Saturday, 8 September 2012

Exit Wounds

What a week!

After the opening of Potato Salad V12 at the Villas by Tom on the weekend, I decided to go down to The Villas for the first time since coming back from europe.
Tuesday saw me attempting Contact and Potato salad, making progress on both, but unable to do their individual cruxes. After a bit of work on PS, it got way too hot and I decided to have a go at Exit wounds V10, which had always just confounded me. After a while I worked out my beta and went home to leave it for another day.

Yesterday was that day. After a quick warm-up and the realisation that I had brought my camera but left the memory card and battery at home, Exit Wounds was mine. It climbs really well and was really not as much trouble as I had always perceived it to be. Watch this poor iphone vid of the ascent.

Other than Exit Wounds, I also did Hairy Joe's Banana Shack V11 and Derailed V8. Both these climbs I've done before, but never felt 100% on, so I guess this was more just a moral headcheck for me. I finished of the day with Help into rock on, which give V7. This is probably one of the hardest V7's in all of Australia. It is ridiculous. It took me more attempts yesterday to tick this than to tick the other three combined! A very good friday indeed, next session might actually have to be at the lip now, I've been saying it for long enough haven't I?

Sunday, 2 September 2012


      Didn't actually get out as much as I wanted to last week. I did however have a nice Sissy session in which I ticked the one-move Buffalo Bill. I had originally been trying this problem from the wrong holds, making it MUCH harder than what it needed to be. Fourth shot from the correct start saw it done. I think there's a variant here worth doing, maybe from a lower start too. 
That's about it, Icecream-the Havana eliminate is shoulder-destroyingly good though.
I've got a video up, but it needs more views before I can upload it here

Video HERE


Monday, 27 August 2012

Back In Aus

I've been back in Australia now for roughly 4 weeks. It seems like the terrible weather I read about whilst being away has stopped and now the conditions are back. I'm trying to get out about 3 times a week now, as indoor bouldering just doesn't cut it. Bonnet bay was my first stop. I ticked Horizontal and Pop the bonnet, to complete my Bonnet bay quartet of V8s and had a small play on cling thing, but it wasn't to be. Next up was Crumbly. Dr Dave Kellerman recently rediscovered a very nice line extending from nasty and traversing quite high to finish above Genesis. I spent a while on this, getting my sequence checked but it went with relative ease. Next up is the link, which I know quite a few people have their eyes on.

Dave Hughes just put up a new, somewhat chossy low traverse from the start holds of Nasty to the start  hold of Sushi Train. The lowball is called Tushi Strain and goes at about V4. I linked this into Sushi Train via the jug block of Genesis to give Edo Style at about V8.

About 2 weeks later I was back at Crumbly with Liam and Nicholas. Liam was working Abacus after having done the stand 3 months ago.

I tried the link of Life Changes into Reading Between the lines but it was a no-go. Pete Tosen has it dialled so I expect that will be knocked off shortly. I finally got my head around Blacker Magic V9 and Nicholas did Black Magic as his first completed outdoor boulder ever.

2 days ago I went to Sissy in order to work Bursting and Buffalo Bill. Both V8. Bursting went first shot of the session whereas Buffalo Bill defeated me. In my break from trying Buffalo Bill I had a crack at Silent Bob V10 and to my surprise, completed it after about 10minutes. I'd never been able to pull the 4th move of it and for some reason it just clicked. My guess is having new shoes.

I'm hoping to get out to The Lip this weekend to finish my project there, so i'll hopefully have a video or some pictures up here next week.


Friday, 13 July 2012

Hydromancer Update!

About four weeks ago I completed the first ascent of a line on the far righthand side of Bruno Bloc in Magic Wood. Naming the climb Hydromancer, I graded it 7C. 

I have just been told that it is now considered 8A by both the 2nd and 3rd ascensionists which makes it my hardest FA ever! I'll need a few more people to try it before I'm certain of the grade, but really I'm just happy that people are getting on it. 

Any more takers?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Magic Wood is Magic Good Pt. 2

One week has passed since my last post, and my recovery stage of this trip has well and truly begun. I planned this so that I can plunge myself back into a training program as soon as I'm back down under.

The last few days in Magic wood were both fruitful and sometimes painfully frustrating. Trading in my goal of doing 35 climbs harder than or equal to 7A, I began to look for harder mid range problems, upping it by doing 30 climbs harder than or equal to 7B. My favourite 7B in the forest was Fliegen Erlaubt, a semi-highball with a low dyno crux. This problem is in the highest sector of the forest, and as such is pretty much in an undisturbed surrounding, barring the few established boulders here.

Fliegen Erlaubt (Flash)

The aforementioned painful frustration directly relates at my still standing project Master of the Cow 7C+. The stand start is Man of a Cow and goes at what I believe to be a soft 7C. The hanging low start adds a grade and 4 moves of straight up burl. The shoulder crux of Man becomes more of an endurance crux in Master and, when you've passed that, there's the tree. I discovered the close proximity of this tree on my flash burn of Man, the high probability of a careless dab also affecting 2 good attempts on Master. Passing both of these dangers only once, I pumped out going for the 2nd last hold. This is benchmark 7C+ of a medium length and a Magical classic.

