Phlip Oliver sent Up For Grabs, grade (31/8a+) at Oudtshoorn on the 11th of April, we caught up with him for a brief interview.
Well done on the send Phlip. Tell us how long have you been working the route?
Thanks, I got on it for the first time the Friday (Easter weekend). So in total it took me 4 goes to get it.
Is this your hardest send to date?
Yes. I’ve had to work harder on other routes, but that was either to work out a sequence or going for the redpoint and failing (only to get it later while feeling strong). On Up For Grabs I had to put in quite a fight to succeed on that specific go.
What other routes above grade 29 have you done?
Catholic School Girls Rule (Montagu), The Activist (Montagu), El Nino (Oudtshoorn) and Golden Eye (Kalk Bay). All Grade 30s.
When will you be sending the route on trad gear?
When this is developed into mainstream climbing pro: http://www.technologyreview.com/article/39865/?p1=MstRcnt
Did the rain make any difference ?
No. The route is right in the middle of the crag, so it doesn’t get wet. On the Saturday I could feel a drizzle while up there, but the only hold it could really affect is the sloper… and that thing is so bad already, it really didn’t make much difference
Though now that I think about it: Leon du Toit almost got it an hour or so after me and said that one of the blobs I clipped from was wet when he got there. I think I was lucky to hit the hold while it was still dry.
What route will be your next project?
I’ve got some unfinished business on Trainspotting (Silvermine), Blue Diamonds White Ice (Paarl) and a trad project at Kalk bay thats lying and waiting for me. Other than that I can’t wait to get back to Oudtshoorn to try Short Circuit or Mr Incredible. I’ve been on them before and they are both really cool.
Are you sponsored?
What (spread) do you put on your sarmies?
Lots of Avo and Cheese.
How often do you train?
I train for climbing twice a week. Then I also go running twice a week and swim for 20-30mins over lunch times (3-4 times a week). Winter is coming, so I’ll have to substitute the swimming with more running soon.
How old are you?
How long have you been climbing?
I think its around 14 years now.
Really an impressive send and so unexpected, there must be more than just power and endurance that helped you get this route?
I have to mention the sending pants Estelle (my wife) bought for me the previous day. The ‘sending pants’ played a significant role in the process, as the previous day I did not even remotely think I would send this trip. It’s really special for me that Estelle put up with camping in the rain and supporting my selfish endeavour.