Two weeks ago I took a trip to Boven with my friends, Colin Crabtree and Jen Sutherland.
We were planning to get reacquainted with our project at the God No! wall. Saturday was however a wet affair. The routes we wanted to work were wetter than a puppy’s nose. As a fall back we decided to work a line I finished bolting earlier this year. The final stretch from the last bolt to the chains was a river and we had not solved the crux roof or been on the head wall but we figured what the hell.
We spent Saturday trying all kinds of crazy beta to pull the roof and smooth out the lower section. A big up must go to Colin for unlocking the sequence for the roof crux at the end of Saturday (even if it does use the smallest crimp in Boven and eliminated my awesome, crowd-pleasing horizontal and around the corner dyno).
Sunday we set to work on the head wall – airy climbing, small foot chips and big horizontal spans. The last section was still wet but not a torrent. We solved the last technical section late in the day and, after a good rest, with heavy arms I went up again. It’s a long route so easy to get lost in it. When my mind finally zoomed out I found myself frog-legged on the wet arête, leap frogging from puddled jug to puddled jug to clipping the chains. Woot! Woot!
With a shocked grin on my face I was lowered, having just opened the ‘Bovenatrix’.
Bovenatrix is an aptly named route. It messes with your mind as well as your body, leaving you very happy after putting your body in some disconcerting positions. It is 3D spatial climbing involving a mixed bag of styles with three very different cruxes – in the beginning, the middle and the end.
We have set the opening grade at 28 but a strong argument could be made for it to be 29. You can find it at Rainy Day crag in Boven to the left of Bovenator. Bring some short slings and some long draws, and have fun puzzling out the beta.
I have loads of thanks to dish out for this one. Thanks to Colin for coming up with the lion’s share of the key beta; Mark for letting me bolt the rest of the line he started; Mieke for belaying me while I bolted it; Jen for the finger-strengthening, muscle-rejuvenating, stomach-gassing peanut butter and mushroom gnocchi; and, most importantly, the magical “sending undies” that came through for me yet again!
Greg Borman is sponsored by the good people at Vertigo Gear.
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Bovenatrix – A happy weekend with an unexpected send at Waterval Boven