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  • MoonSchool holds by MoonSchool holds
Trad Climbing 12 April 2006 - 15:18:10 Posted by Freak      

More on Rhapsody: E11 7a by Dave MacLeod

It has been confermed by Dave MacLeod itself: the new route freed by him (the direct finish to Requiem, first climbed in 1983 by the Scottish Dave Cuthbertson) at Dumbarton Rock (Scotland), has been called Rhapsody and it is graded E11 7a (35m)!!!

Dave Macleod Requiem Direct E11 7a

Dave MacLeod on the Direct finish to Rhapsody, E11 7a

Ph: Paul Diffley -

This is the first TRAD route (namely no bolts or peg, but just traditional protections - nuts, friends) of such a grade in the UK grading scale that had E10 as top-end (the first part of the grade - E11 - indicates the danger of the route, while the second - 7a in this case - the technical difficulty in British scale). Considering sport climbing grades, Dave declared that this route, with bolts, would have been 8c.

Dave declared on that he started trying this project in 2002, but that at that time he managed to do only half the moves. In 2004 he managed all the moves but 2.
Finally, in 2005 he managed all the moves. It was then time to put them all together. In September he started leading the route, taking huge falls, nearly 20m (70 foots) on a RP, the smallest nut on the market.
In March 2006 he decided to go back to try the project again, but he just slapped the last hold, but the next instant he was flying again with a massive smash off the wall, spraining his ankles, twisting a knee and cutting and bruising his feet...

Ed here we go with the last chapter of the story: last Sunday!
Dave said: "After several days enforced rest, everything was set for Sunday - good forecast and the positive vibe of Claire holding the rope again. But on arriving at the crag, a two hour blizzard kicked off, ending all hope of getting on the route. But the warm sun came back out and we inspected the line, trying to dry the finishing holds with t-shirts and tissues. At the last minute it was dry and I called Claire. Back on the horrible shake out I felt awful - nervous, negative, I just didn-t want to be there. So I tried to think positive and thought "just climb it then and you won't have to come back here again, either way it will be over in a minute". I shook and wobbled through every move and arrived back staring at the finishing hold. To grab it and pull over after all those times falling is an indescribable feeling. I thought I was going to melt!

After putting everything else aside for two year to climb Rhapsody I'm now looking forward to climbing other places again. A lot of people helped me do this route - thanks!"

Really a good effort!
We are sure that now Dave desearves a bit of rest and travelling to climb in other crags!!

Well done Dave!

Dave MacLeod CV:
The Hurting XI,11 Cairngorm, 1° salita. (M9/10 risk of death), 2005
Defenders of the Faith IX,9 UK, on-sight 1° ascent, 2006

Breathless E10 7a, Lake District, UK, 3rd ascent, 2005
Achemine E9 7a, Dumbarton Rock, 1st ascent, 2001
The Fugue E9 6c, Arrochar, Scotland, 1st ascent, 2002
Holdfast E9 7a, Glen Nevis, Scotland, 1st ascent, 2002

Sport Climbing
Devastation F8c, Dumbuck, Scotland, 1st ascent 2004
Armstrong F8c, Frankenjura, Germany, 2005
Chronique de la Haine, F8c Ceuse, France 2004
Hurlyburly F8b, Birnam Quarry, UK, free-solo, 2003

Pressure Font 8b first ascent, Dumbarton, UK, 2005
Perfect Crime Font 8b, first ascent, Dumbarton, UK, 2005
Super Size Me Font 8b, second ascent, Dumbarton, UK, 2006

Dry tooling
Good training for Something M12-, 2nd salita, Birnam Quarry, UK, 2006
Vertical Limit M11, Uschinen, Switzerland, 2004

Established in 1983 by Dave Cubby Cuthbertson was the first F8a+ in the world. He actually led it on trad gear and graded is E7 7a. Current accepted thought is that it is F8a+ or E8 6b on pre-placed wires.

Usefull Links:

» the profile of Dave MacLeod
» Dumbarton Rock
REPORTS on other websites:
More news on Rhapsody:
» It's officially E11 7a: Direct finish to Requiem by Dave MacLeod
» MacLeod Climbs Direct Finish to Requiem: first E11?

More news on Dave MacLeod:
» Dave MacLeod frees Pressure: probably Scotland's hardest
» Dave MacLeod climbs Breathless, E10 7a
» The Scottish Dave MacLeod striking both at home and Frankenjura
» First 8c sport route in Scotland by Dave MacLeod
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