Friday, June 10, 2005

Separate reality, solo again after 19 years!

Separate reality, one of the most iconic roof climbs in Yosemite Valley, has had recently its second solo ascent. In 1986, the pictures of Wolfgang G├╝llich soloing this impresive, horizontal, 6m crack, hanging 200m above the Merced River went around the world. Hainz Zak, who shot Wolfgang's iconic pictures made the second ascent. More info here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Wet Corner

I'm well on my way to becoming a bailing out expert. I did my BSc at Wye Valley, with One for All ... (5a HVS), when I had to bail out very close to the top because of nasty rain and a very, very slippery slab. Last Saturday was the turn of Cenotaph Corner (5c E1), a climb that needs no introduction. We arrived late in the morning at the bottom of the corner, after a nasty scramble on very slippery rock. The right wall of the corner was completely wet, in fact, a sort of subtle water fall. Nonetheless, I decided that after all the effort I had had to have a go at it. It seems that I didn't learn the lesson properly in Wye Valley. Anyway, a wet horrorshow ensued that left me hopelessly hanging from the middle of the climb. I ended wet, cold and numb, and with a well earned MSc on bailing out. Never try your first E1 in the rain! I am now looking for the PhD ...

Main wall of Angel Falls goes free!

Angel Falls, with its 978m drop, is the highest water fall on earth. Its waters fall along a massively overhanging, ancient sandstone wall. A team of British, Russian and Venezuelan climbers made a clean first free ascent along the steepest part of the wall. 31 pitches in total, with 9 graded E7, 19 days of climbing, 14 on the wall. No bolts or pegs left on the wall. More info at Truly an amazing accomplishment!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Coronation Crack

Coronation Crack
Originally uploaded by dycotiles.
Last bank holiday weekend went for a hard sandstone double session - Harrison's on Sat and High Rocks on Mon. On Sat I sent my long stanging personal project: The Flakes, at 6a (or hard 5c depending on the guidebook), it is one of the true classics at Harrison's. Monday at HR was a crack jamming session, where I finally sent Coronation Crack (5c), probably the best hand jamming crack in Southern Sandstone! The best thing is that my long friend and climbing master Pascal couldn't do it! This is the first time ever that I beat him in a climb, which made me feel very proud, specially considering that it was his birthday!

During Monday morning it rained very hard, so the slabs at High Rocks were too wet to be climbed, so we settle for a little bit of music when the sunshine finally appeared.

At the end of the night we went to Pascal's house to celebrate his brirthday. Pascal got a bit pissed and afterward tried to eat one of his kittens!