/ BREAKING NEWS: Macleod repeats Blind Vision
Wooooo! good lad dave! congrats. the first confirmed trad 7b aswell now. looking forward to a report on his blog. if you read this dave, top effort and good luck for the future :o)
Good for him for actually getting out there and getting the stuff done, especially when the weather's been crap. His blog makes interesting reading: why does it take a psyched individual on a day trip from Scotland to repeat this route (it hasn't had any other repeat has it?), when there's plenty of strength but 15min drive away? Is this the real state of UK climbing?
It will be interesting to see if he gives it that grade since I seem to remeber there was a debate on how to use adjecteval grades for routes like this.
From Dave's blog
"I went for a crack at soloing up Slingshot. Blind Vision starts up a highball problem called Slingshot which is about Font 7c+ or 8a. The first move is the hardest, but also a beautiful move to leap for a finger edge and hold a slow controlled swing to stay on. After Slingshot there is a wee ledge from which to receive your thrown up harness and ropes and get psyched for the upper wall of E8 6c (F7c+ climbing with dubious but hopefully dependable gear).
After a few minutes I hit the jump and feet amazingly weightless as my feet swung back. After a blur of slaps I was standing on the ledge and all of a sudden the character of the day changed from a write off and a mess around at the crag at dusk, to a harrowing decision to lead an E8 in rapidly fading twilight. 4.30 passed as I got the gear in place and reversed back to the ledge for real decision time. I really questioned my judgement, staring into the already black valley below with street lights twinkling and car headlamps casting their beams clearly. It wasn’t so much my judgement to make the correct decision about whether I could climb the upper wall safely that I doubted. I have many bold leads behind me, and much practice at this type of decision. It was more my two minute window to make the decision, before the light faded beyond any reasonable sense of it not being night time!"
Excellent news, well done Dave.
I found reading his blog post really inspirational:
"Took my two minutes carefully and the answer was there – I knew I would be safe. So I chalked up and dispatched it."
No more needs to be said.
comes across as such a nice chap too, from what I've read - and I like his writing style.
> and I like his writing style.
Yeah I enjoyed reading the write up. I liked the not so thinly veiled pop at the Sheffield climbers too.
yeah, but what's he done on....erm, hang on...
Some really interesting and honest comments on his blog:
"Other feelings… Blind Vision is definitely easier than If Six was Nine (which I have done the moves on during a 30 min session on the way home from Breathless). Its also easier than the Scottish E9s and I’d say it felt like 2 grades easier than Rhapsody. However, its harder than Breathless and Divided Years (but then they are E8s!)."
"One thing I can’t understand though after visiting the Climbing Works (well done guys BTW!) during one of the washout days is why routes like Blind Vision haven’t had stacks of ascents. The hardest trad routes in the UK in general really aren’t that hard! There are so many strong lads and lassies kicking around who would mince up the likes of Parthian, Blind Vision, Rhapsody etc etc… At the Climbing Works I saw many many climbers much stronger than me. What has happened to the Mick Fowler attitude of “how hard can it be?”"
He also points out that accurate grading needs plenty of ascents to build up a consensus - so if people think someone has inflated their grade, get on the damn thing and prove it!
the guy gets more and more impressive with every bit of news I read about him!
Nice one. The bugger makes it sound almost easy!
Wow, makes my two year attempt on a 6c problem at Bridestones seem tame.
ah well, can only do ones personal best :-)
I thought it interesting that he says he did the moves on Birketts "If Six Was Nine" which, in the recent Lakes vid Set in Stone, Birkett says he could no longer do (at least I think this is the one Dave "fails" to repeat). And the film makers suggested it might not be E9 but... At any rate, Dave McC seems to confirm that If Six Was Nine is at least E9 as compared to other routes.
And although he has gone around repeating hard trad routes, to date, the only Lakes hard route he has actually led is Breathless (by Dunne) which is a bit odd. Why not repeat some of Dave Birkett's?
As I understand it, the reason he targetted Breathless was because it was supposed to be harder than anything of Birketts (i.e. it was the only E10 in the Lakes) and he wanted something as hard as possible to compare with Rhapsody.
And as he's previously said, lack of a car/driving license has limited his ability to travel as widely as he would like to repeat other routes. He has repeated Birkett's E8 on Skye. Give him time to get to the Lakes ones, I guess...
Here is the unique list with the hardest trad routes in the world. Surely, some are missing but we believe that this list is the most correct available today. In UK they are using a different grading system, showing also how dangerous the routes are. We have tried to convert these grades into the 8a scale. It should be mentioned that some routes, are relatively easier than sport routes once top-roping, as sometimes the difficulty on trad routes includes difficult positions placing gear and clipping the gear. In sport climbing, the carbiners are normally already hanging on the bolts which are placed in easier positions.
