Wide Boyz Blog

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Project Time In The Desert

Things have really slowed down in the last week – the frantic pace of trying to tick off all the hard routes has abated to a somewhat normal speed of living. We can actually enjoy a breakfast without the thought of throwing it up 3 hours later in the midst of some kind of “Pirate Topedo” move. As nearly all of the main objectives of the trip have been achieved, we’ve been able to spend a little more time searching for first ascent projects and trying a few things that aren’t necessarily what we came here for (read “pleasant/enjoyable climbing”).

Pete doing some enjoyable climbing on 'Army of Darkness' 5.13d


Indian Creek Projects...
Pete had been told of a couple of offwidth projects near to Price of Evil and so straight after ticking PoE we had a look around. Unfortunately, one was not quite a hard as we were expecting (too much bridging possible) and the other the kind of offwidth you’d find at Nesscliffe – a sandy nightmare?! This isn’t to say Pete and I aren’t into sub-standard lines (you only have to look at our Curbar new routes... urgh) it’s more that if you come to the paradise of Indian Creek then it’s only proper to put up something worthy I think.

The next day we went over to Pamela Pack’s “Event Horizon” – I think it’s either 5.13a/b? The route is a really good looking splitter offwidth through a roof on pitch 3, which apparently has some kind of 3D funkiness to negotiate. The first pitch, hasn’t been climbed yet (finger crack) and the second pitch is 5.9/5.10ish by the looks of it. Not sure of how to approach the roof, we thought we’d have a go at freeing the first pitch. Patrick Kingsbury (a regular partner of Pamela and 5.13 offwidther himself) had previously had a go at freeing this pitch, so we knew it’d be no push over. After an hour or so of mashing my fingers in tiny, tiny tips finger locks I’d done all of the moves through to easier ground but knew to lead it properly it’d take further days of work. Feeling a bit de-psyched (and knackered) that we didn’t have the tools to free climb to the roof, we decided to call it a day. On the way back to the campsite we went and climbed a cool looking wide roof called Brother from Another Planet 5.12a/b. Unique invert torpedo!

Project Time with Teacher Pizem...
After Indian Creek we arranged to meet up with long time climber and desert new-router Rob Pizem. If anyone has met “Piz” they’ll know he’s pretty much a one-man dynamo who jumps around at such a frantic pace it’s hard not to get very tired! When we found out that he’s a school teacher, I think we knew we’d met the teacher we’d all wanted when we were younger.

Teacher Pizem teaching us the way of the desert
Pete getting the psyche? from Piz


Piz, myself, Pete, Peewee (French Canadian crack climbing beast), Alex, Jesse and Brian all headed off to the White Rim for 2 days of project hunting and delving. Peewee was down there to try Piz’s long term project “Necronomicon” (huge thin hands roof crack that features in the First Ascent films) and the rest of us hoped to either find something new or repeat one of Piz’s test pieces.

Peewee on a burn of the thin hands project, 'Necronomincon'


The first day (after receiving teacher’s orders....) me and Pete went to try an unclimbed line that Piz had shown us. Unfortunately, the line was a bit too long and too beta intensive for us to really get stuck into – more of a local’s line in reality, despite its obvious qualities. Instead we got stuck into some kind of squeeze chimney that Pete duly dispatched that afternoon. It wasn’t 100% clear if it had been done by Matt Lazenby before, but in any case it was probably around 5.13a – sort of a harder more sustained Lucille with serious deckout potential!

Pete finds a wide slot on the White Rim. A good dose of 'smoke in the eyes' is useful

Forget the Valley Giant, a tipped out #6 on .13a should do just fine 

The second day we spent some time on Piz’s classic roof crack down at the White Rim – Army of Darkness, 5.13d. Brian had already been projecting, so conveniently the gear and beta was well established for Pete and me. With a couple of goes each, we got some good links and hopefully that’ll be in the bag with another trip. What really stands out from that line though, is the quality of the climbing – absolutely brilliant gymnastic roof climbing on fingers, hands, pods, offwidth and a little bit of fists. Reminds me very much of Greenspit in difficulty and quality.


Finally, to finish the day we did a little filming for Wild Country’s “Crack School” and also for the “Wide Boyz” film. As usual, it all got a bit silly and Pete ended up on the floor between my legs..... I’ll let the photos explain all!

Filming the offwidth glossary

Peewee helping demonstrate the offwidth glossary
hmmmmmmm....
Chris using his resources

4 comments:

  1. Damn I suck asssss! I need to get in shape and do something! You guys are sopping up all the fun. I going out right now to do a sit-up.

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  2. I think you people must make a plan for the Dubai Desert Safari trip.

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    thanks romnya sobat

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