Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dumby Dave

My feature profile of the Scottish all-arounder Dave MacLeod made the cover of Climbing magazine this month (No. 262). Dave is one of the world’s boldest rock and ice climbers, made famous by the first ascent of Rhapsody (5.14c R/X) after two years of effort, and I was quite tickled with my lede: “I studied him, sure I did, but I couldn’t see that Dave MacLeod walked peculiarly or sat down carefully or anything else that might indicate he has bigger balls than the rest of us.” Climbing.com has posted the story, so you can read it online.

Dave’s an interesting character: obsessive and yet humble and thoughtful. I don’t think any climber who’s 29 and does “death routes” is fully in touch with what he’s doing. And even though few talk/write about it as articulately as Dave does (check out his blog), there are some things he can't or won't express. I never felt like I fully got to the bottom of what motivates him, but the story reflects everything I could learn.

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