Monday, 5 March 2007

New Font 8a at Dumbarton

Back from the Peak and we then headed straight over to Dumbarton to catch up with Dave MacLeod. Dave at the moment seems to be stretching the concept of All Round Climber to the absolute limit. Just back from the BMC internation winter meet where he put up a new VIII 8 on Ben Nevis, he was now psyched for a hard bouldering first ascent at Dumbarton before then jetting off in a couple of days to Siurana, Spain with his harness and quickdraws in hand.

This morning at Dumbarton a stong wind was scudding in off the Clyde and gusts to 60 mph were causing us significant problems with the film equipment. Dave himself was also was also really struggling to stay warm enough to attempt his main project.


Diff struggles with the crane camera in high winds at Dumbarton Rock

That project (the full start addition to his recent font 8b) was quickly abandoned and we headed to the relative shelter of the Mugsy cave for Plan B.

Dumbarton continues to be as popular as ever. The hard routes are currently receiving a lot of attention and indeed success, Malcolm Smith recently repeating Pressure font 8b confirming the grade and Alan Cassidy repeating King Kong font 8a. Even on a dreach Monday afternoon we were joined by a group of psyched locals including the ever present John Watson, huddled under in the Mugsy Cave and scoping out yet more possibilities.


Dave MacLeod on the crux sequence of his Hokku Font 8a at Dumbarton

From deep under the cave Dave managed to take a sitting start through a powerfull crux sequence to finally break out through the lip and onto Mugsy (font 7b) to top out. A new Font 8a, Hokku.

Dave MacLeod continuing past the crux on Hokku

It was also quite an interesting boulder problem to film. A number of openings in the cave wall provide vantage points for the several cameras that we had following the sequence. Quite esoteric.

---
Dave B

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