Dave MacLeod recently spent two weeks bouldering in Magic Wood, Switzerland, where he managed to tick One Summer in Paradise and Riverbed - both 8B - in one successful evening session with the help of his headtorch!
After spending some time working Chris Sharma's Practice of the Wild 8C but considering it too powerful for his current fitness, Dave set his sights on some other projects. Writing in his blog, Dave explained:
"I sat out some wet days and then started from scratch on another dream line I’ve been wanting to do for a few years - One Summer in Paradise (8B). I worked out the moves over a couple of quick sessions when it was still really damp. Although I could do the moves, I wasn’t feeling very confident about my power level."
Returning for a third session just as it was beginning to get dark, Dave dispatched One Summer first try, much to his surprise:
"I was expecting to be trying the line all evening so I headed down to the famous The Riverbed 8B which I’d played on a little previously. I was enjoying just working out the moves in a kind of relaxed fashion and started thinking I would probably return to it. But when I started from the start I found myself climbing the whole thing. As I climbed through the crux I realised I better really concentrate and try and do it, but relax at the same time. There were some exciting moments as I hadn’t placed my torch to shine on the upper headwall and ended up groping around in the dark trying to find the finishing jugs."
Dave's success in Magic Wood marks a turning point in his climbing and training after undergoing ankle surgery earlier this year. Following his ascents, Dave managed to do each individual move on Practice of the Wild, indicating that a return trip to Magic Wood in the near future is on the cards:
"It’s definitely put some extra fire into my motivation to train specifically for bouldering and return to Magic Wood with the confidence that this climb is actually a possibility for me."
Commenting on his "Magic Night in the Wood", Dave wrote:
"I was over the moon to climb two dream 8Bs in a night. Like so many climbers I watched Dave Graham doing the first ascent of Riverbed in the Dosage films and was inspired to visit Switzerland for bouldering."
Dave is now in Catalunya enjoying some winter sport climbing - let's see if he puts his recent bouldering form to good use!
Watch a video of Dave on the 8B's below: