We all go through different phases of development in the different areas of life, from work, to recreation and sports. Many times, the learning curve is too steep that we just give up and move on, and try to find something that is more appealing or more in vogue.
But no matter what we choose, we still end up going through the beginner, advanced and mastery phases. There is so much joy and pain that go hand in hand in that whole journey towards personal growth.
For a number of years I was centered on looking to improve just myself, always looking for the hardest lines, and the areas with the most concentration of routes to ensure maximum use of my time and effort. Through this whole process I ended up in isolation and was in a mental paradox of finding the path to get past that plateau.
I learned that this is the same for a lot of climbers.
Luckily, two years ago, I chanced upon a project that would change that outlook. Something that took away the focus on the results and shifted it to the adventure, experience, and effort. After an emotional two weeks in that trip, I felt fortified in the direction of my climbing.
It was in January when a friend and mentor, Marvin John 'Gax' Ilanan passed away. A day before he passed we had been firming up plans about finally bolting the Boogie Wall at Montalban. All the routes in that area were originally climbed “traditional” climbing style, hence, no bolts.
We retained the names of the original trad routes. ‘Boogie’ (aka Toe Killer) is the center line of the crag with a difficulty of 5.7 YDS at 35 meters with 15 draws. ‘Mahiwagang Bato’ is the right-most line with a difficulty of 5.9 YDS at 20 meters with 10 draws. We bolted this one ground-up, which was an inspiring experience because of the “fear factor” while bolting, the kind that I enjoyed and built up confidence for future projects.
We reveled in the whole process of reverse engineering the existing trad routes. They were amazing lines that beckoned a climber of any level, enjoyable for its consistency, and the rewarding scenery at the top. It can still be climbed on trad if you want to learn or practice the craft.
We will come out with an updated digital route map of the areas soon for Uling, Slayer and Boogie Wall. You can also check thecrag.com for routes around the Philippines. To more SPOT adventures in 2016!
Photo Credit: Noel Cabauatan