Scottish 8b repeats

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In the early nineties Stuart Cameron established the route Merchant of Menace at Balmashanner Quarry. For over a decade it stood unrepeated as a symbol of the limit of Scottish sport climbing. Through the nineties Scottish 8b became the magic grade to stamp on hard first ascents. Some of these routes were stripped of their status as new beta or bloated egos were uncovered. Others held their reputations. More routes went up over the years, but none crossed the line into new territory. Merchant has seen a handful of repeats in recent years, the most recent being Al Coull's ascent last week.

A breakthrough in difficulty did finally come, and now Scotland has a small number of sport routes in the 8b+ to 8c+ range. Most of these routes have seen a repeat ascent, testifying to the increasing ability of climbers based in Scotland. Now 8b's such as Hurly Burly and Stolen have seen nearly a dozen repeats (Gordon Lennox and Blair Fyffe most recently). Today, Will Atkinson made a one-day ascent of Fire Power at the Anvil - no soft touch at the grade, either. Scottish sport climbing continues to lift itself from the dark ages.

Fire Power In A Day

Route: Fire Power 8b.

Climber: Will Atkinson

Video: Will Atkinson 31/05/2010

Desc: Will Atkinson climbing Fire Power at The Anvil. Comments

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