I have bruises all over my legs, from top to bottom. This is because a few days ago we casually sauntered up to a route called Vector, 6 pitches of 5.8 on The Apron, thinking it would be a breeze. The longest and best pitch on Vector is a 50m offwidth crack, which served as a harsh remider of a lesson I’m learning out here on this trip. Now 5.8 isn’t too hard, plus Vector is on a slab so immediately I underestimated the difficulty of the route – the lesson being that this a dumb thing to do. We didn’t take any pictures of Vector because it was very serious, so I’ll just pepper this with other pictures.
The offwidth was steep and burly as it turned out, and I would suggest an upgrade from 5.8 to 5.13d (does that mean I get sponsored?) especially without any big gear to place (at least a pair of shoes then since it was almost a solo?) and it was quite a stressful event. I power screamed twice as I jammed my knee in then my elbow then had to work out what to do next as I slowly slipped backwards towards oblivion. But fear not, I held in there, I didn’t even cry (although I did consider it).
On the flip side of this new philosophy was a route we got on called Local Boys Do Good, an 11a friction climb right next to Shannon Falls. I’ve had my chicken eye on that route for a few years now, always put off by the mention of run outs and thin moves, but when Al and I found ourselves at the bottom of it we just couldn’t resist. Friction climbs have sort of become our thing. So, pretty nervous, I hopped on the first runout pitch and I’d say we climbed pretty well that day, I’d even have to put it in my top five all time great routes. I reckon our skills came through because we were nervous of how hard the moves might be… See? Over-estimate the difficulty and you’ll only ever be happily surprised! It’s happening to me all over the shop – I climb a boulder problem I couldn’t do before, decide I’m pretty good now so everything else will feel easy, then don’t send another thing all afternoon. Blah.
Al on the other hand is crushing the boulders like a beast, in particular the new Tatonka, V10, now without the vital jug, Back Seat, V10, Gibb’s Cave, V9, The Fury, V10, of course The Egg, V11, Fun Factory Low V10, and around 6.30am this morning he crushed Front Side, V12, among other things. He also recently flashed two V7 highballs, Squealing Pork and This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven. I know he’s not one to spray about what he’s climbed, but I’m proud so I’m doing it for him. Putting his efforts in the shade however, I’ve been crushing some gnarly V4s like Shots Fired, been working a rad V5 called Tim’s Sloper Problem, and I even hauled my butt up my first 12a sport climb, Face the Music. Now I better get actually crushing or I’m gonna look LAME. (Sorry for the lack of ace photos of the crushing, we’ve been having computer problems… we’ll deliver when we get home, some of them are SWEEET!)
I’m filming a bunch of the best problems while we’re here so look out for a sweet film on our return on the Posing Productions Facebook page, Twitter page, website, Vimeo, YouTube etc etc.
Until then, we’re off to Vancouver to buy presents and meet up with some friends. Car crash Tom and his brother arrive on Monday too, psyche! 10 days to go, may they be long!
p.s corn dogs are good at the time.