Tuesday, 12 June 2012


This time baby i'll be bulletproof

Yudai drank cheap wine all trip
A single droplet of sweat trickles down the right side of my tensed forehead, making itself a pool in he bottom of my eye socket. I can’t be bothered by this now, and in fact don’t even notice the stinging sensation due to the amount of focus my mind has now succumb. My left fingers clinch tightly on an incut crimp, no deeper then the width of an average pencil and located just above my head. This is as good as it gets. I’ve been here before and know all too well what comes next. After my feet are fixed to support as much body weight as possible, my right hand makes a windmill motion to catch the absolute worse hold on the route. You might as well have glued a credit card to the rock and tried to pull your weight of that. Successfully my fingers land in the so-called sweet spot and I am able to get my right foot up, in preparation for the next move. The foot lifts and sets down on the small groove in the rock, twisting to set itself in properly. Twisting back and forth, the rock underneath started to crumble. If I lost this foot there is no way I was holding onto my handholds, it was now or never. I bump my right hand up to a slight better crimp, and then my left hand to an even better one! At this point I’m breathing very heavily as I jump my feet up to more solid feet, one more crimp with the right hand. By this time I’m far above my last piece of protection and falling is not option. The thought of falling and thumbing down the sharp piece of slab which leads up to the beginning of the route, flashes through my mind and I quickly dispose of it. Can’t think like that. My right then crosses into yet another crimp. One more big move to a jug. Come one Tyler, you’ve done this before, focus. With a big unleash of air, I lunged my body forward, wrapping my fingers around the jug. As I clip, I know I’m now safe and I stare up with focused eyes at the next 30m of the route, silently planning my attack.
            Only fifteen minutes later, I’m standing on the top, with the anchors clipped. It’s the happiest moment of the trip and I’m bowing and screaming and waving to randoms. As I lower down I take in the sight and glance at the holds I just climbed up. I had just completed my first 7b+ called the Craic with only 3 tries! I had screamed my way through the last two cruxes, only barely making the moves. It was truly one of my biggest accomplishments. At the bottom Dave and Yudai awaited me with smiles on their faces and the words congratulations coming from their lips. I could have lived in that moment forever. It was Dave’s and Yudai’s last day and we all sent The Craic within 2 goes (Yudai got it first try) and felt complete. So we headed back down the hill and had some celebratory ice cream!
Dave on Tufa King Pump
            The last couple days of Dave’s and Yudai’s stay was filled with a constant psyche to climb as much as possible. I had recently taken on the challenge of 7b, trying relentlessly at a route named Sevasti. Yudai has recently sent his long term 40m project named Fun de Chichunne, an 8a in the Grotta. It more so and epic then a route as it takes him over an hour to climb.  And Dave was just nailing the 12s left right and center. We were all stoked to wake up early (yes even me) and get out and climb. After 3 days of sessioning Sevasti, I just wasn’t making any more progress and was getting awfully frustrated, as it seemed I was getting pumped out on very decent hold. I now know the culprit was the lack of feet available to balance my…as Joe calls it “chubbyness” on. But anyways, the frustration forced me to move on, as well Dave and Yudai were tired of that sector (Iannis) hence us spending the last day at Ivory Tower. They left around 4:30 in a silver taxi, headed to the ferry. They were flying to Athen where they would spend a night of sight seeing, then the day Yudai went to boulder in Fontibleau, France and Dave went home to Waterloo.
Flagging at the top of the route..great Beta
Yudai and Myself
            Now I am alone, I moved back to Micheal’s where he offered me a very nice room for 15Euros a night. My climbing partner the next couple days differed. But I mainly climbed with an Aussie named Justin who was here alone as well, we got along extremely well despite our age difference (he is 41). I also met a couple from Chamonix, France, named Adeline and Erik, they were 21 and 23 and spoke only broken English. Erik and I were like brothers after only a few times hanging out together. I helped them with English and they taught me some French. I also met Colin and Carolyn, Colin was from California and met Carolyn, who is from Quebec City, here. They instantly connected and moved in together after a couple months in Kalymnos. They were super nice and had some amazing stories to tell about travelling and climbing. On top of all these amazing people, there was another big group from Montreal, (7 climbers) who were all super nice, and motivated. So I had plenty of options of people to climb with and we always saw one another after climbing, at the beach or at the bar. I thought the days would go by slow, being alone, but they have gone by just as fast as the others.
Yudai on Themelina
            The last two days were amazing. Justin and I met the big group of French-Canadians at Odyssey, early Monday morning. It was to be a great day! After some warm ups in the terribly humid climate I went to try Lucky Luca. One attempt and it was clear I had the strength to send it, possibly second try. I rested and built up my rage while Justin tried a 7c. I ended up sending Lucky Luca second try and then later I hoped on the 7c and was happy to make every move. We were to leave by 2 o clock and meet the Chamonix couple and the other couple in Vathy to go deep water soloing. Justin and most of the French did not want to join, so it ended up being just Ariane and myself going. We were a bit late and the group had already headed out by boat. We promised a restaurant owner that we would east at her place, and in return she would boat us out to the cave. It was about a 5 min boat ride, when finally the cave came into view, it wasn’t very high, maybe 5m and only 20m across, but it didn’t matter, we were just there to have a good time and hangout. There is a little ledge, just left of the crag where you can put any belongings that you bring (I didn’t personally bring anything) and just sit down and relax. The sun was high in the sky and the boat dropped us off, I was immediately on the cliff wanted to climb before my hands and feet got wet. It was the only time I made it to the top. I did my victory jump into the water. We were all climbing, Eric and I found a dyno to keep ourselves occupied while the girls and Colin were just playing around in the huecos. The sun was high in the sky and the water was a beautiful temperature, it was an incredibly fun day. After a couple hours of climbing around, the boat came to pick us all up and as promised we sat down for some dinner. We basically each order a plate which came out one by one and we all shared from each plate. A variety of seafood dishes and some pasta! Soon it was time to head back to Masouri for a couple more beers. It was Adeline and Eric’s last day and they were to catch a taxi at 10:00 for a ferry taking them all the way to Athens.
Coming up to the crux on Sevasti
            The next morning was my last and even though Justin wasn’t climbing he agreed to come belay me at the Grande Grotta. After I quick warm up I finished Ivi, on my second try of the day and felt satisfied with what I have been able to accomplish on this trip. Coming here as a solid 11 climber and leaving a solid 12 climber was everything I hoped for. We packed up our bags and headed home. I said my goodbyes to Justin and started to get my things ready for the morning. I am currently taking a break from packing by updating this blog. I have a taxi coming for 4:45 in the morning and my ferry leaves at 5:30. By the time I get to Kos I will have a little over 2 hours to catch my flight to Konn, Germany. After a 19 hour layover I will be on my way to Croatia where I meet up with Tommy! Farewell Greece. You have treated me well. 

