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 .
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 .
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
Attempt 1 failed yuppie
A2 another broken hero corner ( coming into the crimp )
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 .