This is my First ever blog and like with most things I do for the first time, I’m kind of freaking out. What if nobody reads this, leaving it to just sits in the boring blog internet hole for 100 years. I’m hoping that my writing fears is just like my fear of taking big whippers, once I’ve done it I realize that there was nothing to be scared of. Anyway let’s get this blog party started.
During the last 6 months, I think I have enjoyed my climbing more than ever. In October I spent 4 days in the Grampians, Victoria. I don’t usually get a lot of opportunities to go bouldering, so I wanted to do as much as I could in two days, it was really hot (37 degrees) making it difficult and exhausting to climb. Bring on night bouldering! I don’t know why, but I always feel like I have so much more fun climbing at night, it seems to be more of an adventure and we almost always get lost. I climbed a bunch of V8, V7, V6 and V5s, the highlight was flashing my first V8.
The other half of my trip was sports climbing, I didn’t know there was such good sports climbing in the Grampians. I spent the 2 days at a crag called the Gallery concentrating on flashing or onsighting as many climbs as I could. Being a really short person (140cm) onsighting is a challenge for me, I use intermediates that are not always obvious or clearly marked. So my goal for the last 6 months has been to become better at finding those intermediates or just committing to a dyno or a big scary move without worrying about the fall. I would have like to have spent a lot more time at the Grampians, definitely need to plan another trip maybe this time in August when it’s not so hot.
My favorite style of sports climbing is short, powerful and pumpy. I always enjoy spending time climbing in Nowra, NSW where there is a lot of this type of climbing. I was very lucky in 2015 because my Dad was working at Albatross, the Navy Base in Nowra. Dad was given a house to live in so this became my second home until the end of the year. We spent a lot of time going back and forth from the Blue Mountains where I normally live, I had endless climbing, fishing and swimming at the beach.
I decided to used this time to start preparing for my big trip to Europe in February 2016 by concentrated on doing as many mid-grade climbing as I could. Focusing on my weaknesses and building endurance, I tried to stay away from projecting anything too hard. I’m going to Europe for 4 months so I need my psyche to last, sometimes when I work on one thing I start to get frustrated and lose interest in climbing. I felt, if I couldn’t achieve a route in a couple of shots I would move on to something else. My highlights were when I sent ‘Plastic exploding inevitable’ 29 (8a) and the classic ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’ 28 (7c+)
I can’t wait to finally get to Europe, I feel like I have been waiting forever to get back there. We will start our trip in Spain, and go between my two favorite places Rodellar (tufas) and Margalef (pockets), I love climbing in Rodellar so much, that I named my dog TUFA.
I’m also really excited to try some new areas in Spain, I’m hoping to get to Santa Linya, Chulilla and Oliana to do longer routes. As it gets warmer we will head off to Italy and finish our trip in Germany (Frankenjura).
When I go on climbing trips my goal is always to do a little better than the last trip and improve in some way, I guess that’s no different to anyone else. The hardest part is training for these trips because I mostly train on my own it’s hard to keep my psyche and stay focused on what I want to achieve. This time has been a little bit different, I have put no pressure on myself to train super hard, I know what to expect and know exactly what to train for. I don’t think I’m as nervous as I have been for past trips, Im believing in my abilities a little more and have had a relaxed attitude about my goals. And a big bonus this time is that I have grown a little taller, I’ll probably be able reach holds that I was unable to before. There are a few projects in Rodellar that I would like to get back on and see how I go on them now. ‘The Mummy ‘33 (8c) is one. Another advantage of getting taller that I’m really happy about, is no more baby rides at fun parks for me, I can now go on the big roller coasters !!!