British stalwart Steve McClure has added what is possibly another 5.15a link-up to the imposing limestone crag of Malham Cove, near Yorkshire, England. McClure's new line links the beginning of Bat Route (5.14b) into a previously unclimbed 5.14c section of stone, then finishes on the top of Bat Route. McClure named his new route Batman and suggests 9a/9a+ [5.14d/5.15a] for the grade. "It doesn’t matter what ‘9’ it is; 9a, 9a+ or 9b is just off the pace," wrote McClure on 8a.nu. "However, it’s not a bad thing to put some kind of marker on a route. It’s up to the first ascensionist to at least have a stab; in a way it’s their duty."
McClure bolted Batman in 2010, however, his initial goal was to link into the new section of 5.14c climbing via his 2003 route Rainshadow (5.14d). McClure considers this project—dubbed The Easy Easy—to be significantly harder. "Through Rainshadow was too far for me this season, but showed the difficulty, as when trying this way I was climbing through the Rainshadow crux 2 or 3 times a day," said McClure. "Pleasing; as when I climbed Rainshadow I only ever made it through the crux twice. This shows real progress with my climbing, and that the new line is considerably harder, whichever start was used!"
Here is a great video by Alastair Lee of McClure climbing Rainshadow (5.14d).
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