Six weeks in the Blue Mountains..... what a prospect! Where do i camp? what do i eat? what climbs do i try? What about the weather? I know..... Who cares, lets just get out there and do it! Everyone else's parents wanted them to stay home for Christmas back here in NZ so i booked my flight and began my journey alone 2 days later! I arrived and was handed some camping gear and got pointed in the direction of the aussie bush! I set up camp and got straight in to it the next day.
For the first couple of weeks i was climbing with my good old friend and a local Blue Mountain climber Matt Norgrove! This was really good for me because he took me around to all the best spots and chucked me straight on to the best and hardest climbs there! The first things that i realized that were different from the year before when i was here was that i could reach all the moves. There was no more getting shut down on some ridiculous reachy move half way up the wall. This gave me a huge confidence boost and i was buzzing from then on!
Since i had been here before i had been to many of the spots and i had a faint idea of the climbs and craggs that i would like to spend most of my time at this time. It didn't take me to long to get used to the powerful goey style of climbing and then i was straight in to scouting out my projects and shredding my fingers on the sharp cristaly crimps of the beautiful red blue mountain sand stone.
During this trip i ticked off:
Hairline 2000 28/7c+/5.13a (2nd go)
Green Eggs And Ham 28/7c+/5.13a (2nd go)
Onion Extended 28/7c+/5.13a (flash)
Don't Believe The Tripe 29/8a/5.13b
Big Wednesday 31/8b/5.13d (second 8b)
Some time after Christmas my good friend Jesse Offner came over and joined me in the bush to do this supposedly fun thing called "rock climbing", a bit unknown of in jesses world in the last year since he has been hard at work at university but of course it didnt take him long to gain the strength and power necessary and he began ticking some impressive climbs up to 28/7c+/5.13a.
Not to long later another good friend Adam Steens known as Pnut came over and joined us. As expected it didnt take him long to adapt to the style and he also began getting an impressive ticklist with climbs up to 27/7c/5.12d. this was impressive because he only ended up having about a week of climbing due to consistent poor weather for the last week!
I began this trip wearing my Five Ten Arrowheads which i really liked because to me they were a really good all round shoe which helped in the Blue Mountains because each area was a complete different style and angle! Unfortunately they were already pretty thrashed before the trip so it didnt take long for them to die.. after this i used my Five Ten Anasazi Velcros which i also found very good for the blue mountain climbing style because there are a lot of small edges to stand and trust your foot on. With about a week and a half to go in the trip i received a pair of Five Ten Blackwings which i immediately came to like but didn't end up climbing in them to much because they needed to be warn in!
During the trip we had many exciting adventures but the one that stands out would definitely be Dumpster Diving! With about 2 weeks to go in the trip we were shown this verry handy and awesome way of living/eating cheap. Its called help-your-self shopping. You start off helping yourself to a supermarket trolley then dive in to their main food bins and get what eva you can! Don't worry its not illegal (i think) just embarrassing, but who cares - we never going to see them again!... This made every shopping really cheap because after this we would go in to the super market and get what we didn't get out of the bin. Some of the best things that we got out of the bins were unlimited bread and some awesome chocolates called Gu.... soo good! On the way back to our bush camp we'd stop by the local backpackers and, using the security code given to us by a mate, we'd grab a quick shower. All made for a pretty cheap trip!
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