Steve McClure


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Height: 169 cm
Weight: 57 kg
Date of birth: 25th July 1970
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9b
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8b+
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E11
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E8
Hardest Trad (Flash): E8
Social Media

Steve McClure is a British sport climber and boulderer who was at the forefront of English and Welsh sport climbing from the late 1990s to until late 2010s and in more recent years has applied his considerable talents to establishing and repeating some of the hardest trad climbs in the UK.

In 1998 he established Mutation at Raven Tor, at the time he suggested 9a but it steadfastly stood the test of time with a repeat taking until 2021 to materialise and along with it an upgrade to 9a+ making it one of the first of the grade in the world. He then went on to further cement himself as Britain's leading sport climber of the time by climbing Ben Moon's Kilnsey project to produce Northern Lights.

Over the following decades Steve continued to almost single-handedly push hard sport climbing in the UK with routes like Rainshadow, Overshadow and Rainman as well as many other notable contributions to Malham Cove, Kilnsey and the peak district.

Steve is also a very capable trad climber and has repeated and established some of the UKs hardest trad climbs. For example his onsight of Nightmayer on Dinas Cromlech is one of the most impressive ascents in this style in the UK as of 2021.

The first time I came to Malham it looked like the easiest crag in the world...

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Height: 169 cm
Weight: 57 kg
Date of birth: 25th July 1970
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9b
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8b+
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E11
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E8
Hardest Trad (Flash): E8
Social Media

Steve McClure is a British sport climber and boulderer who was at the forefront of English and Welsh sport climbing from the late 1990s to until late 2010s and in more recent years has applied his considerable talents to establishing and repeating some of the hardest trad climbs in the UK.

In 1998 he established Mutation at Raven Tor, at the time he suggested 9a but it steadfastly stood the test of time with a repeat taking until 2021 to materialise and along with it an upgrade to 9a+ making it one of the first of the grade in the world. He then went on to further cement himself as Britain's leading sport climber of the time by climbing Ben Moon's Kilnsey project to produce Northern Lights.

Over the following decades Steve continued to almost single-handedly push hard sport climbing in the UK with routes like Rainshadow, Overshadow and Rainman as well as many other notable contributions to Malham Cove, Kilnsey and the peak district.

Steve is also a very capable trad climber and has repeated and established some of the UKs hardest trad climbs. For example his onsight of Nightmayer on Dinas Cromlech is one of the most impressive ascents in this style in the UK as of 2021.

The first time I came to Malham it looked like the easiest crag in the world...


Podcasts


Pics + Vids

North Star (9a, FA)
Added at 09:07 on 03 July 2021
Batman (9a, FA)
Added at 13:05 on 10 May 2021
Somehow Super (8c)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 15:07 on 06 July 2022
GreatNess Wall (E10, FA)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
Impact Day (E8)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 10:05 on 20 May 2021
Overshadow (9a+, FA)
Added at 13:02 on 05 February 2021
The Final Round (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 10:05 on 01 May 2021
The Final Round (E9)
Added at 07:02 on 04 February 2022
Hubble (9a)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Kaa'bah (8c+, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 22 December 2020
The Very Big and the Very Small (8b+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 14:06 on 28 June 2021
The Very Big and the Very Small (8b+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 14:06 on 28 June 2021
Evolution (8c+)
Added at 08:11 on 03 November 2021
Rhapsody (E11)
Added at 16:12 on 29 December 2020
Bat Shadow (8c+, FA)
Added at 13:02 on 05 February 2021
Choronzon (E10)
Added at 17:01 on 19 January 2021
Elder Statesman (E8, FA)
Added at 12:01 on 30 January 2021
Nightmayer (E8)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Rainman (9b, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 07:05 on 19 May 2021
Rainman (9b, FA)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
Olympiad (8b)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:05 on 28 May 2021
Olympiad (8b)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 21:05 on 28 May 2021
Olympiad (8b)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:05 on 28 May 2021
Olympiad (8b)
Added at 17:01 on 20 January 2022
Mutation (9a+, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:10 on 15 October 2021
Mutation (9a+, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:11 on 02 November 2021
Mutation (9a+, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 06:11 on 16 November 2021
Mutation (9a+, FA)
Added at 14:11 on 02 November 2021
Lexicon (E11)
Added at 13:09 on 26 September 2021
Lexicon (E11)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 05:09 on 22 September 2021
Lexicon (E11)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 15:09 on 23 September 2021
Lexicon (E11)
Added at 09:05 on 19 May 2022

Ascents

58 recorded ascents.

