sunnuntai 4. heinäkuuta 2010

On the Edge of darkness

It was about five years ago when we found out Luohua boulder existed. Immadiately after arrival we spotted the most obvious and beautiful line of the stone, a rounded arete on top of a steep overhang. The arete and it's slopers looked really attractive and challenging. It seemed that the upper part of the arete had no holds at all or we could not hold onto them at all at that time. The lower part seemed more doable and it did not take long until Osmo climbed half of the arete, named it as Iisak and thought the grade could be around 7A.

The upper part though felt still much too hard and remained almost untouched for couple of years until in the autumn 2007 Risto and I started to projecting it. We came pretty close but could still not send it before the winter. The first ascent had to wait until spring 2008 when Risto opened Fat Hippo and I got the second ascent couple of weeks later. We though the grade could be around 8A so many tries it had taken from us. Later on that summer we also figured out the two hardish hand moves and couple of foot moves linking Iisak and Fat Hippo but could not get proper trys until spring 2009 when I came across a hook sequence that felt heinously delicate but seemed doable.

After two months of trying I thought being close when I once got to the crux match completely exhausted but could not switch the index fingers on the tiny pebble in order to be able to try the last and hardest move, a jump to a decent hold. The autumn was really moisty so I had to wait until end of october for good crispy conditions to continue where I left of in the spring just to notice, no dice still anywhere near.

This year after a good start of the season in Font I headed straight back to project hoping to send it quickly when the temperatures were still below zero. After four sessions with really good conditions, coldest was about -11 degrees when I left, I got frustrated and thought some change might do some good, so I headed to southern Finland for couple of weekends to try the 7 veljestä. When it went down so quickly I came back to project even more motivated. It took some good 20 sessions more after sunset but luckily I managed to send the project on the last evening before we headed for 3 weeks trip to swizzy. What a relief!

I believe this was the easiest project that was left in Luohua but as it still took so much effort and time fine tuning the beta and finally send it with very good conditions I have no choice but suggest 8B. It felt more than a notch harder than the stand start Fat Hipo. Let's see how it turns out after it gets repeats. There is still at least five open projects ready and waiting to be opened in Luohua.