Dave MacLeod, New E10: "the scariest day of my life"

© Dave MacLeod
On Thursday, 23rd August, Dave MacLeod completed another hard and bold route to add to his impressive legacy of first ascents climbing the line at Hell's Lum in the Cairngorms that he prepared and was to climb for the live TV extravaganza Great Climb ( that was cancelled last weekend due to bad weather.

Dave, as usual, has graced us with a written account of this climb that he described as "the scariest day of my life" and where at 80ft, "Falling off from the crux or above would have meant death." From his account it wasn't only scarey for Dave, and this has made him reflect on bold and technical ascents where you put your life on the line. The climb:

To Hell and Back E10 6c *** 80m

The route climbs the big smooth vertical wall right of the waterfall in Hell's Lum, crossing Chariots of Fire higher up to finish up the smooth overhanging headwall. A fall from anywhere on the second half of pitch one is unlikely to be survivable.

You can read his account at his blogspot,

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25 Aug, 2007
They announced it on the Great Climb website yesterday, but hardly anyone noticed ;-)
25 Aug, 2007
Well done (again) Dave. Looking at the working pictures on it looks like a very nice bit of rock.
25 Aug, 2007
More details on Dave's blog:
25 Aug, 2007
Nice troll attempt. IF is F7b, Hells Lum is 8a+. Both are death routes, so there should be at least one grade difference between them. Well done to Dave, brave man.
25 Aug, 2007
No way! - theres time enough for that when hes old and past his best. I think its great that he has the mental strength for these routes. His Blog is really well written and captures the headpointers dilema excellently
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