Dave MacLeod and an Experience Tour winner free climb a desperate aid route on one of Europe's steepest granite walls.
Posted: 6 September 2011
If you've been following the GORE-TEX Experience Tour on Facebook, you'll know that two lucky Brits won the chance to go climbing in Norway with top Scottish climber, Dave MacLeod.
And the good news is that the trip was a pretty successful one with arguably the highlight being a new free route on Blamann, one of Europe's steepest granite big walls called 'Bongo Bar', which Dave climbed with one of the winners, Julia Snihur.
The 1200-foot line was originally climbed as an aid route, but MacLeod along with other top climbers, saw the potential for free-climbing routes on the wall. As a result, the team consisting of Dave MacLeod, GORE-TEX® Experience Tour winners Julia Snihur and Helena Robinson and climber Donald King spent several days on the cliff attemtping to free it, fixing ropes and working on sections of the climb before MacLeod and Snihur returned to free it.
The ascent of the route took 11 hours in a single push with MacLeod leading most of the pitches. There were a few tense moments, he almost fells on the crux section of the route, stopping himself by catching a small edge with two fingers. Sharp edges meant the danger of cut ropes was a real one and an overhanging section part way up made abseil retreat from the upper section of the wall potentially problematic.
The climb was filmed by Paul Diffley of Hot Aches Productions - hence the high quality video. You can find more of the same at the GORE-TEX News Channel on YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/goretexnews#p/u.
Lots more about the Tour including the latest experiences and a bunch of great images at www.facebook.com/GORETEX.OutdoorProducts.