Dave MacLeod is digging away snow from his Echo Wall project on Ben Nevis - this is the possible E12 and the project that he soloed Darwen Dixit an 8c in Spain in preparation for. See Dave's blog, which also includes details of a new route of Dave's, Sublime E8 6c a bold addition to Yosemite Wall in Glen Coe: www.davemacleod.blogspot.com
Meanwhile further south, the Canadian climber, Sonnie Trotter, is back for a second round on MacLeod's Rhapsody E11 at Dumbarton Rock.
Sonnie Trotter, 28, of Canmore, is the first ascensionist of that other hardest crack in the world, Cobra Crack 5.14 at Squamish, Canada. Sonnie attempted Rhapsody last May (UKC News - May 2007) when he said,
"I had a chance to run a toprope up on his new E11 and it's sick. I saw the video they made last year, and he makes the crux look like piss, when in actual reality, it's NASTY hard, BRICK hard. I was able to do all the moves, and link the upper headwall from the last crux move to the top. I can climb the length of the crack and it's all good pro, but the run out headwall is more involved than I thought."
Sonnie is once again dodging showers in his quest to be the second ascensionists of this ground-breaking route.
This is Sonnie's blog entry from May 10th, 2008.
"Okay, Scotland Rules. I'll tell you all about it soon enough. We got the ropes up today, but it was raining, go figure. Cory and I got one burn on the climb each, chalk turned into what seemed to me like tooth paste and we flailed about miserably, so stoked. On the good side, the climb is still there, both of them, and we managed to get a rope up, avoid castle security and even brush the holds clean. I climbed through the lower half fairly easily, but the headwall crimps were proving very spoogy as they all tend to slope, so I mearly dangled from the edges before falling off and whining about the conditions. Although the people are incredible, the rock quality fantastic, the country is like one big fuh - king swamp. No offense but it's true."
However the forecast looks good for the next four days around Dumbarton, with sun, a breeze and temps around 15 C.
Keep your eye on Sonnie's blog for further developments: www.sonnietrotter.com/roadlife
Looks like Dave MacLeod will have a chance to attempt Sonnie's Cobra Crack this coming July as he is a guest speaker at the Squamish Mountain Festival (www.squamishmountainfest.com)
Thanks to Toby Foord-Kelcey.