Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Well thank y'all for tuning into my blog once again! If you haven't tuned into my previous post I wouldn't blame you, but I have had a sore finger over the past 10 weeks, hence why I haven't really had the motivation to put together a decent blog post.
So better late than never I say!
As it turns out my self diagnosis was pretty close. That popping noise I heard back in May was a VERY upset A3 pulley. The pulley was partially ruptured which basically meant I couldn't pull onto a wall let alone hold small holds for close to 3 weeks. When I came back to climbing after that brief period, I could manage simple boulder problems which consisted mainly of slopers.
Bloodshot(30) Photo: Aaron Doull copyright
This simple training procedure continued for most of June and July, every week I would notice subtle improvements and I slowly began loosening the tape. I think the hardest part of being injured is being disciplined and in my case not allowing myself to crimp and wrap that thumb over. Man it is a hard thing to do!
To keep it short and sweet I think my recovery has been coming along quite well. This previous week I have been able to crimp properly for the first time since May.
Its a fine line,  I am sure that I could have pushed my finger harder earlier but to re injure the pulley would be another major setback. Now I am particularly cautious, tape that pulley every time I pull on and avoid tweaky little two finger pockets at all costs.

The weather has been excellent over the past month in the Blueys. Dry, cold south westerly winds have been hitting the cliffs and although it is not the most pleasant for some, I have to say the conditions are bloody superb.
I have focused a lot of my attention towards upper shipley over the past month, which for me is a pretty rare thing. I would normally avoid this crag at all costs in the spring and summer, however during the winter the cliff is exposed to sun all day and in a lot of cases is one of the only warm options going.
Shipley is also the home of the almighty Pooferator, a proud line that perches its self high on the baked orange wall. Pooferator is graded 31 and remains a good little test piece for most climbers that try it these days. From my experience and knowledge the route has a reputation for always being the route that is so close but for some reason quite difficult to link the bouldery power endurance crux.
Althought this line is very appealing to me, the big picture was always going to be Truckstop 31 which is Zacs link-up that climbs the crux of Pooferator into the crux of Equaliser(28) via a bouldery little traverse.

Our Backyard
Initially linking Pooferator was giving me a little bit of curry(more than I would have liked). I was trying to use a sequence that avoided using a left hand crimp(which most people use) however this meant I had to do four extra movements before I could blast out to the juggy gaston that more or less symbolises the end of the poof.
To cut a long story short, after falling off thrutching for the Gaston about 10 times I cracked the shits. I decided whether my finger be ready or not I was going to use the crimp sequence and bone down with my left. Sure enough the next day Pooferator was complete. The part I most enjoy about this route is that once you have climbed the difficult part it is quite pleasant cruising all of the way to the top of the cliff. Full sun on a cold winters day with the wind blowing through your hair, life is good!
On this particular day I figured it would be beneficial to spend the rest of the day running some laps on Equaliser so if by chance I was able to link through the truckstop crux, completing the route should not be too much of a task.
Equaliser is not too bad, however just recently a large hold was broken off before the crux. Although I don't think this changes the grade of the climb, it does make resting a little trickier and therefore you enter the crux feeling not quite as fresh. All in all personally I think the route climbs a lot nicer and is more consistent with the undercling gone...yipeee.
Anyhow the following week after a little bit of crux tweaking and some brilliant winter weather, I found myself sitting at the big jug at the end of the Pooferator crux. Full sun, cool breeze and shaking my mildly pumped forearms. It is an awesome feeling to be on link with no expectations(something that I rarely experience) talking myself through the Truckstop sequence and listening to myself breathe. It didn't matter If I fell because technically this was the first time I had tried to really link the route even though I spent some time on the Pooferator section. So as I leave the jug I remind myself that if everything is done perfectly on the traverse Im in with a chance. 30 seconds later I am into the Eqauliser section of the route and to my surprise I am feeling good. Matched on the Equaliser rail I took a couple of token shakes and completed the crux sequence of Equaliser.....Phew. It was a nice feeling to climb this route and now I'm quite psyched on trying Bens recent extension, Keep on Truckin'.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, ha the next post will be a lil more exciting....promise:-)
Truckstop pics will be up soon.