Sunday, May 23, 2010

Video: Mann Killer

While shooting photos of Nathan, I saw him switch to send mode and I knew that this problem was going.

So I quickly switched my Canon 500d to video mode and this is the result:

Mann Killer

I come to this crag every week feeling hopeful that this could be the day I send Rocket Man. Then every time, after a few shots, it has a way of reminding me how brutal and how much focus it wants me to put into climbing it. I'm bleeding under the tips. This thing has become my nemesis!

There were periods of sprinkle/light rain. But despite the weather, the holds were dry and this week, I'm able to reach for the hold and having a little bit of purchase before my feet swing out and everything goes wrong. I had some scarey falls, just narrowly missing the pads a few times and actually smashing my left heel off the mat onto a rock twice. I'm still psyched to get out there, hopefully next weekend to do this all over again.

I'm quite happy but I guess it hasn't hit me how close I am to finishing it off. Maybe I don't want to know how close I am otherwise I will start to feel frustration and anxiety which isn't going to be good for me.

After having a good burn on R.M., I hopped onto Mann Killer V8. Second shot, I'm already at the last hold of this 4 move problem (before topping out a slightly high V2). Compared to other V8's that I've done, this one definitely feels alot easier - perhaps a soft V8? All in all, it was sent in about 5 attempts.

Earlier in the day, I sent Full Metal Jacket V5 second shot, which is a cool problem. You start on 2 decent side pulls and jumping to a jug before going to a few good holds and topping out - a classic I must say.

Other notable sends for the day: Nathan Harrowell also sending Mann Killer and AV finished off the V3 that does left of Mann Killer.

Tony on the last hard move of Mann Killer.
Photo by Nam Tran.

Nate on Mann Killer.
Photo by Nam Tran.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rocket Man Pt 2

So today I was woken up at 7am to go bouldering. I almost had feeling similar to the feeling where you don't want to get out of bed because you're dreading to go to work. But I did manage to get out 20mins later and left the house 20mins later than I should have.

The rock in the morning was in pretty ideal condition so I just quickly warmed up on a V3 and started working on the first move again of Rocket Man. I felt like I made some really good progress. Last session, I only managed to stick the first move twice out of about 20 attempts? But today I was sticking it probably once in every 4-5 attempts. The first session my high point was slapping my hand around 20-25cm too low of the next hold but today I managed the slap the lip of the second hold around 3 times. I'm getting really close to finishing the problem as it is only 2 hard moves into an easy jug and onto a scarey mantle. I hope it will be in the bag in another few sessions!

It's a strange feeling being almost bipolar as most attempts shut me down but once in a while I get a little further, make some progress and I'm instantly psyched again. After getting tired of working on Rocket Man, I hopped back onto trying to repeat If The Shoe Fits in hoping to keep this climb fresh in my mind so that one day I can eventually link up The Shoe and Rocket Man to become L'homme Obu.

We had quiet a few people come out to boulder today, so all in all it was a really fun day hanging out with my friends, taking shots of them and helping to spot and support them onto their sends for the day. Andrew sent a pretty high V3 and flashed a V3 with a hard mantle. Evan was able to Fit The Shoe today. Ren made awesome progress on both The Shoe and R.M. Greg sent Man Killer after weeks of working on it. It was a very satisfying day out. I hope the bouldering gods bless us with good cool weather again next weekend for another shot at Rocket Man.

Nina doing a V2 mantle.

After the crux on Arms Race

1st move on Rocket Man

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rocket Man Part 1

So excited!

This is another problem that I've always dreamt of doing when I first started bouldering outdoors. It's so perfect - you start on jugs and jump to this slopper kind of hold that's not that great unless you hit it in the right spot with the right body position. After that, its a another big reach (for me anyway) to a good hold, you get another good hold before doing a high top out. I did not expect to be able to stick the first move. I went out to the Frontline just to work on the first move but I was able to figure out my hand and foot beta very quickly. Now its just a matter of dialing the first move so that I can hit the correct part of the first hold everytime.

This problem is the second part of a V11 that was put up by Fred Nicole called L'homme Obu. The first part is If The Shoe Fits V8 that I sent a couple
weeks ago. Both these lines put together make one of the most classic climbs in Sydney. If I can eventually do Rocket Man and then link up The Shoe into it as well, I feel like it would unlock a mental block that I have about grades in climbing and how grades are more just like guides. Many climbers, myself included, are often locked into the thought that if a grade is too high then it must be very hard and that it cant be done.

I so pysched and
cannot wait to get back on the rock and dial down the moves. Also my mate Stu says hes got some good problems with hard mantles on them for me to improve my mantling skills.

Ps. Hurry up Winter! Need cooler temps for harder bouldering!!