Master of the Cow, move before crux

The penultimate days of the trip were surprisingly amazing for me. The severe flooding of the river in the last 2 weeks had washed a great deal of silt and small stones underneath the Bruno Bloc. This caused the usually wet and unsafe landing to be filled in and the river to move its bank about 2m to the right, thus enabling the line I called Hydromancer 7C to be climbed. It starts in a super jug and follows the fin to the right of The Neverending story around until joining up with Part two, after its crux. I checked with the locals, guestbooks and on the net and this seems to be my line. PSYCHED!

Cleaning Hydromancer

Final crux of Hydromancer

The day after Hydromancer went up I had a miserable climbing day. That was, until about 5pm when I decided to play on a line I had spied on the La Dance boulder. This boulder is font-esque in its shape, and the original is very much of a similar style to your harder than average font mantle (L'aerodynamite), only granite. Beginning low and right, La Dance tops out directly via a slopey shelf. This new line, which we named La Dance Gauche, climbs as for La Dance but heads left at the lip on bad slopers and good crimps, to exit on jugs. It went 3rd shot after sussing out the end and climbs much better than expected, and much better than the original. I also gave it a grade of 7C, slightly harder than the original. The proper sit-start to LDG remains open, a desperate, tensiony pull-on which should make this a higher end 7C+.

 La Dance Gauche

Right now I am psyched to be relaxing and preparing for more exploration and development in sydney in two months time.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Magic Wood is Magic Good Pt. 1

I got here on the night of the 29th and was quickly shown around the Forest by Fred. The furthest blocs lie within 15minutes walking distance, so needless to say the quantity in such a small space was 2nd only to the quality. Because of the limited time here I'm not really projecting anything. If I don't think it'll go that day I'm leaving it for next trip

Scoping out the boulders

Magic Wood is Magic Good, the first day was encouraging, Flashing Flown Away 7B after ticking off the entire Höhen Boulder 2nd shot (7A, 7B+, 7C). We then went down to the river bloc for the Grit delux, a no hands mantle to crimps with smears. Total anti style. Fred flashed it. Rene and I rode the send train.

The weather here hasn't been the best. To my knowledge the river hasn't flooded this bad in 2 years. In the last 2 weeks it has flooded twice. Before Bruno Bloc (home to the Neverending Story) went under, I did both Supernova 7C and Du Côté du Seshuan 7C+. Both are exceedingly cool although the latter is without a doubt the most amazing line I've  ever climbed. Unless you are solely a slab climber, this line has it all; overhanging slopers, crimps, smearing, a kneebar, a mantle, a no hands-rest and a dyno. A total classic from Fred Nicole.

Other lines soon went down including From the Darkness to the Sunshine 7C+ and a flash of Intermezzo 7C. Coupled with a few more 7C's and a small score of 7B's I've got enough under my belt to make the 5 forced rest days of rain bearable.

From the Darkness to the Sunshine

It's been a week and a half since arriving and I've so far managed 34 problems above 7A. I'm one off my goal and an 8A might be a nice trip-ender. But we'll have to wait and see what the week brings.


Monday, 28 May 2012


After a rough start to my trip, Font proved to be once again, the best thing for me. I kicked off this part off my trip with a session on Rainbow Rocket 8A. This was the only day I got to work it this trip because of my no-car situation. It was not to be. I was able to get the first pad of 3 fingers over the top but no more.

The next areas visited were Mont Pivot and Roche aux Oiseaux. I finished off the amazing Prow that is Pancras Assis 7C and then re-did Satan m'Habite 7B, as I dabbed the first time. Both of these areas tend to be overlooked but they offer some real good lines. 

The next session found me at Roche des Souris, with the guide on my phone. Being the closest crag to the campsite I soon ticked off Yoguinol and Ratatouille before making my way to Symboise. The friction was great and the moves didn't feel hard. I made it to the 2nd last hold when my excitement kicked in. Instead of readjusting i threw to the small pocket next to the MASSIVE slopey jug. After a bit of a scream and some rest, the rig went the right way. Nb. never go for the tiny hold in desperation.
It rained on and off for the next few days and the rest did me good. After my close call with Rainbow Rocket I rode a bike out to Canche aux Merciers to have a play on La Puce, also 8A. After about 15minutes I had caught the Jug. This however wasn't done cleanly, my feet grazed the mat so I was back, almost at square one. The next go I did it clean. The go after that was even better. My goal of 8A in font was complete.
My last day in Font saw me in the area of Fata Morgana and Satan i Helvete. It is decidedly my favourite Font crag. I knocked off Phobos Moon, an amazing dyno with a foot placement crux and Belle de Jour, a 60degree overhang on the zenith of one of the hills. AMAZING.
Swiss comes next, hopefully I can get a handful of those 'magic' ticks.