Friday, November 27, 2015

The Honeycomb Dome

On return to Liming in October all my focus was on the Honeycomb Dome project. It had been in the back of my mind all during the summer and would complete the trilogy of hard lines in Liming. My first few shots I found the roof crack difficult and hoped the month I had would be enough to get it done. I actually had trouble getting the crux, which I had climbed through on preplaced gear before I had left earlier in the year. My boulder strength had gone backwards.
Walking along turtle shells in Liming. Photo: William Chan.
I spent the next two weeks concentrating on perfecting the second half of the roof which I had been pumping out on during my previous trip. I placed the gear on every shot back aiding the roof every time to clean my gear, Like the firewall I trimmed my rack down to save energy from placing and the extra weight. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before I broke through the first crux from the start and I wanted to give the end crux everything if I did. 

It was my birthday on the 13th and I felt good after a rest day. Conditions were prime and I knew I had a really good chance. I climbed smoothly through the first inversion crux for the first time of the trip. I had some quick shakes in the good hand jams in the middle of the roof but refrained from trying to get a proper rest. I just kept moving placing two cams in the middle of the roof and mentally acknowledged I wouldn’t place the final cam that I normally would have. The end involved a lot of screaming and I thought I was off with my feet almost touching the anchor. Somehow I kept it together and clipped the anchor.
The first crux of The Honeycomb Dome way above the town of Liming. Image: Copyright Garrett Bradley. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaption allowed without written permission. 
I have to give a massive thank you to everyone that supported me during the year on these projects (Garrett Bradley, Ana Pautler, Kate Sabo, Anna Kirkwood, Richard Mason, Zhou Lei, Rich Ham, Simon Madden, William Chan, Leah Pappajohn, Alexa Flower) and especially to Mike Dobie, the guy that has driven the development of Liming turning it into an international destination.
Richard Mason getting the First Ascent of the Flying Squirrel. A great new approach to The Honeycomb Dome.
Now I am in Yangshuo with Jack Masel. My crimp strength has deserted me making the transition from cracks back to sport difficult but Jack is crushing. Ill cover all that in the next blog.

No comments: