Hey Jupiter takes the excellent, steep prow left of ‘How Peculiar’ at The Underside.
The route starts with some easy, steep climbing on good holds to a thinnish move out to a big jug. You can shake out here, although if you are pumped at this point then the rest of the climb is going to seem pretty challenging.
From here things step up a notch. There is a big move up to good jug on the right of a big, semi-detached flake.
This used to be loose but is now securely bolted to the rest of the mountain. I had initially thought I would just climb the route with the flake as it was, in spite of Guy’s suggestion to fix it. Luckily he convinced me. I filled in the gaps behind it with Sika, and drilled two 200 mm holes and glued in threaded stainless steel rods to hold it in place. Apart from the fact that had the flake come off it would have made the climb harder, suddenly finding oneself with several hundred kilograms of quartzite in your lap on the crux would have been unpleasant in the extreme.
From the flake it’s possible to clip the next two bolts, although on redpoint I clipped only the lower one. Some delicate foot swops follow and then there is a long move up to a poor sloper. The next move was the redpoint crux for me. I popped at absolute full extension into a good slot that you cannot see from below. This move is probably easy if you are really tall or really good. Clearly I am neither and it was absolute nails for me, apart from the time I did it.
There is one big pull from here to a jug and then it’s a walk up to the ledge. I graded Hey Jupiter ’34’ because my Ayurvedic Astrologer says 34 is my lucky number. Only joking. Prior to the day I did it, I thought it might be 34, compared with the other “hard” routes I have opened.
Whether I can even truly remember them is a good question, as I did them before what’s left of my hair turned grey. Anyway, for me it felt very much harder than anything I have been on – the crux, which is probably reach-dependent, felt like Font 8A and it’s perched on top of a stiff approach march.
Of course, when I finally stuck the crux move it seemed pretty straightforward, as always happens. So it might be easier but I have been honest and stuck my neck out. The real story behind the climb is something quite different – perhaps you will read about it elsewhere.
Hey Jupiter is the best song in the world. The version on Boys For Pele is good, but try to get hold of the version where Tori plays it on keyboard, like the live DVD from Welcome to Sunny Florida. Music doesn’t get any better.
All photos by Guy Holwill