Dave Birkett Climbs "the most awesome wall of rock in the UK"

by Mick Ryan I thought something was different this morning in the Lakes, the sun was shining a bit brighter. All was answered a few hours later. There is nothing quite like a Dave Birkett in full flow. Sheer poetry. Many people love climbing, but often it is like a tired relationship: you do your duty and put up with the status quo but it lacks sparkle. Dave Birkett´s relationship with climbing is like a torrid love affair in bloom; always fresh, always exciting, always something to look forward to. Always has been and always will be. Acting on a tip from that great British rock explorer, Tom Walkington, who incidently was one of Dave Birkett´s early climbing inspirations, Team Birkett: Dave and Bill (prodigious author), Alan Steele (Inglesport man) and cinematographer and photographer, Alastair Lee headed up to Skye and a remote rock wall beyond the Dubhs Ridge and Loch Coruisk. Dave has just climbed what he describes to us as, “the most awesome wall of rock in the UK, a real plum line”and in the very heart of the Cuillin. Weighing in about E7/E8, three pitches long: 30m, 30m, 60m. It didn´t fall easily although Dave did, several times. Alastair Lee told us that “He actually cursed when he fell, never heard him do that before. I think he was proper scared.” Maybe it was the hard climbing, the virgin gabbro and the poor Rock one that freaked him: plus the remoteness of this wall that requires either a 5 hour walk in or a ferry ride. Alan Steele, 53, followed the route. If you click on streapadair´s photo on the left and look beyond Loch Coruisk, Dave´s new route takes a line up the barrell buttress on the left with the diagonal white mark on it low down. We´ll have a full report with some of Alastair´s photographs when they return. Yes they are up there again this weekend, Dave mentioned this stunning corner system that he reckons will go at about E4. Dave is sponsored by Scarpa. You can view media renaissance man, Alastair Lee´s work, including the trailer to “Set in Stone, the portrait of Dave Birkett at www.posingproductions.com