Leanne Callaghan: Neanderthal - VII,7 - Glen Coe

Leanne Callaghan: Neanderthal - VII,7 - Glen Coe
© Will Woodhead

Leanne Callaghan, 89 kb
Leanne Callaghan
© Jon Bracey
Leanne Callaghan has made what is believed to be the first female lead of Neanderthal (VII,7) on Lost Valley Buttress, Glen Coe.

Leanne, partnered on the route by Will Woodhead, led both crux pitches clean and onsight on the 8th Jan 2010.

Callaghan, 37, is arguably one of the most accomplished female mountaineers on British soil at the moment, operating at a very high standard on both rock and ice, on the crags and in the mountains.

Recent winter ascents of Alpine North faces include the Ginat on the Droites, the Shroud on the Grandes Jorasses and the Super Couloir (With Direct Start) on the Tacul. Leanne is also at home on steep ice and has made ascents of the much renowned ice routes of Dame du Lac (WI6+) near Morzine, Nuit Blanche (WI6) on the Argentiere Icefalls and Bienvenue au Club (WI6) at Vallon Diable.

In Nov 2009, in an all-girl team with Norwegian Lena Dahl, Leanne made several repeat ascents of long routes in the Fitzroy area of Patagonia.

Neanderthal is a 4 pitch route on the popular Lost Valley Butress in Glen Coe and was first climbed by Rab Anderson and Grahame Nicoll in February of 1987. You can view Grahame's superb UKC photo gallery here.

The route, a solid classic, is a furiously technical affair and covers steep and intimidating ground. Leanne tackled pitches 2 and 3, the hardest on the route, her partner on the climb; Will Woodhead, led the first pitch and the final pitch.

Leanne Callaghan: Neanderthal - VII,7 - Glen Coe, 145 kb
Leanne Callaghan: Neanderthal - VII,7 - Glen Coe
© Will Woodhead
I'm glad to hear that Neanderthal is now getting regular repeats and has become a Glen Coe classic. It took Rab Anderson and I two attempts, and was probably one of the last big first ascents to be done with terrordactyls. Well done Leanne.

Grahame Nicoll - First Ascensionist

Callahan's UK Rock CV spans the country with onsight ascents of multiple classic E5's such as Right Wall on Dinas Cromlech and Heart of Gold on Red Walls, Gogarth (both North Wales), Supersonic at High Tor in the Peak District and Wraith at Lower Sharpnose in Devon.

She has also climbed remote, multi-pitch first ascents in Greenland, onsight and up to E3 partnered by Glenda Huxter.

Photo Gallery: Neanderthal - VII,7 - Glen Coe - 2010 and 1987

Leanne Callaghan leading Neanderthal, VII 7, 149 kb
Leanne Callaghan leading Neanderthal, VII 7
© Will Woodhead
Neanderthal, Glen Coe, First Ascent, 114 kb
Neanderthal, Glen Coe, First Ascent
© Grahame N, Feb 1987

Leanne is sponsored by Rab and Outdoor Designs.

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