The Thumb Peak
We climbed 5 pitches plus a little jungle scramble at the top of Thumb Peak today (a route named ‘Happy New Year’) to around 125 meters. It was the first time Zoe and I had climbed more than two pitches in one go (30 meters is a standard pitch, being half the length of a single 60 meter rope).
The great thing is now that Zoe has had more practice sport leading we were able to take turns resting while belaying. I led pitches one, three and five while Zoe cruised through the second and fourth. The weather was mild with a misty fog rolling in around 4pm as we rappelled off. Thankfully we still got some good photos from the top.
Above the 5th pitch it turned into jungle with limestone dagger rock, but the anchor (a threaded piece of rope and some slings around an old tree) wasn’t too difficult to get to. I slinged a couple of small trees on my way up but it turned into 4+ (5.5) scrambling, and most of all it was fun to top out on a tower of rock.
The climbing has been almost universally tranquil here with only a handful of other climbers around. We made a pilgrimage with some other Western climbers to Moon Hill. We picked a good day as we watched a semi-pro French climber lead a clean ascent of ‘Sea of Tranquility’ a 5.14a (8b+) up and over the arch. When you watch someone climb an arch like this, it looks like they are defying gravity. And he was.