Punks In The Gym
Punks In The Gym
Media: Expeditions

Punks In The Gym

Australia
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AUTHOR: Mayan Smith-Gobat
PHOTOGRAPHY: Rich Crowder

The first 5.14 in the world, climbed by the master of sport-climbing — Wolfgang G├╝llich himself. Punks in the Gym is located in Arapiles, Australia... on my backdoor step. I remember walking past the steep orange wall on my very first climbing trip and wondering how it was possible to climb such a blank face.

Years later, I eventually summoned up the courage to try the route. I slowly figured out the moves and put together sequences that would work for me. After several days, a sudden realization hit me...

"I could climb this beautiful famous route!"

It might take a while, but I could do it... I became hooked, obsessed by these 80 feet of rock, and returned to Arapiles countless times to complete this goal.

Finally two and a half years after that first attempt, I managed to align my mental and physical capabilities. I let go of the need to do the route and let my body flow... It was my third try for the day and I had no expectations, yet I threw for the crux hold with everything, my tips just latched the lip as my body peeled out from the wall, barely managing to reel it back in. Surprised, I fought to keep my composure — the route was far from over. Fighting to control my nerves, I took a deep breath and committed to the next tenuous moves, moving with precise determination and entirely absorbed in the moment. Before I knew it I was clipping the chains — Having completed the first female ascent of Punks in the Gym!

Thanks to everyone who believed in me and gave me endless support and belays!

Tudo Bem

Two words for all eventualities

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