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The best climbing film I've seen
on 12 December 2011
The Longhope Route DVD, features Dave Macleod the Scottish superstar climbing making the first completely free ascent of the Longhope route at St John's Head, Orkney. St John's head is the largest sea cliff in the UK and probably the most inaccessible, involving 2 ferries and a 2 hour slog just to get from the coast of Scotland to the top of the cliff! The DVD captures Dave Macleod climbing a "trad" pitch at his physical limit after several hundred metres of loose, sandy, fulmar infested adventure climbing. But, this is not all the DVD has, for it is not a "run of the mill" climbing DVD. The DVD also follows Ed Drummond, the first ascentionist of the Longhope route back in 1970, revisiting St John's Head. Ed Drummond, who has had Parkinson's disease since 1993 adds a beautiful, deep feeling to the film as he discusses what must have driven him to make the first ascent of the Longhope route. It is the combination of the interviews of the poetic Ed Drummond recounting his terrifyingly adventurous ascent of the Longhope route, combined with the never-fading determination and grit of Dave Macleod that makes this DVD unlike any other climbing DVD I have seen. The footage that captures Dave Macleod is incredible. The cameramen follow Dave on his numerous visits to St John's head, spending hours cleaning lichen and grime from the route, training hard on his bouldering wall in his home in Lochaber and meticulously planning every detail of his ascent. This is followed by footage of Dave single-mindedly slapping his way up the beautiful headwall crack. Every moment is captured in superb, crisp video footage by the Hot Aches crew.
There are many climbing films that are good, but this one is simply superb. The Longhope route is one that you will watch time and time again.