So I’ve spent the last couple of weekends hanging out in Boven with Wild Country UK athletes Sam and Ed Hamer along with their strong Spanish buddy Jose! They went on a rampage in Boven and pretty much did everything there that was 8a+ or less in just a few tries (if not flash or onsight).
Some highlights of the tick list are:
flash of Hypertension 8a by Sam and Ed
Jose flashed Jack of All Trades 8a
Ed did Welcome to Ovamboland 8a+ second try
Jose did Godzilla and Rolihlahla 8b
Sam onsighted Snapdragon 7c+, then Ed and Jose flashed it.
Monster was flashed by most of them too.
Ed flashed Beast 8a+
Sam ticked Tokolosie 8a
Ed did Vorpal Sword 8a+ in two or three tries.
Overall, they did the majority of routes in the God No and Superbowl areas. Can we say hardcore? I think so!
A highlight from the past few weeks was meeting up with Zele Angelides. Zele was kind enough to dangle off of a rope and take some pics of Andrew Pedley and myself on Shear Force (8c). Shear Force is the newest line in Boven and was opened by Kilian Fischuber. The route starts off with a very hard first move off the deck off of a very small and sharp left hand. From there you get a bit of a rest before pushing on into some fun climbing. Eventually you work your way into a sharp corner and into a hands free kneebar (pictured below).
This is the last rest before you move into the crux, a 15 move boulder problem that culminates in a really tough deadpoint to a tiny edge.
I’ve also been putting in some effort on Overlord / Rolihlahla (8b/+). It was definitely 8b but then Greg broke off a crucial hold at the start of the crux. It makes it a bit tougher for sure and has a knock on effect for the rest of the climbing. I stuck the crux move on my highpoint before the hold broke but haven’t been able to link it from the ground since. Definitely pisses me off! Temps have gotten a bit warmer recently so last trip I gave it a miss to let my skin recover.
I’ve been training very hard recently, spending a lot of time focusing on crimp strength and hangboard programs. One of the programs that I’ve been using quite a bit has been a FINGER PYRAMIDS PROGRAM.
Start off on a 35′ sloper,
Rest for 10 seconds between each attempt and rest two minutes at the end of the set.
Next middle two, then front 2, then back 2 then crimp.
Rest 10 minutes when the set is complete and repeat two more times.
Another really good program is an ENCORE PROGRAM:
Use the same order of holds as above but this time you are hanging for 7 seconds and then resting for 3.
Start the first hang at 45′, then 90′, then full lock, then 90′, then 45′ and finish on straight arms. Rest two minutes.
Again, the order is Slopers, Middle 2, Front 2, Back 2 and then Crimp. Then Rest 10 minutes. Do 3 sets total.
I’ve also been bouldering a bit indoors. Mixing up my sessions with some 4x4s and weight vest climbing.
For 4x4s, set a problem 2 or 3 grades beneath your onsight limit. Climb it continuously (to the top, then drop down) for 4 minutes. Rest 4 minutes and set another problem. Climb it for 4 minutes.
4 problems x 4 minutes each. Comprehend? Not rocket science, but you will feel like you got hit by a bus! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If this isn’t tough enough you can do 4x5s. But it’s also a balance as you rest longer so it’s up to you.
Personally, I like 4x4s, with a 10kg vest on a 45′ wall. It kills me, just a little.
I’ve been trying to mix in yoga sessions twice a week in between training sessions. I’ve noticed big gains in core strength, as well as massive gains in flexibility. I can definitely suggest that this be used to complement your climbing!!
Wild Country UK was kind enough to send out some of their clothing range for me, two pairs of pants Balance Pants, a pair of Motion Jeans, an Enduro hoody, and a Team Tank. Thanks so much for sending this gear out to me with the Hamers! I’m extremely grateful!
I love the new pack and rope bag! They are fantastic. The rope bag is HUGE! You can fit an 80m in there with shoes and harness and draws! No shit! The 45L pack is big enough for the rope bag holding an 80m, two pairs of shoes, 30 draws, a down jacket, lunch and a bit more space. The pack comes with a really convenient carry bag that fits perfectly inside, which is large enough for a trad rack! WIN WIN WIN!
It’s worth the investment. It’s also really comfortable and fits brilliantly.
Well! That’s all for now! Off to Chosspile in the morning to try to wrap up Violent Streak (8b).
Brian is sponsored by Outward Ventures importers of