"Man cannot discover new oceans, if he is scared of losing sight of the shore."
                                                       - Andre Gide

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Stranger in Paradise

Broke though the rope :( had to cut it, no more 40m routes

The Beach :)
First off I would like to apologies for my lack of blogging and keeping you up to date with my bomber life style. The reason for this is quite simple. Five weeks of rock climbing with probably only 6 rest days spaced out in between does rather a toll to your body. My afternoons have been spent lying on the beach in spread eagle passed out position, cooking food for myself or in my bed in the same position as the beach. Yesterday I spend the day projecting a hard 7b (use to be 7b+) called Sevasti. I got smashed on it, not being able to even make it to the crux moves on a single burn. I just felt dead and exhausted after. I had a rest day previous to this, and after Sevasti I knew my body needed a longer break which is why I sit here writing to you know. I took the morning off while Dave and Yudai went up to Grande Grotta (their favorite place). I’ll be joining them after I watch Game of Thrones for a couple burns on the 7a+ there called Ivi.
Eating at Zorbas'
            To recap you on the last couple days here on the Island of Kalymnos, where dreams come true, I’ll start off with what we’ve been up to other then climbing. I can narrow it down to two broad categories of beach and studio room. This is where our time is spent. At the far end of the beach there is a slack line permanently set up right out side a bar and adjacent to a popular beach volleyball court. Sounds like a hotspot! We’ve actually been spending a fair amount of time here; Yudai is a great “slack liner” completing his jumps and spins on the line with the upmost precision. I on the other hand am working on the jump-starts and still have yet to complete a walk across the entire line. Dave gave up on the first session and sit near by drinking beer and watching out for local girls walking by. We’ll conclude our beach time with a swim and lying down in the sand, soaking in the sun’s heat and rays. Sundays and Holidays are the best for girls. Dave and Yudai like going out for dinner, which sometimes I’ll join them if I’m feeling too tired to cook.
Squid and Octopus
            Our most enjoyed spot to go eat is a joint right beside the supermarket, and sells Gyros for 2.20. One gyro will just about fill you up, but we get two, in order to feel extra full. It’s a nice feeling. The joint is run by two very friendly brothers who have come to see us as regulars. How do I know this? We each get the regulars-only high five on our way in and they know the exact modifications Dave needs on his gyro. No tomatoes, onion and stay away from the seafood. Perfect! On occasion we venture past our horizons and try new places. One such case was Zorbas’. Located on the edge of the beach, and known for the best seafood in town, we had to see what it was all about. It was a fairly large place and had lots to choose from on the menu. Yudai and myself came for the seafood, while Dave got a rack of lamb ribs. He didn’t care too much for them. Between Yudai and myself we split a plate of Fried Calamari, a plate of Vinegar Octopus, and a Small Shark dish. It was an amazing feast from under the sea. The shark tasted like tuna, cod and other small fish, mixed into one. I can’t imagine why. Everything was excellent, but a bit more expensive then gyros, so I don’t think we will be returning. FYI for anyone planning a visit, when Zorbas’ plays live music, they have a special menu they give, where every dish is about 3-5 Euros more expensive. We were lucky and arrived in time to get the cheap menu and still listen to the band.
Beer and a beautiful sunset
            Back at the studio, we have an amazing view of the Mediterranean, Talendos and other island just poking out of the horizon. After dinner we’ll sit out there with a beer, playing a game of Catan or watching the Big Bang theory. This will go on until 9:00 or 9:30ish when we get too tired to keep our eyes open or the mosquitoes scare us indoors. The other night on of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen cast it’s colorful lights, lighting up the entire Mediterranean. Even the locals were out taking pictures; we were lucky to see a sunset as exquisite as that. They say that a sunset like that often means a very hot day following. It was hot, but I didn’t notice any difference to the other days. Another night we watched a full out electrical storm out over the ocean. The nights are never boring and there is always something to see.
mmmmmmm Gyros
            Climbing for myself, as described before, has been very tiring, and I don’t think my body can climb anymore at it’s full potential. Dave and Yudai have 4 more days left and are trying to finish off everything they’ve wanted to try. The other day at Spartacus a bird flew down from the cliff and stole half a loaf of bread (our lunch). Shocked that a bird could even grab a piece of bread that size, and fly away. We meet an Australian guy, named Justin who is here alone, and here until July!!!!! Crazy Aussies. But once Dave and Yudai leave on Friday I will be moving back into our original studio at Micheals, where because Artemis loves me, is giving me a way better studio then before for 12 Euros a night! Talk about a steal. But for those days alone Justin, who is 41, 20 years older then I will be my climbing partner. He is only working on his on sight ability, trying as many 7b’s as he can, so at least we are climbing at the same level. Then Wednesday it is off to Cologne, Germany for a 19 hour lay over, then Split, Croatia with my long lost best bud! Can’t wait! Off to go join Dave and Yudai at the Grotta.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Broken Trinity

