Monday, June 9, 2014

Serpents Hardest Route!!

I finally managed to send my long standing project at Serpent, QLD about two weeks ago. The route, which was bolted long, long ago was dubbed Pandora's Box and given a grade of 27+. It took 18 shots to send packing, which is by far the longest I have spend on a route since 2011. I have left the name as it is, because I like it. So here it is!!

** Pandora's Box Sport 15m,  28
The current hardest route at Serpent. Stickclip first two bolts from chossy ledge. Hard pull onto wall, with continual bouldering which doesn't relent until you clip the anchor. Hard the entire way. Originally an old Aaron Jones project, until he broke the crux hold and deemed it to hard for the time. Many years have passed and it has finally seen an first ascent.
FA: Matt Schimke, 27th May

I wanted to write briefly about the effects of projecting in a remote location. Serpent, although not 'remote' is a crag that not many venture too. There are a few reasons for this is, including the slightly longer than most approach (25 minutes), the limited publicity and the old school bolting of most of the easier lines. Because of this, I have been forced to harass people into coming out there with me, which in effect gave most days of cranking at Serpent a negative touch. As much as I had the support of people such as Terry Forbes and Susy Goldner, who would often cancel their own ideal crag day for a day at Serpent with me, it was still an unfortunate situation knowing that the pressure was on for me to tick so they didn't have to come back with me.
I feel this underlying pressure I put on myself actually extended the amount of shots it took, as I would feel nervous that I NEED to send. Funnily enough, the day I sent the route was the day my expectations were limited, as I knew my tendonitis was playing up, and I would need to take it easy. Lewis Templar, director of  Climbing on Sunshine was at Serpent on the day, to film me on Pandora's Box, which worked out awesomely, as somehow I managed to send the route with him capturing it all for the upcoming movie!! Here are a couple of stills from the footage he shot. Get ready for some awesome footage when the movie surfaces.

Here's the really steep and powerful first section off the ledge.

This is the 'rest' before the long crux section which resolves at the anchor. And yes, that shows the steepness correctly

Big lunge to the right sidepull, which has just enough friction to be an enjoyable hold.

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