Thursday, March 8, 2012

Between Showers

Previously I’ve blogged about a route I was trying at DF called Mr. Tickle. Although we’ve had some horrendous weather lately we have been able to get out there on the odd good day for a play. There must have been something in the air on one of these days because both Andrea and I sent. Andrea did Mr. Line in style, first go of the day and I snagged the crux hold on my second go of the day. I had been trying MT for 4 days, falling from the blind jump crux move over and over and over. It turned into a one-move wonder and I felt as though I wasn’t progressing at all. This was really frustrating and I may have dropped some F bombs a few times. But everything turned out in the end and I am psyched to have climbed it.

The last few times we’ve headed out to DF we’ve been rapping in. As many may know, the rap chains are basically right above Grey Area. Each time I rapped down I had a bit of a sticky beak at it. On Sunday, Jay, Thom, Amanda and I headed out to DF on another rare sunny day and I decided to give it a go. As we got to the top of the cliff before the rap the wind picked up. It was nuts. The waterfalls were blowing sideways making pretty much everything on the ground wet and a good chunk of the cliff was seeping from a week of solid rain! But Grey Area was dry, and so was Mr. Tickle, which Thom was keen for.

On GA the first 15m of climbing is pretty straight forward and takes you up to a good rest right before the crux. The crux is the last two moves and involves grabbing a good undercling with your right hand, getting your feet really high, reach up for a small nipple with your left and bust up for the victory jug. It took a bit of mucking about to work out the crux, but after trying a few different things I had a sequence. It’s a funny thing though. The crux sequence is all about your feet rather then hands. I got home that afternoon and popped on Smitten to see how Lee does it, it’s the final crux of Sneaky Old Fox, and saw he was using different feet. So on Wednesday when Thom and I headed back out there for another stellar day of climbing I had a play with Lee’s little foot sequence. It works!! And is about 34% easier, which is rad! My highpoint now is getting the nipple with my left and holding it for a second, then sagging away and falling. I’m so psyched and it feels quite close. Thom also had a good day on Mr. Tickle, despite having raw tips. He worked through all the moves and now has a sequence on the go and is psyched to get back on! Hopefully the weather holds for us and we can get back out there on Saturday.

I had a quick trip to QLD a couple weeks back and got back on a project I tried a bit in 2010. It’s a route Antoine bolted at Coolum and is very tricky. When he bolted it none of us thought it’d go. But after days of playing on moves and feeling holds it all came together. When he bolted this he said he was bolting it for the future. He is one of the most psyched dudes out there and its cool he’s bolted this line for the community. When I was originally working it I was able to do it all except for one clip down low and couldn’t ever muster up the Jacobs to skip it. The other week when I was back in Bris I figured I’d drop by Coolum and do it. I feel stronger now so thought I’d jump on, reacquaint myself with the moves and do it that day. HAHAHAHAHA NOOOO!!!!!! I got shut down hard and after 2 goes up it was absolutely shattered. Coolum is just such a different style to anywhere else and it can take a bit to get your head into it. Had fun working on it though and am keen to get back up soon and have another play.

Recently I joined the Sea to Summit team, which I’m stoked about. They stock Evolv, Black Diamond and Beal, amongst many other great brands. Check their website out here www.seatosummit.com.au/home.php. I’m loving my new kit!!

Low moves on Grey Area. Photo: Jay Trent

Close but no cigar on Grey Area crux. Photo: Jay Trent

Thom on a night of crack climbing at Katoomba bridge. We call it urban Indian Creek

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