A line drawing of the four horsemen of the apocalypse

Castle Hill Basin Action Log #2


By Scott Jury

Maintaining their momentum for establishing hard, high and scary rigs—the Castle Hill Basin iconic duo of Alec McCallum and Isaac Buckley have slain another dragon together. The long-standing The Vatican project is a project no more. Proposed around V13, Alec sent this baller highball compression arête on his birthday earlier this June. It was quickly repeated about five minutes later by Isaac.

Climber on limestone boulder problem
Alec McCallum on the first ascent of The Vatican (V13). Photo: Isaac Buckley

‘Big Al’ (Alec) also managed to send one of his ‘longer’ projects, Seduce & Destroy (V11), opting to clean and climb a new top out for the already high boulder (previously it finished from the ledge)—which adds in a couple of V2 cruxes up high for the fun of it.

With the duo's assistance, ‘Bazooka’ Joe (Dravitzki) managed an impressive flash of the wicked highball Horsemen of the Apocalypse (V10). Here’s an old video of Wiz Fineron on the second ascent a few years back, to get a sense of how outrageous this thing is Wiz Fineron climbs Horsemen  of the Apocalypse 7C+. Joe also managed repeats of King Line (V13)—which he sent by himself(!?!) and a long-awaited second ascent of The Life Aquatic (V9).

Climber on limestone boulder problem
Joe Dravitzki attempting King Line (V13). Photo: Isaac Buckley


Christina Rivett had the idea of bringing together many of the most psyched female boulderers in the country to share in a day of fun and camaraderie. Despite Christina not being able to make it in the end (due to an unfortunately timed illness), the day was a success and will likely happen repeatedly in the future. We hope to present a full report from this event in a future update.

It’s been cool to see the number of psyched women coming out in force and having a good time lately. Some of upcoming/current crushers to look out for would be; Maayan Levy—recently climbing her first V8—L’imitateur, as well as a long list of V6’s including Kurt Colossus, Ellie Driver, Hatori Honzo and Year of the Dragon; Erica Gatland with sends of The New Black (V8), Vision (V7) and Constellation Prize (V7); Meg Buddle making quick work of Ghola (V7), Something Clever (V6), Orange Aid (V6) and Grippy Arête (V6); Riley Butler dispatching climbs like Blade Runner (V7), Uncle Sam’s Safe Smacker (V7) and Ganba (V6); and Liadan Dickie also with a send of Blade Runner, Grooverider (V7) and The Day The World Stood Still (V6).


There are also dozens of new problems added around the fields to test yourself on.

At Flock Hill, keep an eye out for Clark Kent (V3), Marianas (V7), Alberto Balsalm (V8), Triple Threat (V7), Sidepull to Amazing Sloper (V5), The Message (V5), The Barbadoes Run (V5), Radical Sloper (V3) and Vkids problems Groove a Move and Rhode Island.

At the Homestead, you’ll find Mushroom Roast (V6) at Spittle Hill, Close Encounters (V11) at Quantum Field, and Origin Unknown (V6), The Breeze (V3), Tall Dwarfs (V2) and Sneaky Feelings (V1) all in Dark Castle.

For those of you who feel a little need to explore the Basin further, you may find new additions to the Teapot including Flying Lotus (V6), The Last Huia (V1), Moa Bird (v5) and Takahē Bird (V3).