Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bucket List Tick

It has been a great few months culminating in one of my best redpoints ever. Punks in the Gym, my long-term project, has finally succumbed. I had been caught up in a psychological battle with this route. It took three and a half years after falling off near the top of the route, after both cruxes, to come back and finally link it through to the anchors. All up 5 years since I had first touched the glassy holds.
There were two main factors that made the difference for me allowing the send. The first was getting a fair bit stronger and the second was getting rid of the mental aspect of the route. This trip I turned up with no expectations. I felt I had bad preparation in the weeks leading up to the trip and so I jumped on other routes to try and test my fitness rather than being demoralized on Punks. I worked Lord of the Rings (31) and Slinkin Leopard (28) the morning of the send which was the day after a big day on Lord, Punks and Ethiopia (30). A huge lunch and hours of laying on a rock led to a training lap on Punks, to develop some muscle memory on the crux moves before my next rest period. My arms felt like lead and I had hardly any skin on my tips but I felt happy from trying so many awesome new moves on other routes. The rock felt sticky and before I knew it I was howling having clipped the chains. It was still a shaky send and I almost fell on the slab at the top again but it was enough.
Post send video of Punks in the Gym.

This last two-week break from work has definitely been one of my best in terms of sport climbing with Punks in the Gym (32), a second shot send of Eye of the Tiger (29), quick send of Ethiopia (30) thanks to some key beta from Malcolm Matheson, and the first ascent of The Arkenstone (30) in the Blue Mountains.  There’s no doubt moving to the Blue Mountains and being around other strong motivated climbers has enhanced my progression as a climber. I am excited to train hard and see what I can achieve overseas in the second half of the year.
Jack Masel joined me from Perth and got close to Eye of the Tiger (29) at Muline in the Grampians. Photo by Stuart Simons.