A Little Peculiar a.k.a. Elegy Direct 8c / E6 7b Paul Higginson
Bellavista 8c Alex Huber
Blind Vision 8b+ / E10 7b Adrian Berry
Cobra crack, 8c/+ Sonnie Trotter
Welcome to the Cruel World 8b+ / E9 7a Dave Birkett
Dihedron 8b+ Randy Leavitt
Dihedral Wall 8b+ Tommy Caldwell
Elder Statesman 8c? / HXS 7B Steve McClure
Fathers Day 8b+ Alan Moore
Greenspit 8b+ Didier Berthod
Is not always Pasqua 8b+ / E9 7a Mauro Calibani
Lost Horizons 8b+ Rob Candilera
Magic Line 8c Ron Kauk
No Way Jose 8b/8b+ Jose Pereya
Puss på morfar, 8b/+ Magnus Lindstedt
Rhapsody 8c+ / E11 7a Dave McLeod
South Face of Washington Column 8b+ Matt Wilder
The Great Arete 8c+ / E? 7b Steve Dunning
The Nose 8b+ Lynn Hill
The Dragon 8b+ Patrick Turner
Zebree 8b+ Jeff Beaulieu
Zodiac 8b/8b+ Huberbaum
As is this:
Think you will find that weather conditions are probably the biggest factor to take into consideration.
I doubt it given his commitment to getting the route ticked in the Peak in dreadful weather.
I would have just said that if he was to want to repeat anyone's routes in the UK it would be Dave Birkett's.
To date, they have both repeated Dunne's supposed E10 routes (Breathless and Divided Years) and Dave Birkett has repeated one of Dave Macleod's E9's. But not the other way round as yet though I would hope that will soon change. This summarises it quite nicely (an old UKC news item):
"Last Thursday Dave Birkett made the second ascent of Dave MacLeod's 2002 route Holdfast E9 7a in Glen Nevis, Scotland. Holdfast takes the blank wall left of Femme Fatale on Whale Rock. Most of the route has no protection.
Birkett used side runners at the start which meant that a fall from the crux would see you bouncing near the floor. Birkett said that you could also pad out the landing. Falling just after the crux above 18ft is not an option and this is the E9 bit. Macleod said in his description that "From here sustained wobbling leads to a sting in the tail finishing rockover which gains a line of good edges leading into Run For Home (the adjacent E5)." Birkett snapped a hold on his first lead attempt. He then set the top rope up again to try and work out how to do the move with the smaller hold making the crux slightly harder and sustaining a nasty finger cut. He thought the route E9 and the crux move "brilliant and absorbing." Dave Macleod was pleased to hear of Dave's repeat and said, "I thought it was an awesome line so it's nice to see other folk interested in my climbs."
Birkett fresh from climbing the first ascent of Return of the King E9 6c on Scafell is also author of several E9's , they include Impact Day (Pavey Ark), If 6 Was 9 (Iron Crag) and his triptych at Scafell; Talbot Horizon, Welcome to the Cruel World and the recent Return of the King.
Both Daves have repeated Divided Years and Breathless, the two John Dunne E10's and found them both easier than the claimed grade, Birkett saying that they weren't as serious or as hard as his E9's and MacLeod coming straight out and saying they were both E8. Divided Years was proclaimed as the first E10 this honour now being taken by Neil Bentley's Equilibrium at Burbage. Such is the fluid nature of grades at the cutting edge. "
Interesting times for british climbing, daves clear head, ego and pure dedication seems to be facilitating abit of a 'revolution' in the high E grades. Heres hoping the motivational stab at sheffield climbing can whip up some balls in those "look at me, im so strong, i dont climb outside very much becasue i need to train" people.
The line of Blind Vision can be seen here:
Hasn't Dunne also repeated Impact Day ? and didn't Breatless take a line previously tried by Birkett (so I assume he thought it was hard)?
If thats so, I'd be surprised if Breathless actually settles on E8 when there have been enough ascents to get a true concensus.
Yes he did repeat Impact Day. Though I'm now confused as to whether ID is currently given E8 or 9. Mind you, I think that's only had the two ascents so not much of a concensus, yet.
The point I was making was that in the day, JD was operating at at least E9 (Widdop Wall anyone ?)in the day so unless he had really gone OTT with the publicity numbers game its unlikely he got other routes that far wrong. Hence Breathless (and maybe even Divided Years) may not be E10 but were they really 2 grades out ?
Time will tell I guess.
Mmmmm, Dave Macleod @ Widdop =:o)
> The line of Blind Vision can be seen here:
Slightly obtuse thought here, and not meant to distract from a great climbing achievement.
So, i was thinking, wouldn't the best line up this bit of rock be to start up Jerry's boulder problem chequers groove into the top of Blind vision, and then Slingshot into a side runner less ascent of E5 6c that take on the roof directly above as another separate, independent route?
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