|Thom up high on Grasshopper|
|Me mid-crux on Grasshopper|
I've also got the Mechanical Animal off my back that had been on there way too long. I went through the full ups and downs of redpointing on this route. I feel I could have climbed it much earlier but due to brain farts, bad beta and a few other things it became a bit of an epic. Finally clipping the anchors on link was a great feeling and the journey I took on this route is one I'll remember.
|View from the top of the proj at Sail Away wall|
Another route with Vince's name to it, this time he was just the first to climb it, not bolt it. Baboon Banquet, 33, at Bowens Creek. This is an absolute classic route on the far right side of the main wall. Right from the blocks this one kicks you in the guts. A few crimpy moves gets you to a very weird pouncey move out right to a sloppey edge then a heal toe cam in front of your face gets you through the next couple of burly moves. After a good rest you just need your burners to keep going through a pretty goey, but not too ridiculous last boulder. There's a potential heartbreaking left gaston move only a few meters from the top but I figure if I sing enough Achy Breaky Heart to it while I'm up there each time it'll get the massage and all will be ok and I won't come off.
The last route I've thrown myself at lately is Sneaky Old Fox, 34, at DF yesterday. Despite baltic conditions it was actually quite a nice morning out. I wrapped in putting the draws on and felt a few holds and chalked a couple things up. First lap on Hairline for a warm up I was having second thoughts about climbing out there. Numb Fingers and stiff muscles aren't nice to climb with. But after a second lap I was feeling good. Amanda, however, wasn't feeling so chipper. It was quite funny really. Despite 4 layers she'd still scurry off around into the amphitheatre betweens catches to defrost. Back on topic though, SOF is just awesome. It starts up Fantastic Mr Fox and does its crux, then a tough traverse up to the rest below Grey Area before launching into those classic 2 moves of GA. I linked a few sections together and worked out some good beta and am psyched to get back on it soon.
|DF!! If you have a keen eye you can spy my blue rope snaking up the red and grey streaks of SOF|
On a sadder note, recently we lost a very close friend. About a month ago Jay Trent was hit by a passing car on his way to work after pulling over and fixing something in the back of his ute. Although I've only known Jay since I moved to the mountains in November, he's been a big part of my life. When I first met Jay he and Thom had just walked in the backdoor after a day of climbing. He greeted me with his big smile and a 'gday mate, do you want to go grab some beers?' After getting back from the bottleo Jay, Thom and I all sat around having a few and joking about as if we had been mates forever. Over summer Jay had some time off work due to bad weather and we climbed and got up to all sorts of shenanigans together for a bit over a month. Thrown in there he and Ben Jenga did an express trip down to Tassie to taste the best of the apple isle. Jay was always psyched to get out and climb and have fun with his mates. He'd give everything on redpoint burns of his project, drive 12hrs to Frog just to climb for 2 days in the rain, look for new lines to bolt, multi pitch at Pierces Pass or almost throw up on his warm ups at Diamond Falls because he'd drunk waaaaay too much the night before. He'd do it all with a big goofy grin and a laugh.
Seeing Jay top out on Don't Believe the Tripe after weeks and weeks and weeks of low points, high points, dummy spits and bad weather he walked up it. It is honestly one of the best feelings I've ever had in climbing. I'm glad I was there to see him finally climb it and in style.
|Slackline action in Blackheath park|
|Jay in his finest hour|
We are going to miss you buddy, but we are all better people for having had you in our lives. One and a half thumbs up!!
I'll try to keep on top of this blog a little more now. Stay tuned for some gramps photos and a trip report in the next few weeks.