Steve McClure Flashes the Traverse of the Gods

Steve McClure has onsighted/flashed the Traverse of the Gods at the Lancashire bouldering venue of Craig y Longridge.

The boulder problem is a huge traverse of the entire cliff and is given a sport grade of F8b+.

The crag and the new fence., 177 kb
The crag and the new fence.
© John Hunt, Jul 2010

Young, strong Steve (McClure) at Oliana. Not that young anymore, but apparently still quite strong., 117 kb
Young, strong Steve (McClure) at Oliana. Not that young anymore, but apparently still quite strong.
Steve climbed the problem on his first try after walking along the base of the crag to see the holds and the line of the traverse. He explained on his blog:

"Trying to do this first go was the plan. With holds absolutely everywhere I figured trying to work it all out before hand would require more memory than I had available, not to mention energy and time. An onsight go, but a flash really as the holds are easily visible. So I bouldered around near the start in my trainers and walked up and down the traverse between warm-ups to see if there were any obvious rests before pulling on my boots for the first and only time and setting off."

Steve did the traverse first go, but then instead of collapsing on the floor at the end, he started climbing back the other way - without stepping off for a rest:

"So what to do at the end? Set of back I guess! So without rest I was away, faster now reversing the sequences, but it all felt a bit hard work, and I had to question what I was doing on the high bit as I literally fell across the traverse needing heel hooks to stay on above a back breaking fall! I got a fair way until my whole body shut down, not just pumped arms, but legs, stomach, back and all. I was off in a crumpled, panting heap. After 5 mins rest I still couldn't even do a single move. Time to retreat, but something to come back for I guess – I hear the Ian Vickers, the master of Longridge can cruise it 3 times without a rest...."

The BMC sign., 110 kb
The BMC sign.
© John Hunt, Jul 2010
Craig y Longridge is a short but very long overhanging gritstone crag in Lancashire that came under threat of closure a few years ago. Luckily for us the BMC stepped in and saved the day by buying the crag and securing future access for climbers.

Well done Steve and well done the BMC!

Steve McClure is sponsored by Marmot , Petzl , Beal , Five Ten

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