Mayan and I have been down here for two weeks of acclimatization to carrying heavy packs and twelve hour days of climbing and bolting. The first week of the year and Fiordland was blessed with seven days of perfect blue skies for melting snow and climbing at the crags. We climbed every day.
We climbed at Babylon and two days at the Mates Little Brother where we attempted JC’s and my project from last year; a striking and intimidating multi-pitch route straight up the middle of the wall. This will be by far the hardest alpine rock climb in New Zealand. The first pitch a delicate 21 slab which leads to a 30m 28 with a feisty crux and wild moves though two overlaps. The next pitch was going to be a short 24 – and it was except for the last 4m of desperate slab climbing which had me falling two moves shy of anything that resembles a hold. We will be back.
Picture: Mayan sending ‘White Admiral’
Babylon, the best crag in the country, has had a new surge of development from the usual suspects – Bruce and Jon sending the massive climb ‘Piro Piro’, a 25 then a amazing 35m 27. Mayan finished a tricky project ‘White Admiral’ 29. We both added a third pitch to ‘Natures Melody’ to create a great steep 27. I was sent in to send Thomas’s project ‘Whirling Dervish’, a bouldery 29. We bolted two routes on the steep head wall above the cave which give 15m of sheer 20-30 degree overhung climbing. The left route is a power endurance 30 with big shouldery moves. The right route has bouldery sections and has yet to be completed…