“It was raining hard the day I set the route. Water dripping in the background as a monster took shape up the wall – so the name fitted. Oh, yes, and it’s a crack.”
Chris Taljaard explains how the Kraken route came to be unleashed on the Push wall.
THE KRAKEN UNLEASHED
Crack climbing is a sport within the sport of climbing, with its own advocates and specialists, and now Push Climbing brings you the crack, and indeed the craic.
“We’re always talking about setting something different – something that shows a new technique or that you can’t find elsewhere and talking to the customers we found a lot haven’t tried crack climbing. So we thought we’d create a nice introduction.”
It’s made out of wooden campus board slats rising up the wall and unlike most of the routes which rely on holds and crimps this is all about jams and lay backs.
“It’s more about technique than strength. If you don’t have the necessary moves you can still climb it but it will be way harder. So if you’ve never climbed a crack before it’s more like a 6a but if you have tried crack climbing then it’s a 5c.”
The trick is to rely less on standard hand grips and instead work on hand jams. Less on footholds and more on turning your feet and jamming them into the gaps between the pillars.
“There’s no crimping involved and there are a few laybacks to give you rest as you get up to the crack section” says Chris, demonstrating laying back and pushing his feet into the gap to start the ascent.