The Original Team, Miss you guys

"Elephantine" or something like that, hard crux
Jess and I woke up the next morning; only Jess and I. Joe had left early in the morning, sharing a cab with James from Vancouver. It was now 8am and our energy just seemed to be gone. Did it leave with Joe? Very possibly, that happy, always smiling, full of energy Mexican was on a plane towards Athens by now. We slept in till 9, and after a chill breakfast we slowly put our gear together to head up and meet Dave and Yudai. Joe wasn’t here to psyche or as usual steamroll us at 6am to ensure we were wide awake. Something was missing that morning, a crucial piece to a puzzle, the glue to our trinity. Life goes on and we headed up to the Grotta. We didn’t climb much that day, all I remember is doing a couple easier climbs on afternoon wall, just around the corner of the Grotta. It was a depressing day overall and I don’t want to spend time writing much about it. It was hard to adapt to a two-man team.
Great view of us on the multi pitch
The following morning was a bit more energetic. Today we were signed up for Scuba Diving! Dave, Jess and Myself were picked up at noon by Swedish girl, who taught scuba diving by day and rock climbed at night! Badass! Jess and Dave were both experienced divers, registered with PADI, while it was my first time. I had to sign up for a discover scuba dive while Dave and Jess were able to just go on a dive after a quick refresher. After fitting our gear we got in the truck to take us to boat. Heading out of the harbor towards the island of Talendos we turned into a little bay where they dropped me and the Swedish lady off at a beach. We were still waist deep in water and she showed me how to put the air tank on and work all the equipment. I caught on very quickly and soon we were swimming around the bay. We went about 10m deep and just followed the bottom. She show me an octopus nest, a sponge and we had a juggling competition (she won).It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to Scuba again. Dave and Jess went on a second dive later while I hung out on the boat working on my tan with the captain. They went 22m deep and saw a school of Barracuda while swimming in between mazes of rock. After we had finished they dropped us off back home and Dave and Jess took a cab into town to pick up a car for the week.
Aphrodite's infamous toe hook :)
With the capabilities of the car we went to a crag called Ghost Kitchen, which had 3 walls, the middle one was the only one of interest to us being the other two were just slab climbs. I started feeling really dizzy and nauseated and thought it was from climbing up so high after scuba diving the day before. Anyways I relaxed drinking lots of water while the others warmed up. By 11 I was feeling better again and was able to flash two 6c+ routes there. Jess and Dave got on a couple of the 12’s there and then cooled down on the 6c+ called Dafni.
Jess, not wasting any time on pictures
The next day Jess and I took the other two to Sikati Cave, or as Dave calls it (for the lack of remembering) Silky Caves. Walking the long approach in was a little weird having done it 3 weeks ago when Joe, Erika and Olly were all here. It felt so long ago, and the walk felt even longer this time. We got to the opening fairly quickly I think, and Dave and Jess repelled in while Yudai and myself did the scramble down climb. We completed a good number of routes that day, having started climbing around 9 and leaving at 6, it was a long day. Yudai and Dave both flashed Mortes aux Chevres, the infamous 7b there. I sent another 7a+ there on my first attempt despite having climbed up the wrong way a couple times, only having to down climb a couple moves to correct myself.
Water was cold!
Jess at this point had 2 full days left before he had to leave, so we decided to take a rest day and climb hard the last day instead of trying to climb 4 days straight. The rest day was very relaxing, as we did nothing but sit around, watch Game of Thrones and read our books. The following day we embarked out on Jess’ last walk to the Grande Grotta. We did a warm up called Carpe Diem then started projecting Aphrodite (7a+) together. This was the route I started projecting on Joe’s last day, and the one, which he described as the hardest 12a he had ever done. It took me 3 tries before I finally made it to the anchors without falling! My beta was a toe hook to a dyno; Jess couldn’t quite stretch out that far and had to use a tiny crimp and flag his feet. Either way work and we both sent it. It was a very bouldery route and drained the energy from us. At the end of the day we jumped on ivi, another hard 7a+, this was Jess’ last climb in Kalymnos. On the way down we stopped for some delicious ice cream and headed home to pack. I was moving in with Dave the following day, so I pack up my stuff as well. I hate when things come to an end. We had the room all ready to go after dinner and laid down to watch Zombieland. Dave was picking us up early the next morning.
Dave gives the thumbs up
Waking up, we put the final things together ate some cereal and met Dave outside. He drove us to the docks and that was it, we got out to say our goodbyes….I promised myself earlier that I wouldn’t cry, but watching him walk to towards the fairy. Lets just say it was a hard promise to keep. I was now the only one left out of the original 3, it was a 1 man team 5.10. We jumped back into the car heading to the crag, only to pass our empty studio room on the way. New beginnings


Monday, 28 May 2012

The Last Sandbag

We went climbing with Hinton and Yudai at the Grande Grotta the next day, I was still feeling very tired and weak and as a result only climbed a polished 6a+. Jess and Joe started projecting again. Joe picked something he knew wouldn’t take him much time, an 8a+ going up the middle of the cave. Jess picked one that would test his mental game and endurance, pushing them to the max. A 40m 7c was just an endurance fest of steep tufa climbing. One would get fatigued very quickly and dehydrated about half way up, and the ability to keep going after that point is incredible. He said to Joe and I not to let him down till he made it to the end. After another fall at about ¾, he said he was parched and needed to come down. Did Joe and I let him down? Of course not, trying to push, he only got more frustrated and after 5 mins of just hang dogging, we had no choice but to lower him. We were not in the mood to put up with the wrath of Jess Tarry. Dave and Yudai took our advice on classics and went off toward Panorama doing many of the routes we did on our first days (Cyclops, Bitman, Uncle Ernie, Uncle Bert, Kaly Pipe), all amazing routes.
Jess on his endurance fest project
            Neither Jess nor Joe sent that day, but had definitely made progress on the routes. Soon the day of climbing was over and it was time to head back. Jess was tired and after dinner went to bed. Joe and I went to Daves for a drink and some Greek dessert which I now forget the name of.
            We head back to the Grotta the following day and jump on our projects; today I feeling much better and picked out a short 7a+ to project. The beginning and ending were easy, but had a middle part that had and extremely hard sequence of moves. Joe commented that is was the hard 7a+ he has ever done. After one session of working it I was able to work out the moves, involving a killer toe hook. After that each time I jumped on it, I was going for the send but failed all 4 times. Jess gave up his project after one more try, he didn’t feel like he was making any progress on it and was not having fun anymore. Joe sent his on his second try of the day. I was losing power fast on the 7a+ and when no one had anything they wanted to do we decided to gear up and do a 4 pitch route going right over the cave of the Grotta. It was an easy one, and we want to do it for the view, it was also Joe last day, we thought it would make good bonding time.
Multi Pitch started in the bottom left corner
            As we were packing our bags, Dave and Yudai came over, they had finished climbing as well. Dave suggested going in teams of two. Yudai didn’t want to go, it was his rest day. So we split up. Jess and I went first, and Joe and Dave followed. Jess led the first pitch, which was surprisingly difficult and took some time figuring out where we had to go. The second pitch, I led, and had one of the coolest sections ever. Its hard to explain in words, but everyone after agreed with me. It was fantastic climbing, and soon we were at the beginning of the last pitch. Jess and I talked and decided that since it was Joe’s last day, we had to mess with him a little bit. This pitch was grade 5.8 and traversed out and then started going up. Jess led and on his way he began ticking the tiniest holds he could find. Ticking is a way of pointing out all the good holds. We knew Joe took this seriously and after using a couple well-ticked holds at the bottom, we knew he would fall for it. Near the top, the route goes out right, but there are no bolts so we didn’t know. Jess continued up and thus ran out of bolts, luckily he made it to the top. On his way up he was still ticking and chalking up hold, really putting in a lot of effort to make it look legit. After scrambling around the top he finally found the anchors and where the route should have gone. I followed up, knowing not to use the ticked holds. I made it up and for some reason yelled back to Dave, the route comes up right, which Dave then told to Joe who was going to lead it. I thought that was it for the prank he would never fall for it now.
            I sat back and waited, trying my best to escape the sun while Jess went ahead to look for the anchors in which we repel down off of. After about 10mins I hear yelling coming from Joe. “Dave! I don’t know where to go! DAVE!!!!!!!” I remember thinking; there is no way this worked. I crawl out to the edge and look down, nothing there. I then looked right and there is Joe 20 feet away from me level and on the cliff, holding onto holds that have prickly cacti pocking out. “Tyler! Where are the anchors!” “Way over here” I replied. “You have got to be kidding me!” He traversed over and finally clipped into the anchors. Jess by this time is back and laughing, and Dave comes up, telling us all the funny things Joe said on his lead.
“Dave! I’m on the shittiest crimps, ones two fingers! This is actually quiet ha….Dave! there’s a Jug out right! Those bastards sand bagged me!”
“Dave he went up left, this hold has a lot of chalk on it, he must of rested here for a while!”
These are a few lines coming out of the mouth of Joe Skopec! I was on the ground laughing so hard. After we got our giggles out and Joe got his curses out, we hiked to the repel. 62 meter repel in Birkenstocks was quite interesting and a first for me. It was an amazing last day and one that we will joke about for a long time. After we made the last supper, ate together outside and drank while Joe packed. We convinced him to stay up, he might as well be tired on the plane. Soon we were passed out and it was 6am. Joe woke me up with one more successful steam roll, we said our goodbyes and he was gone. Bye Bye Joe.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Irox & Pescatore

