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Home / From the Blog / Climbing / Revelation


Revelation, a route equipped and climbed by XC ambassador and now partner, Read Macadam, near his old home in the Sultanate of Oman. Here is the story in his own words.

25, 30, 40 tries? I lost count. This route took me more tries than any of my FAs or repeats.

Countless hours were spent hanging from my ‘Box of Doom’ covered in Explore Climbing rungs in order to gain the finger strength I needed for the 14 moves without even a chance to chalk up, barley able to clip.

After nearly a whole season with countless near-sends, it became a lesson in patience and letting go of wondering, “is it really that hard, or is my method wrong?” and just being happy to have something very challenging and really good to climb on! I owe a huge thanks to my great friends and regular climbing partners, Miguel and Larry, for their tireless belays and shouts of encouragement!

Of course, when it clicked it felt easy. Just as all the projects do. I infrequently have climbing partners who are able to play with me on my projects in Oman and I am very grateful to have had Axel Ballay visiting on the big day.

First, for his magic belay on December 14th 2016, and also his much more experienced opinion on how hard this thing actually is! It was eye-opening to peak over my next-level horizon.

“What will you name the route”, Axel asked on our drive home. “I have no idea”, I replied. I had completely let go of the what ifs – What should I name it? What if I don’t do it before the season ends? An important part of my process was just to find that place where I was so enthused to just try and try again…and again… “It’ll come to you in a revelation, tonight”, Axel answered. And so it stuck.

I am really pleased that I had the opportunity to conceive of the line, equip it and manage the FA of what could be the Arabian Peninsula’s first 8c. In the end, the number doesn’t matter, though. The reward is in the process and learnings.

“We are what we think” is a quote I read recently that is often attributed to Buddha. It stood out to me. This climbing game keeps on testing me, defying me, to think bigger. On a roll, five days later I managed to finish another FA that I had be working on for a few years and it’s also as hard – Indiana Jones and the Habel of Doom in the Valley of Giants…but that is a story for another time.

Happy climbs!