November 18 2004
Back to the rock!
Well, it was a long winter, and there was some great climbing indoors, but you just can’t beat the real thing!
With sunset not due until 8.00pm it was time for us to head back outside on a Thursday night. First stop, Boulder Bridge.
I got to the rock at about 6.15pm and despite some earlier ribbing from Tom about getting there so late, was the first to arrive.
It was good to catch up with Jason who was there with a friend (whose name I have forgotten – sorry).
While chatting to Jason he informed me that while reading the October 2004 Arapiles trip news he was interested to note that rather than climbing the grade 16 variant of Yo-Yo we had actually climbed the grade 18 version! Now without any real evidence it is very difficult to point the finger of blame, but boy, it’s very hard not to suspect a Sand-Bag! Tom deliberated long and hard before suggesting we climb Yo-Yo (see the photo in Awards for a picture of him just prior to telling me what we should climb).
Not long after Tom, Meg and Dan arrived ready to climb. Well, Dan and Tom were ready to climb; Meg was not so sure she would be able to get up anything.
After chatting to the Feral we agreed that I would lead Clea (11) placing lots of gear so Meg could follow and look at the placements, gaining experience on how to place. Meanwhile Tom suggested to Dan that he lead Muesli.
In a surprising move, Tom immediately backed down from this perfect opportunity for a Sand-Bag, and told Dan that he would climb it. Soft Gump, very soft indeed!
Meanwhile, I started up Clea, placing an unusually low piece that I didn’t recall ever placing before. A few moves later I looked around for the hex placement that I knew was coming up, but couldn’t find it. Thinking that I must have gone past it or that it was the placement I used first off, I kept going, wondering why on earth there weren’t as many placements as I thought there was. Even the bomber number 11 hex at half height looked really crap and I climbed past without bothering to place. Moving to the left for the second half of the route I looked up expecting to see the familiar large overhanging large block that the direct route climbs over and to my amazement, noticed that it was missing! My first thought was that it had dropped, but then immediately, I looked off to my right, and saw Clea five metres away…
“Adam, which way does Muesli go?” Tom called out to me.
“It goes straight up from where you are, but I wouldn’t trust anything I say, I am on the wrong route!”
I had inadvertently climbed The Thinker (15), which explained why the route seemed a little harder than 11, and why the gear placements seemed all wrong. You Idiot Gimp!
So much for teaching Meg about lead climbing, I got the bit about route finding wrong!
As I sat there belaying Meg up The Thinker Tom called out to double-check the direction of the finish for Muesli (15). Pointing out the normal finish I noted that finishing direct was a fair bit harder and run-out… Realising that the direct finish was where he had his first lead fall Tom made exactly the choice I expected. Having a quiet laugh to myself as Tom headed up the direct finish I turned my attention back to the Feral who was making short work of her climb. Meg climbed really well, doing little to back up her earlier prediction of struggling on the rock.
After abseiling down to the base we headed across to Mount Olive (16) a tricky route with good pro that really tests out the skills and locking off capabilities of climbers while they work out the moves with a couple of pumpy sections at ¾ height. As I moved through the crux I began to consider the wisdom of my choice of route. A month earlier Meg had responded to an email from me about what climbs everyone had wanted to do this summer telling me that her ambition for this summer was to onsight a grade 16 route. “Hmm maybe I’m pushing her a little too hard,” I thought.
With her business face on, JennyBob started up Clea. Leaning over the edge I watched as she methodically made her way up examining the gear I had placed before removing it. Within no time the Feral was at the first crux and moved through without any fuss. Moments later, Meg got to the second, harder and much pumpier crux. After a couple of faith moves requiring letting go of the good holds in order to progress, Meg was amazingly through the crux and on the face! “Well done Feral, you’re practically up!” I said.
In her usual pragmatic manner, Meg replied: “I’m not up yet.”
First night outdoors and Megan had accomplished her goal for the summer. What’s next I wonder.
While this was happening Tom took the biggest top-rope fall for a long time: about 3-4 metres. Apparently Lieutenant Dan is a little loose on the belay. Tom was climbing an old favourite of Andy’s: Palm Oil (22). Described as “hard and scary” in the guidebook, it certainly proved to be that. Tom didn’t end up getting up the route, but from all accounts gave it a damned good try before blowing out.
