Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jack To The Hobos

It's been a busy couple of days down the Ukulore Valley these past few with outrageously good conditions due to the strong prevailing southerly cutting right up the cloaca of the Ukulore.

Tom on the classic v10 meat-fest that
we did a few weeks ago. Up To The Onions
Boulder, The Jungfrau - Ukulore Valley.
The main business over the past few days has been taking place beneath the shady canopy of The Jungfrau. The cool breeze shooting up The Jungfrau Gorge made for conditions better than any experienced up there before and meant that we could sink our teeth into some proper boney stuff. Previously, the time spent up there has been on smeg filled days when the air was stagnant and chokeingly thick and meant that a lot of the slopey slopes up there were barely holdable. 

Me getting frisky on the foist ascent of 
Jack To The Hobos v11, The Jungfrau - 
Ukulore Valley.
Tom O'H and I headed down there with the main intension of trying the left line on the wall to the right of Up To The Onions. We'd tried it previously on other days when we thought the temps were semi-decent but this time it was a different story. The slopey fridge hug moves felt like jugs with the cool breeze and the problem I'd initially thought would be v12 went with minimal fuss and is a middle of the road v11 as it turns out. It pounces out a roof to an amazing edge where you are then greeted with two super slopey edges that you throw off to a big fat sidepull. Then you have a bit of a desperate huggy rock-over to a chisely pocket, a slap to a slope then the finishing hoofter.

Tom O'H bustin' skulls on
Jack To The Hobos v11.
What a problem. Amazing rock and amazing technical and powerful moves that you have to get just right if you're to haul your way to the top. So yeah, Jack To The Hobos (v11) now exists at The Jungfrau!

Another problem that has been getting the special treatment is a stonking line to the right of Jack To The Hobos, an absolutely radicle dihedral that we've given the woiking title of 'And The Arse saw The Angel Project'. It tends left all the way up a wall that must be about 6 metres long. Luckily the ground tends up and left too! It is 25 moves long and overhangs about 35-40 degrees with bowel emptyingly burly moves on pinches and underclings all the way on amazing rock. The foist day on it it seemed outrageous and the idea of climbing it one go even more so. By the second day all the moves were done and it is now on like Donkey Kong...hopefully summer keeps a fair distance for now so'z to have a few more cracking days on it before it gets to be a sweat box down there and maybe, just maybe, the Ukulore can have another outstandingly awesome problem. Hopefully we'll get some pics next time we're there!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bury My Heart In Worn Out Socks

It really is a shame to realise that not only do I need to apologise for the quietitude that is so positively audible in this scrap-heap of an apparent blog but also for the fact that yet again I must open with an another mundane apology for said quietude! So as most junkyard dogs for to flog ones log start (thats is to say a blog)...I apologise, I prostrate myself before you and beseech yee yer kindly forgiveness for the echoing silence of tales for to wet your whiskers with.

Mermaids Cave. The far right arete is The Old Reach Around v11 & the corner obscured by the tree is Yonder Glory Hole v8
Now that we have that out of the way I can carry on about all the swell stuff thats been going on down my end of the egg shell, namely, further development of the mega bouldering area in the mighty Ukulore Valley.

Right Rails Project aka Self-Diagnosis Bipolar Blues @
Hidden Valley. Climber unknown. 
I imagine that for most The Ukulore Valley is familiar but to those for which it ain't let me clue you in. The Ukulore Valley sits beneath the smiling, ignorant towns of the Blue Mountains within a circular crease in the earth, like a hollowing beneath the hills which reaches, at it's extent, downwards so far that it licks the flames of the foundations of the land and which surely must have been created upon the 8th day by the zealous inhalations of some Mephistophelian black lung. 

Hanging, tangled webs of sinister vines and clutches of lantana  snatch at the limbs for to restrain and subdue any hopeless adventurer not worth his ration of seal blubber. Tainted waters trickle as the hillsides weep, brown-black from the rotting corpses of the animals and trees and leaves with which they are utterly composed. 

Testaments to permanence, ancient sentinal stones loom, hewn and laid with a shrug of the shoulders of their indifferent creative masters. Their vaguest of dimples and quartz grains the very same who witnessed bare and scar chested landly ancestors make fledgling footprints, spear hoppity flesh and crack stone and bone 'neath their loom for idle eons. 
Squattin' In A Slitted Stomach Blues v10 @ The Jungfrau.
(To the left is a classic v7ish called Up To The Onions).