The following day we decided to check out a couple crags named Pescatore and Irox, on the island Talendos. This required a ferry which we got on at 8am, costing 5 Euros each to drop us off right at the base of the cliff. The Scottish couple happened to have the same plans so we were able to climb with them all day. We started climbing at Pescatore which was in the shade until 2pm then moved over to Irox. I started the warm up which I absolutely butchered, the sun was in my eyes so I ended up zig-zaging through two different routes, and by the time I got to the top, the rope drag was so much I could barely stand up and clip the anchors. When I was lowered I was still able to see the line and surprised I only went wrong in one section, anyways I was able to fix it for the other two, then it was off to the other side of the crag where the harder climbs were. Joe and Jess started on a 7b with a really hard bouldery start, while I was with the Scotts doing a really cool 7a+ which went in and out of tufas. I didn’t get this first try but was close enough that I gave it one more go and sent it! Such a good feeling.
            There was a classic 7c+ called Amores Perros at this crag, which Joe really wanted to flash, so he called up our strong Scottish friend Ross, and got him to jump on it first to hang draws and figure out beta. Actually Ross was getting on it regardless, Joe just paid attention and when it came time he did what needed to be done. His first 7c+ flash. Jess jumped on a 7c? right beside which had a super hard boulder problem at the beginning which he could not get past. Joe had to come to the rescue and retrieve the draws, although he did not send and said it was harder then the 7c+ he had just done. The sun was starting to makes its way the cliffs edge so we packed our stuff and headed back towards Irox.
            This late in the day, Irox was packed with climbers and even had a little day care center set up under a cave roof where all the wives and babies hung out. All the classic climbs had lines, I figured this out when I brought my rope up to two climbs, and climbers swarmed me saying that they were in line and what was I doing, I had to wait. Yada yada yada yada. I was confused and just said okay and left. One of the couples that was in line for the 7a, decided it was too busy and were going to another crag. They were nice enough to come get me and tell me I can jump on the route. This route was snaking left and right of the bolt line and was really hard to read. I made it to the 3 bolt at my chest but failed to find a good enough hold to clip from, then suddenly one of the crimps I was holding in my left hand exploded and I fell. It happened so fast and before I knew it I was standing on the ground and Joe was up in the air. Weird. Oh well, I gave it a second shot and made it to the top. It had an amazing roof section at the top. Jess on sighted and Joe flashed this route after me.
            Joe after jumped on another 7c+ making it to the top but the crux was a bit wet so he never did get back on it. It was a different style then the last, a bouldery overhanging crux. While Jess was climbing the 7a (which was more like a 7a+, we all agreed) Sam, the Scottish girl, had a bad fall on lead, when her feet hit a section of slab, flipping her upside down, smashing her back into the rock. She was lowered and luckily did not hit her head. A couple scraps and bruises later, that was the end of their day. The ferry was coming back soon and they wanted to catch but their draws were still up on the wall. We told them that we would retrieve them and meet them out for pizza later. They were thankful and ran to pack their things and catch the ferry.
            I retrieved the draws, and that was the end of our climbing. There was another ferry coming and we were all too pooped to do anymore climbing. We pack our things and caught the next ferry, playing a game of catan on the way back to port.
            We relaxed a bit at home, when the Ross and Sam strolled by, so we invited them over for a drink. One of the shop owners beside us saw us drink and because he likes us so much, gave us a 1.5litre of white wine and a can of muscles. We accepted with a smile but still haven’t opened either. After a few drinks and laughs we head out to the best pizza my mouth has ever had the pleasure of tasting at the Gecko. We got 3 pizzas (2 country and 1 Kalymnos) to split between the 5 of us and a round of Sambrinos. It was delicious. At the end of the night we went our separate ways and all passed out in our beds. Thank the lord it was a rest day the next morning.
            Dave and Yudai showed up early the next morning. We got together and showed them around, pointing out the best spots to eat, buy groceries, and get clean water. They were eager to go and check out the climbing so after a quick tour they headed up to Iannis. We went and did some snorkeling in a new area. It was the same, besides seeing a jellyfish and doing some bouldering on the ocean floor. After 30 minutes the water was too cold to stay in any longer. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, sleeping or gaming.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


