Dave MacLeod: Line Bolder/Harder Than Indian Face

© Hot Aches Images
There's at least one top climber who has asked (in private so far) if there are actually any E10's in the UK, and he's qualified, with experience, to ask that question.

Next Saturday, on the 18th August, Dave MacLeod will be taking part in The Great Climb, an outside broadcast produced by Triple Echo Productions from the Loch A'an basin in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. This climbing celebration will be broadcast live from 1pm until 7pm on BBC Two Scotland. It will also go out for an hour on the BBC Two network and on the BBC HD channel. (Scroll down to see's comprehensive report.)

Earlier this week we reported that Dave would be attempting some new lines, live on TV, in the E8 to E9 range. Dave has been out questing the last two days and has found a harder line on Hell's Lum.

He says on his blog about this new line,

"Thing is, falling from the hard part or the sustained moves above would mean certain death, no question. So where Indian Face is 7b with bad pro, this is top end 8a+ with even worse pro. Hmmm E10 for sure."

Thing is also, in June Dave decided, after pre-inspection and top rope practice, not to lead the "deadly" Indian Face, the confirmed E9 on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Wales, established by Johnny Dawes over 20 years ago in 1986.

You can read more about this E10 line at Dave's updated bog: click on this >

Not surprisingly Richard Else of Triple Echo Productions told us "In 20 years of making climbing films around the world, this promises to be something extraordinarily special'." I think he might be right.

(Richard has produced just about everything to do with climbing on the BBC over the last 15 years or so, including series like The Climbers, The Edge and The Face.)

Dave MacLeod is sponsored by Scarpa, Gore-tex, Black Diamond and Mountain Equipment

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10 Aug, 2007
sorry Mick but this is oxymoronic. I don't quite understand that with IF - he didn't like it cos it was too brittle (or whatever he said) so too bold. So now he's doing something more bold? Can someone help me understand this dichotomy/confusion. Thanks for the help. Glyn P.S. I've looked at my post and it looks like an attack but it isn't, I'm tired so cannot write the way I want - the brain ain't properly in gear. Sorry.
10 Aug, 2007
My take on it is that Dave didn't have a problem with the boldness of Indian Face per se, but rather the boldness combined with the unpredictable nature of the climbing (he reported a hold broke on him when he was top-roping, and feet smears which were liable to skid off). This new line in the Cairngorms sounds like it's more his preferred style of climbing - steep and more positive (he talks about a line of 'brick edges' in his blog), on immactulate rock but with harder moves and worse gear.
11 Aug, 2007
Basically Indian Face psyched him out and he bottled it....but he just doesn't have the sangfroid to admit it? no?
11 Aug, 2007
This seems to me to be an ultimate example of the "quality of the line vs quality of the climbing" debate that pervades all grades from the humble to the ultimate climbing experiemce
11 Aug, 2007
Perhaps people should accept that perhaps IF isn't all it's cracked up to be. Get over it. Dave has nothing to prove.
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