After some 128 trials, Steve McClure managed to commemorate Rainman, Britain's first 9b route. This at the age of 46 years. For all the older semesters: Age is no excuse anymore.
Two days ago, the Englishman Steve McClure completed his long-term project: The Route Rainman (9b) at Malham Cove. It is the most difficult route in the UK so far.
A logical line in the Malham Cove
The new route follows the existing line Raindogs, shares the crux of the 9a route Rainshadow and concludes with Bat Route. So you might think it's a simple string of existing zig zag routes. McClure says it's an obvious line and Steve wondered if anyone would ever climb the route. The answer knows the 46-year-old now himself. For two days, he may adorn himself with the title of the first Red Dotbegehers.
Long-term project comes to an end
Steve must have an immense stamina. Not only physically, but above all mentally. Rainman had been employing him for 2010, seven years, and costing him over 200 trials. That's what we call tenacity!
First 9b of the UK
Steve McClure suggests 9b as the difficulty level for his latest creation. A degree that has so far been sought in vain in Great Britain. Well, not many seek routes of this degree. In any case, Steve McClure expresses himself cautiously and says in an interview that the route is definitely more difficult than Overshadow, a 9a + that was also confirmed as such by Adam Ondra. And by the way, Adam Ondra comments on the ascent of the first 9b, Rainman, as follows: "HUGE weekend for the history of climbing. Saturday was a huge day for Alex Honnold on the Big Stone, Sunday was the day of Steve McClure at Malham. So damn impressive, so much effort, so much persistence, so much belief, so hard (I am sure about it!). Rainman (aka The Easy Easy project) 9b. "
Film about projecting phase
Credits: picture Tim Glaspy