High up on Francalypso, I climbed the steep sharp rock, only 15 feet until I reach Joe huddled up in his sweater at the belay station. As I look up at Joe with a look of panic on my face, a storm cloud slowly forms over his head. He looks up momentarily then back at me, all he does is smile and let out a maniacal laugh.
            It was early Friday morning, and our gear was laid out before us on the bed. Harness? Check. 80m Rope? Check! 14 Draws? Check! Wait only 14 draws? Are you sure, aren’t there 50m pitches? We take a quick glance at the guidebook again and confirm that it is 14 draws, as well as two 50m pitches. The pitches were graded 5b and 6b, so we weren’t worried about run outs. Jess was still sick and weak from the night before, and with fear of being stuck on a wall with diarrhea, decided to opt out. Joe and I packed our bags and headed for the cliff.
Joe and I
            The route we picked out is called Francalypso (overall grade of 6c+) and contains 4 pitches (5b, 50m, 6b, 50m, 6a, 20m, 6c+, 25m) a total of 145m straight up the cliff face dubbed Ocean Dream. The approach was the usual stroll through town, walking by all the locals, each one preparing their shops for another day of customers. By now we know the majority of them and wave saying our good mornings as we pass by. It is a long walk on the street to the edge of town where we veer off on an old dirt road going up hill to another road, which we followed for 200 feet before heading up the goat trails. Walking by Odyssey, we passed some climber preparing for their day of climbing. Joe was walking in the lead and due to our 100% focus on where our feet were being placed we missed the trail that split right to head up cliff. Instead we kept heading directly up. There is no exaggeration when I say that this walk; this epic was the most strenuous hike I have ever done. First off I was in Birkenstocks, which had no business in terrain such as that. We were also both carrying 30lb backpacks, not a ton but enough to feel it in the calves. Thirdly we were ascending a shit covered 75 degree ruble field with lose boulders everywhere. Every time you would take a step you would lose a couple inches due to falling rocks under your feet. This was the first time we stopped half way for a water break on an approach. The top ended with a slab section; steep and hard enough to make the hairs on your back stand up. We made it to the beginning of the climb.
            After I quick bite to eat, fresh bread bought that morning we geared up. Looking up we could not spot the first bolt, was this where it started? After a couple seconds of searching we realized it was about 15 feet up the climb. Joe you can lead. As he was climbing up to the first clip, the rock was wet in some area, there were no chalked up holds so we had no idea where to grab, but on the plus side the friction was amazing, almost anything could be grabbed and pulled up on. After the 2nd bolt there was another long run out, one which decking was inevitable if he fell or slipped. We pressed on to a ledge where we set up a belay station. We had only completed 15m of the 50m climb, but thought it would help if the belayer (me) could at least see the climber. Once I climbed up to Joe, we quickly did what we needed to do then Joe was off again. There was an 80% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and we wanted to climb fast and finish before. But the skies were starting to turn grey. Mother nature had other plans. Joe began again riding a huge flake of rock that looked like it was about to rip off, and came into a sharp slab section. Having to find all the holds, made climbing slow and tedious, the opposite of what we wanted.
The View
            Joe reached the top without much problem, setting up the belay station and putting me on belay. I climbed up to him cleaning our gear as I went. It was a beautiful climb, but I was getting a little too high for comfort. I would look out below me and everything was so small, people were ants and the giant boulders we walked by were pebbles. It almost made you feel dizzy, but the view out over the Mediterranean is one I will never forget. I reached Joe, having just completed the first pitch of four. But it was beautiful, the movements, the rock, the view, everything. We traded the rope for the draws and Joe was off again up the 50m 6b. It was the same type of climbing as the first pitch technical and slab. He was maybe 40 feet above me when he yelled back; I don’t see the next bolt. I replied, “It must just be over the next bulge.” It wasn’t. This is one of the scariest moments of my life, the bolt was spotted maybe 20 feet away, and Joe was already 15 feet above the last. We had already found out the grades were a sandbag, the 5b was harder then a 5b and this 6b was not looking like a 6b. Joe put on his game face and pressed on. 10 feet away now (possible 60 foot fall, give or take a few feet for rope stretch) and Joe grabs a jug. He doesn’t use it to shake out, well not at first. First he lends back and looking down at this now useless rope, and then at me and starts laughing, just laughing as loud as he can. I remember thinking, this guy has gone insane with fear, his brain was fried and now he’s crazy and I’m stuck in the middle of this cliff with this lunatic. It doesn’t help the imagination that storm clouds are still over his head as he laughs down at me. After his insane moment end (5 minutes of laughing) Joe shakes out and becomes a hero when he finally clips the bolt. It felt like this had been going on for hours, slow motion took over. He finished the pitch after that without much more trouble. I climbed up to him once again.
            Now, 100m high I was shaking in my shoes, when I reached Joe at the hanging belay station, I was so frightened I couldn’t concentrate, ignore all of Joe’s question and breathing very heavily. I anchored myself into the station and Joe mentioned taking my shoes off for comfort, I managed to get one off before the moving around made me uneasy. It took a long time to become comfortable with the heights. The wind was extremely strong, and we were both cold still being in the shadow of the mountain. We knew that if it started raining, we would probably be unable to finish the climbs, therefore being stuck, and hypothermia would have been a likely possibility. But we still yet to see a raindrop fall from the dark skies.
Hanging Belay
            I belayed Joe on the 3rd shortest and most beautiful pitch of the entire climb. The second half of the pitch involved climbing up a massive arête, which finished at the next station. I was able to control my breathing and not make every move a frantic race, thus enjoying the climbing and the movements. The last pitch was the hardest, taking on a slight over hanging face. Before I could say belay on, Joe was off, and quickly under the crux. Unfortunately he read the rock wrong and fell on the crux, wreaking his onsight of the entire route. On his second attempt he made the moves no problem, disappointed he fell missing some key holds. He made it to the belay station and like every other time I climbed up to him, but this time I passed him working my way to the top. We didn’t quite notice when, but sometime during the last pitch the skies had cleared and the sun shined down on our ascent! Just before the top, I stopped and sat down belaying Joe up to meet me and we went onto the top together, and the feeling of accomplishment was greater then I have ever felt before. I can’t describe it. Joe felt the same and we sat on top and had lunch to one of the most amazing views. We were onto of Kalymnos and could see almost the entire island.
            The walk down was very easy, but one could not take a step without squishing 8 grasshoppers, they were everywhere. Also on the walk down we found the trail that we were meant to take on the way up. It was way easier then what we did, so the whole walk down seemed like a joke. 
On top of Kalymnos
            The next day Jess was back in fighting shape and ready to go out and battle some more routes. Joe and I were kind of glad to have him back. We head up to a crag called Ivory Towers, which is right near Iannis, the crag we had projected earlier at. We tried to warm up on a really cool 6a+, but in the end it was too easy and none of us felt warm. This is the 6a+ that Joe top roped. We picked out a 6c+ which started in the same area and did some really cool moves, traversing under a roof using tufas, and then up over the roof. I came one move off from on sighting this after missing the key jug! It was then onto a 7b called Dreamline. Jess went first and figure out all the Beta, this was an amazing climb which I’m defiantly going to try for the red point making it my first 12b. After crimping your way through the bottom crux you come up to a huge bulge which you set yourself up on two slopers on either side of the bulge. Almost at full arm span, you hop your left foot up first then right foot and you are really scrunched up. You stand up and there is a jug right in front of your face. The next part I really enjoy happened right after in which you get two crappy crimps making a “V” shape, which you have to pull up on to the jug. I could not do this move until I tied my sweater on as a cap and dynoed from the crimp to jug, just reaching it with my left hand, my feet flew out, but I stuck it. Joe and Jess then proceeded to call me Super Cow. All and all it is a fantastic line!
            We moved onto a 7b+ called The Craic. Joe went first getting the flash fairly easily. I was up next. I had never been on a 12c before, and it showed. The bottom section leading up to the main wall was  out of this world. It featured some of the thinnest crimps I have ever been able to grab, and a ballerina style of footwork. We danced up this section on nothing more then credit card size crimps on rock that looked like it was from outer space. I loved it. It was the next section the killed me. An over hanging tufa section, which just killed me cardio wise. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted and dehydrated. But other then that it was another amazing climb. Jess got the red point on dream line, and wants to go back to red point The Craic. Joe flashed a 12d called Lactic Shock. He came very close to falling. Coming out of a rest into a sustained section of the climb which traverses over a roof, he crossed his left hand into a 2 finger pocket. The next move was a big throw out right. He missed the hold and his feet cut. Did he fall? Not Joe Skopec. Jess was belaying at the time, and was very confused why the rope did not go tight. Joe was hanging there by two fingers, his legs squirming in mid air, useless. Flailing around his feet eventually got back on the wall and he made the move. It was an amazing fight to the anchors. The Scottish couple were at the crag that day and Ross looked over seeing Joe hanging there and said to himself “What are those crazy Canadians doing.” It was fun to watch and we all had a great day.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Sausage and Potatoes

I can’t sleep; waking up early is going to suck. Joe is next to me snoring and Jess is up every 5 minutes running to the bathroom. Plus the neighbors are using their outside voices and slamming doors. Jerks. At least there are no mosquitoes. It’s day 17 on the island and tomorrow is an 80% chance of thunderstorms, the first rain we’ve seen in Greece. We forgot it existed. We had one other close call with thunderstorms, but the clouds hit Talendos and veered away from us, probably releasing its load another small island in the Mediterranean. Today was a rest day, and I think that’s part of the reason for my lack of fatigue at the moment. We did nothing all day, besides a few grocery errands. I began my new book today, Cat’s Cradle, about a journalist trying to right a book on one of the scientist who helped with the Atom bomb. On page 50 and it’s quite interesting. Besides that we played some catan, napped and tried downloading another movie. It currently sits at 51%. It was too cold to snorkel, Jess went out for a little while Joe and I napped, but didn’t last long in the rough water.
Joey's lunch, notice Jess matches with the table cloth
            Joe just woke up and told me to sleep, I said I can’t because he is snoring, he corrected me and said I can’t because I’m chubby. With that he fell right back asleep. He made us a wonderful lunch today, also the cause of Jess’s present upset stomach; well I’m not sure how much he actually made himself since he had every local woman helping him out. Two started the fire and coals in the bbq, while another prepared the sausage and potatoes. I’m not sure Joe did anything other then coordinate everyone. Well he set the table and called us when everything was finished. I was happy because he remembered the ketchup.
            While Joe was cooking, Jess and I were checking out prices for diving and found 80 euros can get us basic training and a dive. Jess is already trained but will do it with me to refresh himself. Joe has no interest, so we’ll wait until he leaves.
            Providing the weather holds up, we picked out some multi-pitch routes to do on Talendos. Hope all goes well. Joes awake again, time to stop writing. Hope all is well my friends.


Sending Petranta, notice the knee bar pad :) (my t-shirt)
We awoke to the all too familiar smell of “sendage.” It was a Wednesday morning and no one mentioned the stench of sendage for fear of jinxing its benefits. We all had standing projects yet to be completed, and it was our last day of climbing before another rest day. The pressure was on. The mosquito killer stopped working in the middle of the night, so no one slept incredibly well. Waking up every 30mins to buzzing in your ear, only to swat at nothing but air in a drunk-like frenzy. Just by looking at one another you could tell there was a lack of sleep, no questions needed to be asked. I decided to stay in bed to get a couple extra hours of hopefully mosquito free sleep, and meet the other two up at the crag later. It was 9am when I awoke from my restless sleep, feeling recharged and energized like never before. Having already eaten breakfast with the other two at 6, I strapped on my bag, plugged in the iPod and headed up towards the crag by 9:10.
Showing off our sponsored knee bar pad by Grand River Rocks 
            When I arrived Jess was already working out the moves to Super Themelina. After he came down I did a quick warm up on Adolf at the Bay, and felt extremely strong on it. Joe was staying warm as he was going for the send after I finished. I came down and Joe plugged into his iPod, Paper Towels playing loudly, and he was putting the utmost care into strapping on his shoes, tying the knot, and applying the liquid chalk. He was ready. I came running up to belay, yelling in my best announcer voice “The challenger, weighing in at an astonishing 1.65 stone, undefeated in his last 3 battles, Joe Skopec. And the reigning champion of the crag, Racooomelooooo!!” It received a smile from the very “in the zone” Joe. I attached the gri gri and off he went! The whole time he made it look super easy cruising through the first crux! We knew he would send as we watched him hopped over the bulge of the last crux. But as he started clipping the anchors his left foot began to crumble away, it was a ticking time bomb. Luckily he clipped the anchors quickly and was able to take the weight off the foot. Congratulations on the send Joe!
Joey relaxing after his send
            Jess was tired and wanted a bit more rest so I tied up to attempt my project. Just like Joe I cruised through the bottom pumpy crux, hooking the knee bar and scrambling up the tufa to the first rest. It was only after the rest that my foot slipped and I fell. I was disappointed but I knew it would happen today. Another attempt later and I fell missing a jug, one move away from the slab section, which would be a sure send. On my third attempt I nailed every move, never once feeling weak or pumped. Making it to the slab section, I knew just one more dance with the devil was in between me and my first 12a (7a+). We tangoed our way up the steep sharp slab, traversing across monos and tiny crimps. Flirting with death has never been so calming before, I kept my poker face and before I knew it I was doing my full extension stretch to clip the anchors. I had done it! But it was weird, I didn’t feel like a fought hard for this send, it seemed easy and I wasn’t as satisfied as I thought I would be. On to 12b I suppose.
            Jess was drained of energy all day, sneaking in naps whenever he could. The 13’s were just killing his body and being the 3rd day had no power left. He still got up the ropes sending Themelina (7b+) and Sevasti (7b) but when it came to the extension (Super Themelina) just could not connect the moves. He wasn’t too worried about it and was happy about nailing a couple more hard 12’s. It was our last day of projecting, from now on we will just tour the different crags and put the miles on all the classics.
Working on Petranta
Jess Tarry being a ninja on Themelina

           That night we celebrated with some beers and watch a movie/show called Treasure Island. It was terrible; I left 10mins in while Joe and Jess stayed due to the lack of something better to do. Goodnight Καλιμικτον
Joe busting a massive heel hook
Celebrating with some brewski's

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

It's Joe not Joey

"Is this how you belay?"
We began our well-deserved rest day, the same way we always do: lazily. Sleeping in, taking our time with breakfast while each of us indulged in our own activity. Jess playing Radiant Defense on my laptop. Joe playing worms on the ipad, trying to steamroll me in between turns. I just try to sleep more. We finally roll out of our beds, eat some breakfast and prepare for the day. Today, Mike told us about a great place to snorkel in behind the studios, so we decided to check it out. The approach was difficult, especially in bare feet, Jess Tarry was the only sensible one, wearing his black keen sandals. After hustling ahead out of sight he decided to climb a tree and ambush us. Luckily I was fast enough to get ahead and didn’t look like a fool (such as Joe) when he jumped down. We got to the water edge and realized we had to dodge a minefield of rocks riddled with purple sea urchins just to get to the deeper water. Jess Tarry, being an avid snorkeler, was first in the water. Joe and I, being land lovers, followed after a number of minutes had gone by (slowly). After committing to diving in, the water temperature really wasn’t that bad and the sights were spectacular. It got very deep very quickly, and the water was just short of being crystal clear. It wasn’t the fish or the coral that caught my attention but the maze of rocks down there. Hidden caves everywhere. Joe didn’t venture out too far, due to his shark phobia, but still enjoy the moment. This offered great opportunities to sneak up from below and scare him, which Jess Tarry took advantage of. Jess and I went out fairly far, every once in a while diving down to swim side by side with the fish. After maybe a half hour, we started getting cold and headed back in to join Joey on the beach. Nothing else worth mentioning happened on the rest day, we just ended the day with dinner and a movie. Yeah that sounds like a date. It really was a date with myself and Joe creeping the back ground; I was sitting in front of the mirror. 
Lazy Climbers
I just remembered something worth mentioning! I hope I describe it well because it was the highlight of my trip (comedy wise). Joe went out for some late night grocery shopping, while Jess and I stayed home and joked around about Keto and Pink Panther. For those of you who do not know who Keto is, he was hired by the Pink Panther to hide in his mansion, and ambush him every night when he comes home, just to keep him on his toes. Every night the Pink Panther comes home and yells through the house “Not tonight Keto! I’m tired, I had a long long day at work. Come out!” Keto never listens and usually attacks him regardless. Anyways, We decided to scare Joe, but filling my bed covers with pillows, making it look like I was laying down there. After recalling his steam rolling fetish we came up with the brilliant idea to split the beds apart, creating a gap in between and covering it with blankets. I hid in the closet and waited. Joe came back and Jess played his part, keeping his voice down and saying that I was sleeping, Joe knew something was up, but Jess didn’t budge with his act. Joe eventually started to believe that it was actually me under the covers. He brushed his teeth and got ready for bed, not suspecting a thing! He realized that his pillow was gone (being used under my covers) and believe I took it. Jess told him to  steam roll me and take it back. Joe said “ok ,ok….” The moment of truth “wait I need a flash light.” He wanted to see where his pillow was and after turning the light realized there was a gap in between the beds. He still thought I was under the covers, so I used this chance and jumped out at him from the closet. HE JUMPED TWO FEET IN THE AIR! And had the most horrified face expression I have ever seen. We laughed for hours.
            The next morning, the sun rose, it was project day. We hiked up the hill to Iannis crag where our routes were waiting. The walk up to the crag is quiet a bit easier then the one to Grand Grotta area, and we have fallen into a routine of wearing ipods on the walk up. We were always too focused and exhausted to talk to one another anyways. At the top we take 5 minutes to catch our breath, then its shoes and rope out of the bags and time to saddle up. Joe and I warm up on an amazing climb called Adolf in the Bay, which at the end has one of my favorite moves “The Iron Cross” to a pinch! Jess warms up on Attitude, stopping just before his project begins.
            We don’t really have a routine as to who goes first, I’m usually flashed pumped after our warm up so I take a little longer to regenerate, its usually Jess or Joe. On this particular day Joe was the chosen one, and spent a burn refreshing the beta in his mind and waking up his finger muscles. Jess then gets on Attitude extension making it up to the crux move no problem. The move that stands in front of him now, has been described to me as a V7 boulder problem 35m high. It is and incredibly hard move and after a number of attempts, he came down unsuccessful.
            I was able to reach the top of attitude with only one rest, due to a wet tufa pinch. I should have made the next move, one more higher from the bolt, but fell. I sent it next go and came down happier than a Tele Tubby. It was time to pick a harder project. There was a 7a+ that starts the same as Draconian Devil, inside the cave, but comes out of the cave with powerful moves and finishes on a slab. Let the games begin.
Our warm up
            Joe and Jess both put a couple more burns in on their routes, Jess still not able to make the one move wonder on his route, gives up and decides to try a more sustained 7c+ instead. But first he puts draws up for me on the 7a+. His 7c+ is call Super Themelina (an extension to Themelina). I got on my new project, making it to the top no problem, just with many rests. The slab (less than 90degrees) section at the top is the scariest/sharpest climbing I have ever done. If I fell I would be cheese graded down the slope. I did it once, ticked the holds I wanted and won’t do it again until I climb all the way there with no rests.
            There were a couple others at the crag climbing that day including one of the ladies from Vancouver climbing with an older British lady named “Jerry.” They invited us 3 handsome boys over to their beach house that night for some drinks. Also at the crag were an older couple from Spain, the guys name was Pachi. He was climbing strong, and use to be even stronger before his injuring. After talking to Joe about the 8b and offering some beta, not just telling but demonstrating, he started telling us stories about back in the day, climbing with Sharma and Dani. It was really interesting to listen to the stories.
Joe demonstrating his amazing belay skills
            After climbing, we decided to go snorkeling again, this time at a new spot. We were dropping off polysporin to the Vancouver lady and walked along the beach to try and find their house. We never found it and walked a long way along the beach. Joe didn’t learn from last time and once again did not wear shoes. It was hell for him to walk across the sharp rocks and boulders covering the coastline. We found a dock, which we decided to take off from. I promised Joe to stay on the outside, closest to the wide-open sea, keeping a constant look out for shark. I don’t know what Joe expected me to do if a shark were to swim up, but it got him in the water. Once again it was an amazing time, and Joe and I joked around with different sign language, turning our snorkel route into a rock climbing route with rests and cruxes.
Joe on his project Racomelo
            We went home and cooked our usual dinner. We packed some beers and a bag of grapes to bring to the “party”. Immediately upon arrival, we get offered gin and soda, I’m the only one who accepts, I wanted to be a good guest! Josie hands me a drink concocted by herself, and probably contain 80% gin, 10% soda and the other 10% was probably the lime wedge. My mother taught me very good manners so I drank it with a smile. Pouring the last sip into the bushes I then moved onto my beer. Refreshing! Joe and I were amazing wingmen, and when the girl that Jess Tarry had the hots for came over to chat, we pretended to see something in the ocean and left the two alone. Unfortunately she caught on to our tactics too, and quickly mentioned her boyfriend back home in Vancouver. Oh well the thought was there. Meeting many climbers, the majority from the states, we concluded the night watching Boogie till you poop. It’s a rock climbing film on youtube, documenting a climber on a crack climb, when his knee gets wedge in the rock. A dude named Cedar Wright comes to rescue and situated himself under the climber. The climber is super hung over, and ends up shitting his pants. The reason the video came into topic is because Cedar Wright is here climbing at Kalymnos. We met him one day at Spartacus wall and offer to get stuck in a knee bar and shit our pants. He didn’t seem too impressed but his partner replied that he had his filming stuff here. We walked home then hit the hay for a new day of projecting.

