Evel Knievel

Only a few days to go until Kalymnos 2011, so time to get some training in on something steep. Frey Yule's route Evel Knievel 29/8a at Coolum was a likely target. It starts up Evil Wears No Pants 30/8a+ with a burly, 70 degree overhung, 11 move boulder to a good kneebar before cutting a traverse directly left for several bodylengths and then a transition back to "up" climbing to finish up the last three or so bolts of the route Ground Control.

I'd been on the route in March this year while conditions were too warm for other crags. At that time I had to re-learn the Evil section which felt hard. The Evel Knievel section actually felt pretty okay. This lulled me into a false sense that the route would be a quick tick, to be squeezed in amongst other routes or when I was struggling to find something to do. Not to be.

In April I turned up to the crag ready to send, only to find my quickdraws (which I had left on the top half of the route) had been stolen. This completely ruined my psyche for the day, and I didn't return to the crag for three months. When I came back I got stuck into bolting and doing some FAs and I'd almost forgotten that Evel Knievel was still patiently waiting for a third ascent.

Today I decided that I would approach it differently. Seriously, and with respect. I spent my first burn re-learning and refining beta on the second half of the route only. On my next burn (first redpoint attempt of the day) I went through the Evil start, through the traverse only to have the tank go from three quarters full to empty in two moves. WTF? Moves that felt easy bolt to bolt suddenly felt impossible on link. So I ditched some toehook beta I had previously refined in favour of a strange heel-toe which felt super solid with the awesome heel of the Boldrini's, and on my next burn I made it through. Hanging on the jugs above the hard climbing I began to lose it. My vision was flicking between black and white and I felt like I was going to pass out. Erik told me later I'd done the entire section of climbing up to that point without breathing. Not ideal.

Anyway I managed to claw up and get a kneebar, rest a bit, breathe a bit, and finish it off.

Odd route, but worthy climbing! And good abs training for the steepness of the Grande Grotta. Coming soon to an Upskill blog near you :)

A way to burn heaps too much energy. Good for training.
The end of the traverse section where it's time to get to grips with things.
Sinking the subtle heel-toe lock which for me was pretty key.
All done. I am pumped.