So, after an amazing bouldering season, ticking off my first 8a’s, its time to start looking up at mountains instead of down into caves.
Since I haven’t written in a while i’ll talk about my bouldering season. This winter has been the most productive, amazing and inspiring seasons thus far. It started off in June where I tried to focus on volume, laying down a bunch of easier problems, trying to build the base of the pyramid. These problems ranged anywhere from 3’s to 7c’s and everything in between. We made 3 trips in the June/July holiday down to Rocklands having a rad time with good mates. A few weeks later we went down with some of the guys from Outward, that trip wasn’t really the most successful… with me only sending a few problems, none of them being very difficult. This reeled me back in, telling me I can’t send everything I want anytime I want.
Then a few weeks back I started working Mintberry Crunch. I’ve always walked past this problem for the past year, but never had the nerve to pull off the really painful first move. After I sent Captain Hindsight, my first 7c+ I started to try it, and figured it could definitely go. The Tuesday that next week, my dad and I trekked up with four pads, in the pouring rain to go and try it and hoped it would be dry. When we got to the problem everything was dry except for the last two holds. Which was fine because I didn’t think I would get there that session. I worked it until it got dark and we had to come down. We stashed our pads there that night, as psyched as ever to come back up the next day when it hopefully wasn’t raining. On Wednesday I came up, got the pads out, worked it for about an hour and then realized that this thing was going to go any second. I kept falling on the last move, when my heel popped out the incredible hand-foot splits match. I rested for about 20 minutes and then gave it one last go just as it was getting dark. When I went for it, it felt like I was warming up in the gym, it flowed so effortlessly and easily, I was so surprised to find myself on the top of the boulder, having just done my first 8a!
But the celebration didn’t last long, like i’m sure most of you know, one minute you could be the happiest you’ve ever been, the next you are hitting your head against the wall of your next project… Ah the life of a boulderer!
About five weeks back, my dad and I took a final trip to Rocklands for the year and that’s when I started working Witness The Sickness. This problem is probably one of the most perfect, beautiful and difficult lines I could imagine! it’s like climbing a fridge, slapping your way up this totally blank bulge of rich, orange perfect rock. On my second session on it, my bicep was really starting to hurt, I tried taping it tightly up and massaging it but nothing seemed to work. I was worried that this might stop me from sending Witness and that I would probably have to wait till June for the conditions to get cold enough before I could try it again. On one of the days it started to rain and we had stashed pads our pads there, so we walked up to it to go get our pads, thinking that this has ruined the conditions and that I would have to wait. So we took a drive to Clanwilliam to go get some supplies and some deep heat and arnica for my arm. later that morning I walked to the base of Witness, just to see if it might be dry already thinking I still have a burn or two that I could give to it. And little did we know the rain had dried and there was a super strong, cold wind sweeping through the valley, I was ready, so we hiked back up with the pads and got psyched again. The holds felt so sticky and perfect! By this time I knew that it was going down. I relaxed, took a deep breath (cause I knew that if I breathed on the problem I would fall) and everything just seemed to go like clockwork. I jumped to the finishing jug and was screaming for joy! That final jump, that last hold, was the best feeling I’ve ever had not just in my climbing career but in my whole life. https://vimeo.com/142428466
Since then I’ve started to chill a bit, focusing more on my sport and primarily on my trad for the summer months, but still making sure that I do my once a week fingerboard session and once a week “run”. I’ve never really been good at sports that involve being tired or any form of spherical objects being thrown, kicked, hit or dodged! luckily I found climbing, at least that only involved suffering and painful muscles which I can live with!
Well, that’s all I have for now, I’ll try post more regularly and keep you up to date on all our summer epics!
Thanks for reading! hope you enjoyed it!