Following on from his success a few weeks ago climbing New Base Line (Font 8B+) amongst other problems in Switzerland (see report here), Dave Macleod stayed on in the area intent on harder things.
MacLeod focussed on Mystic Stylez - the Font 8C start to the 8A Muttertag at Magic Wood. With Mystic Stylez being only three moves and Muttertag a solitary desperate move the problem is a particularly intense one. Established by American bouldering supremo Daniel Woods Mystic Stylez hadn't seen a repeat. Commenting on his blog MacLeod described his initial attempts 'I set about finding all manner of knee ligament shredding contortions to get opposition with my feet for the crux. I found a method to reach the right hand hold of the stand start, but was completely unable to move from that position (except towards the ground). But it was enough of a sequence to warrant some more serious sessions.'
Over the next week temperatures soared into the high twenties and at one point reached 37 degrees. To counteract the heat MacLeod opted for super early starts - setting his alarm for 4am. Progress came inch by inch but MacLeod was fighting the deadline of his return home. 'Time to leave for Scotland was approaching fast, but each session I did learn at least one small thing about how to climb the moves better. And I got a little further. On my last session before departure day, I touched the finishing finger rail on Muttertag 4 times. Although it is the last hold, touching it and holding it are two different things.'
Opting to extend his flights and rebook his accomodation, the weather forecast suddenly changed for colder but wet weather. MacLeod took the decision to head straight up to the crag 'As I did, raindrops started to patter onto the mats. I laughed at how desperate this was getting and just did the stand start twice for a warm up and to see if the rain would come on properly. It started to get heavier. Inwardly I said ‘well maybe I should just do it first try!’, while thinking back to the last 4 sessions of failures.' And do it first try that day he did. In all MacLeod spent 8 sessions on what is his first 8C. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise but for someone as well known for their winter climbing as their world leading bold trad routes, to boulder at the grade that is acknowledged to define the woprld class for bouldering specialists is almost certainly unique.
Filming the ascent were the production team the Polished Project who are making a film 'Dave' which will feature at first as a 10-12 minute long film, for screening at festivals. For 2013, a full length film will be released and made available as a free online viral video. The Polished Project's Lukasz Warzecha says "Our upcoming film, Dave, will be telling the story of Dave's climbing career. The film centres around Dave's exploits in the Magic Wood, Switzerland - climbing New Base Line (8B+), Mystic Stylez (8C) and others - and at the same time it touches strongly through interviews on Dave's career and life. The final piece would be Dave's portrait as a professional climber."
You can see the trailer for Dave here.
Look out for a detailed repoirt and new photos on Dave's Swizz trip in Climb 89.