Friday, 30 January 2009

Echo Wall observations

I’ve talked a bit recently about my experiment in not giving my hardest route, Echo Wall a grade.

I was interested last year to see if the UK’s climbing magazines would report the ascent of Echo Wall, as they do for almost all routes that break a new level of difficulty. I expected them not to since I didn’t grade it. I predicted that saying it was the hardest thing I’d done wouldn’t be enough.

I thought my prediction had been borne out but Climber magazine actually reported on the route for the first time last month with this entry:

“Enraged at the Sassenachs’ incursion over the border and climbing his routes, Dave MacLeod dons his kilt, retreats to the mountains and climbs Echo Wall on Ben Nevis. Tired of the media hype, he doesn’t give it a grade in an attempt to dissuade sponsored heroes from repeating it. Fat chance of that because the Sassenachs hear it’s more that fifteen minutes from the road and go to the Climbing Works instead. MacLeod comments, “I don’t know what to grade it, but it’s definitely harder than problem three in Fort William Climbing Wall”



  1. That is some fine writing. I must say, however, that grading it harder than board problem in Scottland has a history of meaning something. When Malc did Hubble static I don't believe he thought it near as difficult as any single move in his cellar. I'm not sure about problem three, but if Echo Wall is harder all I can say is," oh dear!"

  2. climb magazine reported on it when you first didnt it?? admittedly it ws only like page which sucked would have liked to ahve read more about it, oh well just ahve to buy the dvd when i aahve enough money! hope ur elbow gets better so u can do some savage stuff :)

  3. Some big gun yank will come over and give this a go in the summer i bet. Giving CLIMB mag something else to chew on and all i can say is -Let the midges chew on his heed!-