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Photo - Alistair Lee - a while ago!
A route with history comes full circle! Mecca is one of the most sought after hard sport routes in the Peak. 8b+ and a hard one, the first ascent by Basher in 1986 was done after a massive siege on his last day before emigrating! Now climbed with knee pad technology its bottom of the grade, though the old skool still leave the pad on the ground and slap they way up the groove the hard way.
But however you claw your way to the chains, they are still really in the middle of nowhere, and the extension still has to be done! I was somehow left with the first ascent back in 1998, soft 8c, a route 8a/8a+ after a bit of a rest at the Mecca chains still doesn’t push it up much in terms of grade – so long as you can recover!
But a few years later a good sidepull crumbled off in the middle of the extension, only to be ‘fixed’ with a rather generous replacement in the form of a random chunk from the floor. I wasn’t totally impressed, but it wasn’t much easier so it was left.
But then a new sequence was found using the glued block in a way that could never have been done before. But still, not much easier, so no stress. And finally, people realised you could now avoid the crux of Kabbah (my 8c+ that is to the right) by reaching across into the block. This took Kabbah down to 8c, which was a bit of a shame.
Fortunately the block fell off (and I didn’t knock it off before you ask). And I got the chance of making another ascent yesterday (Sunday 7th). Same grade as before, just a bit harder. So the route gets another little bit of history to add to its colourful past!
October 08, 2012 09:51 AM
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