The Great Climb - Live New Route Climbing on TV

On August Bank Holiday a truly ambitious live TV programme will be attempted for the BBC.

Climbers Dave MacLeod and Tim Emmett will attempt an unclimbed route on Sron Ulladale, a massive, imposing lump of rock, on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.

That attempt will be broadcast live across the BBC - on TV and the web. I'm told it will be the first full high definition outside broadcast.

"Sounds like Springwatch, but with climbers instead of badgers", was my take on it. Stick it in your diary now - 28th August 2010.

Dave has been writing about it, and a previous attempt to stage a similar event in the Cairngorms two years ago which was washed out yet still remains among the BBC webpages. There's also an entertaining story by Paul Diffley, one of the cameramen on the washed out one and this latest attempt.

There are obvious echos of 1967 and the televised live, 3-day climb of the Old Man of Hoy, which I remember watching as a child, along with fifteen million other viewers. Even though radio mics and communications went down, it kept this eight year old glued to the TV.

With so many hours of programming, it's an excellent opportunity to showcase other aspects of life on the Isle of Harris.

I'll be on the island all next week to direct several feature stories, some of which we're still setting up.

Sadly, there's no kayaking or climbing on my filming schedule, but I hope to meet up with the guys behind the new kayak guidebook to the Outer Hebrides.

Which ahs just arrived and about which I'll write more when I've read it.

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