Been in Melbourne for the past week, so I will have a separate blog post for that, but in the mean time; this post will be about the week leading up to that! Also, please do check out Thanjon's new blog, I will be stealing a lot of photos from there! Click HERE!
So, on the 11th, started off the weekend by going to the Apia International in Sydney Olympic Park to watch the Mens' Double and Singles final! Went with my parents; brother also went with his girlfriend. I invited Daniel along as a birthday present, we got a good deal on the tickets as my parents were members with Apia insurance.
We watched the doubles match first, where Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic won; then Daniel and I headed off to the 'Interactive Area' where I had a little climb on a kids climbing wall; checked out the venue and ended up watching some wheelchair tennis; bloody impressive! Afterwards, went back to watch the finals match where Tomic got destroyed by Del Potro in the final, he kind of just... gave up.
Afterwards, drove to Canley Heights and had some late night food at Gia Hoi.
The very next day, 12th, had an extremely early start (before sun rise) to go climbing with Paul, Jenga and a lot of others! Got to Blaxland Station by 7am, and waited for Paul and Jenga (they were late, Jenga had his 30th birthday party the night before; but today was his actual 30th! Drove up the mountain and picked up Andy at Faulconbridge, before continuing onto Bell Supercrag!
Over the course of the day, there were so many people at the crag, generally that doesn't happen due to the difficult access and long walk.
|Paul bolting his 45m arete|
|Towards the end of the day, Jenga still bolting.|
Me, Thanjon, Jenga, Paul, Andy, Chris, Evan, Damion, Seann, Mike, Rick, Matt, James, Mike (another) and Tristan. A few others as well, but I didn't know who they were, but it was crowded! So much energy. Spent probably nine or so hours at the crag, and got a decent amount of climbing in. A rad 22 called Seamstress to warm up on, a not so fun 21; failure on the 'bad 23' and two laps on a short bouldery 25 called Crumple Zone. Finished the day off with a casual lap on a 19 and 21. On the walk out, sprained my right ankle pretty badly, hurt like a bitch. Taped it up and limped out the rest of the way.
Had dinner at the Mount Victoria pub, and ended up getting home just before 11pm.
|Took this while walking out|
Yet again, the very next day, 13th, Benn came by my place to pick me up to go for a climb and swim at Dams Cliff with Sarmila! He had called me the night before, and said he would carry everything because of my ankle, he just really wanted to go out! Had a stop at Blaxland Maccas for some breakfast, before continuing up the mountain!
Bumped into Amanda and also Rick from yesterday, climbed some easy routes just for Sarmila and then tried my luck again on Siesta, but that didn't go. Just way too tired from yesterday, and ankle wasn't liking the crazy heel hook.
Anyway, climbing aside; swam in the main dam area and also did a few jumps! Good fun, the ankle was bad enough that swimming hurt; yikes! We wouldn't let Sarmila do the big jump because her swimming wasn't good and her landings from the smaller jumps weren't great either.
Had lunch at Blackheath Fish and Chips, mainly because Benn wanted a milkshake, it seems like he always gets one after a trip like this! Walked around the antique shop for a while and then Benn dropped me off home, stopping for 7/11 Slurpees on the way! The drive up and down was really fun, and we went through a ridiculous amount of music.
|Enthusiasm is through the roof|
I went to the city the day after, 14th, to return my Osprey pack to Paddy Pallin for warranty work, one of the compression buckles had already broken, and I was keen to get it fixed. They nearly gave me a new one, until they realised it was dirty and I had used it; so they had to go through the supplier for warranty instead of an in-store replacement.
