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27/07/2007

BBC Scotland Take To The Cliffs With Ambitious 'The Great Climb' Project

The spectacular and remote crags of Cairngorms National Park will provide the venue for a series of breathtaking live ascents this summer in a world first for Scottish broadcasting.
Featuring an A–list of the world's top climbers in six hours of television programming, shot in full High Definition from the stunning Loch Avon basin, 'The Great Climb' is one of the most ambitious productions ever undertaken by BBC Scotland and is produced by Triple Echo.
Using the imposing Shelterstone and Hell's Lum crags on the RSPB's Abernethy Nature Reserve, the programme will also set new standards for filming in wilderness environments because of the extreme sensitivity and fragility of the mountain location.
Surrounded by towering cliffs of alpine magnitude and containing some of the most precious upland habitats in Europe the area is like nowhere else in Britain – a little bit of the Arctic surviving deep in the Scottish Highlands.
Four teams of two climbers will make the ascents, including at least one daunting new route during the marathon show, which will transmit from 1-7 pm on 18 August on BBC Two Scotland.
BBC Two network and the on–trial BBC HD channel will also transmit an hour of coverage from 4.55-5.55 pm, and up to 15 hours will be available live on the web.
Working closely with conservation agencies, The Great Climb is being produced for BBC Scotland by Triple Echo, who are experienced at working in remote and sensitive habitats.
Permission for the ground–breaking programme was granted on the basis that the producers agree a leave–no–trace commitment to protect the fragile local environment, with much equipment being flown in to prevent any erosion to the mountain trails and rare plant communities that live on them.
The programme also marks something of an anniversary for the BBC – it is 40 years since Chris Bonington and fellow climbers of the day were filmed making their legendary ascent of the Old Man of Hoy and millions of viewers tuned in over three days to watch the epic climb.
David Harron, Editor, TV Sport at BBC Scotland, said: "This is the most exciting project we have commissioned for a long time and promises to offer a unique mix of physical drama, spectacular scenery, cutting edge technical innovation and narratives about the local landscape.
"We are hugely energised about what will be a landmark programme and a genuine world first for BBC Scotland."
(DS)


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