had to contend with extremes of UK weather in her quest, which began in south-west England before she journeyed to Wales, the Peak District, Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, for a finish on the Cuillin ridge on Skye.

Rounds of the Classic Rock routes have almost been completed at least twice before, thwarted by bad weather or nesting birds. Initially, Anna Taylor believed that self-powered rounds had also been completed, but discovered early in her journey that she could be the first.

Taylor cycled between each area and carried all of her own kit. She said: “I am both delighted and relieved to complete my Classic Rock journey.

Anna Taylor contempates wet conditions during the final leg of her round on Skye. Photo: Neil Gresham

Anna Taylor contempates wet conditions during the final leg of her round on Skye. Photo: Neil Gresham

“I’ve learnt so much over the last couple of months and the experience has certainly been memorable – it’s been good, bad and at times downright ugly! Soloing a wet, vegetation covered chimney is not much fun, while my legs were definitely not ready for cycling hundreds of miles while carrying all of my gear.

“Add in a bout of sickness and some typically lively UK weather and the journey was far from straightforward, but the compensations more than made up for all of that.

“It was pretty special to solo long pitches on beautiful faces high in the mountains with minimal equipment. The round has taken me to some new and wonderful places – physically and mentally – and I have gained an even greater appreciation of the climbing that’s available on these shores.

“As for the 83 routes that Ken Wilson collected in Classic Rock, I think I can understand why he chose almost all of them.”

Outdoor brand Berghaus sponsored the climber’s challenge, supplying her with the latest performance kit and commissioned photographers to document the round.

Seasoned climber and adventurer Leo Houlding, who along with Taylor is a Berghaus ambassador, chose the then 21-year-old to join his 2019 expedition to free climb the Guyanan tepui Roraima, her first ‘big wall’ experience.