This timeline is missing some ascents where the date of the ascent is unknown. Use the other tabs to view these ascents.
Year Climb Grade FA Ascent Date
1996 Evolution 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1996 (approx)

Footage of a much later ascent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBxwQ--odXg.

1997
1998 The Very Big and the Very Small 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 1998 (approx)

Second ascent.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBRAwErJiNs/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAZweMzgHea/

Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 1st January 1998 (approx)
Mutation 9a+ (Lead) 14th October 1998

A hugely impressive ascent. Steve suggested 9a but it is now considered 9a+ which makes it the first of the grade in the UK and the first of the brade by a British person.

It took Steve 24 sessions over 4 years to make the first ascent.

The first time I did that move from the ground, I did the route, but I only did the last move by the skin of my teeth. I'm pretty sure a gust of wind blew me up that last move...

Steve's diary [2]

Below are some extracts from Steve's diary while he was attempting the route.

7th October 1998, day 22:

Yet another failed day. Getting annoying now! Feel as though I should be doing better. Maybe I am getting a ‘head’ problem on ‘that’ move. Today I had 2 RP efforts, first go was the best, swinging over to the pinch but not getting the distance. 2nd go was rubbish. No psyche and hardly tried. Evo is feeling a path, but that cross is just a killer! Today I got Myles (Gibson) up there for a look, and with his fingers his opinion on moves is really important. He found it nails too, and no info change really (would have been nice if he found an easier way!). He reckoned 8b at least for the extension if not more, so it means the route could be overall 9a. That’s probably why I’m not getting up it!

10th October 1998, day 23:

THAT move FOUR times today! Excellent conditions. I’m wasting them! They will run out soon for sure. Not sure about the head problem except I expect to fail now. I set off knowing I’ll get to that move, and fall off that move. But I still think I’m trying hard enough, even on the move. Its just so momentum orientated. I need to have the movement pattern in my mind and not just try and static it. I’m sure it will go. Spent ages fiddling with the move and found perhaps a slightly easier way of swinging it, but only slightly, and probably not at all really. But that top section is still so hard. Today after each go I climbed the top section to keep it fresh. I could for sure drop that bit! Just need to keep plugging away.

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CVDi_UjDMGG/

[2] Extracts from Steve's diary in the days leading up to making the first ascent http://steve-mcclure.com/articles/155-mutation-a-bunch-of-happy-days-at-the-tor

[3] Rupert Davies and Steve trying some moves and sequences on the route https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8yl9bytOuo

[4] https://www.instagram.com/p/CVx65_hIqBp/

[5] Steve on the route in 2001, photo by Simon Carter https://www.instagram.com/p/CWUR2kyMNMH/

1999 Monsterosity 8b (Lead) 1st January 1999 (approx)
Dreadnaught 8c (Lead) 1st January 1999 (approx)
2000 Transform 8c (Lead) 1st January 2000 (approx)

Second ascent.

Steve and Malcolm Smith worked the route together then Steve made the second ascent a few days after Malc made the FA.

Northern Lights 9a (Lead) 18th July 2000

Steve cemented himself as the top sport climber in the UK, taking over from Moon and Moffatt and leading sport climbing in the UK in to a new era.

Notably, Steve used a different sequence from what Ben Moon was trying with the original line. Steve's sequence loops out slightly where Ben was trying to go very direct.

To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ (Lead) 22nd October 2000
2001
2002 Indian Summer 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2002

First 8b+ onsight by a brit?

