Thursday, 12 December 2013

New horizons

A bit of time has passed since I did the Grand Traverse . I had a nice period of relaxation post send which allowed me to try some routes within my onsight/flash grade . I have put off trying routes a lot of times in the past due to not wanting to fail for various reasons ... Be it fear of falling , fear of failure , ridicul , fear of not succeeding ... The list goes on and it's all pretty ridiculous but it haunts me a little when I don't keep it in check .

With these new efforts and some more endurance training I have been putting some more leads in the bag . Here's a few caught on vid .

Quite cool , there's definitely some fun to be had at Kewa . 24 flash thanks to good beta from Daniel Krippner .

More mangaokewa goodness . Tried to find an alternative sequence to avoid the crimps but gave up in the end as it was just too hard and the crimps weren't to bad in the end anyway , finger is finally getting better . Sent first lead attempt .

Great place and climb , one of the easier ones there at 28/7c+. We got pretty wet on the walk in and it was gusty and cold so not a very comfortable day . I doged my way up as a warm up then sent next go - second session on it ( Tried it about 5 times last time and spent lots of time thinking about it ) . Skin felt like it was on fire when I got back on the ground and got some feeling back . Made me feel a bit sick . The top was wet too but the holds and kneebar were good enough to pull through .

Thanks for the belay Glenn and Krippner for braving the wind for the footage .


I've also been doing lots of weekends away with Daniel Krippner which has been cool . It's nice to climb with someone who is motivated again , it's helped me get out to new crags and and try new climbs . It's always helpful too climbing with someone who knows an area or a particular climb which is something I've never had . So thanks DK for the friendship and inspiration .

I found that white falls might suit me hopefully . So far it seems to have friendly sized holds which being a bigger climber is a godsend ! Although it's super steep so I'm not likely going to onsight anything but if I can dial down the sequences and climb quickly and efficiently then hopefully I can get some ticks in the 8th grade , which will be awesome . Heres hoping

And last but not least - well maybe - here's a project turning into Poptometry .

It's been a dyno project for a while now , pretty glad to bag it . Not sure on the grade as it is essentially one move and I don't really have anything to compare it to except maybe Continuity at Quantum . The holds are very tiny , I might measure them actually ... I'll suggest V8 , Glenn originally thought 9 or 10 but that doesn't seem right for my height at least , but who knows ... Have a go !

Video Sarah

This one is definitely more of an eliminate than the other problems put up my Glenn or myself at the short side , i could try explain the parameters as it is kind of face only to the jug with no hand holds coming off the crack ect but really the problem is a dyno off these tiny crimpers and there's really nothing else you could use anyway ... Also i must mention that this line was Glenn Erics vision which i managed to snake ...

Until next time , be good , stay strong , have fun .


Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Grand Traverse

Filmed the sections backwards so the climbing at the start is a bit slow due to being hot tired and having bad skin ... This is how I climbed it though so lots of beta here , it took me a while to work it all out , hopefully this can help someone out .

It was an epic send when I did it . I was so bumbly on the final moves that I nearly punted it three times on the final V6 ... My attempt before the send I fell at the Pet Cemetery crack ... I was thinking about the crux moves that were coming up and just barndoored off . Really hard to keep your head in check for so much climbing , you don't want to have to repeat for a dab ... Or falling on the last moves ... Trust me . Thankfully I had my head torch as I ran out of light , I hadn't even planned to head in due to having limited skin but the weather forecast for the week was terrible so took my chance , glad I did .

Spray .

The very start is not bad , there's mainly good holds but a couple spots where there's no feet . There's a good rest just before you get into the first crux . There's a scary mantle onto the start of Moral Dilemma , this leads into the first and most powerful crux - the down climb of Yuppie Floozie which is pretty taxing . But there's a good rest not too far away where you can sit and rest as long as you want . The next tough section is the bit around Zillmerised it's graded V7 in the guide but i don't think it's more than a 6 , it's just a bit balancey and once again you get a good rest at the end of it . Once you have recovered a bit you start the Short Traverse it's rated V3 in the guide but that's not an accurate description , especially as the last 3 meters is likely a V4 by itself , I would say there's lots of 23 climbing but there's always a good stance not too far away which keeps it pretty casual . Once again there's a little ledge to chill on before the most insecure section - the start of the Amphitheatre . You need to keep the wobbles at bay to get around the first corner as it a very fine line to success , i thought it might be V7 but I have no idea , it's just hard ... The rest of the Amphitheatre is powerful but on positive holds so you can always just pull harder . There's another good rest position after this . Next is a V4 ish mini crux that requires a rosemove which is pretty cool but it's also possible to screw it up ( which I did once when taking the footage ) more easy climbing then gets you to the Long V5 . This is all foot smears and span , clean shoes are a must and it pays to just keep moving as it pretty fatiguing and the last move is a killer . Once past this section its relaxed positive 20 ish climbing to the final rest . Then you just need to keep it together for the final V6 crux around Pet Cemetery - Silver Surfer .

