Young, strong Steve (McClure) at Oliana. Not that young anymore, but apparently still quite strong.
© Pete O'Donovan, Dec 2008 "Just your average Spanish holiday really." said McClure, after reeling off a list of F8 onsights, "Nothing compared to Ondra or someone."
I spoke to Steve about his recent trip to Spain on which, as ever, he was climbing like a machine.
"A big group of us went out to Siurana for a week. We had wanted to go to Rodellar, but we heard it was wet."
it really couldn't have got any closerDay 1 - Siurana:
Steve McClure, narrowly misses F8c onsight
On the first day of a sport climbing holiday, what do you do? Ease in slowly? A few classic routes? Steve jumps straight on the World famous La Rambla (F9a+), just "out of interest" and although he found it okay, he said "it was hard, too hard to just do in a week holiday". One for the future maybe? Not wanting to spend his entire week on one route, Steve and the team headed to Margalef.
Days 2, 3 and 4 - Margalef:
"Margalef has everything you want from a climbing venue!" enthused Steve, though he said the climbing style didn't suit him, with big flat walls covered in pockets more suited to footless, powerful climbing than the thin and technical crimping that has become McClure's trademark.
Despite this apparent difficulty with the style, McClure still onsighted a bunch of routes up to F8b. "It's a beautiful place, you should definitely go".
Days 5 and 6 - back to Siurana:
"I owe this to Ben Heason really, as Ben had a route in mind in Siurana and I stayed there to belay him." said Steve as I teased out his successes. The first day was a sector El Pati onslaught, with onsights of the F8b Zona Zero and the F8b+ Kalea Borroka (recently climbed by Lucy Creamer, see this UKC Interview).
"Both routes were totally awesome," said Steve, "after that I just chilled out and had a rest."
The final day was again onsighting, this time Steve ticked two F8b's and fell from the final moves of an F8c onsight, saying "it really couldn't have got any closer, but I guess that's just the way it goes." He also tried another F8b onsight and almost got that too.
The total number tally for a six day holiday is:
With his oh-so-close effort on a F8c, it hopefully will only be a matter of time before Steve enters this very exclusive sport climbing club, placing him right up there with the World's elite performers. Good luck Steve!
Watch a video of Siebe Vanhee climbing the F8b Zona Zero that Steve onsighted: