Dave MacLeod gets second ascent of Black Thistle (E10 7a)
- Thursday 26th October 2023
Dave MacLeod has made the second ascent of Mat Wright’s Black Thistle (E10 7a) in Glen Nevis.
Recovered from ankle surgery in July earlier this year, Dave MacLeod was able to make the second ascent of Mat Wright’s new test-piece in Glen Nevis. Mat climbed Black Thistle back in August but Dave knew it would be a while before he would be able to operate at the level ‘comfortably’ as he explained in his Instagram post;
‘Second ascent of @matwrightclimber route Black Thistle E10 7a in Glen Nevis. When Mat put up this route back in August, he encouraged me to come and have a look. I was well keen but nowhere near ready to get on a route that standard after my surgery. At that time, the idea that I might have the confidence to do 8b+ climbing above an unpredictable fall zone with lots of leg breaker slabs below was just ridiculous. Confidence is such a funny thing. Even two or three weeks ago I would have led it but would have had to engage full on robot mode to make it happen. But the training just seemed to come together a bit more this last week and suddenly feel a bit more my usual self.
Still, I wasn’t sure if I would get a chance to use the recovered form. I’d been waiting weeks for a dry enough spell for some really bad seeps in the cracks to dry out a bit more. I thought I had a window on Friday afternoon but the road was closed. The frustration of that was quite useful in the end. When Cubby offered to give me a belay a couple of days later, I had a good mindset to make use of the opportunity and be well prepared. After a couple of heavy showers, conditions were actually excellent and I could lead it with a good margin to keep the old ankles happy.’