2003 Rainshadow 9a (Lead) 20th June 2003

Extension to Raindogs. Breakdown is 8a in to 8A in to 8a+.

Close of Business 8B (Boulder) 1st September 2003
2004 Hajj 8c (Lead) 1st January 2004 (approx)
Kaa'bah 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 2004 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfe6xr2Mbrc&t=473

Elder Statesman E8 (Lead) 2nd March 2004

Steve used 3 ropes on the first ascent. This turned out to be a very wise choice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDTAKVUE_g4

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.143839010406318/143839793739573

2005 Somehow Super 8c (Lead) 1st June 2005 (approx)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CfrPsHFodgU/

2006 Ring of Fire 8b+ (Deep Water Solo Ground up) 1st January 2006 (approx)
Roofolution 9a (Lead) 1st June 2006 (approx)
2007 Overshadow 9a+ (Lead) 23rd May 2007

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWmQY_5LiwI

Rooster Crossing 8c (Lead) 1st June 2007 (approx)
2008 North Star 9a (Lead) 15th May 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVu7StN1qjo

Rhapsody E11 (Lead) 15th June 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uWnE5_Ln5s

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2008/06/steve_mcclure_climbs_rhapsody_trotter_does_it_again-44777

2009 Stevolution 9a (Lead) 1st January 2009 (approx)
Kalea Borroka 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 20th May 2009
Hubble 9a (Lead) 30th July 2009

A real milestone, possibly my biggest achievement in climbing, even bigger perhaps than overshadow. Hubble is special, it's a massive trophy and a world icon with a real history.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2009/08/steve_mcclure_-_hubble_f8c+-48867

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0cq2CZe_40

2010 The Great Escape 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 2010 (approx)
Pedigree Chum 8c+ (Boulder) 1st January 2010 (approx)
Finest Pedigree 9a+ (Boulder) 8th July 2010

Date src http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/131-rainman-saga#system-message-container:~:text=finest%20pedigree

Cruz Diablo 8c+ (Lead) 5th November 2010
2011 The Quarryman E8 (Lead) 27th May 2011

The first one-day ascent of the full line.

Dawes Rides a Shovelhead E8 (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2011 (approx)
2012
2013 Batman 9a (Lead) 22nd May 2013

On a previous redpoint Steve had all but done the route when a quickdraw with a sticky gate got jammed in his knot as he climbed past, stopping him mere inches from the finishing jugs and robbing him of the ascent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nldb3ZohDLo

Tom et je Ris 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 12th July 2013

http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/116-tom-et-je-ris

2014 Strawberries E7 (Lead Onsight) 15th June 2014 (approx)

https://twitter.com/stemac5a/status/478260353399545857

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/sweet-taste-of-strawberries-for-steve-mcclure

2015 Choronzon E10 (Lead) 12th July 2015

~8b+.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/pembroke-demon-route-slain-by-strong-steve-mcclure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYhmGlxpnw

Muy Caliente! E9 (Lead) 16th July 2015 (approx)
2016 Taka Okame 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 2016 (approx)
2017 Rainman 9b (Lead) 4th June 2017

Known as 'The Easy Easy' project before it was done. 127 sessions spanning 10 seasons.

Steve's diary of his attempts on the route is available here http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/131-rainman-saga.

16/5/2013 - session 40, on a training link of Bat Route in to the top of Rainman.

Great conditions. I knew I would do it. But I didn’t! Foiled by the snagging krab, Rich Heap had left it open when filming. Gutted! 2nd go fell on heartbreaker slap, 3rd go actually almost held the sloper. All over it today, it just would not give in!

20/4/2014 - Session 53

Waste of time today, and very frustrating. Whats the point of spending all season building back up to a level that is nowhere near. Basically I already know its too hard, the curve doesn’t come close to the target. I’m out of time already. Mentally its over, probably forever, with motivation to reach high points only. Managed floor to undercut clip. And yes, that’s high, but its nowhere, again!

6/11/2014

Evolution at Ravenstor lapped 3 times with short rest. Puts perspective on Malham project!

