‘The Unknown is an essential part of an adventure.’
For Dave MacLeod, the Unknown is a catalyst for exploration and pioneering first ascents in his home country of Scotland. Growing up in Glasgow, his local haunt provided him with an unlikely playground upon which to build his climbing career. The basalt outcrop of Dumbarton – a volcanic plug rising out of a decaying post-industrial wasteland – offered an apprenticeship in climbing technique, self-motivation and dedication, helped along by a heady dose of youthful exuberance.
On the horizon, and within Dave’s sight, the Trossach hills marked the doorway to the Scottish Highlands. A stark contrast from the abandoned factories and deprivation of Dumbarton, the untouched ruggedness of the Scottish mountains opened his eyes to new possibilities. From top-end boulder and trad first ascents in the city, to ephemeral Scottish winter climbs in the Highlands and visionary lines in uninhabited corners of remote islands, Dave has cemented his status as one of Britain’s most accomplished all-round climbers. 8B+ boulders, 9a sport climbs, E11 traditional and XII 12 mixed routes – all first ascents at or near the cutting edge of each discipline.
In a landscape filled with uncertainties – unpredictable weather, untrodden paths and untamed mountains – Dave has, quite literally, forged his own routes in Scottish climbing and mountaineering. In the story of Dave’s climbing career, adventure and exploration have punctuated every paragraph. Putting Scotland on the map, ever in pursuit of the unknown.