Hardest Trad Pitch in World?


Photo of Dave MacLeod on the original Requiem by Nick Tarmey, courtesy of www.scotlandonline.com.

Hardest Trad Pitch in World?

Several British websites are reporting that Scottish climber Dave MacLeod has completed the direct finish to Requiem at Dumbarton Rock in Scotland, a longstanding project that MacLeod expected to go at hard 5.14 with huge runouts. Dumbarton is a 200-foot volcanic rock west of Glasgow. Dave Cuthbertson climbed the original Requiem (E8 6b) in 1983; at around 5.13c, this 115-foot crack and face line may briefly have been the hardest pitch in the world. Tony Yaniro led Grand Illusion (5.13b/c) in California in 1979, and Wolfgang Güllich did the 5.13d sport climb Kanal im Rucken in Germany in 1984.

MacLeod, 27, is certainly one of the world’s finest all-around climbers. He has established some of Scotland’s hardest winter climbs, and also has led E10 (the highest grade on the British scale—until now). MacLeod worked on the extension to Requiem for more than a year. He previously said the link-up would be the equivalent of French 8c+ (5.14c) and suggested the route could be Britain’s first E11. MacLeod took at least eight 50-foot falls onto small nuts before completing the climb.

More info, discussion and updates at www.ukclimbing.com. See more pictures of the original Requiem at www.scotlandonline.com/outdoors/dumbarton/routes.htm.Comment on this story