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Don’t miss epic Scottish climbing lecture

Written by Fiona January 17 2012
Climbers Dave McLeod and Andy Turner at St John's head, Orkney. Pic credit: Lukaz Warzecha.

Climbers Dave McLeod and Andy Turner at St John's head, Orkney. Pic credit: Lukaz Warzecha.

At 1150ft, St Johns Head on Hoy is the tallest sea cliff in the UK.  A route called the Long Hope was first climbed in 1970 by climber and poet Ed Drummond together with Oliver Hill.  They took seven days to climb the cliff, sleeping on ledges and in hammocks along the way.  Forty years later, top Scottish climber Dave MacLeod and his climbing partner Andy Turner set out to climb the cliff in a single day.

To be honest, you rarely hear of Dave McLeod doing anything other than extraordinary. And if you take a look at the trailer film of his attempt to free climb the sea cliff you’ll realise that this climb is as extraordinary as, well, normal! For Dave!

Next month, Dave and Andy will be revealing the details of their epic climb at a GORE-TEX sponsored Royal Geographical Lecture. The lecture takes place in London on February 7 and guests will no doubt  be wowed by the story of this first free ascent of the Long Hope route on St John’s Head, which Dave, who is Gore sponsored, and Andy completed last year.

The climbers will give an insight into the physical, psychological and logistical preparation required to capture this route, as well as explaining a few of the challenges en route.  You can look forward to tales of dubious rock, furious fulmars and a mind-blowing finale!

The lecture, which is also being supported by GORE-TEX® brand partner Mountain Equipment and specialist retailer Cotswold Outdoor, will be followed by a special screening of the Long Hope film presented by Filmmaker Paul Diffley/Hot Aches Productions.  The film contrasts the challenges of Drummond’s first ascent and also follows him as he makes a pilgrimage back to St John’s Head to look upon the route one last time.

The film has already won the People’s Choice Award at Kendal Mountain Film Festival last year and the Royal Geographic Society will be a special place to see this for the first time.

Tickets for the event cost £12 and are available from Dave MacLeod’s blog.

* I’m hoping that this talk might find its way to Scotland in the near future

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