Afterwards McHaffie commented: “It has a nasty feel to it, even knowing it. Tony Stone had reclimbed it a couple of weeks before I fell off it, saying it was E6 6a. I thought E6/7 6b was fair and would definitely recommend inspecting it because of the nature of the rock. It has a burly and powerful start on biscuit flakes with poor, blind gear placements.”
He added: “If Extreme Rock was being compiled today it wouldn’t make the cut. Even the middle section is crumbly and dirty.”
Having a few days spare before the scheduled departure on Friday morning, McHaffie had two new lines to try in the Flying Buttress Area. On the ‘dark side’ of the arch formed by the huge monolith leaning against the mainland, McHaffie took a look at the cracks he’d noticed to the right of the Flying Dutchman (E7 6c)—a route he’d onsighted in 2015.
Spirit Guide (E7 6c) turned out to be: “A brilliant pitch around 7c+ and super sustained that’d be hard to onsight. Needs plenty of micro-wires. It was close as I nearly fell-off in the middle and at the end because I was so pumped.”
“It’s tricky, with more hard climbing than Flying Dutchman, and definitely the best new route I’ve done in ages.”
Above the sea-channel on the opposite side of the arch, directly below the Battery, McHaffie added a new start and gymnastic finish to Brinkman’s Ship (E6 6b). Ulterior (E7 6c) gives a more direct line but using the overhanging crack of that route in the middle section.