Saturday, 1 October 2011

Everyone's going abroad to climb - I'm left at home.

A number of people I tend to climb with are going on holiday. They are going on holiday to two of the most well-known and revered climbing destinations in the world. At least, revered for their particular type of climbing. 

Firstly, there's a group going to Mallorca for Deep Water Soloing (DWS). Renowned for its excellent sea cliffs, tantalisingly overlooking one of the most blue and beautiful oceans found anywhere on the planet, Mallorca has become rightly famous for DWS. This reputation has been enhanced by various climbing movies focussed on the small island - including possibly the only feature-length climbing portrait of one man, Mr King Lines himself, Chris Sharma. Sharma established the world's hardest (and as yet, unrepeated) DWS route here - falling in at the whopping grade of 9b. Not that any of my climbing buddies will be attempting this ridiculous feat of human strength and endurance. They're more likely to stick within the more modest seventh grade range.

Chris Sharma DWS in Mallorca

And secondly, a large group are making the expensive journey to the increasingly popular Rocklands in South Africa. This massive boulder field has been gathering in popularity, similarly, because of a plethora of movies and shorts featuring the area. Climbing superstars have ventured to the Rocklands to dispatch some of the world's hardest boulder problems. And I recently read somewhere that farmers who once thought they'd been dealt a bum-deal, having farmland that wasn't good for anything, as it was full of rocks, are now raking it in. The yearly tourist income for the area has apparently skyrocketed to over £5million. But, rightly so, as I hear the climbing there is world class. Just about everyone who has made the pilgrimage declares the place a boulderer's paradise.

The Rhino (v7 or 7a+) is a boulder problem I need to get on. Look at it! Amazing.

This, of course, would make the Rocklands my paradise. And a break to Mallorca would be just what the doctor ordered as well. But, alas, I'm left at home - working hard. I will get away some day soon. I will.