Steall Project Falls to MacLeod - 8c+/9aby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Sep/2012
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Dave has blogged extensively about the climb here: Dave MacLeod Blog, in which he describes his psychological battle:
"Linking the whole route was desperate for me. I've learned a lot about my climbing limitations during trying it, because I've tried everything to get stronger and fitter to manage it. However, just like on Ring of Steall, when I finally did it, it felt easy. So the door for further improvement is still wide open it seems!
And that was my biggest problem - I had become convinced during trying it that not only was I struggling to make the improvements I needed to, but I was somehow losing my ability to climb, train, recover and have good days. Almost every attempt became a constant fight against this feeling. I don't really know why I've turned into a sport psychologist's nightmare, but I do seem to have lost a lot of confidence for some reason. The routine of preparing myself for a redpoint effort got progressively more difficult as last month wore on. I wasn't nervous or scared of it, I've got enough experience to be able to swallow those feelings in a climbing situation at least. It was more that I stopped believing I had room to improve on my previous best efforts."
And also comments on the proposed grade of 8c+/9a:
"Fight the Feeling takes in most of Ring of Steall (8c+) until past it's crux and then has a bouldery main crux on the headwall above. I gave it a split grade in the end and I'll wait for the opinion of repeaters. If Ring of Steall holds it's 8c+ grade then maybe it will end up as 9a. If not then it would be 8c+. It's certainly much harder for me personally than A' Muerte (9a) that I did a few years ago, but it's always hard to tell if one route just suits you more than another."