The climbing itself is awesome and quality there's not bits where you have to come off the wall and walk or anything it's proper climbing the whole way . The quality of the rock is superb , real solid , but there is definitely some polished footholds around . There's also a lot of different textures , formations , holds , styles , and colours too . Nothing is tweaky on the fingers , and there is a huge variety of climbing to get through .

Godspeed .


A bit of a surprise sending this . I had wanted to do it so much as soon as I heard it was possible and that it had been done , but the actual process was huge . When I started trying the moves I hadn't been climbing very long and it all felt pretty hard . Also two parts of the Quarry were closed - from BopGun to Yuppie Floozie was fenced off and also the Amphitheatre - I didn't realise at the time that these are the two main cruxes ...

Many many sessions went by ... Working it with Ben , making progress getting injured , finding easier shorter term projects , but all through this time it still felt like it was always going to be impossible .

For some reason which I think was when I tried the two cruxes finally I kind of gave up , the first one - Yuppie - just seemed too hard and I couldn't find a reliable sequence ... I did it once in a few parts but my sequence was around V8 ... Then the middle crux ... That was a real boggler that was beyond me .

Maybe a year went by after I had done the traverse in two parts missing the bits mentioned above ... I had been back to Castle Hill and my climbing intelligence had increased and my fingers were a bit stronger too . I had also now sent my main project Zillmerised which was the " big one " for me ... Sending Zillmerised gave me a lot of confidence .

Then just recently I was at a point where I had finished a lot of my climbing goals , I had figured out a very low percentage sequence for the Amphitheatre - I have been told some of the holds are gone making it harder - Then one day the sun was on the wall meaning all my current projects were now a no go . So I retreated to Yuppie Floozie as it was still in the shade , there's an eliminate sit start I got close too once on it that's around V8 that's very cool but just so hard for me , but instead.for some reason I started working the traverse section again , and it didn't take me long to find a sequence ! and that has since been refined from a 7 to a 6 ... Now I had all the parts done .... Crazy ... I could start making attempts ?! I went home with the traverse seed solidly planted in my mind again . The start of sleepless nights .

This was maybe two weeks ago ish

It was a pretty short process for the actually linking in the end . I reworked the Amphitheatre section and got a sequence that was 80% if I had good skin and calm nerves ... It was time to take some stabs at it .

Here's my notes

 Grand traverse

Attempt 1 failed yuppie 

A2 another broken hero corner ( coming into the crimp )

A3 yuppie

A4 yuppie

A5 Zillmerised

A6 another broken hero (fell from the thumb match) didn't take much rests on route also botched the sequence .

A7 pet cemetery ... Punted

A8 sent !!! But lord only just !!! Nearly fell 3 times on the final boulder , thank someone the end wasn't just a little harder !

So what a route !! Truly truly epic ... Nothing like it in the country I'd feel safe to say .

Will have to measure it and perhaps count out the moves and cruxes .

259 hand movements - head count

And now for the reverse ... Which seems a bit easier thankfully .

Monday, 21 October 2013

Irish Wristwatch

Repeated , glad to get in on vid .

Sage traverse into imperial bedrooms . Not for the pure of heart as it's basically a link up challange but great moves and it's not an eliminate just a bit multi directional =)


