After my first trip to Australia, I was not sure if I would return again. I had over 20 days of rain in a single month and didn’t know whether or not it was worth the travel to go there again and have my fate be the same. After talking to Jimmy, I decided I would give the country another chance and make the long trek back.
I landed in Melbourne in a rain storm and watched the rain fall for the next two weeks climbing sporadically when it was not pouring. Thankfully the weather made a huge turn around and the last month of my trip was mostly amazing conditions in a new area that we found with some help from local, Dave Kellerman.
Having the Uncharted Lines film project looming over my head, it was a relief to find this zone and begin developing it! I have to say climbing and filming is hard work. I love both but it gets tough at times to do both well. I find myself always needing a creative outlet and that is why I do video. I am not obsessed with making sure I film all of my climbs, etc but rather take a completely different approach. I want to make climbing, these areas, the people I interact with, come to life for those around the world. I love sharing my passion for climbing and to be able to do that through video is a dream come true. Uncharted lines has been a dream of mine to make for some time and I am so excited to be working with all of my best friends on this project for the next 1.5 years.
Alas, back to Australia. Running around through the new boulder field each day was awesome! The whole crew had projects and it was fun to support everyone on their lines and develop the zone. I have to say one of my most memorable first ascents of the area was “The Anvil.” When I first saw the boulder I knew I wanted to climb it. It is tall, proud, hard and has an obvious start and finish. After cleaning the top out I realized it was quite wet but wanted more than anything to climb it. After figuring out the bottom, I managed to make my way through to the break where you can either drop off or basically free solo the end (you can no longer have pads as there is a stream that runs by the boulder). The ending is not that hard maybe around v5 or 6 but it was wet. I gritted my teeth and decided to go for it. I was a bit pumped and each hold I grabbed my hands and feet got wetter and wetter. There was no turning back now. Thankfully, I groveled my way over the top to make the first ascent, unscathed.
After a month of developing the new zone it was time for everyone to part ways. I am now off to Russia and then Switzerland for some recon and bouldering before I go back to the states to co tinge filming for Uncharted Lines in the southeast USA.