Third Ascent of Hunger 9a by Dave MacLeod

Dave MacLeod has made the third ascent of Hunger 9a at The Anvil at Loch Goil. In 2018, Will Bosi made the first repeat after Malcolm Smith's first ascent in 2010 (UKC news). The line was Scotland's first 9a and is a link-up of Dave Redpath's Fire Power 8b and Dave MacLeod's Body Blow 8b+.

Dave MacLeod silhouetted on Hunger 9a.  © Dark Sky Media
Dave MacLeod silhouetted on Hunger 9a.
© Dark Sky Media

The route is around 60 degrees overhanging and 25 metres long, featuring an 8A boulder problem low down and another 8A crux at mid-height. Dave was working the route in 2007, but when a crucial, hold broke off on the height-dependent crux, he struggled to find an alternative method. Over ten years later, Dave returned with extra strength and a keen eye to look for new beta.

In August 2018, Dave spent many sessions on the route, working the moves and figuring out different combinations to overcome the crux. This year, he trained more specifically for the cruxes and the three sections started to link together. As his biggest long-term project, Dave is satisfied to have finally clipped the chains on such a historic climb. In a video about the climb by Dark Sky Media, soon to be released, Dave commented:

'I still can't believe that I have actually done it. For such a large part of the process it just seemed so, so far above my level that I really struggled to have my own vision to think that I ever was going to be able to do it. I've spent the last few years going back around some old projects that I'd previously given up on because they were too hard for me. This was the biggest and the last of them. It's a chapter I've gone through and now I need to go and find some more projects.'

Dave on the third ascent of Hunger 9a.  © Dark Sky Media
Dave on the third ascent of Hunger 9a.
© Dark Sky Media

Dave's ascent also marks the end of a successful year, in which he has made the first ascent of Mind Riot E10 7a at Binnein Shuas and an E9 7a first ascent on Harris, with The Golden Road, alongside numerous easier trad and boulder first ascents and a repeat of Paradise Lost 8B/8B+ in Switzerland's Sustenpass.

Dave has released a vlog about completing Hunger, in which he shares details on his training and preparation, titled 'Hunger 9a: A fourteen year journey.'


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6 Nov

Excellent video! :)

I particularly like to hear about his 'process'. The thought of all that he puts into 9a is mind-boggling.

8 Nov

Was that Malc Smith's voice right at the end?

8 Nov

No, that's a West coast accent not East coast. Sounds ginger haired and Malc has dark hair. :)

8 Nov

I'm staggered Dave's body fat percentage is at high as he says as he always looks pretty lean to me. I'd have guessed he had less than 10% body fat during his successful redpoint; his traps are practically popping out of his skin!