VIDEO: MacLeod Frees 400m E8 in Norwayby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2011
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As well as cragging and putting up a hard new sport route, Dave took his chance to free a 400m aid line on the north face of Blamman.
Dave MacLeod frees Bongo Bar, E8
The route, named Bongo Bar is now graded 7b+, 7b+, 8a, 7c, 7b, 6c, 7a, 6b and is a stunning wall of perfect granite.
MacLeod partnered with Julia Snihur, and climbed the route completely free, after some initial inspections and cleaning.
Commenting on the crux of the route on his blog, Dave said:
"Julia seemed to have no questions that I'd be able to dispatch the 8a (E8 6c) pitch above, and told me so in her direct but ever positive style. I launched up the pitch, climbing smoothly at first but wobbling into the crux and seriously losing my cool. I looked behind me for the crucial thumb press; it was wet, and so was the foothold. There was no time for hesitation and as I began to slip off backwards I threw my right hand across the corner without enough time to look for the hold first. Two fingers caught it and with a grunt I stayed on and continued with 'Elvis leg' all the way to the ledge."
The area they were climbing in is full of future potential according to Dave:
"I have a feeling that despite the unpredictable Norwegian climate, Blamman will be one of the most famous walls in europe for hard granite big wall climbs in the coming years. It's a very accessible place and yet really impressive with some of the best granite you'll find anywhere."
Paul Diffley of Hotaches Productions was on hand to capture the action on film and has produced the short clip below. Watch this space for the full feature!