Malcolm Smith succeeds on First Ascent of new 8c+ at Anvil

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Malcolm on Blood Diamond (8c+) with Anvil backdrop (Photo: Mark McGowan)
Malcolm pulling into the crux of Body Blow whilst on Blood Diamond (8c+) (Photo: Mark McGowan)

Malcolm Smith has succeeded in redpointing the central project line on the ludicrously steep north face of the Anvil, on Loch Goil in Argyll. His new route, Blood Diamond, climbs the hard lower groove of Alan Cassidy's Blood Fire to good holds just below half height. From here Blood Fire escapes rightwards, while Malcolm's new route follows Dave MacLeod's Body Blow, which starts at these good holds (they can be reached standing on the boulder close to the face) and climbs straight up to the top.

It has previously been suggested that the route would be 9a, but Malcolm has settled on hard 8c+. Success came relatively quickly, on Malcolm's third session on the route this year, and in less than perfect conditions. Tired from a good session on the route yesterday in better conditions, Malcolm caught the crux right-hand throw on his second redpoint attempt and climbed smoothly to the top - whereupon a full-blooded roar sent the squirrels flying. The slightly harder start to the right, climbing the boulder problem crux of Fire Power then moving left and into Body Blow, is next in his sights. Well done Malcolm!

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