Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Awesome Autumn

Sunset last night in Moyston

The last couple of weeks have been great, the weather has been superb and the company excellent. I have been milking daylight savings for all its sunny, glorious worth before it slinks off down into a dingy cave for the winter hibernation. I have never been particularly bothered about the clocks going back, because it heralds the true beginning of everyone's favourite season: bouldering season, but this year is different. It means the cessation of long evenings at Bundaleer, followed by delicious curry in Halls Gap, it means no more trad sessions at the watchtower, arriving home just in time for bed and I will miss it. So until October, I bid you adieu sir.
Pending depression aside, there has been plenty happening and, of course, holidays start on Friday, so I will attempt to optimize the climbing to work around the house ratio and smash as many boulders in as possible. Scoots is coming down to join the fray and Big Al is arriving early, so it should be fantastic.
Last week I managed to pull a nice arvo session with Chris at Bundaleer. We moseyed up to the cliff post school and set about our business. For Chris, this was some heinous off width pile of chossy shit, that I swore black and blue that I would not go near. After belaying him, in total fear, I came to the sickening realisation that the anchors were miles away and would be no help to anyone trying to rap down and clean the route, so up I went. I even managed a couple of jams, in between filthy, sandy laybacks that is. What a horror show. Bon effort mate, you are a sick man, no doubt...

The Castlereigh Line, 29. About to do the handjam

For myself, it was the resumption of hostilities on the Castlereigh line (29). I wasn't sure how things were going to pan out, having come off the last move the week before. I was unable to do that move again off the rope and thought I may be in for a proper siege. Wrong, I did the move first go, then second go as I was putting the draws on. It felt pretty good, so I went for it from the ground. A couple of minutes later I found myself at the last move, gazing at the slot longingly, feet high, knee turned slightly in, launch. Bam, fingertips in the front of the slot, a quick re-set, match and then reach for the top. It's nice when a plan comes together. Classic route, the only detraction being the anchors are another 40 foot up a slab of doom, so I leapt off, happy to lave the E5 run out for trad days.
In no time, it was the weekend again and I was off to the South with big Al. We overindulged on Friday night and were both a little worse for wear on Saturday, so it was lucky that we spent the whole weekend trudging around just about every crag imaginable looking for new problems. It was one of those frustrating occasions where we walked about 2hours for every problem we climbed. Not much of a return that. What we did find was really good, but nevertheless it was a heartbreaker. Thanks Al, I promise we'll find something next week...

Big Al on Roll Over and Die, V7
Howling with the Wolves, V9**

Somehow looking like I know what I am doing,
however far from the truth that may be.

Just to lighten the load on Monday, it was time for my sheep to be sheared. I am not sure if anyone remembers my last encounter with this chore, but safe to say that I have not improved. One of the poor things looks like DeNiro from Taxi Driver and another was lucky to escape with any of its skin intact. Thanks Ross and Gary for all your help and big respect out to any shearers. Brutal job.

Gary and Ross, showing the punter how it's really done.

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