It dawned on us a little bit cold and a little bit windy. Good friction though! The module we completed in the morning over breakfast was on "The art of warming up" and it was an appropriate one for the day.
The sector Spartacus is one of my favourites. I think the group is getting sick of me saying something is my favourite. They're all my favourites! Well, not really, but there's so many good things here. Spartacus is a large orange bowl, with long tufa-streaked vertical walls on either side, and then slabs on the outer margins of these. Nearly all the routes are long and require all of your 70m rope, and sometimes more than this! You know I love the long routes, so Spartacus is always going to be a winner.
When we got up there, there was a Norwegian climber on the namesake route Spartacus 7b+ which pumps right through the main bowl, and it was clear he was right at his limit. His Aussie beleayer told us as he moved through the overhang that this was his fourth day on this, his project. Well - that got us all psyched, and when he started to shake and wobble on the final moves, we all lent our cheers to his grunts and yells, and he topped out by the skin of his teeth. Always sooo good to see a great fight! Inspiring!
Tales of Greek Heroes is a super long 6b+ slab on the right margin of the bowl, and only just allows one to return to terra firma on a 70m rope. The boys led this, and the girls top-roped to warm up. Sam kept saying she was off, yet for whatever reason didn't fall and kept truckin' to the anchors. It's an interesting route - some find it quite hard for the grade, and yet for others, this is their first route at 6b+, so who knows!
Harikiri in the main bowl is Sam's project from last trip. The modest grade of 6b belies its overhung nature, pumpy climbing and sequency cross throughs. Glenn discovered this when he fell off with pumped arms and "numbish" fingers. Even Sheree came off. That's rare! Matt flashed it and said "This should be 7a! Plus!" Lol. Well, maybe not, but it is an ideal tough project for someone at the grade. Susy climbed it again as part of her warm-up and climbed it much more smoothly than on the last camp, finding the classy crossover this time.
Les Amazones is a super popular 30m 6c which takes the most tufarish section of wall right of the bowl. Matt and Owen (see pic below on the sit-down rest) both climbed this straight up, loving the tufas and pockets. Matt declared it his route of the day.
There's a brand spanking new extension to Les Amazones called Ares 7b+ which I'd heard was a beautiful route. I botched the onsight dynoing off a one finger pocket to another one finger pocket which in hindsight, I'm glad I missed, as the proper sequence avoid all such silliness. Top climb, and no kneebar rests - shock horror! I really had to rockclimb it.
We also enjoyed Nabouchodonosor 35m 6c and the unpronouncable Mon Batchounousougounoudoudou 30m 6c+ which Owen fought his way through on the onsight as much as I just fough my way through the typing of it. The real corker though was the 30m 7a Kerveros. What an awesome route (one of my favourites). It has tufas, pockets, blobs and traverse sequences all packed into a gently overhung orange wall. Susy and Glenn went to the top with one or two hangs, Matt and Owen flashed it.
We then headed down to Afternoon sector for some slab warm downs. There's a bunch of 5's down there and the kids swarmed all over them. Sheree led a couple (see pic) and there was even some harder climbs done here too with Janas Kitchen 6b and the tough Bye Bye Doc 6c getting ascents from most of the team. I tried one slab in sneakers with no hands. There was some cool moves to be had like a arm-waving dyno to chest smear. I ended up falling on the second bolt with grazed nipples.
After our goat whispering antics of yesterday, it was clear what dinner would be tonight. We sought out the local shepherd family restaurant and feasted on goat. Verdict? Pretty good. Don't think I'll be switching steak for goat when I get home, but when in goatland...
Are you still reading? If so, leave a comment and say hi. Touching other climbers is a good thing. No, not touching like that. Sheesh.