Project Kong

The ambition to on-sight 7a by an older man returning to climbing.

Archive for July 2010

Fisura Solo, 6B+, El Helechal, Bolonia

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Andy and me met up with a couple of guys from along the coast, James Holtom and Giacomo Collini to show them some of the problems of El Helechal.

Giacomo is really strong and did a second go repeat of a tricky 6A+ traverse and a second go repeat of the roof problem El Gordo the 6B we first did last week. James did a quick ascent of a problem I found months ago and has been graded 6B+ on the internet and a YouTube vid, (more like 6A+ if you are tall). Then off to the classic El Arco which is graded 6B in Escalar magazine. I’ve got my technique wired for this one so always like to show it off;). Andy did it with a bit of struggle then the main event of the day, Giacomo’s demonstration of determination as he refused to fall off despite fully cutting loose for quite some time. I really thought he was off about three times but he fought back and found a new hold over the lip and a new way of doing it. Congratulations on that one. Felt tired just watching. Giacomo was on curfew and had to leave. The rest of us went down to our new problem Fisura Solo on the face of the big block which we feel is a soft 6B+.

Here is a vid of our efforts. The crucial sequence, in my humble opinion, is to get the left hand in the penultimate pocket, or the end is made very difficult.


Written by Journo

July 30, 2010 at 9:43 am

Bouldering El Helechal

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Had a great day in El Helechal with my two boys and Andy. We did quick ticks of El Gordo a well know 6B roof problem. The crux for me was getting both my hands on the exit face. I cut loose on my first go and fell off. So maintaining body tension and getting out and established was the test. Then it’s just a bit of old-fashioned thuggery to get to the top. Here’s a vid of Andy doing it easily. Bit of technical criticism is that Andy is doing the three pumps before going for the top jug. According to John Sherman’s better bouldering this is just a waste of energy and you should just rock down and give it your max on the first go. Hard to do but I can see his logic.

Then we did a couple of 5, 5C ticks with a nice slab problem just up from El Gordo.

My boy Rufus did this really nice 4A overhanging flake which is a good warm up. He got it first go. He’s done a few 4A boulder problems before in Albarracin. Just reach is a bit of a problem on some!

Finished off with a problem Andy has done before. It’s an obvious hair-line crack running diagonally across the front face of the massive 30m high block in the centre of Helechal. Starting near the ground on two deep but narrow crimpy jugs. Move up using the holds in the crack or on either side of it. Finishing with t massive hold at the top. Avoid all the ledges to the left as they make the problem a ladder. I found it really hard and had to use a full crimp on the right hand which I hate. But the moves are nice, hard and really technical with not much for the feet at the start. Enjoyable problem as I couldn’t do it at all at the start. I’d give it solid 6B+. It just felt way too full on for 6B.

Written by Journo

July 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Tangerine Wall El Cuarton

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This is a face with four quality problems on it on the other side of the block on which Bestia is situated. The wall is slightly overhanging and has almost no holds on it. The footwork is hard on everything.

The easiest problem is Fruit pulp on the right hand side which is a mantel shelf problem from a standing start. There is a sit start variation which I can’t do. For once my height is a problem and I’m just too bunched up from the very low starting hold.

The main problem is Tangerine tangent. It is hard from the start with a jump up to a big fairly positive 10 degree slopper. Then its tiny footholds and smears and the holds go from a smallish flat crimp to a rounded lump at the end of the traverse which I cannot hold. I am going back with a footwork change next time and maybe bringing my left hand up to the crimp. Really hard problem and can’t really grade it.  If I had to guess I would say F6C. But it might be harder as the top out could be really hard. The whole problem is total quality and relies on hyper precise footwork and weight distribution. A real puzzle. The other problem on this wall is Tangerine Slide. It starts on the far right and traverses all the way across the wall until it meets Tangent for the top out. I have made the early moves but can’t make the slap from the right hand slopper to the crimp on the ridge. Again can’t grade it but it feels hard.

Finally there is a variation on the left which starts from the starting hold of Tangent but then moves left into the groove. It looks much easier but I would need a spotter as there is a lot of brambles there to catch me if I fell.

Written by Journo

July 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Bestia F7B El Cuarton

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This route is a true beast. Massive body tension from mainly blunt but positive holds. The problem is that there is nothing for the feet so it requires a near front lever from both hands and then one hand for several moves. Local guy who has done all the routes in the area called Pin told me it is 7B. I’m too weak to do it so I can’t argue with the grade. However, I have done it from half way and can hold myself on every combination of holds. So maybe, just maybe, if sit underneath it a lot, I might start to get it linked. The top out is also a beast and gave me a month off climbing with a shoulder and neck injury. So it’s going to be a struggle. But as a long-term project it is perfect.

Written by Journo

July 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm