A Merchant less Menacing

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Dave Redpath - 04/08/2003

Balmashanner quarry not known for its tranquil views, was a likely venue for bolting activity in the early 90s. It was here that local Dundee lad Stuart Cameron learnt the power trade that was to establish his name across the UK in later years. Before departing south Stuarts legacy was a particularly desperate line called Merchant of Menace, 8b+.

Despite some attention over the past 11 years (!) the route repelled all attempts with its frustrating seepage at its base. The grade quoted as being beefed up changed over the years to 8b back to 8b+. Stuarts retirement from the scene didnt help matters when crux hold came into question in 1999.

Rolling on 2003 with the driest weather in years, attention turned back to Merchant. In stepped Dave Macleod to dispatch the line in 3 days at grade ? Given his current form Dave was a little bit less hesitant at tentative 8b+

Making it still Scotlands hardest sport climb, 11 years on.

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