Thanks for joining us again on our next installment. When we last left you, we were enjoying our rest day. Although - don't you find that the first enforced rest day is the hardest one to take? You've only done two days of climbing and you know you should rest, but...ohhh, you're so excited and just want to do one more day...
Anyway, we played it smart and it was lucky, because coach Cujes (me) had some brutality in store at one of the premiere cliffs on the island, the varied Odyssey.
It started cold and we were snug in our down jackets, and then fingertips were frozen on the limestone of the warmups. Circe 6b, Femio 6a+ and Laertes 5c+ were all dispatched by the crew.
"What was that one like Glenn?"
"Dunno - couldn't feel a thing!"
Next it was time for a crag tour to find the line which inspired. With about 50-60 classics of all grades to choose from, it wasn't hard. For Matt, the steep and thuggy Lucky Luca 7b beckoned. For Owen, it was the gently overhung, polished and pumpy Amorpha 7b. Glenn and Susy were seduced by the long and technical Dafni 7b. And me, well, I had an old project from the 2008 camp Marci Marc 7c+ - that super enduro mega line. One of the most coveted routes on Kalymnos.
Owen only had a couple of hangs on his first shot on Amorpha 7b (remember, this is the guy who is supposed to be climbing 6a/18 because of his wrist). Solid, solid effort up front. We spent a good while sussing the top crux and getting the sequence just right. On his second shot, he went right through cleanly to the rest 4m from the top, and even though he rested well, the forearms were out of juice for the deadpoint to the two finger pocket - one move shy of the top. Tragedy! Seriously though, don't you love a route that takes you right to the edge? What a perfect proj - he'll be back for it later in the camp.
While Lucky Luca 7b may have "looked onsightable", it wasn't to be for Matt who discovered the start is mega bouldery on steep tufa snake pinches. Not surprising, he found some sweet kneebars and kneescums and came away with a smooth second shot send. Tidy work from the Coolum Kid.
Dafni 7b is a long and imposing, wandering line up a pure white sheet of limestone. Given Glenn's hardest route is 7a/23, the fact he got on this with no beta, placing the draws and working it out as he went was a bloody top effort. Susy then helped refine beta and they both had shots on it together. This is an ace way of figuring out a hard route, particularly if you both have different styles, as sometimes one person is better at unlocking the sequence and the other person benefits from that. Super fun. No sends, but good learnings and great progress. A potential goer for later in the trip.
So that leaves me on Marci Marc 7c+. The route is a full 30m long and overhangs about 10m or so. In 2008, I tried it several times, always avoiding the potential kneebar at half height. You have to climb out to it, put it in, and then climb back onto the line and I always thought it probably didn't allow much of a rest anyway. It certainly didn't feel good when I tried it. But here we are in 2010 and I'm in possession of our newly developed Upskill Friction kneebar pads, I thought it'd be wrong not to suit up and get into them. So I tried the kneebar and yep - pretty dang good with these pads! Second shot I climbed solidly from the ground, through to the kneebar, recovered, and then blitzed the crux. What a relief! 10m victory whipper from the top (thanks Susy's rope and Matt's soft catch) and I'm down.
After the big efforts on our projects, we hit the slabs for some no pressure fun. Sheree once again upped her tally of leading on routes such as Eumeo 4b, Argo 4c and Telemaco 5b, and we all played around on these fun slabs with cool features (big stones sticking out of the more weathered limestone).
Join us next time as we steepen things up at the dripping tufa wall of Ghost Kitchen!