Sunday, 13 May 2007


Last Saturday I went with Wataru to Byoubuyama, a collection of granite outcrops above Mizunomi in Gifu-prefecture, an hour north of Nagoya. Mr. Kitayama had us driving in circles by the usual quality of his maps and directions. Anyway, we warmed up on a surprisingly difficult and dirty right-leaning hand-crack. I cannot for the life of me understand why such a nice climb can become so dirty. It should have tons of ascents.


Wataru wanted to do Eve, a well-known ultra-thin layback, that lay baking in the sun. He made a valiant effort to onsight the route but was stymied by the first really hard bit. The third piece (top-piece) blocked a key hold and he declared defeat and lowered down. I took over and removed the second piece, a red alien also blocking one of the few useful holds. I moved the stopper that was the top piece to a bomber placement a bit higher up.

Eve The Crack .2, originally uploaded by Wataru Yamada.

Due to a mixture of general crappieness, fat fingers that wouldn't fit the ridiculous thin crack, bad smears on too-hot rock, and a million other excuses, I too declared defeat.

Wataru gave it another go, on the two pieces I had left in place, and after first taking a 4-5 meter fall onto the high stopper he managed to climb from the top piece to the top. An impressive piece of climbing, and quite run-out as well.

After removing both pieces from the crack Wataru gave it another go. Unfortunately the top stopper didn't go into the slot I used, and he expressed some doubts. From my position it still looked like a decent placement, so, and I feel so bad for this, I didn't implore him to back down. Of course I should have told him a solid piece of advice: When not happy with the protection you have to go down, if possible.

Anyway. On the last hard move he lost his footing and fell. The stopper ripped and much to my surprise the rope stretched a bit on the first piece. Alas, not enough. Wataru broke both heels on impact with the ledge at the base of the route.

A couple from Toyota helped calling for an ambulance and we taped his feet and carried him, through some rather rugged terrain, down to the road. Wataru is really light by the way.

Mizunomi fire-department responded to the accident with haste and competence and took Wataru to Sogou general hosptital in Toki city.

I have been told that fractures in the heels are the most painful fractures you can get.