Project Kong

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

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What happened in the woods this winter pt. 1

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No more bouldering for this year. Time to get back on a rope. But what a winter of great bouldering. Helechal is a¬†socialable¬†space to boulder and met people from all over Spain. First up were some powerful people from Madrid. They’re leading 8c so they had a bit of power and stamina but were apparently a bit new to bouldering. I took them around a few of my dream projects. The lines I’m going to do when I get stronger ūüėČ Here’s the vid of them crushing or a least getting ready to crush some of my dreams….. But one thing these guys showed me was the heal. They were putting in heal hooks everywhere. I’ve been trying to do the same ever since.





Written by Journo

May 11, 2012 at 3:07 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

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

Bosque2 topos

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Due to a request from Alcaidesa boulder Giacomo I have finally found the motivation to start putting up some of the boulder topos I have taken of the Bosque2 area of San Bartolo. Andy has also opened up some new boulder problems here and I will post up topos of his new boulders later.

Firstly here are some of the classic lines from the first part of this area. The first boulder everybody finds here is 9mm. Here is the line.

Next up are two really nice short problems on the boulder just up from 9mm. They are both really good problems. The second one has a long reach and might be a bit harder for the shorter.

Written by Journo

May 21, 2010 at 7:51 am

Practice falls and damage to the rope.

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After doing loads of practice falls I’ve started getting a little bit more concerned about the wear and tear on the rope. I’ve found this great site which works out your fall factor based on your weight, length of rope and distance from last bit of gear.


But how many can I do before I need to change the rope???

Written by Journo

May 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Falling practice

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I am back doing¬†endurance¬†as I have done my three weeks of bouldering and I can feel my muscles getting stronger than my ligaments. So back to mosaico and los buitress for some real routes. I decided to kick off by taking Dave Macleod’s advice of doing some fall practice every time you climb. So on the first time on No es broma a 6b on Mosaico wall I climbed to above fifth bolt and fell onto the fourth three times. On the last pulling up a bit of slack for a bit of extra air time. First time took a bit to let go but did get used to it. Dave reckons that until you find falling boring you’re still scared of it!!

I’m always suprised by how gentle the catch is on falls. It seems the longer it is the more stretch the rope has and the softer the landing. The only bad part is the swing in which hurt my toes at bit. But that was probably because Amy was attached to a tree so her not being dragged up the cliff didn’t soften the blow!

Here is the man himself taking a monster whipper on an E11 right on the last move. Awesome!!

Written by Journo

May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

El Helechal problems and grades

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These are a selection of problems I have found which people have given grades for. I’m not sure they are accurate. But I’m finding that my opinion is swung by my strengths and weakness. So I will downgrade problems with a long move from an open handed grip and upgrade really crimpy thin problems. So I’ll give the grades other people have given with my opinion for good measure. Please add comments of agreement or disagreement. Grades are fun!!! They’re like talking about the weather. Doesn’t change much but it’s a nice way to pass the time.

The first one is Techo Del Meng which is graded by these guys as 7A+. I haven’t looked for it yet. But it looks like the kind of problem I like. A big reach onto sloppers. The first shot is from underneath and is where the problem starts The second is when it breaks out onto the headwall. Looks pretty cool.

The second problem was graded as 6C. I tried it last saturday and could finish it but the first move off the undercut to the sloppers felt really hard for me. I might have been a bit tired or just a bit too weak. But it felt really hard. The problem is just across from the arch and around a corner. You can see the side of it from the arch. So on present evidence it is probably a 6C.

This problem was graded as 6B+ by some dudes in the video. I did it from sitting start and used a hold on the left edge first time which made it too easy and I see wasn’t used by people in two videos of the problem. So I did it again without and it felt hardish but not too bad. Andy found it hard and he’s same strength as me but a bit shorter, so maybe it’s a morpho. I did do a long slappy reach to complete the problem;)¬†I would grade it as 6A+. The start is sitting start and pulls of an one hand two finger shallow pocket. I found this part hard but Andy who has spent a lot of time on his fingerboard cruised this part. So it’s a real mix up of a problem, but good!!

The crux is making it from these two slopers up to a positive hold on the top left of the boulder.

Finally this problem has a name. It is called El Arco and on a video was given 6A+ but on somebody has graded it 6B. I found it quite easy so 6A+ is about correct, although I did have to make a big reach again.

This is the problem called El Arco. The hardest move is breaking out of the arch from this position.

Finally this problem is called No me creo na. It is graded as 7C. It looks really really hard. But I’m no where near being able to comment on the grade. I’m trying to finish it and have got close but not that close on the final two moves and Andy who is a bit of beast on small crimps was able to make the first few moves. But it is all fierce. Really fierce.

It is on the big flat wall just down from El Arco. It is a traverse and trends upwards and to the left.

This is the start.

Finally opposite this problem is a slab which if taken direct is a good 6A+ hard move. Looked easy until you try and get onto it. Then it feels quite hard and is all on really small crimps and small footholds before a reach up to a good hold.

Written by Journo

April 27, 2010 at 9:31 am