James McHaffie repeats The Big Bang - 9a

© Jack Geldard
Wales based climber James McHaffie has repeated Wales' hardest sport route - The Big Bang (9a) - at Lower Pen Trwyn on the Great Orme, Llandudno.

James McHaffie in Margalef, Spain  © Jack Geldard
James McHaffie in Margalef, Spain
Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC, Aug 2011
© Jack Geldard

The route was first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson and was Britain's first 9a. James' ascent is the first repeat of this notoriously sharp and desperate line.

James's ascent comes after he climbed the 8c of Infanticide last year, which shares the same start. He then turned his attention to The Big Bang and committed to attempting the route, with multiple sessions on the line this summer.

McHaffie, aged 30, is perhaps best known for his UK trad climbing CV which includes over 30 onsights of routes of E7 and above, but has also climbed many hard sport routes, including; Infanticide (8c) The Very Big and The Very Small (8b+), Sauron (8b first ascent), The Serpent Vein (8b first ascent) as well as multiple onsights of routes of 8a and above.

James McHaffie casually onsighting another three star 8a at Terradets, Spain.  © Jack Geldard
James McHaffie casually onsighting another three star 8a at Terradets, Spain.
Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC, Aug 2011
© Jack Geldard

McHaffie has also proved his ability on a world stage with his fast ascent of one of the Alps' hardest rock routes - the Voie Petit on the Grand Capucin in the Mont Blanc Range and his efforts on the Madagascan route of Tough Enough (multipitch 8c).

We hope to have more info on James' ascent of The Big Bang soon.

James McHaffie is sponsored by Wild Country, Sterling Rope and Red Chili


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1 Aug, 2011
-) well done that man!!
1 Aug, 2011
What a total climbing machine!
1 Aug, 2011
Well done James, amazing effort and really pleased for you. Good to see hard work paying off. Congrats. Jack
1 Aug, 2011
Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhh! Ormes Rule!!
1 Aug, 2011
great news, well done
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