Dave MacLeod reports on his Blog of a new VIII climbed with two Japanese climbers on the BMC International Winter Meet in Scotland last week.“But then I found a scratchy flake hook on the right wall, dropped into a deep egyptian (always the secret) and next thing I had a runner and a thin hook above. I came down for a caramel log and a word with myself and had a proper look. After six more repetitions (only one caramel log though unfortunately) I got a few moves further and used up a lot of forearm juice failing to get anymore gear in. I retreated down again and hid in the base of the corner to think about it. I didn´t want to lean out and see the guys, they must have been getting really cold and waiting for some sort of outcome. The next time I really went for it as I knew the time had come to either commit or admit the abseil was inevitable. I got really pumped and scared the higher I got and felt a little ill when a really bad hook broke and I almost took the fall. A bit of shouting to re-focus and accept I was commited and I flailed into the groove above, so pumped I had to shake out before I could even open the krabs on my harness to place a much needed runner. Soon I was hanging from a sound belay and thinking it had been a long time since I felt ill at the prospect of a likely bad peeler. The guys had a nasty time with the corner and tested my belay a few times each on the way up. But still were beaming and proclaiming a „great great route“. On the plateau Mano asked „this grade VII?“ He hadn´t realised that I´d quit the good groove and headed onto new ground! „second ascent?“ „No this was a new route and definitely not VII! more like VIII,8“ „AHHH! Great birthday present – new route on Ben Nevis – great!“ Read his full report on hit Blog. Ian Parnell and Sean Isaac also bagged a new VIII 8, as did Viv Scott and Domagoj Bojko. There is a fuller report on the BMC website.