Bare Necessities – the perfect step up from novice to intermediate.
There's just a little bit of Mowgli about our Josh of the Jungle so it figures that he would set a route called 'Bare Necessities' but it turns out that it's a great name with a twist as you climb. Importantly it's also a route with a point to it – a perfect transition to test yourself and see if you're ready to move up from beginner to more intermediate level climbs.
So why Bare Necessities?
“Why Bare Necessities? Well I just like the song, but there is more to it than that. It's a very friendly and inviting route because of the big holds but at the same time it's like an infuriating rival that once you've got going on it you just have to beat it.”
Rated 5c the route starts off gently enough; “it's a very easy start with two easy and obvious footholds then big inviting holds. In that respect it's a little like the red route everyone starts one but where the red route is a a ladder where you just keep standing up and moving your arms up for the next hold Bare Necessities asks you to push off with your legs to reach that next grip. Then as you get up you come to the crux – the big hexagonal red volume, and that's where people fall because you need to place your weight carefully, and explore your flexibility.”
The trick – and look away now if you don't want to know - is a bear hug. “There are two ways up: there is a really good jug that you have to stand up and reach for but there is another way using the crimp. Then once you're up on the big jug on the volume there is another on the other side of the volume so you just have to bear hug that big red feller. Then you have to get your foot up by leaning to the right and creating the space for your foot without losing your bear hug.”
Fun, friendly, but challenging.
“Last weekend six or seven groups took turns on trying it out and sharing their beta [learnings] before they got it. I really like it because it also teaches you that climbing is not just about strength if you want to progress.”