I’ve been busy with work going offshore numerous times and been tagging along with Remi to Kalbarri every chance I get.
I’ll save my Kalbarri shenanigans for another time but I’ve been working on Kalbarri Gold and It’s getting warm, the mosquitoes are starving so the season has come to an end.
I asked myself how do I keep working on my roof climbing fitness during the summer? The only other roof that popped into my mind was K.G.B. at Wilyabrup. I remember the first time I saw the roof and I was super intimidated! It looked really scary, had ground fall potential and the grade made me feel like it was way out of my league.
After coming home from the states, I went down south on a climbing trip with Brian Tan and they set up a top anchor for K.G.B. I got on a climb on the left of it called “Blondes Have More Fun” which shared the anchor.
As Brian worked it, I had the opportunity to clean it. It was burly and bouldery but really enjoyed it. That was probably the turning point which made me realised it might be possible. If he never got on it that day.. I doubt I’d be here trying it… The seed was planted =)
So hence it was the first thing to come to mind when I thought about a roof project for Summer. Gareth Wood mentioned a few months ago that he would be keen but we ended up checking out some of Andy Lampard’s boulder problems at Wilyabrup instead.
The stars aligned and we were both free on the weekend and psyched to work the roof. We drove down early Saturday morning, warmed up and hit the climb. I totally got spanked going for the first throw.. Took a fall and bruised my heels… I ended up aiding, touching up the holds and trying the moves as I moved through the climb. We left the gear on and just worked it.
I had some beta that I remembered from last time and Woody had some beta from the infamous “Rod ascent”. So off we went.. Burn after burn.. Bouncing beta back and forth from one another. We were so psyched we had like 4 back to back burns and it was awesome! With each burn we got so much progression and found little bits of beta that we would’ve have discovered on our own making the climb progressively easier.
If we had worked the climb on our own, there’s no way we would’ve made so much progression in one day. After taking a near ground fall on the first attempt, I thought damn..this climb is definitely not giving itself up easily. But 4 burns later, our sequence was completely different from how we tried it on our first go and if you look closely, we pretty much do the moves the same way =)
We were stoked by the end of the day despite how battered our right ring fingers were =P we pretty much had the sequence dialled with pre-placed gear and just needed to link it AND place gear.
Back we went the following morning.. At the top of our warm up, Woody unfortunately dropped one of his climbing shoes into a crack which is now right in the guts of Wilyabrup… Bugger..I was really hoping Woody would take the first lead and work on the gear placement beta …. Time to man up.
I got on the climb and it was spooge central… Everything was wet, slimey and most of the chalk was gone. I aided through it just to rechalk all the holds.. A hold would be chalked, I’d step on it and all the chalk would be replaced by wet rock… I tried pulling through some moves and my hands would slip off, hand jams didn’t stick and foot cams popped right out.
It wasn’t looking good but whilst I was up there, I thought I may as well work out rest positions to place gear and try to redial the moves… Surprisingly.. I felt like i was ready and I started getting nervous.
I jumped back on for a burn and I suddenly struggled with the start moves… I unknowingly changed my sequence and it wasn’t working. We spent some time figuring it out before I was finally happy.
With dinner plans that night, we had to leave by 12pm … Time check… 11am…i had 1 burn left… I decided to chill out and have a chat with Katie and Glen who also spent the weekend there… it wasn’t long before Woody gave me “the look” … It was time =)
I thought to myself, it’s ok if I don’t get it cause its a Summer project… And I’ll come back for it… I shoed up, did the high steps to get to the first solid hold and placed my first bits of gear in… It didn’t go in perfectly.. I readjusted and kept going. Moved through the holds and got into position for launch.. I felt good.. I threw, moved my feet up and bumped big! I hit the jug… I bumped again to switch my hand position and it stuck…. IT WAS ON! I moved through our beta that we spent all Saturday working on … I was in execution mode. I kept moving through the bouldery section and then I hit the first set of jugs… Spooge…. I hesitated but Woody cheered me on.. I didn’t think… Just kept moving and threw for the lip before my right hand started to slip on the spoogy lower handhold… Feet cut but back up they went… I slammed in the final cam… Had a quick shake and threw big for the last hard move… I missed the hold.. I slipped down.. Bumped up again and missed again… My hand slipped down … I thought… Shit I’m so close.. And I’m going to get shut down with one move away and the negative thoughts and anxiety started to build up in my mind… I gave it one last effort.. I bumped and I just managed to hit the edge of the hold…turned the three finger latch to a four finger crimp, brought the feet up and I was on top =)
I never thought I’d be able to do the climb with pre-placed gear let alone placing gear. I’m so stoked.
I really owe it to both Brian and Woody cause I couldn’t have done it in my own. Two is always better than one.