Spring

I haven’t touched my camera in three months. When you are surrounded by the same scenery week in and week out, you just don’t feel the need to capture it, you know? Anyway, no photos, so no blog posts. I am sure that some of you would read a post now and then if I took the time to write, but I know that most folks nowadays are hungry for images. I mean a picture is worth a thousand words, right? That is, so long as whoever popularized that phrase however many decades back actually knew anything about anything. A thousand words is a lot of words! I’m not sure I have anything to share that is worth that many. How many am I at now? 126 words. Not counting that one. Or those four.  12.6% of a picture. We’ll call it an eighth.

I intend to start pulling out the camera again. I may not feel driven to capture the scenery at home, but I didn’t create this blog to be a journal, I wanted to provide some images of the goings-on in my life to friends and family back home who don’t have any other way to see them. Plus, I figure if I practice more I might actually start capturing the beauty of this place and get you all to move down here. Muahahahaha….

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Sending! I was lucky to have photographer Nate Gerhardt (his videos are worth a look) snap a few photos of this one on Saturday. It is so rare to get a good photo of the actual send go! 100ft of thin, technical face climbing. What an amazing pitch. ‘Darkness at Noon’ 5.13a

I realized for the first time this year that spring is my favorite season. Maybe it is just my NEW favorite now that I live in Bend. I suppose that makes more sense. The days are growing longer, the sun is ever shining, but that winter crispness is still present. The combo makes for some damn good climbing days, that’s for sure. There is a sort of relaxed focus in the air as folks gear up for the new climbing season, and I think this is going to be a really good spring. I had a couple false starts as the season got going, catching the flu, and then a weird cold a few weeks later, but am now healthy, feeling fit, and more motivated than ever. I’ve already managed a few successes here in 2014, and have a long list of hopefuls. We’ll see what happens!

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Round 6! – Bishop, CA

Bishop. Year after year, I make my escape down the 395 just as December rears its ugly head and brings cold winter conditions to the northwest. Every year I return to this same old stomping grounds, and every trip shows me how I’ve progressed as a climber, as well as areas that could use improvement. In addition, I get to do a bunch of awesome climbs that were too difficult for me in the past!

This year was very fun. It felt more like a vacation than ever before, and I came back to Bend refreshed, ready to jump back into the grind, and excited to get to work on some ambitious goals for the coming year.

I’m shooting for the stars in 2014. I feel more focused and motivated than ever, and plan to take a new and pretty different approach to training. We’ll see what happens.

Great weather, great climbs, and a really great crew. Miss you guys already!

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Kevin and Nuk. Favorite.
PHOTO SERIES: Will (Wild Bill) Moore

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Wild Bill!
PHOTO: Kevin Erickson

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One of many many many attempts on Acid Wash – V10
PHOTO: Kevin Erickson

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Nanuk!
PHOTO: Kevin Erickson?

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Marieta!
PHOTO: Kevin Erickson?

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Micah giving a go on Xavier’s Roof – V11.
I think this is the only photo I took the entire trip. This boulder is definitely on the life list. Glad we finally checked it out!

For whatever reason I didn’t feel like picking up the camera very much on this trip. Still, I managed to throw together a video that sums up the trip pretty well. I guess it is more of a video blog than a climbing film, but maybe it’s better that way. Enjoy!

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Idaho Mountain Festival – Castle Rocks, ID

Last weekend found me volunteering at the Idaho Mountain Festival in Castle Rocks, ID. Lots of driving, loads of new faces, serving breakfasts for over 200 hungry climbers, and a city of granite mounds and boulders. I love Bend, and the weather is perfect right now, but it was refreshing to get out of town for a weekend and see some new terrain. And it felt so good to climb on granite again! This was my first trip to the City, and it was certainly impressive, not to mention beautiful. The area shines in its moderate trad and mixed routes, but there is plenty to do for everybody. The bouldering around Castle Rock really clicked with me and has me excited for a return visit next year. What a fun event! I recommend it friends. Check it out next fall!

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Get it while it’s hot!
PHOTO: Eric WIlliamson

After a unnerving evening and morning of cold wind and rain, the weather cleared up, the rock dried out, and the climbing began! We made it out for a really fun bouldering session in the Castle Rock area on Friday afternoon. There isn’t a ton of developed bouldering around the area, but the quality is incredible. The Green Wall might be one of the coolest boulders in the country. After some fun and goofy warm-ups near the Taco Cave, we made it up to this majestic wall and worked on an incredible V9 link-up that is now one of my all-time favorite boulder problems. Ryan came through with a send out of left field, and Jesse and I were able to put it together on a return visit Sunday morning. I was pretty stoked to finish that one before the drive home.