5/6/2015 - Session 74

Twice to stab from belay! Bah, just can’t nail that move! And I can’t get this link [from Raindogs belay to top]. I think this link is harder than Batman. It must be 9a+ as a link. So font 8a into 8c+ = 9a+? sounds about right. Or maybe this link is even harder? I’ve spent 75 days now and still not done this link. But a bit wet, crag starting to seep – what, its june!

15/6/2015 - Session 76

managed from floor to stab! Definite high point! Some beta changes mean I am flying through! Feels awesome. But battered later and failed to get through bulge twice. Very good though. And a good point to finish the season. Still feels like a long way, but enough to keep me motivated to get back on it.

29/9/2015 - Session 79

Good efforts today from floor, once to stab, once to razor. That’s awesome. BUT spotted a major sequence change, getting LH into pocket instead of R, much easier, then use the tooth as a side pull for RH to move LH to the micro block, then RH into pocket. Absolutely can’t believe I didn’t spot this. All that messing around years ago trying to find a way to get RH into pocket!! And then years of trying the section with the poor undercut. What an idiot! Very exciting!

5/10/2015 - Session 80

Condensed crag, even failed on RD! But went on upper bit excited about new sequence. But straight away ripped the tooth off, totally lost, no chance of repair. Gutted. How about that for a teaser? Not happy.

19/4/2016 - Session 91

Floor to Stab move!! Very exciting. A real high-point. So just maybe it could be possible? If I hold the pocket well I should get a move higher, then it’s the heartbreaker… that’s really close… wow, it could go!!

23/5/2016 - Session 99

Last day, and I knew it. Heart not in it, I figure I am burnt out now, I’ve been going backwards a while. However, that pressure-off thing helped, and from floor I got fingers in pocket, soo close to holding, but not quite. But I was blown really. I need to have a bit left there and I didn’t. But good place to leave it, I’m pretty psyched!

7/11/2016 - Session 108

The end!!! Good conditions, wanted progress, but fell off bulge 3 times! Gutted really. Mentally gave up. Will I even come back?? I’m now so many years in. Its been great, and to be fair there isn’t much else to do at Malham, but that’s not my reason for being on it. I love the process, the journey. But now it really looks like the journey has no end, and I don’t think I can just carry on forever!

28/4/2017 - Session 117

2 x floor to stab. So back on high points. Feel pretty good this year. Not sure if it’s the micro beta? Bulge I’m getting most times, Kneebar I’m really milking though its so intense on the body, then I’m so fast on the next section.

12/5/2017 - Session 121

Progress. Beta worked. So marginal! But twice held the pocket. Once just for a second, then next go managed to move feet. So a breakthrough. Now it actually feels possible. For the first time ever its ON!! Need more progress though. Its still a bunch more after that.

21/5/2017 - Session 124

Good conditions, though warm at first. But ominous, as forecast truly boiling. Everyone talking of sacking off Malham. No one coming after today. I had 2 goes, 1st held stab, but not well, 2nd just slapped stab. That’s it, its over again. But last move. Then I had a last go ‘to get the draws out’ but conditions amazing, just kept going, no pressure. Then I’d held the heartbreaker, and the RH crimp, foot on edge, reached for final undercut… but somehow just short. 5mm further and I was in. But NO. so gutted. Suddenly I was devastated. First time ever on this route I have been truly gutted

4/6/2017 - Session 127

YES!! Was it always on? I don’t think so. Was this my last chance? Maybe, forecast is truly awful!! Pressure was on! First go was great weather, but rock a tad warm from sun. Almost held heartbreaker. Then tired. Felt drained, disappointed, felt that was it! Rested 3 hr, then nailed it. BUT so close, like ridiculous, closest ever, almost dropped very last move to good holds, and then even in BR I absolutely struggled. Panicked at BR rest and stayed for ages. But then the last 8a wall was easy, and just SOO much fun. Every move I knew it was gonna happen, the moves just flowed, and then at last, it was over.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2017/06/steve_mcclure_on_rainman_9b-71135

