Steve McClure has been active on Northern limestone recently, repeating the Raven Tor test-piece Hubble (F8c+), as well as onsighting Kali Yuga (F8b) at Two Tier Buttress, adding a harder new route (as yet unnamed and ungraded) to Two Tier and completing a mega link at Malham joining Bat Route in to Overshadow to give a sustained F8c+.
All of these individual achievements are impressive. To have a tick-list like this for the last few weeks is amazing.
Talking to UKC, Steve was extremely psyched over his ascent of Hubble, a short bouldery route that is different in style to Steve's usual offerings:
“It's one of my biggest fantasies ever to do this, bigger than all my new routes by far.”
Commenting on his blog, Raven Tor devotee Keith Sharples said:
"And the sixty four million dollar question – is it F8c+ or F9a? Well buy him a pint and perhaps he'll tell you. Word on the street from those that have been on both Hubble and Action Direct, Wolfgang Gullich's infamous Frankenjura test-piece of the same era, is that they are of comparable difficulty."
Keith Sharples has photographs and a report of the Hubble ascent here: Keith Sharples Blog
Steve's casual onsight of Kali Yuga was his second hardest UK sport onsight to date, after his onsight of the Kilnsey route Indian Summer (F8b+) a few years ago. This plus his flash of Dr Crimp (F8b+) confirms Steve's place at the forefront of UK sport climbing. Has F8b been onsighted in the UK by anyone else? We're not sure.