|Sticking the lip of the Cobra Crack. Photo: Garrett Bradley|
My trip is over and I sent the Cobra. It didn’t go as easy as when Mason cruised it (Video). In fact I shook, clawed and screamed my way through the top out using an unlikely sequence I had just put together because I knew I didn’t have the core for the traditional seemingly easier way. The difference between that shot and the previous months on the route came down to how hard I was trying. Instead of being perfect in my movement I just gritted my teeth more and refused to let go.
|So stoked to join this incredible list. Photo: Ji Yun|Division Bell. Photo: Ji Yun
Doug McConnell from The Blue Mountains turned up to try the Cobra as well and I had a dedicated psyched partner. Instead of the usual routine of jumping straight on I warmed up by having a top rope burn with a lot of resting on the rope. I tried really hard and moved quickly resting less on the good holds. First day with Doug I hit my all time high point. I analysed why I fell and changed my sequence to one that utilized muscles that weren’t as burnt. Next day I sent. I was probably strong enough to send the route at the beginning of the previous season but I obviously wasn’t smart enough. Hopefully I’ve learnt something about hard projects from this experience and become a better climber.
I was so burnt mentally and physically from the experience I didn’t get up to a lot in September. I went sport climbing and took it easy. My motivation wasn’t low but it wasn’t high either. I did really enjoy clipping bolts and getting pumped on crimps again. A crew of us hit up a crag called Equinox in Washington over a couple of weekends, which was incredibly fun. Zero commitment high quality pumpy climbing. A highlight of the month was a route called Fight Club 5.13c.
Since I felt a bit directionless I decided to head back to Australia. I want to spend a bit of time hitting up routes on the east coast I’ve wanted to do for a long time and catch up with some old friends. Climbing at the classic Pet Wall at Murrin Park and struggling up a technical 12c (named Animal) on my second shot before heading to a BBQ with the Squamish crew was a great final day. I am going to miss this place and am sure I'll be back someday.