Highball super classic


Name: Suns out Guns out
Grade: V9ish
Location: Meadow area, Wairere
Status: unrepeated
Style: heady arete climbing on good holds. Crux at the top overhang.
FA: Stu Kurth

Automatic three star problem this. Twas the first boulder I clapped eyes on, but it took three trips to send, due to its tricky beta and committing exit.
I’ve said before that I really like the tall, proud lines, and this one ranks up there as one of the best I’ve done. The rock, for Wairere, is solid, and so far nothing has broken off it, despite the fact the two jugs look like they could blow at any moment. That alone makes the crux a little hair-raising, considering you weight the higher of the two jugs heavily with a foot.  The top had me scratching my head try after try, but in the end I figured out good solid beta that worked for me, and it unlocked easily, once I’d nutted it all out. On the third trip, with five pads and two spotters (plus camera), I had my best and safest chance, but as is documented elsewhere, I lost my composure and shied away from the send. I vowed to return, and this time I knew what was to be done. It still took me a handful of tries, but this time I only had three pads and Sparkles as my spotter. With this one you really don’t have time to hesitate or take in the view. Like all highballs, you’ve got to maintain a strong will and a smooth, quick, but precise rhythm, and don’t think about the ground, or the top, or anything other than the next move.
This is the gem of the area so far, and the first of an abundance of juicy highballs, but I suspect it’s the only one that doesn’t require much cleaning. Access to the top is a leisurely stroll around the back, so take a poll brush to get at the crimp rail. Once you’re up there, you’ll know which one I mean.

Photo’s don’t seem to capture the scale of this boulder…

To get to the Meadow, follow the track/swamp/bog/dirt road past Marbles, and it’s on your right across a little creek, not thirty meters uphill from the bridge. The arete looms up out of the trees, and is impossible to miss. Around it are plenty of lines yet to be scrubbed.


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