Sunday, 13 May 2012


After a great rest day, we felt recharged to head back up the steep hill, through the goat gate, pass the tree of life and through the labyrinth of rocks to attempt our projects. Joe and I warmed up on mine since the first half is jug hull, with big full extension moves. Joe also brushes the cruxes for me. We finish warming up and the crag starts filling up with other climbers. All our projects feature cruxes that are our anti-style. Joe’s (Daniboy, 8a)is very steep and long, beginning on big holds and getting smaller, to monos. It also featured a knee bar, which Jess had to give him the 101 on. There is a first time for everything. It took Joe a lot of work build the strength to connect all these moves. It saved him a ton of time when he received beta from two climbers out of Vancouver.
Jess’s (Arena, 7c) project was a long sustained route, with one insanely hard move in the middle! He didn’t make this move once on our first two days of projecting. It was a full suspension move, from a right hand side pull, to left hand pinch. To imagine what he was shooting for, bend your index finger towards your thumb leaving about 2cms of room before actually making contact. That is the position your fingers are in when holding the rock. Joe worked it for a bit, and couldn’t pull the move. He says it was the humidity making the friction bad. Maybe so.
Working the crux of Alexis Korbas
My project (Alexis Korbas 7a+) had a very pumpy beginning with no seriously good rests, well for me at least. Than just as the rock started to become overhanging, the rock became super small, sharp holds with delicate moves in between. My first mission was to hit a small 2 finger crimp from a 2 finger right hand pocket. After managing some heel hook beta I made the move. Now the only thing in between me and my send is the move from the crimp to side pull, fairly far away. This move must be made absolutely static or else the pull will throw you off the wall.
Jess, laced up this day, and the one time he made the hard move on his route, he sent his first 5.12d!!!!! Congradulations!!! It is important to note that I was the one belaying. Joe and I came close but did not send today. As well as his project Jess also sent Spartacus, a beautiful 7b+ going up the cave beside Daniboy. He did this on his 2nd go!
Making some friends
Once again the next morning we did our usual routine and headed up to the cliff side. Jess and I warmed up on a route called, Les Amazones, which has an awesome sequence between two tufas, which offer stunning stemming capabilities. Joey did his usual warm up on my project, brushing the thin holds for me. He is a very nice guy. Sometimes. Joe finally sent his project, getting his first 8a of the trip on the first burn of the day. I put about 4 burns into Alexis Korbas, but without succeeding, I was getting frustrated and decided we move on. I’ll come back and send soon.
We had planned to go put up draws on new projects in the Iannis sector, which is closer to our studio. But by the time we got back, were just drained from the hike, and did not feel like hiking back up. So we had a relaxing afternoon watching climbing movies, and Jess picked out a nice chick flick for us to watch.
Finally the sun sets
The next day we woke up to light rain, which quit around 8:30am. Giving the rock a couple hours to dry and air out we headed out around 10:30. All 3 of us warmed up on a 6c+ called Adolf in the Bay. An amazing climb, which will defiantly be done again in the future, then it was off to scope out the projects. Jess’s and mine shared the same start. In fact he is doing an extension to mine called Attitude Extension (7c+). Just Attitude is 7a; I picked something a little easier than Alexis Korbas just to gain some motivation and much needed strength endurance. Joe saw a bouldery route called O Draconian Devil (8b) but after pulling some of the moves, determined that the crux move was all of his injured hand. He cleaned the route and picked another 8b called Racomelo. We only got the chance to give a couple burns on our projects before the sun hit hard on the cliff side. Our plan for the day was to bring lots of food and water and try to live through the sun until it cooled down enough to climb again. Jess had to go to the washroom, so left back to the studio, and felt no remorse to take his time and grab a sit down coffee. He was also instructed to bring our games up so we had something to do in our cave.
Joe working the moves out on Draconian Devil
The sun hits the cliff around 3:30 and at about 6:30 it drops low enough in the sky that the ocean breeze is cool enough to provide good climbing temperatures. Around 7:30 it disappears behind the island of Talendos, this we call the Golden Hour. The same thing happens in Lions Head. Where we are climbing there is a cave, full of goat shit – actually the whole crag is full of goat shit, and the cave was in shade for what we were hoping the entirety of the 3 hours before it became cool. This was not the case, the cave provided shade for maybe the first 45mins. The rest was an absolute sweat fest. I thought we would die of heat exhaustion. Jess finally came back and we begun a game of catan. Half way through, heat stroke took the best of Joe and he chugged the rest of the water, declaring that it was everyman for himself. After he saw a mirage out of an old dirty sock, Jess and I figured it had gone too far and gave him our stash of water we had hidden. Clouds rolling in blocked the sun sooner then expected and we were able to start climbing again! We were all able to get a couple more burns before I headed back to start dinner, and Joe and Jess joined me after one last burn. To celebrate the sending that occurred, we went out for some beers and played some Catan. Typical.