Now, 'neath the very same age soaked thoughtful canopies and furrowed overhangs we toil euphoric in our own resplendent fuss as we try in as best way we can to justify our earthly presence. And what better reminder of the inane toildom and silver spoondom in which we dwell than mortalities lone hand pressed firm and sure in ocher 'gainst everlasting flanks of the stone walls we attempt to make bow to our wills.

So presumably you are all now on the same page as to what goes on down yonder Ukulore Valley?! If'n in the hypothetical case that one'a y'all dinny hook a line 'tween your vortex and the woids on me cyberparchment than nutt'in to be done but to head on back from whence ya hail to more petal plucking pursuits, ensuring that all manner of dish rag projections of grammatical fears are kept as glimmers in your vestibular fold peepers for there ain't a whole lot that can be done.

On a serious note, The 'Mighty' Ukulore Valley, as it was termed by Charles Darwin in 1836 on his trip out west to Bathurst, is located smack dab between Jenolen Caves and Kanangra Walls. The rock here is an artistic combination of rhyolite and quartz  with tortured layers of iron stone bending throughout. It really makes for some outrageously unique features for the many undulative connoisseurs amongst us. And for those keen beans it is visible on Google earth or through a decent telescope from sirius due to the extensive napalming that was conducted in the area between '93-'98 in an attempt to quell the increasing population of feral camels. That's enough education for now...
Tom O'H on the first ascent of Ice-Vovo v7 (lowstart)

Bouldering in the Blue Mountains seems like a funny concept to most stupid and/or ignorant people and the very mention of fuckoffly good bouldering here usually is greeted with an 'are you kidding' kind of foining response. This is generally parried with a 'there sure is bud, and besides what would you know'. To-ing and fro-ing between disbelief and attempted enlightenment is usually only ended when a coup de jarnac of a face to face acquaintance between dumb-dumb and said fuckoffly awesome boulder is performed. 

I think where The Ukulore really hits its stride is in boulder problems of harder difficulty where quality of stone and features collide to make boulder problems that are, really, a lot better than anything else anywhere in the world.

The main areas that have been developed so far include The Stone River (aka Riverbed), The Ice-Vovo Boulder, The Pink Caravan, The Jungfrau, Mermaids Cave and The (quite possibly haunted) Hidden Valley. All really have had the odd tickle but up until recently it's been slow going, it seems now though that with every visit excitement for further scrub and/or dub-dubbing is exponentially increased. The amount of amazing and difficult problems only increases with every breath of those whom wish to dabble down in that lonesome hollow in the earth and while there has not been a lot of first ascents as yet, the time will surely come when the Ukulore is looked upon as a major bouldering venue of Australia.
Hands down the best project in the world...Tom O'H struttin' sassy on Mermaid Megarete 

So yeah, the main development and skull-scrubbery has for the most part been done by a fellow named Capt. Sassy Pants. The miles of vegetated mayhem that he has traversed is etched upon his shins in pink ribbons scars and creaking bones. The amount of moss and dirt that he's brushed is enough to be-beard an entire heathen army! That is assuming they were not already be-bearded, but being heathens it is almost impossible that they were not already... lets try that again... The amount of moss and dirt he's brushed is enough to substantially increase the size of an already be-bearded heathens beard including those of his fellow brothers in arms!!! 

"But surely other folk other than the brave Captain have played a part in the development of this ultra mega crag too" I hear you say. "No shit dickhead, of corse"... 

Ice-Vovo v5 (stand-start)

Two such kindly fellows by the name of Lee and Phil are charged with the discovery of archaic ghostly wonderland of Hidden Valley. Other chaps who have gotten their Ukulore wick wet go by the names of Norbox Snotblock II and Zacary The One and Only. Specifically, Norbox and Zac made the second and third respective discoveries, after Capt. S. Pants of corse, of Dihedral Sector and Zac is nobly credited with the tastful re-naming of said sector to 'The Jungfrau', an attempt to contemptuously bastardise the name of the entire valley as a whole, which he later admitted to.  Lastly, Tom O'H whom has single handedly developed the monolithic Ice-Vovo Boulder at the mouth of Jungfrau Gorge. This boulder is almost splashed with bitumen it's so close to the road and despite being a breath away from the Jungfrau it took Tom's new boulder mouse* to realise its potential.

*by mouse I mean nous.

So yeah, it's good down there. I suppose the main purpose of this here blog is to offload some of the excitement that I feel about the place, a debrief about goodness if you will.  If'n you ever do get the chance to head on down be sure to have a wonder about alone, scratch you legs, rub dirt underneath your eyelids and feel the heavy heel of time pressed 'gainst your throat like it is mine.

Mermaids Have Hygiene Standards Too - Mermaids Cave
The Old Reach Around Blues v11 - Mermaids Cave