|So close but no Ultraperm 5.13d for me.|
The rest of my time in ‘The Red’ was a huge success. I had a great time with a good balance of success and failures on routes. I never managed to send Omaha Beach. I didn’t really even try. After 4 shots I had done the moves easily and realized the fitness needed was very achievable for me just not in the time required. I decided not to spend all my time focusing on the one route when the stand out feature of the gorge was its quantity of classic lines. I still tried hard routes but never got to that level of stubbornness required for a major project. 45 lines between grade 5.12a (24) and 5.13c(30) is what I ended up with, which included 4 onsights and one flash of 7c+ (28). Rest days and skin management were low on the agenda and my pinkie fingers suffered bearing the brunt of my hold draping climbing style.
|I generally always had perfect skin except |
for the second pad on my pinkie!
The conditions during the trip were varied with large amounts of rain, freezing temps and the occasional stellar blue-sky day. It got down to -10 degrees Celsius at one stage although when at a sun soaked crag conditions still allowed for some great climbing. Care had to be taken to dodge falling icicles though.
|Ingenious. Heating rocks up at |
the crag to put in the chalkbag.
|Frozen morning in the campground.|
|When your only there for the weekend...|
One of the many highlights of the trip was climbing with Jack Masel from Perth who is a crusher but had never really achieved his potential outdoors. He climbed five or six of his hardest routes ever on the trip including his first 30. I still don’t think he has achieved anywhere near his potential. Rick and Roman from the Blueys also crushed. Rick, Jack and I looked on with disbelief when Roman turned up with endless fitness and managed to onsight three 5.13c’s. I also belayed Sean, who I mentioned in my last post, again on a route called ‘50 words for pump’ 5.14c (34). He fell near the top on the last hard move on his onsight attempt. Unbelievable!
|Jack styling BOHICA 5.13b in the Madness Cave.|
Thanks to all the friends I hung out with on the trip, old and new, as well as Kailas for all the free gear and making me feel like a rock-star sponsored climber. I now have no idea what to do. Maybe I’ll get a job, maybe I’ll go climbing.