Returning to Upper Shipley today was such a wonderful experience. Climbing at this crag for me was always until recently very intimidating. I used to get in my own head and mess up my chances of enjoying this place all the time. I often avoided going here because I knew it psyched me out. Today was different, today I was feeling free of this past demon and feeling like I was going to enjoy my time here.
Warming up on the easiest routes at the crag was so much fun. The style of climbing is something that I have not necessarily missed, but climbing here again is super fun and its very much what I started climbing on just ten short years ago. I enjoy the routes, the area and the friendships that have developed here.
Today I am with my wonderful lady Karine and one of my great mates and the first man who taught me how to climb. Rob is possibly the most obsessed climbers I have ever met. He is also one of the most methodical people I know. He spent hours teaching me how to place my feet and move. I am forever grateful for these great lessons. Another mate who happened to be up here on holidays has also come to play and Dave will no doubt have some serious fun on the routes we are doing.
Karine has had very minimal experience on sandstone and is really loving the feel of the rock. She is becoming more comfortable everyday climbing here and I feel she will no doubt really start to push herself while in Australia. We warmed up on a couple of 13’s (5a’s) and a route called “Hold on to Your Hats” 18 (6a) Miss K decided to top rope the latter route just to get her crimping head in and gain a little more confidence on this grippy and sometimes very thin geologic.
We decide to walk around to Centennial Glen to try and get some shade as the sun was beaming down and the wind had definitely picked up. The routes are harder there than what we had done and I knew K would be very intimidated by the area. Walking through the trail is a beautiful experience and the final approach to the crag is walking under a stunning little waterfall. You can look down to a beautiful little freshwater rock pool and into a sub tropical forest.
Rob had his eye on a route called “Rat Cat” 24 (7a+) and I was really keen to get on “Nev Herrod” 23 (7a). We had both been on these routes many years ago and had no success. It was cooler at “The Glen” and the friction was going to be good. Rob wanted to warm up a bit more, but I was keen to get on my nemesis. Tying in and slipping on my shoes I scrambled up to the base of the route. This is a steep and bouldery line consisting of 16 moves over approx. 13 metres. Unforgiving and powerful.
I pulled on and up clipped the first bolt and felt immediately impacted. I down climbed, sorted out my head and pulled up through the first five moves. Clipping the second bolt I eyed the crux move and got my feet right. I hit the crux holds and pulled up, hesitated and then went for it. Oh my god! I held it, I held it! I clipped and continued through to the anchors. Stoked to tick the route, I had a little celebration in my head.
Dave decided to do a lap and very easily cruised through the route. Dave is super strong and has been bouldering regularly, so this type of route is not really a push for him. He repeated the route easily and we went around and did a few laps on “Ruddy Norry” 22 (6c+). Its a great route and its also the warm up at The Glen. Rob sent “Rat Cat” 24 (7a+) after working it for about 45 minutes.
All in all and excellent day out………..As are all days in the mountains.