Dave MacLeod

Also known as: Dumby Dave

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 17th July 1978
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Trad (Worked): E11
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E7
Social Media

Scottish lone wolf who has performed at a very high level across many disciplines. Dave has established or repeated almost all the hard climbing in Scotland, from 8B+ boulder problems to grade XI winter routes.

References

[1] https://twitter.com/davemacleod09

[2] Features in Cutting Loose.

Contributors: remus

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 17th July 1978
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Trad (Worked): E11
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E7
Social Media

Scottish lone wolf who has performed at a very high level across many disciplines. Dave has established or repeated almost all the hard climbing in Scotland, from 8B+ boulder problems to grade XI winter routes.

References

[1] https://twitter.com/davemacleod09

[2] Features in Cutting Loose.

Contributors: remus

Lists


Podcasts


Pics + Vids

Added at 22:01 on 18 January 2021
Black Thistle (E10)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 09:10 on 25 October 2023
Out for Blood (E9, FA)
Added at 22:05 on 14 May 2023
Black Thistle (E10)
Added at 19:10 on 29 October 2023
Highbrow (E8, FA)
Added at 16:11 on 15 November 2023
Hold Fast (E9, FA)
Added at 19:11 on 20 November 2023
Return of the King (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 18:11 on 26 November 2023
Off the Rocks (E8)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 18:11 on 28 November 2023
Out for Blood (E9, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:11 on 29 November 2023
To Hell and Back (E10, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:12 on 02 December 2023
Symbiosis (E8)
Added at 06:07 on 17 July 2023
Divided Years (E9)
Added at 23:02 on 09 February 2024
Blind Vision (E9)
Added at 23:02 on 09 February 2024
Whirlwind (E8, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:07 on 24 July 2023
Achemine (E9, FA)
Added at 12:02 on 03 February 2024
Achemine (E9, FA)
Added at 12:02 on 03 February 2024
Hunger (9a)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Practice of the Wild (8B+)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Darwin Dixit (8b+)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
Catalan Witness the Fitness (8B+)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
Natural Method (8B+, FA)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
Gut Buster (8B+)
Added at 09:12 on 19 December 2020
The Walk of Life (E9)
Added at 22:12 on 27 December 2020
Rhapsody (E11, FA)
Added at 22:12 on 27 December 2020
Return of the King (E9)
Added at 15:01 on 06 January 2021
From Shallow Water to Riverbed (8B+)
Added at 15:01 on 06 January 2021
4th Wave (8B, FA)
Added at 15:01 on 06 January 2021
Gimme that Swing (8B, FA)
Added at 15:01 on 06 January 2021
One Summer in Paradise (8B)
Added at 15:01 on 06 January 2021
Natural Method (8B+, FA)
Added at 08:01 on 14 January 2021
Pressure (8B, FA)
Added at 08:01 on 14 January 2021
Indian Face (E9)
Added at 10:01 on 14 January 2021
The Fugue (E9, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 06:11 on 21 November 2022
Divided Years (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 09:03 on 07 March 2023
Present Tense (E9, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 12:12 on 13 December 2022
Zero (8B, FA)
Added at 14:05 on 13 May 2021
If 6 was 9 (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 08:08 on 24 August 2021
Hyperborea (E7)
Added at 09:11 on 15 November 2021
Hyperborea (E7)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 09:11 on 15 November 2021
Kolus (E8, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 16:12 on 13 December 2022
Breathless (E9)
Added at 20:09 on 17 September 2021
Hold Fast, Hold True (E10)
Added at 06:09 on 22 September 2021
Mind Riot (E10, FA)
Added at 07:09 on 22 September 2021
Railrace (E6, FA)
Added at 15:05 on 09 May 2023
What we do in the Shadows (E10)
Added at 17:11 on 23 November 2021
Keen Roof (8A+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 23:12 on 01 December 2022
Hurley Burley (8b)
Added at 13:07 on 01 July 2021
Mnemosyne (E9, FA)
Added at 17:09 on 13 September 2021
Below Zero (8B+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 10:01 on 31 January 2022
Below Zero (8B+)
Added at 11:02 on 03 February 2022
Deathwatch (E7)
Added at 19:02 on 05 February 2022
Lexicon (E11)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 06:04 on 01 April 2022
Belly of the Beast (8B)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 23:12 on 03 December 2022
Big Chief (8B)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 07:11 on 16 November 2022
Breathless (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 14:02 on 14 February 2023
Echo Wall (E10, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 20:10 on 12 October 2022
Mission Impossible (E9)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 17:09 on 16 September 2022
Lexicon (E11)
Added at 17:06 on 14 June 2022
Craig's Wall (E7, FA)
Added at 16:06 on 20 June 2022
The Golden Road (E9, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 12:09 on 12 September 2022
Mission Impossible (E9)
Added at 16:09 on 21 September 2022
Messiah (E7)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 11:10 on 27 October 2022
Ultramarine (8B, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 11:09 on 25 September 2023