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L01OUNJvd1E

https://www.instagram.com/p/COtJSLNjJgK/

2018 The Reign is Over 8c (Lead) 1st April 2018 (approx)
2019 Nightmayer E8 (Lead Onsight) 1st January 2019 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guVZd4_huSQ

Une Jeune Fille Quatre Vingt Dix Ans E8 (Lead Flash) 27th May 2019 (approx)
GreatNess Wall E10 (Lead) 27th May 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM70wIKPQps

2020 Fixation 8c+ (Lead) 1st September 2020 (approx)

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2020/10/first_ascent_of_fixation_8c+_at_malham_cove_by_steve_mcclure-72511

2021 The Final Round E9 (Lead) 26th April 2021

https://www.instagram.com/p/COUxsmMjMbr/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQcDNzh_bA

Olympiad 8b (Lead) 18th May 2021 (approx)

Second ascent, and the first on trad gear.

Later on, discussing with those on the ground, they all clearly noted three different and distinct stages in my climbing: the first part to the kneebar was shaky and nervous, pessimistic even. The second to the distant wire was focused, determined and streamlined. But the third was like engaging an unknown 6th gear! There was just no way I was falling off; that extra 6th gear only available with the prospect of hours of knackering aid climbing and the knowledge that the next available opportunity could be anywhere between a few months and a decade away! [1]

References

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/06/steve_mcclure_repeats_greshams_olympiad_e10_6c8b_dws-72791

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPam7tEjlIR/

[3] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPbIX6kn1mq/

[4] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPaxCrfjNKf/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMoXzSkXcaE

Impact Day E8 (Lead Flash) 19th June 2021

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPFwYjwDWhH/

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/05/steve_mcclure_flashes_impact_day_e8_6c-72782

Always the Sun E7 (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2021 (approx)
Lexicon E11 (Lead) 21st September 2021

Second ascent.

Before the successful ascent Steve took a huge fall [4] from the very top of the route, estimated to be around 20m!

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CUGKwg9I08O/

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/CUKv0PloFU1/

[3] https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=391908775842548&set=a.229693922064035

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7_MFQfmGFg

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Rainman 9b (Lead) 4th June 2017 9b

Known as 'The Easy Easy' project before it was done. 127 sessions spanning 10 seasons.

Steve's diary of his attempts on the route is available here http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/131-rainman-saga.

16/5/2013 - session 40, on a training link of Bat Route in to the top of Rainman.

Great conditions. I knew I would do it. But I didn’t! Foiled by the snagging krab, Rich Heap had left it open when filming. Gutted! 2nd go fell on heartbreaker slap, 3rd go actually almost held the sloper. All over it today, it just would not give in!

20/4/2014 - Session 53

Waste of time today, and very frustrating. Whats the point of spending all season building back up to a level that is nowhere near. Basically I already know its too hard, the curve doesn’t come close to the target. I’m out of time already. Mentally its over, probably forever, with motivation to reach high points only. Managed floor to undercut clip. And yes, that’s high, but its nowhere, again!

6/11/2014

Evolution at Ravenstor lapped 3 times with short rest. Puts perspective on Malham project!

5/6/2015 - Session 74

Twice to stab from belay! Bah, just can’t nail that move! And I can’t get this link [from Raindogs belay to top]. I think this link is harder than Batman. It must be 9a+ as a link. So font 8a into 8c+ = 9a+? sounds about right. Or maybe this link is even harder? I’ve spent 75 days now and still not done this link. But a bit wet, crag starting to seep – what, its june!

15/6/2015 - Session 76

managed from floor to stab! Definite high point! Some beta changes mean I am flying through! Feels awesome. But battered later and failed to get through bulge twice. Very good though. And a good point to finish the season. Still feels like a long way, but enough to keep me motivated to get back on it.

29/9/2015 - Session 79

Good efforts today from floor, once to stab, once to razor. That’s awesome. BUT spotted a major sequence change, getting LH into pocket instead of R, much easier, then use the tooth as a side pull for RH to move LH to the micro block, then RH into pocket. Absolutely can’t believe I didn’t spot this. All that messing around years ago trying to find a way to get RH into pocket!! And then years of trying the section with the poor undercut. What an idiot! Very exciting!

