Steve McClure comments on the grade of Rhapsody on the Climb magazine website:
"A lot of people want the route downgraded for whatever reason, typical Brits! Firstly I'm hardly qualified having only climbed E9. The climbing is at least hard F8c, it felt like F8c+ compared to other sport routes I've done quickly, but perhaps fear added a notch. That makes E9 for effort straight away...
...What I will say is that Dave did not overgrade the route. Not from what he experienced. The climbing is super hard, and the falls are big."
Steve has also expressed an opinion on the UKC Forum Thread:
"The 'direct' cannot be climbed. The upper part of the direct has to be accessed from either left (Rhapsody) or right (Direquium). Dave has climbed the hardest way up the wall, and although escapable gives an awesome and sustained route of top quality. He wanted the hardest challenge and rose to it.
The route is E11 if the fall could result in injury, E10 if it's safe. Sonny took numerous falls and I myself lobbed off from high up without even the slightest discomfort... but we were a good distance from the top. Had we dropped the last move and had the same feeling it would be E10 - but we didn't (thankfully). So I guess we don't know. Dave did, and hurt himself. He was however apparently using different belay tactics, a fixed belayer on the half height ledge reducing the rope paid out and thus increasing the fall factor and likelihood of swinging into the wall. Having the belayer on the ground increases the weight of rope carried up - but would perhaps make the fall from the top safer....perhaps.
Good fun this lark isn't it"
Thanks to Steve for taking the time to comment and share his thoughts.
Read the excellent full article from Steve and David Simmonite on the Climb Magazine Website