So far this year climbing seems to be going well. I managed to redpoint a new 9a/9a+. I always thought it was 9a+, but it went fast, so I wondered, is it really so hard???

Watch the video on North Star  [9a+] Kilnsey

You can buy the dvd "Psyche" on Posing Productions.

"The next day I flashed an 8b+, super crimpy, just my style. The sport climbing was going well, maybe time for some traditional climbing??
My background is traditional climbing. It was all traditional till I was about 24, the climbing in Britain is mainly traditional, I moved to Sheffield when I was 18 specifically for the traditional challenges there. However, particularly around the gritstone edges, as the difficulty rises, generally so does the danger. It's rare to find a physically hard route that isn't dangerous. Dangerous routes have never appealed.


Rhapsody stood out instantly as an obvious challenge, clearly extremely difficult physically, but having the advantage of being a traditional route without the 'death' badge. The climbing looked awesome to me too, long sections of climbing as opposed to the more bouldery gritstone problems. I wanted to try it from the first time I heard about it, maybe not to try and do it, but just to try, to try and see what E11 really is! Rhapsody has a sport feel about it.....with a dose of spice, a large dose! The fall from the top would be a monster, the gear is small, just 2 micro wires.
They can't afford to snap - you have to hope they won't, or you will !!!


Sonnie Trotter chose to place all the gear on lead.
This is the best ascent to date, full respect to him. I chose to have the gear already in place.
I was trying the route while others were trying to work the crack on preplaced gear. The logistics of taking it out on abseil before my attempts, and then putting it back in on abseil after falling for my friends were just too great considering our time constraints and that there were 3 of us on the route. By 3.30pm the sun hits the wall and its all over.

Hence I chose to leave the kit excuse some may think. However, there are only a few bits to be placed, all placed from resting spots, it makes little difference to the difficulty. I am happy with my style, to lead from the floor to top clipping all the gear, no top rope. This is pure enough for me, and perhaps more importantly, the most fun. Sometimes it seems rules can be a pain in the arse. So long as we have fun and leave the rock as we found it, and are honest, then this is all we can hope for."

Watch Dave Mc Leod working on Rhapsody  [E11]

Buy the dvd "E11" on Dave MacLeod' website.

"A lot of people want the route downgraded for whatever reason, typical Brits! Firstly I'm hardly qualified having only climbed E9. The climbing is at least hard F8c, it felt like F8c+ compared to other sport routes I've done quickly, but perhaps fear added a notch. That makes E9 for effort straight away. Originally I assumed it may be E10, going straight for the lead after just a few hours looking at the route, taking a massive whipper and barely feeling a thing. The fall was safe. But I underestimated the route. There is a lot more climbing above where I fell, and on my lead I had to dig deeper than I have for a long time. The last move was as close as it gets. Perhaps if I'd fallen I'd have known for sure...."

Steve McClure

More infos about the route & Steve :
Hot Aches
Posing Productions
UK Climbing
Steve' personal website

More videos of Steve :
Steve McClure on "Mutation"
Steve McClure on "Elder Statesman"
Steve McClure on Kaabah