Last week we reported that Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson had climbed Range War (winter variation), graded at X/10. Since then we have found out more about their adventures in the Dubh Loch.
Just a few days after climbing their new route The Greatest Show on Earth X/10 (UKC News Report) - with Greg onsighting the crux pitch - the pair headed to the Dubh Loch bothy on their bikes, attempting to make the approach a little easier before wading through knee-deep snow and soloing to the beginning of Range War.
A 3-pitch summer E4 6a, Greg and Guy had been tipped off about Range War by friends:
"We were going to war, “Range War” to be precise. Info from friends told us that it was a turfy, wet and dirty E4 in summer. They also said that it would lend itself very well towards being a very good and hard modern day mixed adventure. So obviously we put ourselves forward for the challenge."
The pair scoped out a variation on the summer first pitch, opting instead to climb slightly leftward into turfy ground including a corner more suited to a winter ascent. Guy lead this pitch and Greg followed.
Heading into the second pitch, Greg had uncertainties playing on his mind after climbing The Greatest Show on Earth just days before and exerting himself both physically and mentally:
"It was a steep, hanging wall leading to a niche capped by a roof. The wall was smeared with hanging icicles and above the niche there was an ice curtain enticingly hanging over a large overlap higher up. I was nervous!"
Persevering through a technical headwall and finding himself pumped and tired on an exposed arête, Greg continued up the crux pitch onto a precarious section of thinly-covered bulges and turf. Eventually he reached the comfort of an ice cave, where Guy followed up to join him and finished off the final easier pitch, topping out complete with heavy spindrift and a mouthful of snow.
"Once at the top we sorted the ropes and congratulated ourselves on doing the route that we had both been pining over for the last three years, and what a route it was!"
This ascent rounded off an incredible week of climbing for Greg and Guy, with Greg onsighting the crux pitches of both The Greatest Show on Earth and Range War, each graded X/10.
2015 is already looking like a great year for Greg, perhaps too good:
"Uh oh. I may need to retire for the rest of this winter season. Not from anything bad, but just because I'm never going to top the day I had today." (from Greg's Facebook page).
More information on Greg's blog.