Scotland’s Hardest Winter Route Repeated
Bring da Ruckus was first climbed in January by Greg Boswell and repeated in February and Filip Babicz
In January, Greg Boswell made the first ascent of Bring da Ruckus at Lochnagar, Scotland. He graded it XII 13, which is the most severe grade any climb in Scotland has ever been assigned making it the hardest two-pitch winter route in the country.
On Feb. 22, strong Polish climber Filip Babicz made the second ascent of Bring Da Ruckus. He first attempted it ground-up and then opted to inspect it top-down before leading it and placing all of the gear. Babicz has repeated hard highballs, E9 routes, set alpine speed records and competes in the World Cup events.
Winter climbing in Scotland is its own game, as ethics dictate that you can’t use tools and crampons on rock unless there’s rime ice and snow. Some people criticized Babicz for the conditions he chose to repeat Bring da Ruckus in. He responded by saying, “The ethics were created long before desperate overhangs and roofs were tackled and high-end routes were established. The issue was well explained by Dave MacLeod in an interview for scottishclimbs.com after the first winter ascent of Anubis, the very first XII in history. Read Macleod’s thoughts here.
Scotland is one of the world’s most epic places to climb when conditions are right. As climbers continue to push the limits of what’s possible, conversations about conditions and ethics will surely continue.