5/10/2015 - Session 80

Condensed crag, even failed on RD! But went on upper bit excited about new sequence. But straight away ripped the tooth off, totally lost, no chance of repair. Gutted. How about that for a teaser? Not happy.

19/4/2016 - Session 91

Floor to Stab move!! Very exciting. A real high-point. So just maybe it could be possible? If I hold the pocket well I should get a move higher, then it’s the heartbreaker… that’s really close… wow, it could go!!

23/5/2016 - Session 99

Last day, and I knew it. Heart not in it, I figure I am burnt out now, I’ve been going backwards a while. However, that pressure-off thing helped, and from floor I got fingers in pocket, soo close to holding, but not quite. But I was blown really. I need to have a bit left there and I didn’t. But good place to leave it, I’m pretty psyched!

7/11/2016 - Session 108

The end!!! Good conditions, wanted progress, but fell off bulge 3 times! Gutted really. Mentally gave up. Will I even come back?? I’m now so many years in. Its been great, and to be fair there isn’t much else to do at Malham, but that’s not my reason for being on it. I love the process, the journey. But now it really looks like the journey has no end, and I don’t think I can just carry on forever!

28/4/2017 - Session 117

2 x floor to stab. So back on high points. Feel pretty good this year. Not sure if it’s the micro beta? Bulge I’m getting most times, Kneebar I’m really milking though its so intense on the body, then I’m so fast on the next section.

12/5/2017 - Session 121

Progress. Beta worked. So marginal! But twice held the pocket. Once just for a second, then next go managed to move feet. So a breakthrough. Now it actually feels possible. For the first time ever its ON!! Need more progress though. Its still a bunch more after that.

21/5/2017 - Session 124

Good conditions, though warm at first. But ominous, as forecast truly boiling. Everyone talking of sacking off Malham. No one coming after today. I had 2 goes, 1st held stab, but not well, 2nd just slapped stab. That’s it, its over again. But last move. Then I had a last go ‘to get the draws out’ but conditions amazing, just kept going, no pressure. Then I’d held the heartbreaker, and the RH crimp, foot on edge, reached for final undercut… but somehow just short. 5mm further and I was in. But NO. so gutted. Suddenly I was devastated. First time ever on this route I have been truly gutted

4/6/2017 - Session 127

YES!! Was it always on? I don’t think so. Was this my last chance? Maybe, forecast is truly awful!! Pressure was on! First go was great weather, but rock a tad warm from sun. Almost held heartbreaker. Then tired. Felt drained, disappointed, felt that was it! Rested 3 hr, then nailed it. BUT so close, like ridiculous, closest ever, almost dropped very last move to good holds, and then even in BR I absolutely struggled. Panicked at BR rest and stayed for ages. But then the last 8a wall was easy, and just SOO much fun. Every move I knew it was gonna happen, the moves just flowed, and then at last, it was over.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2017/06/steve_mcclure_on_rainman_9b-71135

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L01OUNJvd1E

https://www.instagram.com/p/COtJSLNjJgK/

Mutation 9a+ (Lead) 14th October 1998 9a

A hugely impressive ascent. Steve suggested 9a but it is now considered 9a+ which makes it the first of the grade in the UK and the first of the brade by a British person.

It took Steve 24 sessions over 4 years to make the first ascent.

The first time I did that move from the ground, I did the route, but I only did the last move by the skin of my teeth. I'm pretty sure a gust of wind blew me up that last move...

Steve's diary [2]

Below are some extracts from Steve's diary while he was attempting the route.

7th October 1998, day 22:

Yet another failed day. Getting annoying now! Feel as though I should be doing better. Maybe I am getting a ‘head’ problem on ‘that’ move. Today I had 2 RP efforts, first go was the best, swinging over to the pinch but not getting the distance. 2nd go was rubbish. No psyche and hardly tried. Evo is feeling a path, but that cross is just a killer! Today I got Myles (Gibson) up there for a look, and with his fingers his opinion on moves is really important. He found it nails too, and no info change really (would have been nice if he found an easier way!). He reckoned 8b at least for the extension if not more, so it means the route could be overall 9a. That’s probably why I’m not getting up it!

