My time in Arapiles came and went... Once again with no send - Again I was forced to leave with unfinished business to return to! Somehow this route keeps eluding me... I came ridiculously close, but things did not quite go my way. The weather went from hot, to wet and then cold, without the sweet prefect conditions I was hoping for in between. Enough excuses... I am sure I could have climbed it in these conditions if I had just had a touch more strength or endurance. To be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure what was lacking!
I left for a brief whirlwind visit to the homeland (NZ). My ten days in Christchurch were packed full of organization, visits to schools around the country and futile attempts to train and catch up with friends. My school visits were as an ambassador for Sport NZ. I gave workshops and presentations to high school students, in an attempt to help them achieve their sports/life goals and to inspire them to live their dreams.
The time simply flew by and before I knew it I was back at the all to familiar airport, waiting for another slew of long haul flights. The already long flight to the east coast of the USA, turned into a totally epic nightmare when my first flight landed back in Christchurch after only several minutes in the air, because of engine trouble. After more than 48 hours in transit, I finally made it to Boston and was instantly whisked off to Rumney. I had a very hot couple of days sampling the classics there before heading to an event for 5.10, and then down to the Gunks.
I had the good fortune to travel down and stay with one of the true local legends Russ Clune, who took pleasure in showing me the classics of the crag. Again, the weather was far from optimal - with temperature in the high 80's and ridiculously humid. But I tried to make the most of it and still managed to do a couple of truly fantastic routes. Including a second go lead of the bold and rarely led "To Be or Not to Be" and one of the best 5.10's ever "Fat City Direct". Both were very worthy routes and memorable experiences. I am looking forward to returning to these parts with cooler temperatures to try my hand at some of the other rarely repeated classic test pieces.
Thanks to all those wonderful people who welcomed me into their homes, gave me a tour of the crags and made my time out east a wonderful experience!