Climbing! Climbing! Climbing!
These past two weekends have been filled with sport climbing, trad climbing, gym climbing, slab climbing, crack climbing, face climbing.. climbing climbing climbing! Thus, this post is going to be a bit climby heavy. I have included an infographic at the end in case this all sounds like rocket science. I also have a lot of pictures but I’ll have to upload them another time.
Last last weekend, Matt (American masters student at Canterbury), Lauren and I discovered that the seconds bakery we went to in the summer sells monstrous bags of slice for $2. It was awesome sharing it with everyone at Cattlestop Crag, though it may have led to my inability to complete a top rope on Shimmering Jelly (20, highly recommended). My belly felt like shimmering jelly. I’ll have to go back sans-slice (no way!). I also did my first ‘real’ trad climb on a 14 crack at Gibraltor Rock (Coup de Grace, 14). I may or may not have had a meltdown in the middle of the climb. You can ask some of Lauren’s friends if that happened or not.
This past weekend we did an extended weekend near Mt Cook at Sebastapol Bluffs. I was planning on going there in the summer last year on the way from Queenstown to Christchurch but didn’t make it as the girl I was supposed to meet up with changed plans (needless to say I got to spend a couple more days with the crazy Germans/Austrians I travelled with and instead went towards Otago Peninsula & Dunedin, so that was fine too). It is known for it’s long/tall bolted slab climbs.
We had beautiful weather all 3 days. There wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. The first day we ran into Glen & Greg, who I climbed with last summer in Wanaka. The plan too is to go down to Wanaka towards the end of September to climb for a while again. We also met up with Craig one evening, who is down south ski touring. I travelled with him and Pia from Takaka to Wanaka. AND EVEN (!!!) we met up with Brendan, who I spent a lot of time with/travelled with around Nelson/Takaka. He’s been spending the past month being extremely hardcore (12 hour scree walk? no thanks) and ski touring up around the mountains near Mt Cook. We knew he’d be in the ‘area’, but it just so happened that he walked out the day before we got there. It’s too bad his feet hurt too much to climb.
Anyway, the climbing! We tried to hit lots of the recommended and highly recommended climbs. The first day we climbed on Red Wall: Red Arete (15, 4 pitches, 90m) and Shark Attack (17, 3 pitches, 87m) which are two of the most well-known climbs. It was a good introductory day.
The second day was a shorter day and we went to Kingfisher Slabs. There I led a Keep Left Arete (18, 35m) and Serias (20, 35m). Serias is the best lead I have done yet. I really love slab climbing and this was by far the hardest as it was really long and the holds were so small. I had to take a lot of breaks. We also walked up to the viewing point of the rapidly retreating (very muddy looking) Tasman Glacier.
The last day we climbed at Poo Pond Crag (named that as it is right behind the sewage ponds, haha!) where we climbed a funny arete called Scorpio’s Sting (16, 25m), The Snout (14, 22m) and Poo Pond Slab (16, 2 picthces, 50m). This area was very vegetated/mossy.
I’d love to go back to the area because it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Not sure if it would be more rock climbing focused, but maybe more tramping/moutaineering/skiing focused. I want to go back.
Other then this, been up to the usual shenanigans. We had a charity bake-off at work last week for CureKids so (with Kat‘s suggestion) I made an oreo cookie dough cheesecake. Everyone LOVED it, it disappeared like wild fire and I won the cake category. It still gets mentioned once or twice a day. I think that’s why they keep extending my contract.
Oh! Monday I met up with Kevin who is my (fellow exchange student) friend John’s identical twin. John is from Iowa and goes to school in Colorado. That was really neat. I’m hoping to see Kevin & Cam again this weekend.