10th October 1998, day 23:

THAT move FOUR times today! Excellent conditions. I’m wasting them! They will run out soon for sure. Not sure about the head problem except I expect to fail now. I set off knowing I’ll get to that move, and fall off that move. But I still think I’m trying hard enough, even on the move. Its just so momentum orientated. I need to have the movement pattern in my mind and not just try and static it. I’m sure it will go. Spent ages fiddling with the move and found perhaps a slightly easier way of swinging it, but only slightly, and probably not at all really. But that top section is still so hard. Today after each go I climbed the top section to keep it fresh. I could for sure drop that bit! Just need to keep plugging away.

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CVDi_UjDMGG/

[2] Extracts from Steve's diary in the days leading up to making the first ascent http://steve-mcclure.com/articles/155-mutation-a-bunch-of-happy-days-at-the-tor

[3] Rupert Davies and Steve trying some moves and sequences on the route https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8yl9bytOuo

[4] https://www.instagram.com/p/CVx65_hIqBp/

[5] Steve on the route in 2001, photo by Simon Carter https://www.instagram.com/p/CWUR2kyMNMH/

Overshadow 9a+ (Lead) 23rd May 2007

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWmQY_5LiwI

Northern Lights 9a (Lead) 18th July 2000

Steve cemented himself as the top sport climber in the UK, taking over from Moon and Moffatt and leading sport climbing in the UK in to a new era.

Notably, Steve used a different sequence from what Ben Moon was trying with the original line. Steve's sequence loops out slightly where Ben was trying to go very direct.

Rainshadow 9a (Lead) 20th June 2003

Extension to Raindogs. Breakdown is 8a in to 8A in to 8a+.

Roofolution 9a (Lead) 1st June 2006 (approx)
North Star 9a (Lead) 15th May 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVu7StN1qjo

Stevolution 9a (Lead) 1st January 2009 (approx)
Batman 9a (Lead) 22nd May 2013 9a/9a+

On a previous redpoint Steve had all but done the route when a quickdraw with a sticky gate got jammed in his knot as he climbed past, stopping him mere inches from the finishing jugs and robbing him of the ascent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nldb3ZohDLo

Hubble 9a (Lead) 30th July 2009 8c+ (hard)

A real milestone, possibly my biggest achievement in climbing, even bigger perhaps than overshadow. Hubble is special, it's a massive trophy and a world icon with a real history.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2009/08/steve_mcclure_-_hubble_f8c+-48867

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0cq2CZe_40

Kaa'bah 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 2004 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfe6xr2Mbrc&t=473

Cruz Diablo 8c+ (Lead) 5th November 2010
Fixation 8c+ (Lead) 1st September 2020 (approx)

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2020/10/first_ascent_of_fixation_8c+_at_malham_cove_by_steve_mcclure-72511

Bat Shadow 8c+ (Lead)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_kQlRoUhXk

Magnetic North 8c+ (Lead)
Evolution 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1996 (approx)

Footage of a much later ascent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBxwQ--odXg.

The Bastard 8c+ (Lead)

Second ascent.

Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 1st January 1998 (approx)
Dreadnaught 8c (Lead) 1st January 1999 (approx)
Hajj 8c (Lead) 1st January 2004 (approx)
Rooster Crossing 8c (Lead) 1st June 2007 (approx)
The Reign is Over 8c (Lead) 1st April 2018 (approx)
Transform 8c (Lead) 1st January 2000 (approx)

Second ascent.

Steve and Malcolm Smith worked the route together then Steve made the second ascent a few days after Malc made the FA.

