INTERVIEW: Meshuga (E9) in a session for Masonby Duncan Campbell - UKC Nov/2013
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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