Ascents

79 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 Style Ascent Date
1997 Craig's Wall E7 Lead | worked 1997
First ascent.

Dave's first new route.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pLGGafxVbQ

1998 Doug E8 Solo | did not finish 1998

Dave snapped a pebble and broke his ankle while going for a headpoint ascent.

I was headpointing an E8, which would have been my first E8. I'd just top roped it cleanly and then I went for the lead, which in this case was actually a solo, and I was just standing up through the crux move and I was thinking "I'm gonna do this, I feel really solid" and the crux pebble that I was pushing down on snapped off and I decked out, broke my ankle quite badly... [1]

References

[1] https://youtu.be/MDEJEOjA4IE?si=1tSGg_K6PDU8idM7&t=302

Off the Rocks E8 Lead | worked Jun 1998
Second ascent?

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/C0MG8sLIFpn/

1999
2000
2001 Symbiosis E8 Lead | did not finish 2001

Dave tried climbing the route onsight but was ultimately unsuccessful, reversing from his high point as he felt the gear wasn't good enough.

Deathwatch E7 Lead | onsight 2001
Digital Quartz 8b Lead | worked 2001
Second ascent.
Impulse E8 Lead | worked Aug 2001
First ascent.
Achemine E9 Lead | worked 9th Oct 2001
First ascent.

I tried the line intermittently through the last spring, but failed to link it all on top rope. I finally linked it this September, following a return to sport climbing and bouldering after the summer's tradding. I had just done the second ascent of Digital Quartz and I found linking my project harder than this. I went on the lead the following week and took a 50-60 footer from the last 6c move. This set the pattern for the next three tortuous weeks! I got the train down to Dumbarton [Rock] every other day and took 60 footers one after the other, 11 times in total. The route is the most conditions dependent route I've ever done, as the holds are very small and smooth and I couldn't chalk up at all on the 10m headwall.

I finally did it in cold, windy weather on 9th October. The fall is on to good gear, but still scary, not just because of it's length, but because of the violent slam in to the rock. Every fall was painful and bruising for my hands and feet and on some of my worst falls I sprained my ankles and wrist. One time my foot caught in the rope and sent me plummeting head first, which was terrifying! [2]

References

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2001/10/scotland_gets_first_e9-1452

[2] On The Edge Issue 113, page 11

2002 The Fugue E9 Lead | worked 16th Oct 2002
First ascent.

Scotland's second E9.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck8tb95JjWd/

Hold Fast E9 Lead | worked Dec 2002
First ascent.
2003
2004
2005 Breathless E9 Lead | worked 2005
Whirlwind E8 Lead | worked 2005
Hurley Burley 8b Solo | worked 2005
Perfect Crime 8B Boulder | worked Mar 2005
First ascent.
Pressure 8B Boulder | worked Dec 2005
First ascent.

Perhaps the prime example of Dave's attritional approach, however, was his ascent of Pressure (8b) in 2005, taking a line through the desperate, horizontal terrain of the black cave of the Eagle Boulder - the apex of an epic siege across 100 days and four years. Deemed impossible by many strong boulderers, Dave invoked the spirit of Andy Dufresne in the film The Shawshank Redemption to understand that all it takes, really, is pressure and time. [1]

[1] The Climber's Complete Guide to Dumbarton Rock, J. S. Watson and John Hutchinson, 2020

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZTdF3ftQik

2006 Sanction 8B Boulder | worked Feb 2006
First ascent.
Rhapsody E11 Lead | worked Apr 2006
Body Blow 8b+ Lead | worked 22nd May 2006
First ascent.
Divided Years E9 Lead | worked Jul 2006
Body Swerve 8c Lead | worked 8th Oct 2006
First ascent.
2007 Blind Vision E9 Lead | worked 2007
If 6 was 9 E9 Lead | worked 2007

The long awaited second ascent.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CS8oUqIqlfz/

Caution E8 Lead | worked 2007
Impact Day E8 Lead | worked 2007

The day after Dave's ascent of Caution.

