Sunday, June 7, 2015

Leaving Liming

The best season is over here in Liming. It is getting hot and humid and any day now it will start to pour down with rain. Since I sent The Firewall route I haven’t red-pointed anything major. I had the usual post hard send lull were I needed a short break from trying hard. It was good to visit a few of the crags I hadn’t been to and try a few of the classic 5.11 and 5.12 graded routes. I even added something quite out of the ordinary for Liming, a mixed route that leaves the crack systems and involves a world cup style running dyno boulder problem.
Mike on his Flight of the Locust 5.12c extension at The Guardian crag. Photo: Myself.
The crew from the 80s.
After a while I went up to The Honeycomb Dome 15m long roof project. I had my eye on this while working The Firewall. I had been told that it wouldn’t get done anytime soon and was ridiculously hard. It is one of the standout lines you can see from the valley floor along with The Firewall. I am reasonably good on roofs due to my core being quite strong, one of the advantages of being short. My first shot went really well. I only tried 2/3 of the climb as we didn’t have enough of the right gear with us but I eventually got all the moves. A section of .75 crack which, I was told would be exceptionally hard, ended up passable by getting two bad jams and inverting your body so as to lead with your feet into a wider section of the crack. I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to send at roughly 5.13b/c.
A layback tight hands start leads to a bad stem and more tight hands. All project photos: Kate Sabo.
A powerful undercling traverse.
Nice slopey heal toe.
The poor rest.
Entering the first crux.
Tense your hands and hope they don't pop out!
The middle section isn't too hard but surprisingly physical.
I was hoping to send it in the weeks I had left in Liming but my next few shots exposed the true difficulty of the climb. When I tried the last third of the route I discovered a crux at the very end involving very tight hands and a knuckle lock. Linkage of the first half happened quickly but I am so spent afterwards I can’t even tense my hand to hold an awesome hand jam. Linkage is the true crux. I have since made it to just before the start of the final crux but haven’t had the energy to even start to attempt it (all only on preplaced gear so far). I will be back in October to try and finish it off.
My pre-placed high point for this trip.
Entering the final boulder.
My left hand is on only by a single knuckle. Feet first to the anchor.
Now I will start to meander over to Squamish with stops in Shigu, Lijiang, Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Vancouver along the way.  It’s going to be an interesting summer. I get to hang out and climb with Rick from the Blue Mountains again, Abond and Ting my long time Chinese friends are coming over and I am catching up with a host of old friends from when I lived there in 2005/6.  On the climbing front I will be supporting Abond who will be trying to fight his way up Dream Catcher 5.14d and I will be stretching way out from my abilities to attempt Cobra Crack 5.14a/b.

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