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Jesse on the crux of the V9.

On Saturday we all decided to take it easy and check out some of the classic moderates in the City. I mostly stuck to easy stuff, but I did end up trying this gnarly .12a that caught my eye. I’ve done quite a few 5.12′s at this point in a variety of styles, but old-school routes like this one still feel pretty humbling. The route climbed this near vertical scoop before easier cimbing up a headwall, and reminded me (harshly) just how technical granite can be. The crux features small directional holds, and TERRIBLE feet. Most people think Smith is technical, but climbing on the tiny knobs and edges at Smith seems pretty straight forward compared to the featureless friction climbing I encountered on this climb. Needless to say it did not succeed on it, and have very little desire to go back and try it ever again. Not when the Green Wall and Taco Cave are only 3 miles away!

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Driving to the City.

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Me on an old-school (hard) .12a at the City.
PHOTO: Scott Strong

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Peak baggin’!
PHOTO: Eric Williamson

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Ryan peak baggin’! Can you find him?

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So much rock…

We got back from the City just in time for a rodeo clipping competition that might have provided the funniest moments of the entire trip. The first round of ‘how many x’s can you clip from in a minute’ resulted in a show-down between Eric and I, basically ensuring that one of us was about to walk away with a new rope and bragging rights. It was a close battle, but in the end Eric scrapped the win with an impressive 6 clips in 2 minutes. Not bad for a guy who hardly ever sport climbs!

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#6 for the win!

Sunday found us back at the Green Wall for a rad session with the Asana crew. Jesse and I both sent our project, Eric and Jesse both made an impressive flash of the V7 on the Green Wall, we got to see Paul Robinson try and incredible line called ‘Green in the Face’ V13, and ended on an inspiring note with Beau Stuart crushing a crazy dyno problem called ‘Golden Chandelier’ V10. Such a fun session! It almost made the 10-hour drive home feel less horrible…

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Asana crew!

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Blurry send photo! Beau Stuart on ‘Golden Chandelier’ V10

Once again, this was a really fun event, and I hope to go again next year. I recommend it!

For more info: http://www.idahomountainfest.com/

Lastly, in case you missed it, I posted a couple videos of The Super Proj on my videos page here. Enjoy!

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‘Pale Horse’

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FA: ‘Pale Horse’ 5.13c
PHOTO: Eric Williamson

The Super Proj went down! I made it out to the Horse Caves this morning for my 12th session on the monster, and after my usual warm up routine, managed to climb the thing first try of the day. I had fallen slapping the finish jug this past Sunday, and was straight nervous as I shook out at the final rest, knowing 7 moves were all that stood between me and victory. Needless to say I felt pretty thrilled as I pulled over the lip.

Huge thanks to Ryan, Troy, and Eric for doing a lot of the grunt work on this thing. I feel very grateful for all the cleaning you guys did, and for the vision you had. SUCH A COOL CLIMB!

Video to come, and hopefully a second ascent by Eric.

WOOOOOOO!

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High point!

Super Proj Update:

I got out to the caves last night for what turned out to be a really fun evening session with a great crew. Huge progress was made all around, and Eric and I both have the thing in two overlapping sections. It’s looking like another session or two might just bring ‘er down!

We have plans to get back out Wednesday morning, and I’ve got a pretty good feeling about it. Cooler temps, better light, stoked. Wish us luck!

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‘The Super Proj.’

It’s hot. With highs hovering around 95 degrees, the THOUGHT of climbing at Smith is enough to make your palms sweat and your toes burn. It’s time to hunker down and take a long break from the never-ending list of projects on the tuff. Looking back at the past few months of climbing at Smith, I redpointed approximately 70 new routes, with 20 in the 5.12 range. Not a bad first season!

Despite the heat, we are still climbing. We’re always climbing. Instead of cooking in the sun on small pockets and edges, the past few weeks have found us hanging out in a dirty cave, roof climbing on jugs and incuts. I managed to make relatively quick work of the few classics at The Horse Caves, ranging from V6 to V9, and am loving the rad power-endurance style. These lines are steep, powerful, and LONG! 20+ move boulder problems are the norm out here, and make for a pretty great training option, if you can brave the bat poo, broken glass, and gonorr-herpe-syphilitis infested condoms littering the place.

