Late in another long day bouldering in Quantum Field and I'm wandering around with heavy arms searching for more problems of interest.  Over the top of a small boulder I spy the tip of an arete and thinking it might offer some small amusment I down climb the current boulder I'm on and weave my way towards it. To my great surprise the ground drops away just before the boulder to give a five meter high arete that is steep and has an amazing curving shape.  Without even thinking I'm searching for holds, a comfortable right hand starting hold and a sloping left hand edge start the problem.  A myriad of foot holds cover the lower section then a thin dimpled arete runs from the right hand hold forming a positve fin higher up.  Body stemming off the adjacent boulder allows me to clean a few more holds.

Shoes, Chalk.

The Sequence reveals itself after a few quick attempts. A right heel hook on the start hold and slapping up the arete untill I can hold it to move the left hand then throw for the fin.  My jelly like arms give everything they have for the send.  Superlative.  Walking away happy and looking for friends to show it to.

For the next few weeks I show it to everyone - no one can have its location explained, it's such a popular area and people climb metres away regularly but it is tucked away, obscured by a tree and its neighbouring boulders. I don't name it for months as I am not sure of the first ascent.  Then with the release of Ivan's new guide I know and wait for an appropiate name.

Phoenix /fe'eniks/ n. mythical Arabian bird said to burn itself and rise again from its ashes.


By Derek Thatcher