Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Paynes Ford, New Zealand

How could life get any better? Climb all morning on outstanding and extremely steep F6b's. Swim the afternoon away in New Zealands best watering hole! The camps nighttime activities included intoxicated caving, intoxicated deep water soloing, and more less than sober activities with the more than keen camp residents.

I wasnt climbing very well, not very strong from my fall in September but still enjoyed the easyer climbs with people from the camp. The climbs i did were generously bolted, the holds were always sloping. climbing was best in cool conditions of the morning. when it got to hot everything became very greesy, which was a good excuse to stop climbing! Paynes Ford was best suited to F6a (19) to F6c+(24). most of the best routes were steep to very steep and relied on good footwork and ability to stick a sloper. i found the grading sometimes hard work, falling off a 18 after cruising a 23 earlier in the day. The quality of the climbing is comparable to the best British sport cliffs... don't let that put you of, there's more to climbing than the routes, the camp ground is the prefect training ground or hang out, many british lads spending months there.

The atmosphere of the campground was at first weird for me, everyone was way to friendly! expecting it to be a false i held back from meeting people at first, but was soon dragged out in search of a partner and started to lighten up to the hippy happy nature! Iam not naturally the socal type but found myself getting wreaked most nights with different people, and the trip has opened my eyes somewhat.

During my 16 day trip i got around mostly hitch hiking, which was a new thing for me, never hitching other long distances there was a learning curve which iam still climbing. Hitching in New Zealand is the way to get round if you have luck. Competition for lifts sometimes were frustrating, also was the lack of traffic! But its still loads easier to get lifts than the UK. Foods the same price in the UK and sometimes cheaper, with the Pound at the moment.