Mathew Wright has made the first ascent of a new sandstone trad line at Wicket Gate Crag near Reiff in the Woods, just west of Stac Pollaidh in the Ross and Cromarty region.
Mat has been touring Scotland between attempts on Rhapsody E11 7a at Dumbarton Rock. He told UKC:
"I came to Scotland with the desire to climb some new routes and gain some more experience on trad gear in preparation for Rhapsody. I dreamt of finding the perfectly bold, sustained and compelling line. One that would test me mentally greater than anything yet. This felt like a bit of a pipe dream initially, but when I first climbed on the Torridonian Sandstone, it all hit me that I might be able to find something really out there and match my imagination."
The 15-metre line is described by Mat in the UKC Logbooks as a 7c+ with ground-fall potential should a climber drop the crux. He said:
"The hardest moves are right at the end of the runout and demand absolute concentration. Once you enter the crux you cannot turn back, your only choice is to commit to the 6c moves, knowing that if you make the smallest mistake, you're going for the ride of your life and possibly your last one at that. The landing is poor and the gear is 1/3 of the way up the crag to where you are.
"The difficulty is obvious with this route, but the quality really stands out. I know that for me, this route is perfect and it really has been the best experience. I'm confident that I've found a truly fantastic route and I hope that others have the same experience that I had. The beauty of the route is guarded by a challenging runout which will test many of the boldest climbers. Hopefully this won't put people off too much."
Earlier this summer, Mat made the fourth ascent of Lexicon E11 7a at Pavey Ark (UKC News). Comparing the difficulty of the two routes, he commented:
"Lexicon taught me a lot, but "Live Fast, Die Young I felt was even more bold. Although the climbing is for sure easier at around French 7c+."
He summed up:
"I'm incredibly proud of this route and I can't help but feel quite emotional by the whole journey. I'm really excited to search for more new routes. This is hopefully just the beginning of a fantastic journey."