MacLeod Frees 400m E8 in Norway Video

© Paul Diffley / Hotaches Productions
Dave MacLeod has spent the last few weeks on the Gore-tex Experience Tour in Norway, a trip on which two winners of a competition got the chance to go on holiday and climb with Dave on some remote and beautiful Norwegian granite.

As well as cragging and putting up a hard new sport route, Dave took his chance to free a 400m aid line on the north face of Blamman.

Dave MacLeod, Helena Robinson and Julia Snihur beneath Blamman, Norway  © Paul Diffley / Hotaches Productions
Dave MacLeod, Helena Robinson and Julia Snihur beneath Blamman, Norway
© Paul Diffley / Hotaches Productions

The best granite pitch I have climbed anywhere. Perfect laybacking with spaced but good protection.

Dave MacLeod frees Bongo Bar, E8

The route, named Bongo Bar is now graded 7b+, 7b+, 8a, 7c, 7b, 6c, 7a, 6b and is a stunning wall of perfect granite.

MacLeod partnered with Julia Snihur, and climbed the route completely free, after some initial inspections and cleaning.

Dave MacLeod on Bongo Bar - the 400m route which he freed at E8, Blamman, Norway
© Paul Diffley / Hotaches Productions

Commenting on the crux of the route on his blog, Dave said:

"Julia seemed to have no questions that I'd be able to dispatch the 8a (E8 6c) pitch above, and told me so in her direct but ever positive style. I launched up the pitch, climbing smoothly at first but wobbling into the crux and seriously losing my cool. I looked behind me for the crucial thumb press; it was wet, and so was the foothold. There was no time for hesitation and as I began to slip off backwards I threw my right hand across the corner without enough time to look for the hold first. Two fingers caught it and with a grunt I stayed on and continued with 'Elvis leg' all the way to the ledge."

The area they were climbing in is full of future potential according to Dave:

"I have a feeling that despite the unpredictable Norwegian climate, Blamman will be one of the most famous walls in europe for hard granite big wall climbs in the coming years. It's a very accessible place and yet really impressive with some of the best granite you'll find anywhere."

Paul Diffley of Hotaches Productions was on hand to capture the action on film and has produced the short clip below. Watch this space for the full feature! 


Dave MacLeod is sponsored by GORE-TEX , Scarpa , Black Diamond and Mountain Equipment

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30 Aug, 2011
Wow! When the camera pans out and you get the scale... what an amazing wall!!
30 Aug, 2011
Consistently the most impressive, motivating and entertaining climber. Great stuff
30 Aug, 2011
Looks great! Well done to the team for adding another free ascent to the wall. BTW, the wall is named in the guidebook as "Blåmannen", although sometimes Norwegians seem to also call it "Blåmann". Not sure why - perhaps a Norwegian speaker could explain, is it the genitive perhaps? But, anyway, it definitely isn't "Blamman". "å" isn't just an "a" with a squiggle over it, it is a different letter - in Finnish it is called "Swedish o" and it sounds like "oh". I find Norwegian a nightmare to pronounce properly (my climbing partner when I was last on Kvaløya gave up trying to get me to say the island's name properly!), but if you can't find å on your keyboard - it will be there somewhere - I suspect Blomann is closer to the mountains name in Norwegian. Kvaløya is a magic place that should be better known, but if you go respect it!
30 Aug, 2011
I think it's somewhere between 'oh' and 'or'. For instance, Pål is a common Norwegian name which seems to be pronounced pretty much like Paul.
30 Aug, 2011
Dave Mac really is leading the way in climbing standards. I mean, runing a competition to find two chicks to go climbing with - that's the way forward!
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