Watch the Legendary Dave MacLeod Free Solo a Frozen Ben Nevis

Orion Face is the biggest wall on Ben Nevis. And its 1,400-foot direct route is, according Dave MacLeod, the closest you can get to alpine climbing in the U.K.

At 4,413 feet above sea level, the summit of Scotland’s Ben Nevis is the tallest in the U.K. and the highest point for 460 miles. In colder seasons, “Orion Face Direct” (WI3+, grade IV) offers some of the sturdiest, most classic ice climbing one can find.

“Every climbing discipline gives you something that you just can’t get anywhere else,” MacLeod tells us. “Climbing on a route like this on a day like this … gives you a feeling of pure peace and joy that lives long in your memory.”

Watch MacLeod free solo — ice picks, crampons, and puffy suit — through breathtaking aerial footage and well-framed GoPro shots.

Runtime3 minutes

Three people hiking in snow
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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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