Sunday, 11 December 2011

Climbing Coolum Style with Andy Richardson

JJ putting on a show for the crowd on Evil Wears No Pants
With white beaches, blue seas, good cafes and a big cave Coolum sounded like the perfect place for a quick getaway from work. The beach in the morning then climbing in the afternoon, it doesn't get much better than that. I had seen pictures of the cave with it's crazy looking features and couldn't wait to pull on. I knew that knee bar pads were essential, and there was a really good local scene, but even my wildest dreams would not of prepared me for the style of climbing that I was in for.

As I walked up to the crag it was buzzing with the noise of climbers and as I arrived the first person I saw was none other than Expedition Equipment team mate and the God Father of Coolum climbing JJ Obrien. Full of psyche JJ rolled out the red carpet, gave me the crag tour (i really didn't need to print off the guide) and I was tied in.

Crazy pinches and wild horn like features throw up endless sequences with every hold having at least 10 ways that you can hold it. Then theres the knee bars,  toe hooks and bum scums and......your head is spinning in this 3D kaleidoscope wonderland of holds.

Wild features, awesome holds, great moves and 3 STARS! "Spoonman 28"

My second route at the crag was Screaming Insanity 26, i was lost in a sea of slopey pinches and getting insanely pumped. I reached the anchors ready to slump on the rope only to hear JJ's chirpy voice yell "Play on!" Above me was another few bolts, the extension called Wholly Calamity, ahh how could i say NO.  I made to the second last hold but failed to reach the last and sailed through the air with a pump that i am sure lasted for 5 days.

I spent the week getting schooled on knee bars, hanging on the rope, getting frustrated with working out how to hold every hold, hanging on the rope, getting excited in all the ways you can hold every hold, cutting my knees, fore arms, chest, back or anywhere i could get friction on some crazy feature and some times even got to the top of a route. I met a psyched bunch of locals, like Ian and Max who greeted us with friendly smiles almost everyday as they would be working the moves on their projects.

Pumped, sweaty and all cut up after i used every trick in the book to onsight "La Cucaracha Airhorns 25"
Eventually I de-pumped, learnt how to climb Coolum style and sent some cool routes.
And a BIG thanks to JJ for, well, just being JJ. Go there for a climb and you'll see what i mean.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on Airhorns - the top is baffling to onsight I thought!