Our decision to commission a live rock climb, on a dauntingly imposing crag, in a highly remote location with no road access, in high definition (HD), was always likely to provide its own unique set of challenges.

However, receipt this week of the evacuation procedure and list of drugs to be available on site emphasised to me again just how different this will be from a traditional sports outside broadcast (OB).

The production is challenge enough. The location for The Great Climb at Sron Uladail on the beautiful Isle of Harris is stunning, but it's certainly not like organising coverage at a football stadium.

There's no road within an hour's rough walk, so no OB truck. Triple Echo, the production company making the programme, have had to arrange for Portakabins to be flown in by helicopter in which the kit will be assembled.

The production team will walk in and walk out. There's no mobile signal, so in an emergency it'll be a satellite phone or something called an emergency locator beacon, which I hope I'm not expected to operate. Then there's the weather. And the midges.

However, cutting-edge and groundbreaking as this may be, as far as I can see it's nothing compared to the physical challenge Dave Macleod and Tim Emmett are proposing to take on this Saturday.

The cliff is over 200 metres high. It overhangs by about 50 metres across. To be honest these figures mean nothing to me either; you will only appreciate the challenge Dave and Tim face when you see them like tiny dots on the wide shot of the rock face next Saturday.

In short, it looks impossible and may well prove to be exactly that. We shall see.

We could of course have mocked something up that may have looked difficult to the untutored eye, but which was actually quite easy to climbers of this standard.

That wouldn't have been the same though, and I doubt Dave and Tim would have wished to be involved in the climbing equivalent of a cabaret act.

Yet if anyone can get them up there it will be Dave Macleod, a Scottish sporting phenomenon who would be a superstar if he operated in a more mainstream environment.

The sight of him and Tim pulling their full body weight up the rock suspended only by one fingertip is truly incredible and I recommend you do not miss it. A lot of shows promise drama, tension and excitement; hopefully on this one, weather permitting, it is guaranteed.

David Harron is executive producer of The Great Climb.

Photo above is kind courtesy of Triple Echo.

The Great Climb is on BBC Two (Scotland only) at 1.35pm and on BBC HD from 5pm this Saturday, 28 August. It is streamed live on the BBC Sport Scotland website and also available to watch in iPlayer after the broadcast.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by David_Harron

    on 7 Sept 2010 12:31

    Hi folks - couple of updates. We'll run the Triple 5 films as 2 x 1 hour programmes on BBC Scotland, date still tbc. Also, I'm sure Triple Echo - the production company who made the show for us - will issue a DVD at some stage.

    Dave as far as I am aware is absolutely fine - seems to take much more than a big gash on his ankle to stop him in his tracks!

  • Comment number 29. Posted by Mortonr

    on 7 Sept 2010 09:20

    I have been harping on about how truly spectacular, in all aspects, this programme was. I happened upon it via my red button and as a (much lesser) climber myself, watched from pitch 2 onwards. Watched is actually an understatement - I was glued! Utterly stunning footage, and with Tim's final pitch in the wet truly gripping television! Why oh why is this not being repeated upon the Beeb on mainstream TV where everyone can enjoy it? It's not just an amazing insight in to climbing, but a really beautifully shot and presented piece of TV.
    I note it's no longer available to watch anywhere on the internet and as I've been recommending it to everyone I know I wonder if it's being released on DVD any time soon? PLEASE!

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by Kite_flyer

    on 5 Sept 2010 11:59

    Absolutely fantastic television, gripping right from the first live shot
    an what brilliant timing right at the end.
    Well done to all involved, climbers and production crew alike.
    Ony minor gripe was sometimes the climbers comments to each other were drowned out by the commentators.
    All in all through a truly amazing broadcast.

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by John

    on 2 Sept 2010 20:33

    What a wonderful pice of real television- one of the best programmes I have watched for a long time. Compulsive viewing! The skill of the climbers and also all the camera guys, sound people and presenters. Congratulations. Such a change from football

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by Jamie Marsay

    on 2 Sept 2010 11:07

    Are we likely to see this programme repeated on UK terrestrial television any time soon? How about a DVD release? I can't believe I missed it!!!!!

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by jane

    on 31 Aug 2010 16:29

    just a quick mention, how is david now ???? I hope he is now resting and on the mend from that very nasty injury.
    I too read the comments in the only newspaper to even acknowledge the climb had taken place (well done The Sun for article prior to the event)maybe the columnist in said sunday paper should have a look at the comments from actual viewers.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by David_Harron

    on 31 Aug 2010 12:29

    Thanks for all the kind comments - I'm glad people enjoyed it. It was an incredible day but we are absolutely delighted with the outcome. It's good too that as well as Dave and Tim - whose achievement almost defies belief - people recognise the contribution of the OB team and camera operators, who worked in very demanding circumstances.

    On the question about the Triple 5, we'll take a view on that soon and they will definitely get an airing on BBC Scotland. They are incredibly dramatic films and I would urge people to watch them. I need to just work out whether they would be best as say a 2 hour special, 2 x 1 hours or 5 x 30 minutes.

  • Comment number 23. Posted by Harry Stottle

    on 30 Aug 2010 15:51

    It was good to see two completely different characters, the shy deep thinking Dave and the carefree happy go lucky Tim, combine to make such a winning partnership.

    Gripping stuff.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by dins1961

    on 30 Aug 2010 14:14

    Fantastic Climbing !!
    The only downside was that the commentators drowned out what the climbers were saying to each other.
    Less needless chatter from the non-climbers would have greatly improved this programme.
    I do hope that there will be more films like this on the BBC.

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by troubleattmill

    on 30 Aug 2010 13:15

    Well done BBC. Best television this year, absolutely superb and thoroughly compelling, with informative intelligent commentary.
    What a pleasure seeing a couple of brilliant, truly gifted athletes performing at the peak of their powers. Scrap all football and formula one coverage and spend it on more of this please.

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