UKC

The Rhapsody issue

The story goes as follows: In 2006, Dave MacLeod made the FA of Rhapsody, E11 or 8c/+ S, on Dumbarton rock not far from Glasgow, Scotland. The ascent was significant in the sense that it was the first "real" route to be given a grade above E10. By "real" I mean it's not a boulder route like Blind vision or High fidelity.
So, the controvercy: Long before Dave made the FA, he realized that the easiest way, the path of least resistance, would be to use the left arĂȘte just before the top crux. In his own words, Dave "considered finishing the route this way and making an E10. It was contrived to carry on direct following the crack right to the top, probably daft on my part, but that?s what all the fuss was about, and for me what made it scrape into E11".
Apparently, Stevie Mac (3rd ascent) used the arĂȘte and Sonnie Trotter (2nd ascent) didn't.
Now the question is whether a route is the line defined by the first ascender or whether it's the path of least resistance. Normally, I'd say the latter. If a new easier sequence, using different holds, is found, the route will become easier. In this particular case however, it's even more complicated as Dave knew about the easier option and decided not to use it.
He climbed the line he did, and no one can take that away from him. No one can tell him it was wrong, as everyone is free to do whatever, but in my mind it's an eliminate. And as such, it doesn't follow the logical line to the top.
Suggestion:
Dave and Sonnie climbed Rhapsody eliminate original, E11
Steve climbed Rhapsody, E10 (according to Dave)
What do you think?
Photo: Stevie on Rhapsody I think he's right at the point where he has to decide whether to go left or right.





Forums 6 comments

This has been read 1,032 times
Return to News from December 2008