Pps. I could do with some Oporto Nuggets right now.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

K2 & Lucky 7

It's been over a year since I've been to Bonnet Bay. Last year it took 3 visits to work and send K2, which is an awesome V5 with alot of cool moves on good holds and a desperate mantle to finish it off. At the time, K2 was the only thing I was capable to work on though I briefly tried the first few moves on Lucky 7.

Young crusher!
Photo by Nam Tran

This year, I'm much stronger and experienced which opened up many more lines for me to work on at Bonnet Bay. I never realised the concentration of hard lines in a small cave that this crag offers. I will definitely be back to further work on a V8 that involves small crimps and a tricky foot sequence as well as a cool looking V10 that will be a long term project.

Arriving at 11:30, it was already quiet warm and despite having only 4-5hrs sleep, my mate Rob and I had a successful trip.
We had no energy and no pysche in the morning and were falling of a V2 warm up. It felt like it was going to be a long day.

Rob on top of K2.
Photo by Nam Tran

After only a few tries, Rob work out a sequence for K2 and then cruised his way to the top!

We moved onto Lucky 7 which I believe to be a very solid V7. It's very very technical and with alot of moves in a short distance. A very good line - probably the best V7 around as my mate Stu says and I agree.

Me on Lucky 7.
Photo by Danh Nguyen.

Both of us had very different sequences as I'm much shorter and have a much smaller arm span that Rob. Despite that, we both had to deal with a very frustrating move to catch a small edge with a good thumb catch. The crux is a very wierd and low percentage move - I cannot work out how to do the move to be able to catch it everytime. The frustrating thing about this move is that it's the last move before you get big jugs.

Setting up to hit the crux!
Photo by Nam Tran.

I spent a good 3 hours on this line and on my last literal try for the day, I managed to catch the crux and made my way to the top. I had more than 10 attempts from the start and only to fall at the crux. I had so many different sequences and when I changed some beta, I would stuff up another part of the sequence. My day was far from smooth but in the end I manage to top out on this classic line.

A very satisfying tick indeed!

Tomorrow we're off the The Frontline again where I plan to work on Rocket Man and hopefully send Paratrooping.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tick & Tick!

Another successful weekend!
If The Shoe Fits V8 / Low Sloper Dan V7/8 Sent!

A3 on an unknown V3
Photo by Nam Tran

AV (now known as A3) and I arrived at The Frontline at around 12, it was very warm and slightly humid. We started warming up and quickly after that A3 easily sent a V3.

Bully about to bust it to the last hold!
Photo by Nam Tran

I had 1 shot on The Shoe and felt like the conditions were far from ideal for me to do this line. The first hold which is a sloper with very little bite felt very damp but after making much love to the hold with some chalk and a brush, it felt a little better.

After 5 or 6 initial tries, I was still swinging off the last move (the crux is to hold the cut). I took a short break and had something to eat. I got back on the problem and I held the cut! I started celebrating inside my head and while swinging back in my left hand slipped off the rock. I was so devastated and thought to myself that was the end and that was going to be the best shot I'll ever have. But with the moves still fresh in my mind, I brushed the holds again, chalked up my fingers and had another attempt. This time I managed to bust to every hold flawlessly and saw the line til the end!

This line has been one of my favourite lines and one of the lines I love the most in Sydney!
I've been wanting to do this problem when I first saw it 2 years ago. A year ago I was only able to do the first move but now to see it completed just motivates me to climb and train harder!
Great Success!

Mega swing on the last move of The Shoe.
Photo by Evan McCarthy

We then moved onto another boulder where Anna, Phil and A3 attempted Battle Of The Shirts. Phil found the pockets to be too small where the girls felt like I was a jug. Phil and A3 had a hard time on the problem where as Anna with her Daniel Woods like lock off power quickly dispatched this problem within 20-30 minutes.

Anna looking at the last hold on The Shoe.
Photo by Nam Tran.

Towards the end of the day, we moved camp to The Sloper Dan wall. After laying down the pads and without cleaning any of the holds, I decided to re-warm up again to start working on the Sloper Dan Extension. I quickly moved through the first few moves then before I knew it, I had completed the extension and now only had Sloper Dan to do, which I have dialed. Being nervous and surprised that I had made it this far, I nearly fell twice doing the V5 - once having a foot slip and another almost falling short of reaching for a hold.

What an incredible day, 2 projects completed!
My next plans for the Frontline is to complete Paratrooping and start working on Rocket Man and perhaps one day link If The Shoe Fits into Rocket Man which becomes L'Homme Obu V10. L'homme Obu would be a dream come true for me!


Friday, April 30, 2010

Boogie Knights

The Video of Boogie Knights which I posted about on The 6th Of April. The blog entry is somewhere below :)