Metalcore 8c+ Lead | worked 2nd May 2007
First ascent.
Trauma E9 Lead | worked Jun 2007
Third ascent.
To Hell and Back E10 Lead | worked 24th Jul 2007
Ring of Steall 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Aug 2007
A Muerte 8c+ Lead | worked Nov 2007
2008 Darwin Dixit 8b+ Solo | worked 15th Mar 2008
Echo Wall E10 (approx) Lead | worked Jul 2008
First ascent.

On the grade:

Do you see my problem? I am uncomfortable with the feeling of grades advancing too quickly due to overgrading, but on the other hand feel that Echo Wall might well earn a laughable quanta of E points over anything else I’ve done, based on the way the E scale has been used traditionally over the past couple of decades. I just don’t know. [1]

[1] https://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2008/10/grade-of-echo-wall.html

[2] https://www.davemacleod.com/shop/echowall

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

Big Long Now 8B+ Boulder | worked Aug 2008
First ascent.
2009 The Walk of Life E9 Lead | worked 2009
Kolus E8 Lead | worked 20th Jun 2009
Present Tense E9 Lead | worked Jul 2009
2010 L'espiadimonis 8c Lead | worked 15th Mar 2010
At Eternity's Gate 8B Boulder | worked May 2010
First ascent.
Indian Face E9 Lead | worked Jun 2010
The Usual Suspects E9 Lead | worked 28th Aug 2010
First ascent.

Dave led the meat of the route with Tim Emmett leading some of the easier pitches.

Muy Caliente! E9 Lead | worked 26th Sep 2010
Die by the Drop E10 Lead | worked Nov 2010
First ascent.

I guess I was in the right frame of mind, so I led it anyway. Of course the inevitable happened and everything went wrong on the crux. I caught the thumb press but at the same time my toes seemed to buckle on a tiny smear and my body arched backwards. In that breath, I fully expected to fall. But at least I also fully accepted I was committed. So survival instinct could fully kick in and I pressed down into the crimp I’d locked to my knee level with strength you only get above an unprotected drop. That was enough to escape the impending splat and I pressed on, wobbling like jelly, all the way to the top. [1]

[1] https://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/die-by-drop-e10-7a.html

[2] https://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/categories/trad_climbing/dave_macleod_-die_by_the_drop-_e10-409

2011 Seven of Nine 8B+ Boulder | worked Apr 2011
First ascent.
Longhope Route Direct E9 Lead | worked 21st Jun 2011
2012 New Base Line 8B+ Boulder | worked Apr 2012
Natural Method 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2012
Mystic Stylez 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2012
2013 Bellavista E10 Alternate Leads | worked Sep 2013
2014
2015 4th Wave 8B Boulder | worked 2015
One Summer in Paradise 8B Boulder | worked Nov 2015
2016 Gimme that Swing 8B Boulder | worked 24th Mar 2016
Practice of the Wild 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2016
Return of the King E9 Lead | worked Jun 2016
2017 Lithium 8B+ Boulder | worked Mar 2017
2018 Gut Buster 8B+ Boulder | worked 1st Mar 2018
2019 Hunger 9a Lead | worked 2019
The Golden Road E9 Lead | worked Jun 2019
Mind Riot E10 Lead | worked Oct 2019
2020 Nosferatu E8 Lead | worked 2020
Second ascent.
2021 Zero 8B Boulder | worked 2021
Ultramarine 8B Boulder | worked 2021
Mnemosyne E9 Lead | worked Sep 2021
What we do in the Shadows E10 Lead | worked 5th Oct 2021
Hyperborea E7 Lead | worked 12th Nov 2021
2022 Messiah E7 Lead | worked 2022
Below Zero 8B+ Boulder | worked Between 30th Jan 2022 and 30th Jan 2023
Lexicon E11 Lead | worked 27th Mar 2022
Mission Impossible E9 Lead | worked 15th Sep 2022
Big Chief 8B Boulder | worked Nov 2022
Belly of the Beast 8B Boulder | worked Dec 2022
Keen Roof 8A+ Boulder | worked Dec 2022
2023 Highbrow E8 Lead | worked 2023
Symbiosis E8 Lead | worked 2023
Railrace E6 Lead | worked Between 1st Jan 2023 and 1st Jun 2023
Out for Blood E9 Lead | worked 5th May 2023
Black Thistle E10 Lead | worked Oct 2023
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hunger 9a Lead | worked 2019
Metalcore 8c+ Lead | worked 2nd May 2007
First ascent.
Ring of Steall 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Aug 2007
A Muerte 8c+ Lead | worked Nov 2007
Body Swerve 8c Lead | worked 8th Oct 2006
First ascent.
L'espiadimonis 8c Lead | worked 15th Mar 2010
Body Blow 8b+ Lead | worked 22nd May 2006
First ascent.
Darwin Dixit 8b+ Solo | worked 15th Mar 2008
Digital Quartz 8b Lead | worked 2001
Second ascent.
Hurley Burley 8b Solo | worked 2005
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Big Long Now 8B+ Boulder | worked Aug 2008
First ascent.
Seven of Nine 8B+ Boulder | worked Apr 2011
First ascent.
Natural Method 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2012
Lithium 8B+ Boulder | worked Mar 2017
New Base Line 8B+ Boulder | worked Apr 2012
Mystic Stylez 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2012
Practice of the Wild 8B+ Boulder | worked May 2016
Gut Buster 8B+ Boulder | worked 1st Mar 2018
Below Zero 8B+ Boulder | worked Between 30th Jan 2022 and 30th Jan 2023
Catalan Witness the Fitness 8B+ Boulder | worked
From Shallow Water to Riverbed 8B+ Boulder | worked
Perfect Crime 8B Boulder | worked Mar 2005
First ascent.
Pressure 8B Boulder | worked Dec 2005
First ascent.

