Over the last few weeks I have been grounded in Auckland due to a large amount of work and an un-large amount of money. This unfortunate combination has been further compounded my an inordinately high number of climbing DVD’s passing through my laptop. Watching footage and not being able to go out and pretend I’m doing the same thing is a little like feeding a fat kid with all the chocolate milk it wants. Sooner or later, he’ll explode and coat the ceiling and wall in brown goo. Reaching a new level of desperation, I underwent my own, slightly less dramatic phsyke explosion by going to the Quarry to do some bouldering.
The first time I visited was nearly ten years ago, and I was fit only for a spot of traversing around the short side. The long side seemed, at that time, way too extreme for a plucky young teen such as I was in those days. However, I recall watching a bunch of people working on a fun looking problem, and decided I wanted to do it too. So over the next few visits I projected the line and eventually sent. Years later I learnt it was a problem called Zilmerised. From memory I was about the age of 17. Nearly ten years on, and theoretically ten years stronger, I still can’t repeat it.
Strangely, even though it’s full of razor edges, I’ve found a number of slopey/arete-ish type lines that save my bunged finger. One of the nicest being Bop-gun arete.
The Quarry isn’t really the home of quality bouldering, (even though there are some interesting problems, The Professional being one of the best at the crag), I’ve steered clear of looking up to bolt level. Cue the thousands of hours spent watching English Grit movies! Couple this with an increasingly prolonged desperation to climb, I’ve started to examine the guide and the crag in search of the hardest trad-climb I can find. While i can’t get to a wildly overhung limestone sport crag and climb like Steve Mcclure, I can pretend I’m doing sketchy and poorly protected Grit trad routes by top-roping the shit out of a hard quarry climb and only placing pieces halfway up! Havin’ it large! Actually I’ll probably make up some flimsy and long-winded excuse and just go bouldering again…but the thought will be there…
I can at least pretend I’m pulling down hard sketch-gnar on minimal gear, or clipping the chains on some improbably long spanish pump-a-thon, and with any luck that’ll get me through until I can actually begin work on all the projects I want to finish up. In the meantime I’ll content myself with slicing my yams on inner-city basalt, and fall off things I crushed when I was an infant.

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