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New 5.15a is Scotland’s Hardest Route – Will Bosi Sends Free at Last

The top Scottish climber freed a long-standing sport project at Dumbarton Rock which he says is 5.15a. It climbs an overhanging face to the right of the classic Requiem E8 6c

Will Bosi, 23, from Edinburgh has claimed the first ascent of the long-standing project at Dumbarton and has proposed the grade of 5.15a making it the hardest sport route in Scotland. The route, which he’s calling Free at Last, is bolted on an overhanging blank section of rock to the right of the crack on Requiem E8 6c which contains about 15 metres of sustained, technical climbing.

Bosi had attempted the route a few times in the past but it was only this year that he has put serious effort into completing it and was able to clip the chains on the route after seven sessions. Despite being bolted a long time ago, the route, known as Dumbarton Oaks (aka La Dumby-Dumby Project) had not received serious attention until 2014 when Dave Macleod and Alan Cassidy re-bolted it and put time into unlocking the sequence of moves.

Bosi said, “Dumby is one of my favourite crags and having climbed there a lot, it feels really special to add my own route to the crag which has such a special place in Scottish climbing’s history.”

And about the climbing, Bosi commented, “Although there looks like a lot of holds from the floor, almost everything is an undercut or a side pull. This makes the climbing very technical as the feet are tiny. The climbing is also very intense and powerful as you cannot relax. The send go went really well with almost no mistakes and just a lot of try-hard! The day was pretty still so conditions were not great but while I was sat on the ledge above the slab the wind picked up and the conditions aligned! Topping out felt absolutely incredible and this route is definitely a highlight for me. ”

Specifically on proposing the grade 5.15a, Bosi said, “Previously in Scotland, I have climbed Hunger 5.14d (established by Malcolm Smith at the Anvil in 2010) but not Fight the Feeling 5.14d (Dave Macleod at Steall, Glen Nevis in 2012). It is a very different style of route compared to Hunger but I do feel it is more difficult. The crux of Hunger is around V11 boulder whereas I would suggest the crux of Free at Last is around V14/15.”

At 17, Bosi became the youngest Brit to climb 5.14d at the time with Rainshadow at Malham Cove. Since then, Bosi has become one of the U.K.’s leading climbers. In 2018, he reached the final of IFSC Chamonix Lead Climbing competition which was the first time a male had reached a lead final since 1998. In 2020, Bosi became the first Brit to climb 5.15b abroad with his ascent of La Capella. In 2021, he made the first ascent of King Capella and graded it 5.15c, but it was later downgraded to 5.15b by Alex Megos and Jakob Schubert. Earlier this year, he flashed V14.

Bosi said that Free at last feels more comparable to Mutation 5.14d/15a as it shares its sustained, technical hard climbing but in this instance, all the holds are upside down. “Hopefully the ascent will attract more people to come over to Dumbarton to try the route and can comment on the grade,” said Bosi.