Somehow Super 8c (Lead) 1st June 2005 (approx)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CfrPsHFodgU/

The Great Escape 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 2010 (approx)
The Very Big and the Very Small 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 1998 (approx)

Second ascent.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBRAwErJiNs/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAZweMzgHea/

To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ (Lead) 22nd October 2000
Indian Summer 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2002

First 8b+ onsight by a brit?

Kalea Borroka 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 20th May 2009
Tom et je Ris 8b+ (Lead Onsight) 12th July 2013

http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/116-tom-et-je-ris

Taka Okame 8b+ (Lead) 1st January 2016 (approx)
Dr Crimp 8b+ (Lead Onsight)
Monsterosity 8b (Lead) 1st January 1999 (approx)
Victor Hugo 8b (Lead Onsight)
Idefix 8b (Lead Onsight)
Kali Yuga 8b (Lead Onsight)
Austrian Oak 8b (Lead Flash)
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Fat Lip 8B (Boulder)
Close of Business 8B (Boulder) 1st September 2003
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Rhapsody E11 (Lead) 15th June 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uWnE5_Ln5s

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2008/06/steve_mcclure_climbs_rhapsody_trotter_does_it_again-44777

Lexicon E11 (Lead) 21st September 2021

Second ascent.

Before the successful ascent Steve took a huge fall [4] from the very top of the route, estimated to be around 20m!

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CUGKwg9I08O/

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/CUKv0PloFU1/

[3] https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=391908775842548&set=a.229693922064035

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7_MFQfmGFg

GreatNess Wall E10 (Lead) 27th May 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM70wIKPQps

Choronzon E10 (Lead) 12th July 2015

~8b+.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/pembroke-demon-route-slain-by-strong-steve-mcclure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYhmGlxpnw

Muy Caliente! E9 (Lead) 16th July 2015 (approx)
The Final Round E9 (Lead) 26th April 2021

https://www.instagram.com/p/COUxsmMjMbr/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQcDNzh_bA

Elder Statesman E8 (Lead) 2nd March 2004

Steve used 3 ropes on the first ascent. This turned out to be a very wise choice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDTAKVUE_g4

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.143839010406318/143839793739573

The Quarryman E8 (Lead) 27th May 2011

The first one-day ascent of the full line.

Dawes Rides a Shovelhead E8 (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2011 (approx)
Nightmayer E8 (Lead Onsight) 1st January 2019 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guVZd4_huSQ

Une Jeune Fille Quatre Vingt Dix Ans E8 (Lead Flash) 27th May 2019 (approx)
Impact Day E8 (Lead Flash) 19th June 2021

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPFwYjwDWhH/

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/05/steve_mcclure_flashes_impact_day_e8_6c-72782

Strawberries E7 (Lead Onsight) 15th June 2014 (approx)

https://twitter.com/stemac5a/status/478260353399545857

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/sweet-taste-of-strawberries-for-steve-mcclure

Always the Sun E7 (Lead Onsight) 1st August 2021 (approx)
Eye of the Tiger E7 (Lead Onsight)
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Finest Pedigree 9a+ (Boulder) 8th July 2010

Date src http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articles/131-rainman-saga#system-message-container:~:text=finest%20pedigree

Pedigree Chum 8c+ (Boulder) 1st January 2010 (approx)
Ring of Fire 8b+ (Deep Water Solo Ground up) 1st January 2006 (approx)
Olympiad 8b (Lead) 18th May 2021 (approx) E10

Second ascent, and the first on trad gear.

Later on, discussing with those on the ground, they all clearly noted three different and distinct stages in my climbing: the first part to the kneebar was shaky and nervous, pessimistic even. The second to the distant wire was focused, determined and streamlined. But the third was like engaging an unknown 6th gear! There was just no way I was falling off; that extra 6th gear only available with the prospect of hours of knackering aid climbing and the knowledge that the next available opportunity could be anywhere between a few months and a decade away! [1]

References

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/06/steve_mcclure_repeats_greshams_olympiad_e10_6c8b_dws-72791

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPam7tEjlIR/

[3] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPbIX6kn1mq/

[4] https://www.instagram.com/p/CPaxCrfjNKf/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMoXzSkXcaE