Project Kong

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

Archive for the ‘bouldering’ Category

Redpoint of Mako Blaster 7a, Los Buitres, San Bartolo.

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So pleased to get this route in the bag. It’s one of those short bouldery routes with easy moves around a really hard crux. The grade for the these short bouldery routes always represents the one hard move. Whereas on longer routes the crux can be much easier especially on stamina/endurance routes.

But on Mako Blaster it really is a one move 7a. So it packs all its punch into that one move. And it is a move!! Personally I feel it is a hard 6A+/ 6B boulder move. But it always feels so different when you are climbing with a rope rather than away from a mat.

I’ve fallen off it twice in the past, just to pull straight back on and do it easily. But this time I actually changed my approach and really looked up at the actual crux itself and visualised how I would do it before I left the ground. This small mental effort made a really big difference. Once up there it all flowed and I got the sequence easily, even if the move still felt hard.


Written by Journo

August 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Tangerine 6C+

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I tried this line for about five months over last Summer. Maybe longer. It’s really really thin with micro edges and small lumps for the feet. It’s not much better for the hands. It starts with a jump up to a slopper and then trends upwards and right along a line of small crimps and slopping holds to the end where you find a “medio bueno” (spanish for half ok) hold on the lip. Then to finish you have to do a really hard heal hook rockover for a great hold much further back.

The line might be harder than 6C+ but I haven’t done enough boulders at this difficulty to say.  I think shorter climbers will find it harder reaching between the holds and footholds. But awesome moves all the same and really required a step up in my technique on both body position and feet to send it.

Written by Journo

July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

More Alcaidesa action.

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This is another vid we made last year in Alcaidesa. It’s quite an easy problem but the move over the lip is harder than it looks as you feel quite bunched up and off-balance. The feet don’t go where you’d like so it’s hard to make it look elegant;)

We all agreed that it was probably a soft 6A.

Thanks to James who showed us the problem and cleared the vegetation around the base.


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March 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Alcaidesa session

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Near the end of last year, Andy and me headed over to Alcaidesa to check out the newly opened boulders there. Local enthusiast James has been around all the boulders with industrial vegetation removal tools and has cleared space enough to get at the rock without getting ripped to pieces by brambles and other Spanish spined vegetation.

We did a bit of warming up before heading for the most obvious boulder in the whole place and probably the best line of Alcaidesa. It’s a 6B with a hard start and a big pull from a crimp to a crimp with a pull to another crimp and then finishes over the top with a couple more crimpy moves. It favours people who like crimps. Bit of highball feeling near the top as you would definitely hurt something if you fell from the top. Especially at my age!

The rock is super solid and feels great.

James did it first and after watching carefully, I couldn’t claim an on-sight but was able to flash it. Which felt really good. Felt about right for 6B. In the guide it gives it 6C but we agreed this was too high.

Written by Journo

February 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm

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.

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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