Extreme trad climbing in Scotland: Gérome Pouvreau and Florence Pinet repeat Rhapsody and Requiem
At Dumbarton Rock in Scotland, French climber Gérome Pouvreau has repeated Rhapsody E11, while Florence Pinet climbed Requiem E8 6b.
After their exceptional climbing days in Wales, France’s Gérome Pouvreau and Florence Pinet travelled north to Dumbarton Rock in Scotland where, despite the rain, they managed to climb two of the UK’s most significant trad climbs.
Pouvreau came up trumps on what, in 2006, heralded a new era for extreme trad climbing in Great Britain, namely Dave McLeod’s famous Rhapsody. Talking to planetmountain.com, Pouvreau explained "I worked the route for three days on toprope in disgusting conditions. It was really greasy and I managed two attempts a day. The on the fourth day conditions improved, the north wind was on my side and the rock was dry. Perfect for a lead attempt. After a brief inspection and a warm up I sent it on my first attempt, placing all the pro during the ascent. Fortunately I never had to make that massive fall. The protection is good but it’s true, it’s really runout! I was really surprised but also very happy! Rhapsody is a beautiful line, hard and bold. For sure one of my best climbing moments this year!"
While Pouvreau tackled Rhapsody, Pinet focused on Requiem which shares the same overhanging crack line before breaking off right at the top. This milestone in British trad climbing was pioneered by Dave Cuthbertson back in 1983 and at the time it was recognised as one of the hardest traditional routes in the world, with difficulties settling in at E8 6b, or French 8a but on trad. In 2014 Caroline Ciavaldini pulled off the coveted first female ascent, while Barbara Zangerl snatched the second in 2016. Pinet needed just two days of work before sending the route on her fourth attempt, placing all the gear on lead.
The French vertical journey across Britain continues. Currently the two are heading down towards the England. Destination: the famous gritstone outcrops in the Peak District.
Links: FB Gérome Pouvreau, FB Florence Pinet, gerome-pouvreau.blogspot.com/, pinetflorence.blogspot.com