Perhaps the prime example of Dave's attritional approach, however, was his ascent of Pressure (8b) in 2005, taking a line through the desperate, horizontal terrain of the black cave of the Eagle Boulder - the apex of an epic siege across 100 days and four years. Deemed impossible by many strong boulderers, Dave invoked the spirit of Andy Dufresne in the film The Shawshank Redemption to understand that all it takes, really, is pressure and time. [1]

[1] The Climber's Complete Guide to Dumbarton Rock, J. S. Watson and John Hutchinson, 2020

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZTdF3ftQik

Sanction 8B Boulder | worked Feb 2006
First ascent.
At Eternity's Gate 8B Boulder | worked May 2010
First ascent.
4th Wave 8B Boulder | worked 2015
Gimme that Swing 8B Boulder | worked 24th Mar 2016
Zero 8B Boulder | worked 2021
Ultramarine 8B Boulder | worked 2021
One Summer in Paradise 8B Boulder | worked Nov 2015
Big Chief 8B Boulder | worked Nov 2022
Belly of the Beast 8B Boulder | worked Dec 2022
Keen Roof 8A+ Boulder | worked Dec 2022
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Rhapsody E11 Lead | worked Apr 2006
Lexicon E11 Lead | worked 27th Mar 2022
To Hell and Back E10 Lead | worked 24th Jul 2007
Echo Wall E10 (approx) Lead | worked Jul 2008
First ascent.

On the grade:

Do you see my problem? I am uncomfortable with the feeling of grades advancing too quickly due to overgrading, but on the other hand feel that Echo Wall might well earn a laughable quanta of E points over anything else I’ve done, based on the way the E scale has been used traditionally over the past couple of decades. I just don’t know. [1]

[1] https://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2008/10/grade-of-echo-wall.html

[2] https://www.davemacleod.com/shop/echowall

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

Die by the Drop E10 Lead | worked Nov 2010
First ascent.

I guess I was in the right frame of mind, so I led it anyway. Of course the inevitable happened and everything went wrong on the crux. I caught the thumb press but at the same time my toes seemed to buckle on a tiny smear and my body arched backwards. In that breath, I fully expected to fall. But at least I also fully accepted I was committed. So survival instinct could fully kick in and I pressed down into the crimp I’d locked to my knee level with strength you only get above an unprotected drop. That was enough to escape the impending splat and I pressed on, wobbling like jelly, all the way to the top. [1]

[1] https://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/die-by-drop-e10-7a.html

[2] https://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/categories/trad_climbing/dave_macleod_-die_by_the_drop-_e10-409

Mind Riot E10 Lead | worked Oct 2019
Bellavista E10 Alternate Leads | worked Sep 2013
What we do in the Shadows E10 Lead | worked 5th Oct 2021
Black Thistle E10 Lead | worked Oct 2023
Hold Fast, Hold True E10 Lead | did not finish
Achemine E9 Lead | worked 9th Oct 2001
First ascent.

