Robbie Phillips has made the third ascent of Dave MacLeod’s Achemine E9 6c (5.13dR) at Dumbarton Rock in Scotland. MacLeod made the first ascent in 2001 and it had only been repeated once, in 2016 by Babsi Zangerl.
The route starts up the classic Chemin de Fer E5, the biggest crack at the crag. Where the crack turns off to the right, Achemine goes straight up through the headwall on good holds.
“It’s in the crack that you can place the last piece of gear before you start a really long runout to the top,” said Zangerl. “I had to search for holds and do some brushing, and it didn’t seem as if anybody had tried the route recently.” Watch her send below.
“It took some time to figure out how to do the hard boulder problem part and then it still felt quite hard to connect the single moves,” she said. “I took two big whippers before I could get through the crux for the redpoint. In the last meters I really had to keep it all together and stay calm. It is not really hard there but it’s also not an option to fall when you’re about 13 metres above the last cam.”
On the same trip that Zangerl repeated Achemine, her partner Jacopo Larcher sent Rhapsody 5.14R, which got a first repeat by Canadian Sonnie Trotter. “After four-and-a-half hot and sunny weeks, 14 enduring days, 24 50 foot falls, 47 snickers bars, and 113 emails to Lydia, I finally made the second ascent of Rhapsody,” Trotter said in 2008.
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Stick to the wall like a gecko 🦎 That’s the beta to successfully climb “Achemine” (E9 6c) at Dumbarton Rock 😜👍 ✅ It’s one of those climbs that I feel has gained a bit of a reputation. Some hefty claims of “Death Fall” 💀 and f8c/5.14b climbing had been thrown around which kinda made me nervous. But upon actually getting up there and checking it out, I found out it was actually more like runout f8b/5.13d R above bomber gear – just a really big airy, but relatively safe fall 🦅 Another session on a shunt and I’d figured out my beta. One TR belay from Culann (@imculann) that day and I linked 99.9% of it, falling on the very last move of the huge runout… That was it, next go would have to be lead 😱 After a rest day me and Culann came back with @ryanmchenry on belay duties and @michael_cassidy behind the camera 📸 One fall at the crux was enough to ease my nerves, and on my 2nd lead attempt I dispatched! It was not without a good fight and a great deal of uncertainty as I skipped the last move by desperately dynoing for the top of the crag with the last remaining energy I had 🤩 Big up to Dave (@climbermacleod) for the vision of the First Ascent! Point of interest: Dave’s beta actually went marginally further right utilising two different holds which I think makes it harder. I did a more direct sequence which Babsi (@babsizangerl) also did on the 2nd ascent. I think our way is more logical, but despite being a bit easier, I think still very much warrants E9 6c as it’s still f8b climbing with a huge runout 🤪 📸: @michael_cassidy #tradisrad #dumbartonrock #dumbartoncastle #rockclimbing #tradclimbing #tradclimber #climber #climbinglife #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #climbing_is_my_passion #climbingphotography #rockclimbinglife #rockclimbingfun #rockclimbingwall #scotland #glasgow #scotlandhighlands #scotlandtravel #scotlandphotography #scotlandexplore #scotlandlover