Thursday 3 May 2007


Finally sticking the jump at the end of my Anvil project – it felt desperate! (Photos: Claire MacLeod, click on them for a bigger view)

Starting the upper section of Metalcore, where is joins last year’s route Bodyblow 8b+.

Over the last month I have been repeating inwardly ‘persistence pays, persistence pays’. Normally, hanging in there until I have finally defeated a project comes more naturally to me than most. But for some reason of other it’s felt quite difficult on this Anvil roof project. Maybe it was the walk? Redpath and I estimated we’d made 30 visits since October 2004 which is 240 miles of walking!!!

I bolted the big roof project in 2004 and eventually did separate lines starting up it but verging off left (Bodyswerve 8c) and coming in from the right to join the top part (Bodyblow 8b+). But the whole roof link is ‘the line’. Utterly inspiring for any sport climber I think, hence the continued psyche to get it climbed. I came back all confident from Spain in March after doing 8c in a few goes and getting super close to 9a, and thought the Anvil project might go fairly quick. But it seemed to have other ideas – that jump at the end was just nails to initiate and stick. Some problem with sliced up fingers didn’t help progress, but certainly cemented the war mentality – I must get it done!

Our Monday session was just more of the same – battling all the way to the jump and having no strength left to make any impression on it. But all those redpoints were gradually stimulating the fitness and lovely automatic flow you only get when you’ve spent many many days on a hard route you are intensely motivated for. A 1500kcal day yesterday dumped some of that nasty glycogen & water payload and it was game on.

Yesterday Claire came out (goddam lucky charm that she is!) and held the rope. Three times out to the swing with an uncontrollable arc of the feet and downfall. And then, on the last try, enough efficiency below to save a percentile of energy. I pulled up more into the hold and my feet swung back - OH MY GOD CLIP THE BELAY!!

Needless to say it’s a mega buzz to see the project finally go down and have a possible 8c+ in Scotland for the first time. If Redpath nails the Heavy Metal project that will make it even better. It was brilliant watching him nearly hold the dyno on that on Monday one handed. Actually there are several ore amazing projects to go at the Anvil. Nearly all of them are 8b+ or harder. That’s inspiring.

Metalcore 20m 8c+ 02/3/2007
Start up Bodyswerve, but follow the faint crackline all the way to the peak of the Anvil roof, joining Body Blow for its redpoint crux.

I've put up some more photos in the gallery on my main site


  1. Good effort sir!! It looks amazing.
    I'm intrigued by your comment about having a 1500kcal day to dump water and Glycogen. Have never heard of this before. Is this your own idea or based on something you've read/been told? Sounds like it works for you. After having this 'purge' day did you have your normal pre-crag breakfast or continue the semi-fast? Sorry about grilling you like this, but always keen to hear of something that might help me on my own redpoint missions.

  2. Hi Jon, Of course the comment about 'nasty glycogen and water' is tongue in cheek but yes I've been doing some experiments on myself (nothing scary!) for short and long term strategies for manipulating weight. I will of course write something up on the OCC blog once I have more data to report.

  3. Anonymous03 May, 2007

    Well done Dave! Amazing photos.

  4. Congrats Dave, looks amazing! Must be a pretty hard 4 mile walk in if it's enough to complain about!

  5. Nice one Dave, good to see you getting through your project list. diff

  6. nice work dave! love the blog!

  7. Anonymous03 May, 2007

    Great effort Dave. Fantastic line - seeing the Anvil makes me homesick...

    Iain P

  8. Anonymous04 May, 2007

    Awesome effort Dave. How good does the Anvil look?! I'll have to get Sutton to take me there soon...

    Interestingly, Jerry use to limit himself to 1500 calorie days whilst redpointing. He would have a slice of toast for breakfast, and a slice of toast the night before, apparently. It is not known if he allowed himself butter ;)

  9. Get back to your Dumbarton Boulder project now and stop Gallivanting out to places that I don't know where they are! Your priorities are well screwed up, mate.

  10. Having seen this for real today, up close, it is truly impressive! And inspiring. Well done. Gives me something to aim for when I finish Friendly Fire.... ha ha! Emma
    ps. thanks for the encouragement today. Hope you liked the cake :-)

  11. Anonymous06 May, 2007

    Amazing effort Dave, cant wait to see the video footage of the route.


  12. Anonymous06 May, 2007

    Mmm, cake...

  13. Thanks for the comments! Two bits of toast is a little conservative for a 1500 kcal day, even with butter! I don't eat butter anyway, so I can get away with some apples as well. Good one getting Make it Funky Stu. I still quite like the Tor in a strange sort of way. Maybe I should make an effort to get some of th routes done there sometime.

    Jason - I dont have any vid footage of Metalcore I'm afraid. I only have footage of a few of the routes I get done each year.

    Mike - You too will be sucked into the Anvil black hole at some point mate! sooner or later, so you might as well get out there now and start work.

    Emma, the cake was mighty fine, another day off my diet...are you coming to the Anvil next saturday? ha ha! has some rather nice sounding variations on lemon cake. Claire's madeira (from the domestic godess book) is still my favourite of her cake repertoire. Some interval circuits during the week and Friendly Fire will go down for sure!!