Jesse Dufton

Blind climber Jesse Dufton pushing boundaries after leading 449-foot climb

Climbing a huge rock tower above crashing waves off a remote Scottish island is difficult enough, but imagine trying to do it if you’re blind.Briton Jesse Dufton has just 1% of his vision but he became the first blind person to lead a climb up the formidable Old Man of Hoy sea stack in the Orkney Islands.Legendary mountaineer Chris Bonington was the first to scale the column in 1966, and a number of blind climbers have since followed sighted partners on the famous route.But Dufton led his sighted fiancee Molly Thompson during a seven-hour haul up the E1 — extremely severe — rated East Face route.Although many people might find an ascent like this daunting even in normal circumstances, Dufton finds the tactile nature of climbing “meditative.”