The Great Climb’s New Route
The centrepiece of The Great Climb is a brand new route pioneered up some of the most difficult rock in the country by world-class climber Dave MacLeod. Dave will be following three pitches of desperately hard climbing up Hell’s Lum. Depending on the conditions on the day, the first pitch could take one of two testing options:
An open groove which Dave estimates will ‘go’ at the heady grade of E7.
A slim finger-width crack just to its right which he feels will most likely merit an astronomical E9 rating.
Both ways lead to a large ledge. From here the route will take a radically different – and frightening aspect. A long sideways traverse across a vertical wall beneath a big rock roof will prove a huge test, both because of the miniscle holds and the lack of protection available. If Dave falls form here, he faces the prospect of a very dangerous pendulum on the rope that could lead to serious injury – or worse.
Assuming a successful traverse of this alarming pitch, Dave will reach a precarious position in which to rest and belay his ‘second’, Dave Cuthbertson. With no ledges in sight when the limit of his ropes are reached, Dave expects to have to take a ‘hanging belay’; he will strap himself to a removable anchor point he has placed in a crack and literally hang from the ropes in his harness over the void.
The final pitch to the top of the crag will go straight up from the worrying belay to follow a shallow groove, then twin crack lines leading to an open wall before a final crack splitting the rocks lead, thankfully, to the finish of a stunning line.