James McHaffie repeats The Big Bang - 9aby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2011
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The route was first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson and was Britain's first 9a. James' ascent is the first repeat of this notoriously sharp and desperate line.
James's ascent comes after he climbed the 8c of Infanticide last year, which shares the same start. He then turned his attention to The Big Bang and committed to attempting the route, with multiple sessions on the line this summer.
McHaffie, aged 30, is perhaps best known for his UK trad climbing CV which includes over 30 onsights of routes of E7 and above, but has also climbed many hard sport routes, including; Infanticide (8c) The Very Big and The Very Small (8b+), Sauron (8b first ascent), The Serpent Vein (8b first ascent) as well as multiple onsights of routes of 8a and above.
McHaffie has also proved his ability on a world stage with his fast ascent of one of the Alps' hardest rock routes - the Voie Petit on the Grand Capucin in the Mont Blanc Range and his efforts on the Madagascan route of Tough Enough (multipitch 8c).
We hope to have more info on James' ascent of The Big Bang soon.