Scotlands Third E9

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Dave Redpath - 16/12/2002

Dave MacLeod has completed another one of his long standing projects at Glen Nevis called 'Hold Fast' and at a grade of E9 7a becomes the third of its kind in Scotland and one of a dozen or so in the UK. 'Hold Fast' climbs the pristine blank wall left of Femme Fatale on Whale Rock which Dave made the second ascent of a few years back. Dave had this to say about his new addition to the Macleod tick list: "The meat of the route has no protection, climbing a blank, off vertical wall on micro edges. It has a bouldery and very technical 7a crux at 18 feet, possibly protected by a poor skyhook at 8 feet?! From here sustained wobbling leads to a sting in the tail finishing rockover which gains a line of good edges leading into Run For Home (the adjacent E5). Overall the top rope grade comes in at 7c+, although its always difficult to be accurate with vertical routes. I first tried it last year and visited it about four times since but was always thwarted by not being able to touch it on the top rope! The lead was the result of being in the right place at the right time for perfect conditions - baltic, still and bone dry. The route is visually striking, being a blank wall. Very befitting of the hardest trad route in the country!".

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