Steve McClure has proved that Malham Cove is not yet 'climbed-out' by establishing a new 8c on the Upper Tier named The Reign is Over. The name alludes to the recent spell of good weather which enabled the first ascent, as well as to the all-consuming routes which Steve has dedicated a significant chunk of time to.
Posting on Facebook, Steve commented:
'This marks the end of the affair I've had on the walls below, with a single section of rock ruling over my life for 15 years! These routes; Batroute, Batman, Rainman, Rainshadow, Overshadow and Batshadow, have reigned over me, pushed me and forced me to be my best. It's been a good run. Now I've broken out.'
However, it seems as though this may not be the end of Steve's Malham campaign.
'You watch - I'll be back, I'm sure I spotted a line of holds out there somewhere...' he wrote on Facebook.
The route is in a 'wild' position, with the crux involving pulling over the lip. It begins up The Toad of Beck Hall (F7b+) before breaking new territory with a hard boulder problem and steep moves through the roof above. The Reign is Over is one of the hardest routes on the Upper Tier, with John Dunne's Total Eclipse 8c+ remaining the most difficult. Steve required just two days of effort this season to complete the project.
He told UKC:
'The awesome boulder problem roof is straight out of The Foundry Wave - lucky I'd climbed there a fair bit this winter! Turning the lip is maybe the crux, with 80m of air below! Awesome!'
In June last year, Steve established the UK's hardest sport route and became the first Brit to climb 9b with Rainman (UKC interview) on Malham's Catwalk. The line took over 100 sessions over 10 seasons since 2010 to complete.