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Eric graciously cleaning up broken glass in The Horse Caves.

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Brent checks out the crux of ‘The Front Seven’.

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Konrad flashing ‘The Front Seven’.

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‘The Back Nine’.

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Eric makes a good link on ‘The Super Proj.’

After I sent ‘The Back Nine’ a few weeks ago, Eric invited me to join him in tackling an incredible line dubbed, ‘The Super Proj.’  This is truly the king line of the caves. With 40+ moves in total, and sustained power climbing the whole way, this thing is becoming quite an endeavor. I’ve had six sessions on the rig so far, including two days working the V7 that it links into and finishes on, and have it in three separate chunks. The link is going to be the result of MANY more tries. It’s difficult to hypothesize a grade for this thing as it kind of bridges the gap between bouldering and route climbing. V11? 5.13+? Who knows. All I can say at this point is that it is HARD. This thing is definitely the most involved project I’ve ever invested in, and a huge opportunity for growth. I get more stoked about it every time out! I will be sure to post updates on our progress in the coming weeks.

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Ron. My faithful companion…

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…with new Oregon plates! Lookin’ good buddy.

Last weekend I made it up to Bellingham to check out and represent EP at the grand opening of a new bouldering gym! With sick walls, fun routes, and 24-hour access, this place is Bellingham’s dream come true. I’m stoked for all my Bham buddies! You guys are gonna get STRONG! Thanks for an awesome weekend.

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Repin’ EP!

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Will pullin’ hard!

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Tuckered.

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Job well done, Vital. Way to step in and do it right. Cheers!

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Punks and Their Birds

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Friends. What would I do without them. I got the chance to see these punks a couple weekends ago and it just warmed my heart. It was great to show them around my new home here in Bend, and sad to realize that, with dear friends and family spread all over the northwest, no one place may ever make me feel completely at home.

Until you all move to Bend!  ;)

Great to see you guys. I’m already looking forward to our next meeting.

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Punks and their shades…

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Punks and their phones…

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Punks and their secrets…

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Punks and a bird…

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Punks and a bunch of birds!

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Love these punks.

As always, climbing is rad, and has been keeping me busy. I am still cranking through short-term projects at Smith, most recently ticking off a few of the classic .12c’s, and starting to look toward some of the harder stuff. I have also been trying to change things up a little more lately to keep things fun and fresh, and have joined some of my Bend Rock Gym buddies for evening boulder sessions at some of the small crags near town. I’ve finished off a few of the local classic V5′s and V7′s, and have to admit that the rim-rock bouldering of central Oregon, while not necessarily inspiring or aesthetic, is pretty darn fun. I’m excited to continue exploring for those hidden gems I keep hearing the guys rave about, and dodge some of the blistering heat more common at Smith.

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Punks and their smokes…

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Haven’t tied that knot in a while!
Gearing up to climb the 5-pitch ‘Wherever I May Roam’ with Abbi.

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Punks and their smiling faces…

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I don’t have much else to say today. Just wanted to share a few photos of some pretty great things. I love you my friends. I am glad to have seen some of you recently, and hope to see the rest of you soon! Take care.

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Climb. Friends. Beer. Awesome.

When I started this blog last July I wrote a lot. In part, my descriptive ramblings were a kind of creative outlet, and a medium for sharing stories and painting word pictures. I think even more so, they were the result of a LOT of free time. Rest days can feel pretty darn slow to a solo dirtbaggin’ climber, and any passably interesting and time consuming activity is an activity worth doing for a long, long time…

I enjoyed filling those rest days with writing. These days however, I am lucky to steal a few minutes a week to edit neglected photographs. I think this is a good thing. Right now, my life is filled with doing, rather than documenting.

Here are a few that have accumulated over the past month. Enjoy!

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Me!
PHOTO: Trevor ‘Swiss’ Williamson

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PHOTO: Trevor ‘Swiss’ Williamson

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‘The Quickening’ .12c
PHOTO: Trevor ‘Swiss’ Williamson

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PHOTO: Trevor ‘Swiss’ Williamson

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Brent being awesome.
PHOTO: Trevor ‘Swiss’ Williamson

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Brent being awesomer.

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Brent being awesome-est.

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Just Brent.

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Jake: “I’m not feeling it bro.”

