Saturday, November 30, 2013

Time Flies...

I can’t believe another year is almost over! Since my trip to Queensland I mainly focused on a single project in the Blue Mountains. I mentioned a route at Elphinstone, which my housemate bolted, a couple of blog posts ago.  I was inspired by this line due to its small holds and sustained sequence despite the base being a bit of a swamp and the challenge of convincing partners to go to a crag day after day more than 5 minutes from a café! I learnt a lot from the process of projecting this route. A stopper cross to a mono at move 19 of the 24 move crux sequence shut me down for a long time. Slight tweaks to my beta to conserve energy in the approaching moves and the endless repetition of the move itself meant I eventually could stick it from the ground. 40-50 shots after first trying the route I managed to redpoint it doing the first ascent of what felt like my hardest sport route to date. This opened my eyes to the potential of a stubborn focus for redpointing at a higher level. I am not convinced that it is necessarily a good thing though.  Improving through climbing a large volume of routes and training with friends is a lot more fun! Failure is a huge part of projecting with only limited successes in comparison. I also think its easy to dwell on failure because its part of a long process of learning whereas when you finally send a route the success is short lived because you are already thinking of the next inspiring route.  Anyway if you want a challenge and to try a cool route, Shogun (32?) is down at Elphinstone awaiting a second ascent.
I am a sucker for punishment so instead of taking it easy after sending Shogun I decided to head to Arapiles to finish of Punks in the Gym. Probably not my best decision as I was a bit worn out psychologically from projecting.  It rained on me as I tried the route on my first day and the second day the holds felt damp.  After a rest day we had stellar conditions and I managed to do both cruxes getting my foot up on the famous ‘birdbath’ hold but then a lapse in composure saw me off into space again! It absolutely bucketed down the next day and I made a great decision to go have a fun adventure instead.

I had only been to Tasmania once before and that was when I was 16 and had a guide-bookless epic in snow and white out conditions trying to find any route on Mt. Wellington, that would take the handful of bolt plates I had, just so I could say I had climbed there. This time I checked the weather and had some amazing days catching up with friends and enjoying some quality routes. The 5 star Totem Pole out on Cape Huay was incredible, a must for the Australian climbing experience ticklist, and After Midnight (24) on Mt. Wellington surely ranks up there with it.  

All photos of Simon Young and I on the Totem Pole by Robert vanHaeften. Sorry we didn't get any of you Rob!

I am back working in Perth now getting ready for some Christmas shenanigans in the Blue Mountains and the seeds of some remote big wall adventures have been planted in my mind. Can’t wait for 2014!

No comments: