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James McHaffie Redpoints 180 Extreme U.K. Climbs

The routes include bold trad climbs up to E9

James McHaffie recently became the first climber to complete all 180 routes in Ken Wilson and Bernard Newman’s book Extreme Rock. He sent the last of the many hard route on May 26 with Raven Tor 5.13d.

Extreme Rock was published in 1986, as the final book in a trilogy that included Hard Rock and Classic Rock. There were only around 4,000 copies of Extreme Rock ever printed.

The grades in the book range from E1 to E9 and from 5.12 to 5.13+. The routes are in Wales, Scotland and England, and the rock varies from quartzite and limestone to grit and gneiss. The climbing styles vary from short and burly to tall crack over the sea and in the mountains.

One of the hardest routes in the book is Indian Face E9 6c, which was first climbed in 1986 by Johnny Dawes. It’s now been repeated by only a handful of climbers.

Read an interview with McHaffie by his sponsor DMM here, where he says, “2018 was the year I broke the back of the task. The weather was good and I was freelancing so had more time for the big ones in Scotland like Kingpin (E3) high up on Bidean nam Bian, Stairway to Heaven (E4) on Skye, The Big Lick (E4) on Harris, Flodden (E6) on Creag an Dubh Loch and Master’s Wall of course back in Wales. A couple of trips up north in 2019 with my partner Emma finished off the Scottish ones with Megaton (E4), The Clearances (E4), Unicorn (E1) and Scansor (E2).”