Monday, May 4, 2009
If you don't plan, things will still happen. Amazing. We have been staying at the Craigeburn camp ground which is just 10 minutes drive from the boulder fields, less if you are going to Flock. We've met all sorts of characters here at the camp but it wasn't until my friend Justin Wood arrived that we met Derek Thatcher and the strongmen of Castle Hill. We met the boys at the Flock Hill parking and zoomed up to the boulders. It was still early, 9 am maybe, and there was slippery frost covering the ground. People kept disappearing into the tall grass with a yelp and someone would yell, "Boom-agata!" Which to me sounds like a line from a Tribe Called Quest rhyme.
Lady Killer v3
We warmed up on a beautiful slabby, runnel problem and on many others whose names I know not. There is no formal guide for Flock Hill. But that's why we have Derek. There is something to be said however for heading up there without a clue because there are so many boulders, moderate problems, easy obvious warm-ups, and projects to be cleaned so fresh eyes are appreciated here!
Justin working on an FA.
The vibe was buoyant. The guys were sending their long standing projects, cleaning new ones, and sending those too. It was impressive and it set the scene for our trip here.
Pete "The Radness" on Mullet Arete v6
My project Mobeous v8
Even Ava was inspired!
Zac on Vapor Trail
James Morris working a project just before getting the second ascent of Derek Thatcher's Vapor Trail v10.
Justin's 10th v8 of the day, his first day in Castle Hill.
The sun set behind the mountains and we were still climbing, the flash from Kyle's camera gave us just enough light to see the holds.
We descended the hill as the stars woke up. Sliding into thorny plants and falling over rocks, it would have been very helpful if we had brought our head lamps! We found ourselves running downhill trying to descend the 25 minute trek to flat land before we hit total darkness for the remaining 20 minute walk. When can we go to Flock Hill next!