Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Good News or Bad News?Rain, Rain, Rain. I’m talkin’ about a costal African low pressure system that will have you crying to mommy. We have been passing the times pretty hard lately folks. Roads are completely washed out, boulders are soaked, and our fire wood is now sopping wet. Keeping the fire going has turned into prioirty one. I awoke today to the 7th straight day of serious downpouring and half the crew has now braved it to Cape Town to climb in a gym and/or get the hell out of the house. The forcast is calling for another few days of rain and those leaving this trip earlier may have seen their last dry day at the boulders. I have seen this before, and with the prices of plane tickets well above $2000, it makes staying here any less time than two months seem less than economic, especially when the rains come.
On a lighter note, last week we all enjoyed an amazing week of weather and climbing. The compression boulder I showed Daniel went. On his 3rd day he linked it 2nd try to the finish. Athough it isn’t the proudest or most magestic of lines here in the Rocklands, but it has amazing movement, and it was a pleasure to watch him unlock the moves. “Derailed” is ungraded for now, and will wait for a repeat. It is likely in the 8B/+ range and is on impeccable stone. The alternate 4 move finish out an obvious prow would add another possible v14 finish, and if ever completed, would suggest a 9 move monster harder than anything I’ve ever seen.
In other news Noah Kaufman (who has refuses to take off his one piece red santa jammies unless he is out bouldering) has finally sent his dream climb, Shosholoza V12, and opened (no pun intended) “The Hatchling” aka “The Cracked Egg Project” Serioulsy, no where else in the world could you be both so lucky to find such a boulder as to be blessed with a hard V11 directly out its center. This place never ceases to amaze me.
The “Sky Project” is the sickness my friends. This amazing line was found last year at the Black Label sector by the Austrians, and is maybe one of the best boulder problems in the world. A true 5 star contender and very pure. This project was enough for Tony to spend his last few days hiking to the boulder on his crutches and trying the moves until far after dark, once he saw it. The project is an almost perfect 3 mover out a large 45 degree overhanging boulder on great incut holds. The problem has only been tried a move in, by pulling onto a perfect incut over head at arms reach, and making the massive move to a nice hold below the lip. After many days of effort by Tony and Paul, this move stayed elusive until finally Daniel unlocked it, and thus has opened the second half of the Sky Project. Only after someone makes the first move from an obvious sit start jug, will the boulder truly be complete. This first move has yet to go, and will surely knock this classic into the V14/15 range. But what do I really know? Afterall, I’m trying to hopefully knock back a few V9s. Plus, I had a hard time believing “Derailed” could even be done, much less in 3 days. So, maybe I’ll spare you the cosmic spaydowns…
Or maybe not…Tommy, Beth, and Courtney have arrived with the upmost psyche! Tommy laid it all down on his first jet-lagged day by flashing: “Black Mango Chutney” V11, and then ticking off Lamiche’s “Barracuda” V11, and Wilder’s “Shark Arete” V10 shortly there after. And now that we have sustantional girl power in the house, it often smells of Apple Pear Crisp and Oatmeal Cookies. Thats right. Unfortunitly, Beth is nursing a finger injury suffered in Yosemite jumaring for Tommy, (real cool TC!) and will need another week or so before she cranks down with the rest of us. Nonetheless, she is such a pleasure to have at the boulders.
Rain Out our Window
I’ve also been continuing my slow attack on Noah’s chess game, and am beginning to last more than 10 mintues. I have at least 2 solid opening sequences now, and for at least a few waining moments, have even had upperhand at the table. But still, no avail in the end game. My goal is to take a game or two from the doctor before we leave. I’ll keep you updated. Odds and spreads are up for this and bets will be taken by Justin Roth (justin.roth @ skrammedia.com.) $100 non-refundable minimums and for which all proceeds will go towards my safe and sane return to the states. Please. So anyway, it goes. Cooper Roberts gets here this afternoon and we will be a full house again. We all look foward to Coop’s energy and will all likely be downing a few more passionfruit bradies and watching several more sunrises. Really, I pray the weather clears so that my work can continue. Meanwhile, I’ll be in check…here on the couch, and on the chess table