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To Hell and Back, E10 6c at Hell’s Lum, Cairngorms, Scotland
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Dave Macleod travels To Hell and Back E10 6c at Hell’s Lum, Cairngorms, Scotland


Dave Macleod has made the first ascent of "To Hell and Back", E10 6c at Hell’s Lum, Cairngorms, Scotland.

On Thursday 23 August Dave Macleod made the first ascent of "To Hell and Back", a two pitch 80m E10 6c at Hell’s Lum, Cairngorms, Scotland. Macleod describes the route as most dangerous lead he's done to date, and "a fall from anywhere on the second half of pitch one is unlikely to be survivable".

Macleod had been preparing the route for a Saturday live first ascent on British TV, but at the very last moment the infamous Scottish weather scuppered all plans. Although Macleod had toproped the route comfortably the previous week, sitting around waiting for the weather to turn understandably distracted from the much needed focus. Thus on Wednesday 22 August Dave reluctantly walked away from the climb, a wise decision we might add. But he returned last Friday in non-ideal conditions to climb to way to his very personal hell and back.

Justifiably considered one of Britain's most impressive all-rounders, Macleod stated in his blog: "Falling off from the crux or above would have meant death. 80 feet to the gully bed. In the moment of the lead, I screamed at myself twice at the top of my voice because the reality hit me of where I was and what I was doing... The harder the rock climb, the more we have to understand the rock to move, the more we learn. The more dangerous the rock climb, the more we have to understand the rock so we can stay alive... The hardest and most dangerous climbs are the most meaningful, but they come at a cost most rock climbers wouldn’t dare to pay. Every climber finds their own balance of cost and reward."





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