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Steve McClure minds a gap at Malham


British climber Steve McClure has added a linked Cry Freedom to Predator at Malham Cove, Yorkshire.

After having been held back for four months due to finger injury, McClure has now added an obvious continuation at Malham Cove which links Cry Freedom to Predator, avoiding the desperate bouldery crux of Cry Freedom and adding 4 moves of class climbing to one of Britain's most famous limestone cliffs.

Four moves aren't many and although by no means cutting-edge, Steve McClure's recent addition shows how, with a bit of intuition, new terrain can be found pretty much anywhere. Add to this the fact that the two routes are real shrines of British sport climbing, then you can understand that the new link-up will be highly appreciated in the future. Cry Freedom is one of Britain's historic test-pieces, the scene of Mark Leach's thousand battles spread out over 46 days of tenacious effort and then finally freed in 1988 at 8b+. More recently it is rumoured to be 8c, while nearby Predator had been climbed a year earlier by John Dunne.

Steve told us: "The link at Malham is no big deal really, a cop out if anything, missing the crux of cry freedom and escaping left to join another route. Cry Freedom is still the full challenge. This link is easier, though just as good, and probably good for shorter people, as the last move crux of Cry Freedom is a killer for the short, probably 8c, and not very nice. The new link is only about 4 moves of new climbing and I only did it really as a test for my fitness. But still I think its a great link in its own right and will probably get more repeats. Super sustained and typically great climbing at this crag." And since there are still plenty of obvious gaps, another McClure project and potential for new routes through the upper roofs, stay tuned.

>> Check out this interview with Steve after his repeat of Ben Moon's Hubble

Steve McClure climbing his longest route ever, Batshadow 8c+ at Malham Cove, England.





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