We had some phenomenal weather just after finishing our roadtrip. The Sky was blue, we had a little bit of wind and the temperatures in the shade where quiet chilly. „Simplicity“ had always been one of the very last boulders in the whole area to be dry, since the crux of it goes straight through the main water runnel of this 20m x 15m block. Expectations where low to try it on our first or even second day back, especially after noticing the many deep puddles and rivers on the approach to Buandik.

Finja and her toys
Surprisingly the rock at the top of the hill was in better conditions then the ground and as a first warmup I climbed the tree next to my Project and gave my best to prepare my holds with towels, toiletpaper and heeps of chalk. It would be climbable in the afternoon, or perfect the next day!

Drying the holds
We enjoyed climbing on other problems sun so much that day, it was a big relief after so much rain. Katinka got back on „First One“, V7 and we did three new lines between V5 and V9 which where put up my our american friend Chad a couple of days ago, before we hiked down for dinner.
The clear sky and the wet campground made the next few nights feel terribly cold. So we did not spend much time outside or around the fire, but cooked inside and where once again very happy with the interior and electrical setup of our van. Finja loves to play on our matress in the bright light of the many LED’s and we always have enough energy to charge Ipad and macbook. While she plays we can listen to some music and while she sleeps we usually listen to audiobooks, while I’m editing the latest photos.
With no hurry and great weather I continued my work on „Simplicity“. I rather climb many different boulders than focusing on one really hard line. It’s fun and rewarding to put a lot of effort in one thing, but at some point it turns into a head problem. Over the time individual moves will feel easier and smoother while the mind says, „It does not feel hard, I should have climbed it already“, but starting from the beginning this one move won’t work, no matter how hard you try. It’s frustrating, I hate it and it’s what happend the next few days. I think in total I arrived at my hate move around 30 times, while making it past that point on only 3-4 occassions?!

Katinka in „Northern Fire“, V8/9 – Buandik
Anyway, the sun was a nice change and Katinka started working „Northern Fire“, V8/9. When I did the First Ascent of this one, she decided not to try it, since I only found a tall person beta where I extended my 1,84m body to the maximum to reach the holds. But a few weeks had passed and other climbers found better beta. Katinka found a great technical solution with some slippery heel hooks, requirering body tension and precicion.

Later that week we spent our very first restday on the Buandik Campground. Just outside the van, without any need to drive 80km One Way to hide from the nasty rain or to do some shopping. We used the day to relax, and do some van work.

Katinka busy with sewing works
After that it rained again, but we were in urgend need for a second restday. We went to Halls Gap to do laundry and showers at a friends place. The next day was absolutely windstill and humidity was around 150%. It was not possible to climb much, so all our hopes were focused on our last day in the Grampians, before heading towards Melbourne, where my parents and sister would arrive the day after.
Everything worked out! After some warmup at a new boulder called „Where is the wind?“, V5 (which we put up that previous day), I finally climbed the full version of „Simplicity“ from sitstart to top in my second go of the day! It’s the boulder I spend the most time on ever and I would guess it’s the hardest approach I have ever taken to get to the summit of a piece of rock. Yiphhiie!

Sticking the crux move of „Simplicity“, V12 – Buandik
We went on to Katinkas Project and she did it right away on here third day on it.

To celebrate the successful day we went to Halls Gap with our french companions and ordered massivly good Hamburgers and drank some wine. Now we are on our way to Melbourne, sleeping at a friends place in North Melbourne. In about two hours our guests will arrive at the airport and we might see them in the CBD later or tomorrow morning.

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