MacLeod and Murray, Defenders of the Faith

by Mick Ryan Last Thursday Dave MacLeod and Fiona Murray (see photo), taking advantage of exceptional conditions, climbed a new mixed line on Creag an Socach (see photo) in the Southern Highlands. The overhanging wall left of Messiah was climbed onsight by MacLeod in a tenacious ascent with sparse protection. The route starts left of Messiah up a turfy ramp to gain some thin overhanging corners to a rest below a roof then a crux headwall. A second easier pitch gains the top of the crag.Dave MacLeod reports to, “I did have to battle a bit, it was pumpy climbing and a long pitch. The hooks and gear didn?t show themselves till the last minute so I wasn?t sure it was going to go until I got to easy ground. The last week has been great, I´ve never seen the southern highlands looking so white for so long in March before.” The aptly named Defenders of the Faith is 85m long and weighs in at IX,9, about M8+ mixed climbing.