The Singularity

On Saturday with cold, windy, near perfect conditions, I finally climbed my project at the Pulpit. I have named it 'The Singularity'. I started working on it in September last year before the season got too warm. I started back on it in March this year and have been stubbornly trying it pretty much every week since then. 18 days and 67 attempts. I imagine that will seem pretty insane to most people, but I did enjoy the process of doing it. It is a bouldery route up a smooth 30° overhung wall, with an unusual and very powerful crux coming at move 20 after you have skipped a clip, resulting in big swooping falls back to a few metres above the ground. This was designed to keep my belayers from falling asleep. I probably fell from this spot on 50+ occasions. The crux is the hardest sequence I have ever encountered on rock.

I have proposed the (no doubt controversial) grade of 32. I am not "setting" the grade of the route - it's simply my best guess; something to be confirmed by future ascentionists. We hopefully have a brigade of strong southerners coming up for a winter trip this year, so I hope they'll be keen to jump on and tell me what's what. Regardless though, it's my hardest piece of climbing, and I'm really happy to have done it, and sad that the long, repetitive journey is over.

Thank you firstly to my main climbing partner, Duncan Steel. Duncan helped me envisage the line, and belayed and encouraged me through the entire, drawn out saga, as he has on all my hardest climbs over the past eight years when I started climbing with him as a grade 21 climber. I can't imagine the level of frustration there must be for a belayer to see their climber fall at the same spot on a climb for months on end. As a twist of fate, on the successful shot, it was Gareth who was holding the rope, and Duncan was up on a climb around the corner and out of sight! Thanks also to everyone else who has held the rope - and therefore been catapulted - Ross F, Gareth L, Glenn F & Adam P.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has given an encouraging word. I'm the least hippy-like person you'll find, but I am a believer in vibe, psyche, positive energy or whatever you want to call it. When you're at the cliff, you can choose to contribute positivity (encouragement, energy, help, laughs, happiness) which enriches the climbing day, or the opposite. I'm sure you've all experienced it. Whether it's two people or twenty, there's nothing better than a day where the cliff is really firing with positivity. Individual successes often come so much easier.

Good luck on your personal challenges. Dream big!


Neil Monteith said...

Super mega effort mate!

JJ said...

Mate way to go, bring on Attack Mode!