Can't believe the last post was in April. We're now officially deep into Summer, especially apparent as I sit on my lanai writing this on this windless, humid Friday. The ice in my coffee is almost all melted.
Two Sundays ago was the Summer Solstice. It was also Anthony's birthday. A bunch of us went out to the Arch to celebrate these two events that each occur only once a year. Anthony brought out his awesome camera and a very expensive-looking lense and captured all the photos included below.
I'm calling this post "First Female Buddha" because the girls have been absolutely killing it lately, and are currently neck in neck for a first female ascent on Big Baby Buddha -- base start. This was the first hard problem put up at the Arch by Jason Kehl a few years back. Originally graded V9, a lot of new beta and different holds being used has settled the grade at solid V8.
Nancy & Wai have been amassing a very impressive first female ascent tick list over the past few months. Here's my attempt to remember them in order:
- Wai: Darwin Award - V6 - FFA
- Wai: Peanut Butter No Jelly - V6 - FFA
- Nancy: Darwin Award - V6
- Wai: Rise of the Night Marchers - V6 - originally graded V8/9
- Nancy: Broken Toothbrush - V4 - hardest V4 on the island :) - FFA
- Nancy: Peanut Butter No Jelly - V6
- Wai: Aloha Sunday (Arch Monkey exit) - V6 - FFA
- Nancy: Aloha Sunday (Arch Monkey exit) - V6
- Nancy: Big Baby Buddha from the flakes - V7 - FFA
- Wai: Big Baby Buddha from the flakes - V7
The girls have been pushing each other hard and their motivation and dedication have been paying off. I started calling them the Phi Phi Alpha (FFA) sisters.
It was great to have Rosie back out at the Arch as well. She hasn't been climbing much lately, but, if that Sunday is any indication, she's going to be catching up quick.
I just noticed that the one thing you can't see in any of these pictures is the enormous amount of crash pads and spotters we have underneath the climber. Please bear in mind that climbing at the Arch is more dangerous than just about any spot on Oahu due to the uneven rock on the ground. Climbing at the Arch should be done only if you A) go with experienced climbers who know how to spot, and B) have multiple (6+) crash pads. Even then injury can and does happen.
Who will be crowned First Female Buddha? Nancy might have a shot at it today as long as the Arch is not soaked. Wai is in Japan right now so her turn will have to wait, but I'm sure she's rubbing the belly of some giant Buddha statue wishing us luck! Pray or dryness!
Last, but not least, here's the cameraman / birthday boy crushing Timy's Tic. Thank you for the pictures and happy birthday once again, Anthony!