This was the longest least silly entrance I've come up with to extend Zilmerised ... Possible V6 into V8/9 . This one probably gets the V9 tick now , pretty happy with this and done twice now . It was a bit strange when I sent it the first time . I was with Glenn and it was about 11pm last Wednesday , it was my first attempt at it I think and I had done a fair bit of climbing already . When I latched the razor and casually graben the jug I let out a whinny battle cry but almost in that instant I realised the camera wasn't set up . I immediately felt gutted for missing the send ... Truth be told I actually felt worse than if I hadn't sent it at all ... I need to get on top of this feeling as its not always possible to get footage . I guess though looking at it now repeating it and getting it on camera gave me just as much pleasure as the FA .
I'm pretty sure this is a FA this time as so far most people ( about 3 ) seem to scoff a little at the line . I kind of understand where they're coming from but then it's bouldering ... A pursuit of difficulty ... The quarry is no castle hill with its 1000s of beautiful boulders with just the purest lines bothered with . We need to make do with what is here and I think this line works pretty well , it climbs nicely and there are no holds eliminated ... It's also just joins the Phillip Sage traverse into Glenn's imperial bedrooms . Perhaps I'm being biased ...

Anyway , I've been trying to focus on gaining finger strength as a part of a periodisation plan but I ended up being a bit bummed about having no endurance . So now I am mixing it up a little , adding in one endurance session a week as well as a fair bit of out door climbing . With the outdoor stuff I'm trying to get my boulder on , then work 26/27 routes . The Irish wristwatch project was supposed to take me a bit long to send ... I was hoping to use it as a strength endurance exercise now I'm wondering if I can do it then down climb through Sneakeasy ( the crack on the left ) the get straight back into the travese and up Zilmerised again ! What an epic circuit ! Could be in the injury zone ... I will give it a go anyway ... Before I forget I also got the first move on ghost face ( possibly the hardest boulder in the north island ! It's only had 1 ascent which was suggested at v12 ) it's very crimpy so I won't be spending to much time on it but I will keep trying to make progress .

Other big news for me was it sounds like the "30" I did could be a first ascent !! James Field Mitchell was saying that when Scott Mooney did Zero Gravity he climbed to the ledge meaning he did Zilmerised into wild gravity not wild gravity direct ... This is yet to be confirmed but I'm pretty excited about the prospect of possibly having such an awesome and hard FA at the Quarry !!!

Be well and climb hard .

Hi Coralie .

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Pursuit of strength

Finally sent the project after all those early mornings ( getting up at 5 am to beat traffic and sun ) yes I am a bit sad but also happy too .

I'm not sure if the low traverse into Zillmerised had been done or not ... Doesn't really matter . Its a quality line worth doing for the sake of doing it but I will try find out somehow ...

So the spray down .

The Sage traverse reversed into Zillmerised .

The climb starts with a nice pull on with good feet . The first move then puts you a bit out of balance , you can fight it or try go with the flow ... ( I found it easier in the end to fight it ) youre then forced into a nice shouldery position on opposing holds , a quick foot swap on the only good footer brings you to the first crux . The match . A bit of right arm lock will give you enough time to get into the ( uncomfortable ) match , it's not the best place to hang out so a quick shift of weight right ( on a good foot ) will get you to the arête via a sloper bump . From here I found you can press your knee into the arête to gain some stability while you free up your left hand to bring it to the undercling . This is basically the low static start position of Zillmerised . I found a toe hook saved me some energy while freeing up my left hand here too , to get it to the arête via a pointy mono crimp . You're then on Zillmerised a bit fatigued and if youre me pretty nervous . Some more balancey and powerful moves gets you to the high pinch pocket looking at the throw to the razor ... I punted this move about 10 times before finally getting it to stick ... Hello jug .

Not sure as usual how hard the line feels but likely V9 or really hard V8
Other climbs are Lego SDS pretty easy V5
And the Grunta face only V6 ( a quality eliminate ) and it has slopers !

Hope you enjoy more quarry .

Some footage and spotting by Ben - Thanks


Trying to build strength over the next few weeks / month so there will be lots of bouldering and hard routes to be done . Should be fun ! Then the work will begin with power endurance - then route endurance ... Not so fun but rewarding if last time is anything to go by . I was going to take a more focused strategy-training but I think I will keep it a bit casual for the first few periods ... Give my body time to adjust , which I think is the right path , it's so tempting just to go hard though but Im pretty sure that will just get me injured .

On the path .

Be well , stay strong .

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Imperial bedrooms

Birthday send . Likely second ascent after Glenn Erik Johannessen put it up some months ago , I can't remember when but I do remember spotting him on it ( between bouts of rain ) and thinking of how it should have been mine just the day before ... If only I hadn't fumbled that last move ... Oh well , at least with GEJ sending it it got a decent name . It's good to finally get it done as I hadn't tried it after Glenn got the FA ... I had worked it pretty solidly though before that as i was hungry for the FA .

