So we’re back in the Grampians and at the moment the crew consists of just myself, Dave Graham and Ian Dory. The weather has been good so far and psyche is very high! It’s not easy to find time for writing updates, because we’ve been so focused on climbing and exploring that there’s barely been time to do anything other than climb, eat and sleep. And we’re loving it! The best rock in the world is situated here in the Grampians and we keep finding new areas every day! The potential is so overwhelming that is hard to even decide where to begin.
This time we are much better prepared, compared to last year when we had several key things missing. With 2 months of time, plenty of pads, 4x4 car, contacts to locals, a trad rack and a drill for bolting routes we’re pretty much set. We also know where to look for new areas and where not to. The other day I found a new zone just next to the the area in Buandik that we developed last year! On our first climbing days I ticked off some of the projects from last year and did the FA’s of Slippery slope V12 and Losing grip V12, both of which we tried but couldn’t do last year. In the new zone we cleaned a bunch of new projects, some of which go some that are just impossible as it often goes. The best line in the new zone so far is a boulder I named Happy Ending V11. This problem is basically a 2 pitch boulder problem. The first part is a big 45 degree overhang with some powerful moves leading to a mantle over the lip to a small rest. At this point you are already pretty high of the ground and this is where the second part starts. The last part t is a phenomenal technical prow and so tall that you don’t want to fall. I’m especially psyched on one of the new projects! It’s a 10 meters tall highball that climbs up a clean patina face with small bomber crimps and big slopy features. The rock quality couldn’t be any better. Most of the hard moves revolve around gastons and require extreme shoulder strength! This type of climbing is very much my style and this could be a very hard project that I’ve spent a looong time looking for! Quality-wise at least, it don’t get much better!!
We also did a bit of sport climbing at Muline and Taipan. The great thing about the sport climbing here is that first of all it’s all natural and the style of climbing doesn’t seem to differ from bouldering at all, as sport climbing is often completely different in movement compared to bouldering. There are big dynos on the routes and the rock quality is truly the best there is! We’ve been to Muline a couple times now and it is one of the best crags in the Grampians along with Taipan wall. I flashed the amazing Eye of the Tiger 8a and did Flower Power 8c on my second try and both of these climbs are near perfect. I also on-sighted a 7c called Desert Flower, the lower part of which requires trad gear with ground fall potential and apparently got off route and climbed a harder direct finish to it.
Today we sessioned on Wheel of Life and perfected our beta for the full link. I made some really good links and got close to doing Sleepy rave. I’ve been working on my endurance and I notice a huge difference compared to when I tried the Wheel last year. And endurance is all you really need for a 75-move “boulder problem”. I’m psyched to get back on it and start giving it burns from the start next time. Maybe I’ll even place a cam on it so it’s a trad climb or if there happens to be puddles underneath it I’ll call it a deep water solo and then I can give it a sport climbing grade that it deserves. But seriously speaking, the Wheel is an amazing climb and whether it’s difficulty is quantifiable with a V-grade or not, it’s a truly a one-of-a-kind climb!