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Climbing Spree

Yesterday April reminded me…“Whoa, whoa whoa. Wait a second here. Before we set foot in South Africa you said, ‘All I want to do is Nutsa V12, if I get that, then a V13 is just icing on the cake.’” April made this remark yesterday as I was getting frustrated at how difficult the moves on The Vice V13 were; getting paranoid that I might not have time on this trip to send it.

Oh yeah. Whoops. Earlier this year I also said I’d do anything to send my first V12. I said I’d retire from bouldering and take up route climbing again. My friend Karl just laughed at me and said I’d never dust off my rope. He’s probably right because as soon as you break through into a new level in climbing you open the door to a whole new list of amazing climbs. Your tick list grows and grows…really big.

Here in Rocklands you have to put things into perspective. Think of it this way. By purchasing my plane tickets to fly here I basically entered a contest to win a climbing spree. When I was little all I wanted was to win a shopping spree at Toys-R-Us. I imagined pushing a cart through the store, piling in toys. My Rocklands experience isn’t much different. I keep pushing my shopping cart through the boulders and keep collecting more and more boulder problems. It’s crazy. I’ve won the contest after all.

However, there is one dilemma with this bouldering spree. Each time I pick a new boulder problem, the send may or may not come easily. I may not always be able to add it to my tick list immediately. Completing a climb takes a finite amount of time and effort and it’s that time and effort that reveal the stark reality. The reality is: Our trip has reached the half-way point. We have less than one month until departure.

Last week, I took inventory of the list of problems that I’ve collected and those that remain outside of my shopping cart. Uh oh. I’ve got a lifetime of climbing around me and less than a month to send them all!

Where to begin?
Ok, how about I start at the top of my scale, V13. There are certainly plenty to choose from. My first pick was Ray of Light.

Setting up the finger lock Ray of Light

Missing the dead-point into the slot Ray of Light

Trying to figure out the power endurance finish Ray of Light

Unfortunately, after two days of effort I bailed on Ray of Light. The crux move was extremely hard, low probability and was super tweaky on my left middle finger. It involved getting a left hand finger lock in a slot and dead-pointing to another slot with my right hand. If I managed to stick the dead-point, which was extremely low probability, the finger, still locked in the slot would say “HELLO! I’m still stuck in here,” while giving off a nice bit of pain. That move was followed by another low probability toe hook. If I was ever capable of doing all that, I was then faced with a 10 move super power endurance battle to the finish. Awesome climb but not for me, not now. This climb remains on the Toys-R-Us shelf.

Next, The Vice V13 at The Fortress. I’m will decide by the end of the week if I’m going to go for it. I’ve made some good links but there is a low probability move mid-way into the climb that seems to suck a lot of energy out of me. In fact, after each session I need almost 2 days of rest to be able to climb again. This climb takes everything I’ve got, plus more. To be continued.

Freezing and trying to get motivated for The Vice

Armed Response V13. It’s so close to The Vice I just have to try it. But usually I’m so dead tired from working The Vice I always bail.

The Armed Response Boulder

Tea With Elmarie V12. I can definitely do this one. This might be a little soft but with another chance on it, fresh, a send is nearly guaranteed.

Black Velvet V11. Definitely going down, maybe next session. It’s a huge dyno!

First move, big lock off Black Velvet

Second move, match

Set feet



Stretched and Pressed V11. This is an extension to a climb called The Rack V8 (one of April’s big projects). It has a huge lock off/weird mantle section that I haven’t figured out yet but I know as soon as I unlock the mystery it’s going down.

April working The Rack V8. Stretched and Pressed goes up and right.

Stretched and Pressed goes up and right.

Gliding Through Waves Like Dolphins V11. Now with a name like that, I’m definitely going to glide to a send any day now.

Spider on the Roof V10. Crazy finish that I haven’t worked out yet but it will go. Check out how weird one of the holds is…

Spider on the Roof, V10

Tomorrow I Will Be Gone V10. Haven’t tried it yet but next time we go to the Road Crew boulders I’m going to try it (We’ve been planning to go back to Road Crew for 2 weeks…and keep getting sidetracked by The Fortress).

Above, just right of center: It is the arete still in the sun

A straight-on view of the blunt arete: the giant block dead center in the photo.

Cedar Spine Sit V9. Looks perfect, will try soon.

Caroline V9/10…next session, guaranteed. Assuming I don’t go to The Vice first.
Maniac V8. Next session when we go back to Fields of Joy and if I don’t get on Macho King V9, or No Late Tenders V11, first.
John Denver V7. Next session at the Campground Boulders. Mike almost sent at night while the baboons nipped at his toes (he and Raquel went on a mission their last night and almost sent!)

Oh…and Steak House V13. I did the moves accidentally because I thought they were part of Spider on the Roof. I thought, damn these moves are hard!
Oh…and after running into a old acquaintance from Japan he told me about a ton of other climbs I should check out including: Black Shadow V13, Green Mamba V13, and Madiba V14.

Forget this website posting stuff…I’ve got to get climbing…..AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
So you see my dilemma?

posted by pjv

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 at 4:09 am and is filed under Bouldering, Rocklands-South Africa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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