Horsham, Victoria, Grampians, Australia
Firstly, this is what I wrote on the 20-hour drive down from Nowra to our final destination in Australia:
"Well, we're now on the road from Nowra to The Gallery, Grampians for a re-match with 'Koalas' and some other projects – I admit now that I was aiming to get the other 7c+ and get going on the 8a+ and see how I'll get on with them also! Busy busy busy :)
Well, I'm bored in the car so thought I may as well form my thoughts now. What am I thinking? Well, for one thing the one thing that could halt the whole show before it even starts is the weather! It's been really, really wet the past while and it's also freezing today. With the prospective of camping at the nearest campsite, which gets no sun before 11am everyday and none after 4pm, it's going to be tough going. The crag is in the sun all day but a few hundred metres higher so possibly just as cold anyway. That stuff is out of my hands anyway so will deal with that tomorrow :)
Other than that, I'm feeling so psyched reently for pushing myself. It's been a long road for me to believe that I'm capable of this grade, most of it being mental belief. So, now that I'm throwing myself at these routes, it can only get better!
My own head is currently a jumble of random moves taken from different climbs in various different locations I've visited. And that's not just from this trip – so many projects out there to be taken care of :)
So now, I've had almost two (unplanned) weeks off due to skin, ropeburn, rain, aches, and now the never-ending cycle begins once again. It keeps me happy :)
As you can see I'm waffling and writing as I think so I think I'll sign off with that.
Dave, great to hear you're chasing my projects, it's good to have someone else to keep me on my toes! So, where are the rest of the other Irish climbers at this level – I'm not getting to climb this grade from natural ability, I just put in the hard work. Give me some competition* people! :)
I've no interest in competition but do love to see grades and improvements for everyone so bring it on!!!!!!!
The next time you read this, I'll have survived two full days at the crag. Should be fun......."
The weather turned on Sunday morning. I couldn't believe it as it was sooooo perfect on Saturday but I was really sleepy after all the driving the day before. Murphy's Law, eh? :)
Anyways, here's the video of the final attempt on Sunday afternoon. My commentary for the route is up on TeamGearedUp also, so apologies if you read this twice:
"The rain did clear up after an hour or so, but with heavy cloud cover, nothing was really drying. I arrived at the crag to drips of rain running down my route - previous experience told me this was not good. Still though, I wasn’t leaving without a go (or two :)…..
Two aborted attempts later (I’m always nervous when going for this grade for some reason), lots of energy wasted, and I went for the final push. I got through the easy-ish 25/7b/5.12, but (very steep), first half, and was feeling good. Maybe this was meant to be the day? Got through the next few meters (which is the crux), and then almost fell out of a hold (about 2 minutes into the video) which I should have realised was a bad sign. Three holds more later, I’m feeling really good (but tired), go for a move and….watch my right hand in the last 10 seconds of the video. It slips out. Yep, damp holds."
Basically the upper half of the route is damp - there's lots of undercuts that get seepage from inside the rock, nothing I can do and even with the crag being so steep, this is the ONLY route that gets wet here?!?!? Just my luck :)
Still, though I'll give it another go tomorrow on my last day and see what I can do. It's raining today also, so who knows if it'll be dry tomorrow. It's out of my hands though, so we'll see what happens! I was a bit frustrated about it yesterday, but after a good chat on the phone with a great friend today, I'm also in a super positive frame of mind, so it's positive thoughts all the way on life at the moment :)
On a side note, for the UK/Irish climbers out there, this route was first climbed by the guy who takes the plunge/fall at the beginning of Hard Grit! Small world.....