Sunday, 9 December 2012


I've spent the last couple of weeks just climbing at various venues looking for a route that I'd like to spend some time working and belaying a friend on their project.  A good mate of mine, Darren, was playing on Talibania last year and wanted to finish it on this trip.
The weather didn't really help for the first couple of weeks of his trip so we just made sure we got mileage at the right grade and climbing style.  The route itself starts up a very overhanging groove on large holds to a good rest before you make technical/hard moves into a vertical groove and then continue up into a hard compression crux.  This takes you to the first chain and then you continue up to the second chain on less difficult ground but dealing with tiredness.  A great climb and very, very exposed.
Even with all the beta from Darren and being able to do the moves I never felt the love for the climb.  It would mean jumping up a grade for me and entering the world of 8a, which is something I really want to achieve but for me the route just did not enthuse me and I feel the amount of time I will have to spend on such a project I must love the climbing.  So for me, I moved on, for Darren it was time to learn, refine and understand.
Darren resting before the send
Warm up properly and rest.  So to get the arms working we progressed through the grades and then went onto an overhaning into vertical technical 7a+.  Basically the perfect warm up as it offered similar climbing and got the arms working hard.  Followed by a rest/snooze and then what seemed like an effortless send.  First 8a for Darren and lots of celebrating followed.

Andy getting ready for a TRON

I find I get inspired and motivated by my friends successes and have found myself a hard project that enthuses me.  I'd been wanting to try a climb called Ace Ventura since I arrived this year.  It's a vertical, technical, crimp fest which a friend of mine sent earlier this year.  I first saw this line on my first trip to chorro 7yrs ago and at the time thought it was something I would never ever be able to climb.  It looked so blank and impossible that I did not have the imagination or belief that I could get to that stage of climbing.
Over the years I have become more and more enthused by this style as I find that it throws a puzzle at you with tiny moves and nuances of movement and small adjustments to sequences being the secret solution to progressing to a successful ascent.

Andy and Patrick on their projects
So, we had our first play on it yesterday in the sun and heat, (not ideal conditions).  Within three top rope attempts Andy and I have worked out sequences that should get us to the top.  Having a mate joining you had definitely helped and other people with beta is starting to make this route very achievable.  
If it goes it will be my hardest sport route ever and a route that I feel very inspired to complete, as much for the grade, as for the fantastic climbing it offers.  
Now just need to regrow the skin and hope for colder temperatures!!


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