MacLeod Downgrades Divided Years

Dave MacLeod has made a quick repeat of divided Years in the Mourne Mountains of Ireland. Climbed originally by John Dunne way back in 1995 (the same year he established Eclipse, then Britain´s first F9a), the stunning line taken by Divided Years was photographed by Dave Simmonite, the images drawing a few visitors who were beaten off either by the hard climbing (F8c according to John), midges or rain. Last year Dave Birkett made the trip and came back with the coveted second ascent. Birkett declined to re-grade the route, worried that an attempt to downgrade it would demean the quality of what is one of the very best lines of all. MacLeod, however has publically stated that he reckons the route to be E8 6c, but is very keen to tell everybody that it is one of the finest lines he has climbed.  Dave MacLeod on Divided Years. Photo courtesy of Hotaches,com Dave MacLeod has spent the last few years with a new routing head on, regularly establishing desperate new boulder problems, winter and trad routes almost exclusively in Scotland. Having completed Rhapsody, the UK´s first E11, and contender for hardest trad route in the world, at Dumbarton Quarry late last year he took a little time out to earn some cash, started up his own Blog, and is now climbing again. Having got Rhapsody out of his system Dave?s goal is now to travel around the country, and perhaps to Europe if funds permit, to repeat the hardest routes he can. He´s got designs on everything from Birkett?s many test pieces in the Lakes, Indian Face on Cloggy, Mark Edwards´s Rewind in Cornwall, and the Peak trio of Equilibrium, Blind Vision and Dr Doolittle (to name but a few!). The one practice he will always try to apply to a route is that of placing his gear on lead, something he did on Divided Years, as well as Rhapsody. Dave MacLeod on Divided Years. Photo courtesy of Hotaches,com When we asked Dave if he fancied trying to onsight a route on ElCap – a feat nobody has yet managed although Leo Houlding has come mighty close – his answer was surprising. Given that he had to cancel a recent trip to the Alps because of a lack of funds he can?t envisage being able to afford a trip to America. Where are the sponsors and why isn´t our best talent of all, a very strong contender for the best all-round climber in the world, able to make a living from climbing? If you a re interested contact Dave via his Blog (where you can read a full account of his ascent of Divided Years)!