Went climbing with Thanjon and Hannan the next day, on the 15th. I was meant to get off the train at Wentworth Falls and get some coffee at Il Postinos with them, however... I fell asleep on the train, but luckily I woke up in time to get off at Katoomba ! I understand why people end up at Lithgow sometimes... The thing is though, my alarm would have been going off for ten minutes in the quiet carriage, and nobody woke me up, lame. So, Thanjon got me some take-away coffee and I waited for about 5 minutes outside Todarellos.
|Thanjon on Sparkle Motion|
We headed down to the Dog's, Cat's and Apple's Wall at Porters Pass, and I showed the guys where I had my massive fall on Black Heathen last year. I hadn't been back to Porters Pass to climb since then. I don't think anyone was extremely motivated to climb hard today, due to the heat; and we started off our climbing by repeating Nice Vice, Baby 20. Hannan came off at the crux while I was belaying him, and that had made me slam into the wall, shin first into the undercut section. That... hurt for hours! Bloody hell.
Afterwards, Thanjon started working Sparkle Motion, but once again, the top crux from the sidepull and pinch would not go; despite numerous falls over and over trying to free those moves. Neither Thanjon or I could get it, and we mainly just took a lot of photos, a lot of ass-shot photos. Bumped into some other climbers enquiring about the other climbs on the wall, and it was great having a chat with them. The weather at this point was still quite nice, the sun had not hit the wall yet.
We bailed before the sun could start roasting us, visited Big Johns for some price checks for a crash pad and a number six Black Diamond camalot. Nope. Way too expensive! Stopped by the Alex in Leura because I was really craving steak, but the bistro was unfortunately closed; so we settled for Mountain High Pie! Not that it's a bad thing, it's always delicious; but Hannan was right, it does lose that extra bit of appeal after a while.
By now, it was so... damn... hot! Dropped Hannan off and went back to Thanjon's house; where we helped Victor cut down a tree. Played his piano for a bit, then headed down the mountain to check out the Springwood crags. Such a bad idea. We first went to Backyard Basic, got a little lost on the walk in, but eventually found our way. The bottom of the crag is utter filth and the rock looks very sandy. The sun was battering the wall, we left.
Went to IGA and got some food, drinks and a bag of ice. Yes, a bag of ice. While walking out, we had this hipster take a photo of Thanjon and I crossing the road, bag of ice over Thanjon's shoulder; odd...
Went to Birdwood Gully for some shade, and climbed the worst route I have ever climbed. It was disgusting. A waste of money, time, bolts, chalk and climbing shoe rubber. Went home right after that, after being eaten alive by mosquitoes in the gully as well.
Had a late start on the 16th, Big Top. The crag Thanjon and I were going to would have afternoon shade, at least the main wall. Stopped by the service station in Medlow Bath where we stocked up on food, powerade and ice-cream; it was already ridiculously hot. Walked uphill to get to the Big Top boulder, where Thanjon was ridiculously keen to climb the off-width on the back side of the boulder; Kubrick Crack. Initially, Thanjon tried the first few moves and broke off a hold; falling off and elbowing my right in the head; bloody hell.
It was a bit of an epic trying to set it up, having no trad gear for this climb. He aided the face next to it and traversed across to clip a carrot bolt by the crack, before topping out and setting up a tree belay. When it was my turn to try the route, it was a bit of an epic. It was like ultimate fighting with a rock, jamming in my right knee; edging with my left foot and chicken wing jamming my right arm to get up this crack. The sun was starting to hit this side of the wall, because of where the route was on the boulder. Right at the top, I basically did a sideways dyno from the crack to a jug; it was bloody desperate!
I came down and belayed Thanjon so he could climb it cleanly, and I felt like I was done for the day. He volunteered to carry all the equipment up the rest of the hill (the worst part) to get to the main area of the crag. Absolute trooper.
Tried a 22 on second, wasn't too keen to try it on lead after seeing Thanjon's epic on it. The climb really should have ended much lower, after the cool start, which was laybacking up this corner! It then traversed out on a thin face, with fairly chossy rock. Not so great. I broke some holds off, as well...
Finished the day repeating a bolted crack, at grade 17. We also supplemented with a LOT of wires, placing 9 wires! Had some pizza at Hazelbrook, and also had some crab at home which mum had made! Delicious.
Spent the night of the 17th and the morning of the 18th a little out of my element, at Jimmy's house. He had a going away party; lots of drinks, and great music!
Post about Melbourne, coming soon. Ciao!