Extreme trad for MacLeod and Welfringer

Great trad ascents

07 April 2022
Dave MacLeod and Symon Welfringer on their trad routes.

You know what it's like to climb a grade 8th? Try to think now of a somewhat random 8b/+, with maybe some strange movements and not just to pull. What if we told you that you have to do it by placing your protections as you go up? Many of us, almost all of us, would forfeit, but for Dave MacLeod and Symon Welfringer it's everyday stuff…

At the age of 44, with bouldering up to 8B+ and routes up to 9a, Dave MacLeod is a true legend of sport and trad climbing. His latest success is a route halfway between performance and madness, an 8b+ trad that presents a possible fall of 25 meters if the final 7C boulder problem is missed. At Pavey Park, Dave signed the second repeat of Lexicon, a route graded E11-E12. Before him only Neil Grasham (FA) and Steve McClure had made the climb.

Similar speech for Symon Welfringer, who in Annot climbed the hardest trad pitch in France. In the Chambre du roi sector, Symon has repeated Voyage, the legendary crack freed by the good James Pearson in 2017. Graded E10 7a, it is considered one of the most beautiful trad lines in the world, as well as being the most demanding in France. More than forty meters long, Voyage follows a round crack that seems designed especially for every trad climber's wildest dreams. The twenty-eight year old Frenchman awarded the Piolet d'or confirmed the beauty of the itinerary, as well as the difficulty and the absolute quality of the rock.

From athletes’ IG page

Alessandro Palma

 

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