That's what they look like when they are in good shape!
James Barnes on Feel the Flow (7C)
James crushing Black Spider (7B+)
Wow, it has really been more than a month since I posted on here... So much has happened, I've met so many people. I think that rather than giving you all a blow-by-blow of the trip I'm gonna tell you about the most important events, the highest highs and the lowest lows of the trip.
I guess I should probably start with Rockstock... That was quite a night. Justin Hawkins was wearing hotpants, singing along to Justin Bieber, it was really hysterical. Caroline Sino and the rest of the Spice Girls were having a good time, the Italian Mafia was out in their afros threatening grievous bodily harm, all-in-all it was great. Tequila was flowing, as was the jagermeister. The best part of the evening was getting to know everyone there just a little bit better.
Burger night at the Henhouse! Wow, there was a lot of wine, Jenga, human flag attempts on a slippery pole. Great night. Becky you are the best host!
My birthday was really fun... It was unplanned for the party part, but ended up going out for dinner with James, Joe and Colette that evening. It was really awesome to share the occasion with such great company. Michele, Stefano, Marco, Riccardo and Adam took me out for dinner another evening. It was really aweful service that night at De Kelder, but we made up for it with the company and the inexpensive wine...
Low points... Hmmm, there definitely were some. It was a crushing feeling to get there and have my skin get annihilated so quickly every day. I would rest properly and I would tape the fingers when necessary, but I found that no matter what I did, my skin was just too soft. I often would climb one day on and the rest one day just to let the skin grow. This was about the best strategy that I could employ to optimize my Rocklands experience.
My bouldering highlights were the days I spent working the hard lines, like Out Of Balance (8A), Nutsa (8A) and Wittness the Sickness (8A). I spent a lot of time on these problems and all of there were within my grasp, I just was not quite up to them. I also tried Green Mamba (8A) which wasn't too inspiring but Joe Kinder took some cool pics that illustrated my attempts...
Out of Balance (8A) was my major nemesis on this trip. I spent upwards of 5 days on it, climbing Question of Balance (7B) 8 or more times each session while trying to stick the crimp at the end of the boulder problem. It is amazing how easy that 7B became once the moves felt so wired in the brain. I struggled with the problem initially, as did James. It felt a lot closer to 7B+ than 7B, but when you get the body into the right position and the heel-toe cam in place, the moves all become very static.
Photos by Joe Kinder and Colette McInerney
An Amal Roof (7C) was a really fun problem, I did it the same day as Petit Heuco dan Rocklands (7B+). I repeated it first go after the break too. The first move was so much fun but I was really tired so it took me a long time to get it wired...
Photos by James Barnes
Nutsa (8A)! One of the classics in Rocklands. Here I am spotting Joe on his send... Thanks for the pic Colette!
One of my biggest accomplishments on this trip was Stretched and Pressed (7C+). I got on it on my first day of the trip and struggled severely with the big move on The Rack (7B), simply putting my feet in the wrong place time and time again. I was think I was just tired from the 16 hour drive the previous day. I fought for this one. Claimed it on my second day on the problem. Thanks Colette for the awesome photos!
Thanks Paolo Antoniotti for this awesome portrait from my first session on Stretched and Pressed!
I tried Ghost and the Darkness (7C+) during my last session at Sassies on my second to last day of climbing in Rocklands. I'm a little disappointed that I fell off on the last move and couldn't pull it back together for the send...
Awesome pic Colette!
Here's the ticklist:
Stretched and Pressed (7C+)
Throw Yourself Away (7C+) I injured my ankle badly while I was camming it in the roof. It caused me a great deal of pain for the rest of the trip and I am still not back to 100%. This is really irritating as I want to do the Shadowfax project (8b+?) but there is a right foot cam! Uggg.
An Amal Roof (7C)
The Bushoning (7C) okay, so maybe this isn't really 7C but it was still fun to do in 20 min.
Sunset Arete (7C) My first 7C in Rocklands
Cedar Spine (7C) perhaps the most amazing problem that I have ever done.
Last Day in Paradise (7C) Did this one and Cedar Spine on the same day, as did James Barnes!
Petit Heuco dan Rocklands (7B+) sweet roof climbing
Ulan Batar (7B+) I got this on my last day in Rocklands... It was an epic fight, that's for sure...
Bushmaster (7B+) flashed this, not really 7B+, more like 7A+.
Panic Room Direct (7B) dorked the first move and then cruised it second go... Don't be scared by the top out, I could do it in the sun.
Crazy Leg (7B) almost a flash! Overshot the dyno.
Minki (7B) pretty fun.
The Rack (7B) was my first 7B of the trip and it was a stupid fight...
Poison Dwarf (7B) GOOOOOOD problem!
Flashed Springbok (7A+) and Les Pieds dans L'eau (7A+) both were a lot of fun and seemed to happen quite effortlessly.
Beer Belly Bandit (7A) this is a slab arete! FREAKING HARD.
Maties (7A) flash
Sunset Traverse (7A) flash --> The ultimate warmup in the sun
Colin The Librarian (7A) first boulder problem in Rocklands...
Love Actually (7A)
Lisa (6C+) flashed the slab!
If there are two 6Cs you MUST do: Creaking Heights (flash) at Roadside and Perfect (on sight) at 8 Day Rain.
Then there are a lot of the lower grades, mostly onsights and flashes for warmups. If you want to read more about these problems look up my 8a.nu profile.
Once I got back from Rocklands, I wanted to see how I felt on a rope again. NOTE TO SELF: 6 weeks of bouldering wrecks your endurance. I would recommend doing some rope climbing in between all of the bouldering.
I managed to get out on the rock this week: went to the Lost World and did an awesome roof problem opened by Wesley Black called the Three Amigos. I'd imagine it is around 7C. The next day Illona and I hit the Chosspile where she was crushing on Fossil Fuel, this is one line that will get her back here! I worked out all the beta that I needed for Anduril (8a+) so hopefully I'll wrap that up tomorrow...