It's suggested at V9 but with some gas in the tank it doesn't feel too much harder to me than Zillmerised , but without many V9s under my belt I will have to bow to experience ..

Anyway some fun moves that add to the Zillmerised journey , good fun and very flowy . When Glenn sent it originally he had to start on a lower right hand jug and had to do a little bump to where I started , I was able to reach the better hold and did so as the bump for me was an ugly move that took away from the whole .

Spot by Ben


I had been looking at some of my uncompleted climbs from the past and this one stood out . I guess because I have become quite confidant on Zillmerised now and so the variations aren't as tough as they seemed in the past . Also making that last move on Zillmerised is very daunting for me and it would be nice to breakthrough and truly master it . Whenever I am up there I have a very intense self doubting inner dialog going on and when I do successfully pull the move it makes me feel really really good .

Once again I am dancing with another annoying injury ... Some kind of nerve discomfort in my left elbow , I'm wondering if it has something to do with my rotator cuff ... I did go see a hand and arm doctor who suggested it could have something to do with my ulnar nerve . I was told to take some anti inflammatory drugs and do some stretches ... Also to back off climbing for a while ... Which I have done a bit with this session aside .

I had started some dedicated power training using mainly jugs and slopers and isometrics but I'm wondering if that is what has aggravated my left arm . With this in mind I think I will back off the power stuff a bit and focus on endurance again possibly throw in some hypertrophy too .

Set the cruise control baby .

Be well , play safe .

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Caught on tape !

A good day today !

I did about 3 hours of traversing with only one or two little stops . Figured it would be good to build up some endurance again after not climbing for nearly two weeks . I might try do this a bit more often to get a solid base fitness ( raising my anaerobic threshold ) it's likely good therapy too ...

I hadn't planned on doing anything hard , infact just the opposite but hey ... Whatever ... I tried a few moves on Glenn's " Stranger From The Id V9 " after not making much headway I thought I would give Yakuza a go . I have repeated it a few times but never caught the ascent on camera so took a punt . After a quick brush and putting on my old full of holes shoes I pulled on and found myself crushing the moves first go relatively easily ! Setting up for the dead point on Seven Samurai my right hand wasn't on the best part of the hold and I was very awear that I was trying to smear with worn through shoe rubber ... Not wanting to let an opertunity go by again though I managed to select crush mode ( not ideal when nursing as many injuries as I am ... ) I stuck the dead point openhanded and was stalling a bit as nothing was quite on target and I didn't want to use my left crimp but I managed to close up the left hand ( very naughty ) and squirm my way though the final hard move . Yay .

It was getting dark by this stage but thought I would stay on the train and so sent Secret Crack 17 solo which I had chickened out of before and then further warmed down with some of my regular solo/ highballs . A good day and happy to come away with only very mild discomfort in my hands .

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Snow day

Still no climbing ... It has been quite difficult to not climb anything , I can feel myself getting gradually weaker and it's not nice . I did pull on to my wall for a couple of sloper hangs a few days ago just to remind my body what's what and that actually felt pretty good , but I decided to play it safe and just take a little more time . Tomorrow I may reward myself with a trip to Froggatt to climb some easy to moderate stuff to see how my injuries react .

I managed to get some distraction by heading to the snow for the last few days . The weather turned out mint which was awesome because the forecast was pretty average . I went down with my friend Jay and we got in two days of snow boarding . We commenced out journey Friday evening after Jay finished work at around 6:30 and must of got to Taumaranui around 10 I guess . We stayed at the Taumaranui campground which was all we needed it to be at $50 per night for a twin room . They left the door open for us so we didn't need to mess around with keys and could settle in easily after our long drive . The next morning after breakfast and coffees we headed up the mountain utilising the cheaper half day pass - from 12 on - obviously we hadn't been in much of a rush .

I had pre booked the alpine club hut for Saturday night , which sits above 2000m on the Whakapapa side . It was my first time using it and it was awesome ! We had a good night of movies and chess and also meet some people who were up there for ice climbing and general adventuring . The night turned very windy and snowy and I wasn't all that hopefull for the next day , but when I woke up we had clear blue sky's and after a while no wind at all . Perfect .

All in all it worked out amazingly and i had a perfect trip and now that I have been up to the lodge I will likely start using it a bit more frequently . It will make a good base for some climbing scouting missions .