Being back in little old Canberra is always a bit of a drainer after a trip down to the Grampians. Pre-trip I had written up a tick list of about 15 boulders I wanted to get on, not just for this trip but future trips as well. I also had two major goals in mind- flash a double-digit climb and also send a V13.
Climbing is a funny sport; we spend countless hours driving to remote and beautiful locations only to get stuck focusing all our time and energy onto a 1m wide pathway to the top of a boulder. We don’t look for the easiest way to the top of the boulder but the hardest most aesthetically pleasing point in which we are able to drag ourselves up, only to climb back down and look for another line that matches our ridiculously specific set of standards. If it doesn’t match these criteria the climb is boring, not a classic, sharp, un-enjoyable, doesn’t match my body type, too hard or any other of the plethora of excuses we make up on the spot. My favorite excuse is that I am too weak, especially in the Grampians as the rock there is pretty hard to fault.
I had an amazing trip, not just because of the rock but because this was the first trip to the Grampians in which I wasn’t coming out of an injury/break/outbreak of weakness. I was able to focus in on a few key meters of rock and haul myself to the top of quite a few classics. I accomplished half of my tick list, and one of my 2 goals which means I’ll be back down there as soon as the weather starts getting cool again. I got lucky on a few sends and managed to flash quite a few amazing lines.
Tick list for the trip:
Roobix Cube V12 Flash
Last Action Hiro V12
In the Cloud V11 Flash
So You Think You Can Dance V11
Point and Shoot V11
100 Pound Club V10 Flash
Grip Master V10
A nice anecdote that I would like to finish with is something that a friend mentioned to me while we were training. We were talking about the mindset of top-level athletes in other sports. Top-level athletes in every aspect of their chosen sport aren’t seen to be making excuses like I find myself doing, instead they try their hardest every single time – even when they are just training. When I think back to every hard climb or boulder I have done, I remember trying as hard as I possibly could – which is something I consciously strove towards throughout my recent trip to the Grampians. So to the smart ass at the crag that offers the sarcastic advice- “Maybe you should just try harder’”, you’re right, we should all just try harder. However, instead of telling people to try harder I am testing a different approach. – I explain this concept alongside a great athlete who is always seen to be trying his hardest– Roger Federer. Thus when you hear me shouting encouragement at the gym or crag from now on I’ll be telling people to “Roger it”. Because if we all focused and tried as hard as Roger Federer does every single attempt; I am pretty certain we will all be sitting on top of a 1 meter wide pathway that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but matches all of our ridiculously specific standards.
Dan Fisher is apart of the La Sportiva and Edelrid Australian climbing teams. He is know for his hard first ascents at Nowra and many of his routes are still waiting for second ascents! Not only on rock has he pushed the limit, but he has national titles in both lead and bouldering to his name. He is one of Australia’s best new generation climbers, and is one of only a handful of Aussie climbers to crank that hard grade of 34 (8c+)….