Greg Boswell Repeats The Hurting XI,11

Andy Turner on the Second ascent of The Hurting © seanjc
Andy Turner on the Second ascent of The Hurting
© seanjc, Jan 2011

Greg Boswell © Brian Horisk/
Greg Boswell
Greg Boswell
© Brian Horisk/
Young Scottish climber Greg Boswell has continued his amazing season with a ground-up ascent of The Hurting (XI,11) on the Fiacall Buttress at Coire an t-Sneachda in the Cairngorms.

This is the third ascent of the route after Dave MacLeod and Andy Turner.

Andy Turner made the second ascent of the route earlier this year - see the above photo and this UKC News Report.

Greg has written up his ascent in a gripping account on his blog:

"...Not knowing where to go I started to feel a little sick with fear as every hook I pulled on blew and I was now way above my last partial runner! I eventually forged my way further up the wall on some of the thinnest hooks I have ever used. I moved diagonally up and left until I was within a few meters of the top, but I still couldn't find any hooks. I made a massive reach off a horizontal rounded seam and swung with my left axe...... nothing..... my feet were now scatting on the smeary foot holds and I felt the energy draining from my right arm.

I knew the prize was slowly slipping away from me. But then I heard James scream from below through the howling wind “HAVE IT MAN”, and this gave me the boost I needed. So I locked off with all my might and swung again.........THUD..... It was good.  I then reached up with my second axe also got a good stick, I gave it one last yard and found myself secure and comfortable on easier ground..."

The route was first climbed in winter by Dave MacLeod back in 2005. It is graded E4 6a in summer.

MacLeod graded the route XI,11 and climbed it after abseil inspection. He commented at the time that he thought it would rank as the hardest traditionally protected mixed climb in the world.

We hope to have more info from Greg on his ascent soon.

Greg Boswell is sponsored by The Mountain Boot Company- which is: Scarpa, Grivel, Deuter, Outdoor Research, Ski Trab, Lorpen.

He is also sponsored by Edelrid.

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21 Feb, 2011
Good job, normally I'm not interested in winter climbing but his account sounds gripping!
21 Feb, 2011
Whats more impressive is that he can actually write a decent story as there are to many crap articles or posts where english seems to be a foreign language on UKClimb. Well done GB
22 Feb, 2011
What a fight!!! Read the blog entry, very recommended!
24 Feb, 2011
more importantly - Is that a perm? how do you find it holds up in spin drift? I used to go for the added insulation of curly locks but cant afford the hair dressers any more and have to cope with a skin heid & a wooly hat! Missing the Keegan when oot dancing though!
24 Feb, 2011
Geek at your age its thinning on top anyway! Al
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