Long Hope Repeated - McHaffie and Bransby

James McHaffie and Ben Bransby have repeated the Long Hope Route on St John's Head, Hoy, Scotland, making the second free ascent of this long and difficult sandstone trad route.

James visited the area last year in less than perfect conditions, but still managed to redpoint the crux headwall pitch in isolation, but couldn't climb the whole route due to poor weather.

This year he returned and partnered with Ben Bransby, the pair managed a successful lead of the entire route on Saturday the 25th of May. James made very quick work of the crux pitch last year,  and this year seems no different.

The Long Hope Route Direct E10 6c - Topo  © Photo: Mark Reeves, Topo: Jack Geldard
The Long Hope Route Direct E10 6c - Topo
© Photo: Mark Reeves, Topo: Jack Geldard

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

"I took one fall on the crux reach. I pulled the ropes and did it next try. I'd only been on the crux once the day before, and I could have done with a rest day, but we had a weather window. It's an amazing route, and there are tons of empty crags up here."

More information to come when the guys return from their Scottish road trip.


James McHaffie is sponsored by Arc'teryx, DMM , Sterling Rope and Five Ten


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29 May, 2013
I look forward to more information. Good job by them, that cliff goes up a long way.
29 May, 2013
Big news. Good effort guys. It'll be interesting to read a full report.
29 May, 2013
A worthy achievement, but I think it's a bit disrespectful to the guy who put the route up in the first place to call this the second ascent. Not trying to start an argument, but I don't think it necessarily follows that climbing it free after extensive cleaning and top rope practice is an improvement in style over doing it on sight, from the ground up, with no idea if there was even a way up. It's still a magnificent achievement, but in a different game - That's what I think and I may well be wrong. Just my two penn'orth, as they say.
29 May, 2013
Well Dave also headpointed it, and wasn't it an aid route of Ed Drummonds? It's the second free ascent wether you think it's newsworthy or not (which it is). Well done guys, great ascent.
29 May, 2013
How is climbing it free not an improvement in style over aiding it?! You are trying to start an argument, though I shouldn't feed trolls.
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