MacLeod Maintains Consistent Form

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Dave Redpath - 27/07/2002

Dave MacLeod has been back in action recently with several repeats and first ascents.

In Glen Nevis on Buzzard Crag he added 'Juggernaut' E7 6b, which climbs "the stunning wall in the middle of the crag, crying out to be climbed" to the right of 'Handren Effect'. The route gives strenuous climbing but good protection where needed. After a quick abseil Dave went for it to be denied, but clinching it first yo-yo. Dave commented, "The crux is at the top - a wild slap for a good hold, skin of the teeth job for me, followed by a touch and go mantel onto a slopey ledge", seat of the pants stuff kids!

At Half Dome Crag Dave and co came away with a few new routes in the E6 bracket. The same day Dave got the onsight on Gary Latters 'Flight of the Snowgoose' E6 6b.

Further south Dave's been hitting Arrochar in a recent frenzy coming away with the first ascent of 'Tick Tock' E6 6b at Glen Croe. This route takes the stunning overhanging arte right of 'The Sharp Kiss' on the upper crag. Tried by few due to its bendy edges and 'lonely wire' Dave took little time to weight the consequences getting it first go, after a quick brush from above.

On the bouldering front Dave's jaded acquaintance with Dumbarton might now be at an end as the problems continue to go up at Arrochar. The hardest of which has to be 'Axeman' Font 7c+. Given loss of holds on 'The Cutting Room' he managed to re-climb it at Font 7b+, although he feels he's sketching at the grade since it did take another 15-20 goes to re-climb it.

On the repeat front Dave grabbed the second ascent of 'Portleithen Terrier' a few weeks back. Coming within slapping distance of the onsight, dave managed it second go feeling it to be more like Fr 7c+.

At Glen Nevis he did the long awaited second ascent of 'Leopold'. Dave pink-pointed the route due to its mix of bolts and gear, to do it fourth redpoint, third day. This stunning line which takes the huge diagonal crack across Steall Hut Crag was done by Murry Hamilton back in 1992, who lead it with gear in place. The route is Fr 8a+ climbing in itself, even though bolts remain in its start (part of the longstanding Fr 8c project) it remains to see if anyone will soldier it out for a free ascent placing the gear in the coming years.

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