Dan made it to the top after a few drops and liked the route so much that he decided to give it another go. In true Sand-Baggers style he completed the route in the dark with Gump’s bike light providing some illumination.
Once Dan was back down, Gimp tied in to climb Palm Oil. Ten minutes later, after Tom and Dan were over acting like old women trying to find better place to hang the light, deciding that Meg’s suggestion to just hold it was best. Climbing Palm Oil with a light shining from below is not the easiest of tasks, sloping holds look like bomber ledges, while ledges manage to hide from view. Taking everything into consideration I am convinced that if I had climbed the route in daylight I would still have dropped.
Well, the word verbose is now booming loudly in my mind, so I will sign off now, and hope that Stu has managed to stay awake long enough to read the whole thing. Cheer up Stu; at least I gave you an excuse not to write anything for a while!
November 4 2003
I think we need to start with a discussion about Bushfire Lighting, that ancient art which involves going out and starting a big raging fire in order to get a raging fire going in your pants once again because you are a BIG SOFT-COCK! Now, you have your average garden variety Bushfire Lighter, such as Quang and Boz, who have a reasonable reason for not climbing, and then you have the "couldn't get it up on a tour of the Viagra factory escorted by Heather Graham!" Andy and Matt! You know who you are! Earlier this week when discussing whether we should climb indoors or outdoorsyou both voted for indoors, which made the vote 3 (indoors) to 1 (outdoors), resulting in the decision to climb indoors, with Andy saying that he would not be able to climb if we went outside. Guess what? No Andy or Matt!
Gimp had a big day today First of all, he started with one of those comments that jump out before you have a chance to edit them;
Gimp, to Feral: " Have you lost weight? Or just had a haircut?"
Hmmm yes, well, no defence really.
Soon after, Meg had just finished putting her harness on then realised she needed to go to the ladies room. Gimp, being the helpful Gimp that he is, reassured the Feral that this was not a big problem as she had a harness with a drop-seat in it. After a quick description of how to pee in a harness with a drop-seat, off went Megan, to give it a go.
When JennyBob returned, Gimp checked to see if the harness was properly clipped back together and produced a long strip of toilet paper from Megan's rear! Oops! Classic error!
What Megan thinks happened
After going about her business, the Feral tidied everything up and then had a great idea: "I have a bit of a runny nose tonight, how clever of me if I put a bit of toilet paper in my chalkbag for later use!" She thought When The Gimp produced the paper, Megsy deducted that she had accidentally tucked the loo paper into her harness by mistake, and walked out with a trailing piece of toilet paper! Silly Feral!
What really happened
As soon as she left, Gimp said to Gump in a low conspiratorial tone:
"You know what would be really funny?"
"Yeah, if she came back with toilet paper trailing behind."
With that, Gimp ran off to the toilets and returned with a strip of paper in his pocket, which he sneakily retrieved when pretending to check Meg's harness.
The fact that Megan had tried to put some paper in her chalkbag was a complete coincidence!
Naughty Gimp and Gump laughed as hard as Megan did, but for a different reason!
The rest of the night "tailed off" from there, but there were still some notable occurrences:
Gimp got an award
Tom tried Andy's eliminate climb from last week, verdict: "You guys are sicko's!"
Adam and Gump threw themselves at a new grade 24 route that was a little tricky, and Adam strained a tendon, while Tom just blew out.
Adam worked out how to do the start to a no-holds eliminate, meaning next week, completely clean ascent! (hint he had to take a running jump).
We had a new climber out tonight. Welcome to Simon, I hope you had a good time, Climbing can change your life, we look forward to seeing you out again often... Oh, and we don't care what everyone else thinks, in our eyes you have an Honourable Member... oops, I mean are an Honourable Member!
Oh, by the way, what type of idiots follow the new guy out of the car park and straight into a dead end street? Thinking (God knows why) that Simon knew a shortcut we followed him as he drove out of the car park, only to discover that, surprise surprise he had no idea where he was going!
And as for the "oh I think you will be in trouble tomorrow" lady at Red rock Noodle Bar who scoffed at me when I said the Laksa would not be hot enough: "Not hot at all Lady!" Thanks to Bizarro's little experiment when he gradually ordered me hotter and hotter food at Hawkers.
Finally, drink lots of beer you Sand-Baggers, Gimp's new beer-scheme will see us buying a rack of cams for no additional outlay! (in 2020).