I tried the line intermittently through the last spring, but failed to link it all on top rope. I finally linked it this September, following a return to sport climbing and bouldering after the summer's tradding. I had just done the second ascent of Digital Quartz and I found linking my project harder than this. I went on the lead the following week and took a 50-60 footer from the last 6c move. This set the pattern for the next three tortuous weeks! I got the train down to Dumbarton [Rock] every other day and took 60 footers one after the other, 11 times in total. The route is the most conditions dependent route I've ever done, as the holds are very small and smooth and I couldn't chalk up at all on the 10m headwall.

I finally did it in cold, windy weather on 9th October. The fall is on to good gear, but still scary, not just because of it's length, but because of the violent slam in to the rock. Every fall was painful and bruising for my hands and feet and on some of my worst falls I sprained my ankles and wrist. One time my foot caught in the rope and sent me plummeting head first, which was terrifying! [2]

References

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2001/10/scotland_gets_first_e9-1452

[2] On The Edge Issue 113, page 11

The Fugue E9 Lead | worked 16th Oct 2002
First ascent.

Scotland's second E9.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck8tb95JjWd/

Hold Fast E9 Lead | worked Dec 2002
First ascent.
Present Tense E9 Lead | worked Jul 2009 E9 (hard)
The Usual Suspects E9 Lead | worked 28th Aug 2010
First ascent.

Dave led the meat of the route with Tim Emmett leading some of the easier pitches.

Longhope Route Direct E9 Lead | worked 21st Jun 2011
The Golden Road E9 Lead | worked Jun 2019
Mnemosyne E9 Lead | worked Sep 2021
Out for Blood E9 Lead | worked 5th May 2023
Breathless E9 Lead | worked 2005 E9 (soft)
Divided Years E9 Lead | worked Jul 2006
Blind Vision E9 Lead | worked 2007
If 6 was 9 E9 Lead | worked 2007

The long awaited second ascent.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CS8oUqIqlfz/

Trauma E9 Lead | worked Jun 2007
Third ascent.
The Walk of Life E9 Lead | worked 2009 E9
Indian Face E9 Lead | worked Jun 2010
Muy Caliente! E9 Lead | worked 26th Sep 2010
Return of the King E9 Lead | worked Jun 2016 E8
Mission Impossible E9 Lead | worked 15th Sep 2022
Impulse E8 Lead | worked Aug 2001
First ascent.
Whirlwind E8 Lead | worked 2005
Kolus E8 Lead | worked 20th Jun 2009
Highbrow E8 Lead | worked 2023
Misadventure E8 Lead | worked
First ascent.
Doug E8 Solo | did not finish 1998

Dave snapped a pebble and broke his ankle while going for a headpoint ascent.

I was headpointing an E8, which would have been my first E8. I'd just top roped it cleanly and then I went for the lead, which in this case was actually a solo, and I was just standing up through the crux move and I was thinking "I'm gonna do this, I feel really solid" and the crux pebble that I was pushing down on snapped off and I decked out, broke my ankle quite badly... [1]

References

[1] https://youtu.be/MDEJEOjA4IE?si=1tSGg_K6PDU8idM7&t=302

Off the Rocks E8 Lead | worked Jun 1998
Second ascent?

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/C0MG8sLIFpn/

Symbiosis E8 Lead | did not finish 2001

Dave tried climbing the route onsight but was ultimately unsuccessful, reversing from his high point as he felt the gear wasn't good enough.

Caution E8 Lead | worked 2007
Impact Day E8 Lead | worked 2007

The day after Dave's ascent of Caution.

Nosferatu E8 Lead | worked 2020
Second ascent.
Symbiosis E8 Lead | worked 2023
Craig's Wall E7 Lead | worked 1997
First ascent.

Dave's first new route.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pLGGafxVbQ

Deathwatch E7 Lead | onsight 2001
Hyperborea E7 Lead | worked 12th Nov 2021
Messiah E7 Lead | worked 2022
Railrace E6 Lead | worked Between 1st Jan 2023 and 1st Jun 2023
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade