David Mason on the crux lower section of Meshuga, E9 6c
UKC News, Nov 2013
© Katy Whittaker
David Mason has recently made a very impressive headpoint ascent of the hard grit classic, Meshuga, E9 6c, at Black Rocks. What makes David's ascent so impressive is that it took him just a single day to work and climb this bold route.
UKC caught up with David to ask him a few questions about his ascent:
What made you decide to try Meshuga?
David: As a boulderer, trad climbing is a bit of a new thing to me but it seems an obvious progression from highballing. I love trying hard but I also love the composure needed with climbs that are high and potentially dangerous. There are two trad routes that I have always wanted to climb; one is Meshuga and other is New Statesman. I think they are both stunning lines and the climbing on both seems to be quite bouldery in style; dynamic and powerful with a touch of finesse.
Last season you made an impressive flash of Simba's Pride. How did Meshuga compare to this?
David: Well Simba's was a bit of a surprise actually. Ethan and Pete had both been climbing up to the last move and jumping off, so I thought I would be able to do that but when I got to the last move, I looked down and didn't fancy that so I just laid one. Luckily I held the top. Meshuga was a bit different as I knew I wanted to climb it and perhaps even have a flash attempt but Sunday was the first time I had actually seen it in the flesh so to speak. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wouldn't have a flash attempt; it was so daunting! To be fair I didn't think I would even lead it.
How did the ascent go? Did you practice it quite a bit prior to the ascent or just a few times on toprope??
David: The ascent itself was fine; as soon as I pulled on I felt calm and composed. I knew what I had to do and I did it. I flashed it on top rope, then did it once more and came down to go and belay Katy [Whittaker] on Gaia. I knew that I could lead it but was really intimidated by it. On the other hand though I knew if I didn't do it I would build it up in my head to be this big thing when in fact it isn't. Katy came down and I went round to get ready. Before the ascent I actually tripped over my water bottle, fell over taking my shoe off and got hit by a mat as I threw it up underneath Meshuga! I was sure that all my bad luck was out of the way and so the climb would be fine. Just before I pulled I had a brief moment of doubt but as soon as I started I knew I would climb it. It suits my style; quite dynamic in nature on beautiful, juggy slopers! It is one of the best climbs I have done for the line, the movement and the aura around it. I topped out into the most perfect orange sunset; you can't much better! Oh yes you can Katy then sent Gaia! I'd like to say a massive thankyou to Katy Whittaker and Nathan Lee as they were brilliant on the day!
You can find more detail about David's ascent of Meshuga on the Bigstone website
David Mason is sponsored by: Five Ten and Moon