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Swiss: “Well I’m not letting you down until you try it again.”

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Radar: “The sun is coming!”

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“There is no escape…”

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Jake giving a solid on-sight effort on ‘Up for Grabs’ .11d

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Swiss schooling ‘Vomit Launch’ .11b

The weekend before last I braved the long road up to Bellingham, to reunite with the old crew and drink some awesome beer at April Brews Day. It was an absolute blast. I wouldn’t have done it without a battery of funny and persuasive text messages from a conspiring group of old friends. Thanks guys!

Great friends, abundant laughs, delicious beer, and one hell of a dance party. It was worth every mile.

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The only evidence that I drove 8 hours to drink beer with my B-ham homies.
PHOTO: Nika Ghassemikia

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Travelin’.
PHOTO: Nika Ghassemikia

Thank you all for bringing back a ton of awesome Bellingham memories.  ‘Til we meet again!

Parting Shot:

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Some dude crushing ‘Aggro Monkey’ .13b

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Sixty and Killin’ It!

My dad, Donald Lee Dimmitt, was born on March 28th, 1953. In anticipating a lack of enthusiasm for the math required to figure out the significance of that sentence, I have provided the following clarification: he turned sixty on Thursday. You would never guess from the spring in his step, or from his nothing-but-black-diamond-or-harder ski days, that this guy is now eligible for the majority of recreational senior discounts. I hope I’m in his kind of shape when it’s my turn to take advantage of them! The whole family was in town this past weekend, and it was a blast to share my new home with them, and refreshing to take a weekend away from climbing and explore new areas around Bend. I finally made it up to Bachelor! Skiing, sushi, music, views. Enjoy.

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60. Stoked.

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Gnam-ster trying to drop his ski off a chair lift.

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Howard! Awesome.

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Me and Pops. Love you dad!

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“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa-”     (-ppy birthday to you…)

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“ok you guys start. lilke this. laaaa. la. lalala.”
“la. laaaaaa.”
“hmm…”
“GAA just play a chord!”

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Superhero of the day.

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KAREN!

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Parting Shot: Monkey Face!

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Toby Butterfield sussing moves on Spank the Monkey (.12a)

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Settlin’

This past month has been awesome. I moved in to a new apartment a few weeks ago, and that, pared with a growing sense of community and a good rhythm at work, has me starting to feel at home here in Bend. I basically do four things: work, climb at Smith, climb at the rock gym, and hang with friends at the cluster of incredible breweries littering this place. Somehow, those four things eat up just about all of my time. I’m sure it will wear me out eventually but for now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m keeping it brief with this one. Just wanted to share some shots from the past few weekends at Smith. The weather has been prime, and the company delightful. Enjoy!

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Sean cruxing on ‘Latest Rage’ (.12b)

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soon…

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Me in 20-somethin’ years… hopefully.

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Erin! Justin…

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Power socks.

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Caitlin!

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Sam!

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Mike!

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Sam and Mike! Killin’ it.

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In addition to feeling more settled at work and in the Bend community, I am definitely feeling much more confident with the technical climbing style of Smith than I was a month ago. These past few weekends I ticked many of the classic routes I wanted to do in the .12- range, and on Sunday managed to onsight a rad and technical .12a called Latin Lover. It has been a while since I onsighted anything at this difficulty, and it was definitely a confidence booster.  Now I am getting pretty excited to get after the harder stuff. There are plenty more moderate classics to do, but the hard ones just look so cool!

On Sunday I also was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, and see Paige Claassen finish her latest project, To Bolt or Not To Be (.14a). This climb, first done by Frenchman JB Tribout in 1986, was the first 5.14 on American soil, and became the first 5.14 climbed by an American when Scott Franklin repeated it the following year. This thing is long, sustained, gorgeous, absurdly technical, and packs about as much history as a single pitch can handle. It was rad and very inspiring to see it climbed. Well done Paige!

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Byron points out ‘Latin Lover’ for those who missed the battery of chalked holds covering the entire face. Wasn’t expecting to nail a sequence through that!

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Paige breaks into the ‘easy’ terrain on her send of ‘To Bold or Not To Be’ (.14a)

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Good vibes from this crew. Byron talks up ‘Latin Lover’ to some passersby. Paige and Jon look on as Ian gears up for a go on To Bolt.

Parting Shots: Lorn gives a crack at a high-line spanning the mouth of Cocaine Gully.

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