Australia I: In the cloud, First Ascent

Here is our first video about our trip to the Grampians in Australia!

Pictures by Andreas Barth/Peter Würth

On our first trip to the wonderful Grampians eight years ago, Andi found and brushed a really cool crimpy shield. He tried it together with Peter Würth, but they couldn’t finish it. Since then no one seems to have stumbled upon this boulder, even if its quite close to some of the established sectors. The boulder has two perfect and very obvious starting holds and follows a beautiful line of very small horizontal crimps with a sequence revolving around a tiny crimp and a gaston flake in the end. It is rare that you find such a pure crimp boulder that is not awkward and sharp! With the exception of the first move all the 5-6 moves are hard and uncompromisingly powerful: I tried various drop-knee variants, but the footholds are just too sparse and bad for that. It took us several days to figure out a method, but even after having done all moves isolated, I was rather unhopeful about linking them, especially the third move felt impossible from the bottom. Also we soon realized that its quite tricky to get good conditions for this problem as it faces the sun pretty much all day. On cloudy days attempts were usually thwarted by rain showers, so we resorted to night sessions. I made slow but steady progress and one dry evening I managed to stick the crux third move from the bottom only to fall going to the gaston! Nervously I rested for a bit, managed to stay calm and did the probably first ascent the same night!

As it took me waaayyyyy longer than any crimpy 8a I’ve done, I suggest a grade of 8a+/V12. Here is the video, make sure you watch in HD to get the full kangaroo experience;)

For the lucky people in the area: ‘In the Cloud’ is located only a couple hundred meters from the Gulgurn Manja Shelter back towards the Hollow Mountain carpark.

More videos and a longer trip report soon!


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