Dave MacLeod 8b+ Trad 400m - Up-Climbing

Dave MacLeod 8b+ Trad 400m

Dave McLeod has managed the free ascent of the 400m 8b+ trad route, The Long Hope Route Direct onSt. John’s Head, Hoy – Scotland.
.The Long Hope Route was first climbed in 1970 by Ed Drummond and Oliver Hill. They spent 7 days on the wall, sleeping on ledges and in hammocks, and several of the 23 pitches involved some aiding.
"After climbing it yesterday I have a doubly renewed respect for the boldness of climbers of that period. To venture up that cliff without cams, taking the steepest line possible was a hardcore effort. They spent 7 days climbing the route, sleeping in hammocks or in the big sandstone breaks with the fulmars" writes Dave on his blog .
A first free ascent was made by John Arran and Dave Turnbull in 1997, but this avoided the final pitch up the steep headwall, taking instead a slightly less direct.
“Oliver Hill emailed me in 2006 pointing out that the crack pitch of the original line was still there to be freed and would make a super hard trad route that seemed like a logical progression from the single pitch E10s and E11s of the past few years. Most of the world’s hardest multipitch routes with climbing of 8b or above are essentially sport routes, protected by bolts, insitu pegs or trad with bolts wherever there isn’t good gear available. Oliver thought I should bolt the Longhope route, to make it realistic. But I wasn’t really worried about having a drawn out epic trying to climb it. My idea was to have a super hard long route that was bold, loose, birdy, hard to climb in a day – as pure as possible. That’s absolutely what Scottish sea cliff climbing is about.”
Source  UKC blog Dave McLeod
Ph Lukasz Warzecha