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Steve McClure: what's he hiding?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Steve McClure pulling hard on tiny crimps

Published on 14 November, Steve McClure’s new autobiography Beyond Limits packs in a lot of incredible climbing adventures. But is it just about racking up big numbers and pulling on tiny crimps? Absolutely not – Steve goes way beyond his exploits on the rock, revealing the hidden story behind his sport climbing superstardom. Still, there must be something you haven’t shared with us Steve? We questioned a few of those featured in the book to find out what Mr McClure might be keeping under wraps.
Tom Briggs is an enthusiastic climber but ...

'Steve is just insanely motivated! We were in Greenland and it was as much his work rate as his climbing that blew us away. It’s like, "Hey Steve, we are having a rest day", but that’s no good for him – he’s jugging up the ropes on his own at any opportunity to move gear higher on his and Miles' (Gibson’s) route. After their big push, he comes down describing the crux roof pitch at the top as "F8b and soaking wet". If it was anybody else you’d think bullshit but, as Miles confirmed after seconding him, "Yep it was 8b and dripping with water." Climbed ground up, twenty-one pitches up. Quite impressive eh?'

Of course Mrs McClure sees another side of him to the rest of us ...

'Ste is reliable, resourceful, a problem solver, a handy man, a DIY king ... he's produced a great climbing tower for the kids, a £30 extension to our dining table. He can't resist a skip: I've lost count of the number of times he cycled home with a carpet on his shoulder or a light fitting in his rucksack that "just needs rewiring". Ste can't sit still for long. He fiddles. No such thing as a lazy Sunday morning for Ste; if the sun is out then so is Ste.

'Ste has seemingly unlimited energy – it probably helps that he's a chocoholic (he has a 'secret' chocolate and sweet stash). He can't half eat. And he makes a lovely chicken pie!

'Ste is a great dad, brilliant fun, a font of knowledge, he encourages the kids to be active and challenged. There are so many tales to tell ... I think the time Ste stopped a runaway van on one of the steepest hills in Sheffield didn't make it into the book, nor did the tale of the Yosemite Valley pizza overdose which resulted in a displaced stomach and a helicopter ride to hospital. He lives a full life!'

Ryan Pasquill knows just how hard some of Steve’s routes are, but has also seen evidence of a more vulnerable side ...

'We were on holiday somewhere exotic. Steve was keen to explore the sea – the beach was quiet so he decided to go in au naturel. After a few hours spent swimming on the surface happily watching the fish, Steve headed back to shore. However, it wasn’t long before he realised he was in quite a bit of pain ... after a quick inspection it became apparent that he had badly sunburnt his balls!'

And, finally, Neil Gresham has only praise for Steve …

'If you need someone to get your quickdraws in a 9a+ they don't come much handier than Steve McClure, but don't rely on him to get down from the crag in the daylight without being caught up in a scrape or two. Less known about Britain's undisputed best sport climber are the epics he seems to attract. This book spills the beans and provides an insight into the wisdom, determination and extraordinary talent that have put Steve into a class of his own.'


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