Steve McClure Can Crimp My Crag Any Day

23 06 2008

Strong Steve McClure

Before the cheers (and possible jeers) for Sonnie Trotter quieted down, Steve McClure made his own Rhapsody (E11 7a 5.14c) ascent with characteristic bravado. Some would disagree with my assessment. They say he’s a humble, modest man. Now, I don’t know him, but based on quotes and video clips, I imagine him practically swaggering up Dumbarton Rock. This is no insult. He is hands down my favorite climber this season. His nonchalance and apparently being a decent guy totally makes up for braggadocio. But then, don’t all American girls go bonkers for British accents?

And what does any girl do when she’s keen? Googles the guy, of course!

Random facts I’m happy to know about Steve McClure:

  1. He’s a father! Oh, that’s nice.
  2. Both his father and mother were climbers – put him on lead at 7, 8, or 9 years old.
  3. His childhood nickname was “Bush-Head.” Currently, he’s known as “Strong Steve.”
  4. He has the brain of an engineer, not an artist. And he’s good with his hands on, you know, technical stuff.
  5. He’s ok with recreational climbers. Mostly because they stay indoors.
  6. Once said grades were invented to start arguments.

Plus, this weekend I was begging out of leading 5.9 in a drizzle, feeling like a scaredy-pants, explaining I would never feel right about hands and feet popping due to wet rock not lack of skill. And today, I read that Strong Steve is “uninspired” by climbing loose rock because “not only climbing skills are being tested, a certain amount of luck is involved.” We even think alike! Why, I’m tickled pink.

Thanks to and for the info.

For Steve’s personal commentary on Rhapsody, grade-related and otherwise, visit Climb Magazine.

Steve McClure Sends 9a 5.15 Redpoint

2 06 2008

Steve McClure has been enjoying a run of American press lately – featured for his string of unrepeated FAs in Climbing Magazine (May) and now, “prematurely” sending yet another 9a project on May 20th, he’s back in print and online.

Looks like the short climbing season at Kilnsey Crag in Yorkshire didn’t hold him back. Nor did the inevitable hangover days, which he cited as another distinct challenge for British climbers. Distinct, perhaps, but not unique! put up this involved, intimate, and absorbing video – a clip from Psyche DVD (Posing Productions) in which McClure talks about the project.

Favorite quote: “The ultimate in crimpy, sustained routes. And it’s kind of my bag so I shouldn’t complain.”

Also, check out the coverage and interview in Climbing Magazine online. Does anyone else detect in all this his nonchalant arrogance? Absolutely charming.