|Team Upskill 2011|
On this climbing camp we are blessed with a diverse group with a wide range of ages and experience. From Luke and Kurt, for whom Kalymnos is their first true taste of climbing outside the gym, to Dave Reeve who has been climbing since the 1950s when it was all about swami belts, hemp rope and hip belays!
Day one was all about getting familiar with limestone climbing. Though the weather was hot, we knew where to head. The picturesque crag of Kasteli was our location of choice for a breezy seaside setting where we could rack up some volume, and rack up we did. By the end of the day the team had smashed out 10 pitches of climbing. Not bad with lingering jetlag! Kasteli also offers some great history, being the site of a Byzantine fortress which was occupied until the 10th century. There's still ancient walls and fortifications on top and around the walls we now climb on for fun. 1000 years ago they used the same walls as a defense against Arab raids!
We even got into some dynamic belaying practice with me acting as the crash test dummy. Here's a few shots from the day...
|Early morning walk-in|
|Where's that route go Dave?|
|Fresh from the gym, Kurt is KEEN AS! Straight on the sharp end, onsight city.|
|Kurt eating up Piccolo Diavolo 6a+ onsight|
|Lifeguard, infantryman, stand up comic, vagabond. Lewis is a man of contrasts.|
|Quick feeds are vital. John is like lightning on the catch.|
|John racking up more volume and loving the backdrop.|
|Kurt sinking fingertips into diddy little crimps on Tsarouhios 5c+. Another onsight.|
|Kurt's loving his super sticky Boldrini Apache 5's. The Full Contact Sole on this model |
allows you to roll upwards on tiny holds without losing your edge. See here for more info.
|Luke getting ready for another lead|
|Ruth leading up Gikas|
|Sam keeps an eye on the rampaging team|
|Lewis testing his crimping and footwork on the "demanding wall" of Tsarouhis|
The morning of day two found some bleary eyes and sore muscles at our breakfast buffet. We were keen to build on the previous day and there was one crag which was an obvious contender - Poets. The roof-capped slab and wall of Poets sits above Masouri village and promises the climber longer and more demanding wall routes, with the promise of some tufa flows thrown in the mix.
The walk up was a bit slower than usual, but by the time the crew got there, they were psyched. Quando Tramonta il Sol 6a, Dryads 6b, Mustass 5c+, Styx 6a+, Sapfo 6a+, Ibria 6b+ and the mighty O Brothers 6b+ were the routes of choice. Highlights included Kurt's unhesitating onsight of O Brothers and Ibria, John and Luke's flash of O Brothers and Dave's run up same (he'd done it on last year's camp but said it felt easier this time with better technique), Ruth's clean ascent of Sapfo and Lewis' flash of Dryads.
Dynamic belays today were held on the nails hard slab of Omero 6c+/7a which I attempted to climb in trail shoes. This ensured plenty of whippers. Our team now has dynamic catches DOWN!
|Ruth blitzing up Styx 6a+ as part of her warm up|
|John killing it on the crux of Dryads 6b - broccoli galore!|
|Luke grabbing the shallow dish on the start of O Brothers 6b+|
|Tricky footwork helps John through O Brothers 6b+|
|Fitting. The brothers both sent the classic O Brothers 6b+ first shot.|
Hardest lead climb to date. Big things are coming.
Stay tuned, we're just getting started.