Thursday 2 August 2012

   Bentbeak the bird flew over the prehistory of the world.

   He flew over wide stretches of land and water, verdant fields of green and yellow grass that swayed back and forth in a light breeze. It flew over vast expanses of water, ducking low to glide over the waves and enjoy the company of its own reflection.
It flew over the deserts and the badlands where nothing grew for miles.
And finally it flew over the volcano.

   The bird had no way of knowing that it was flying over the volcano, since it gave no external signs, except for a slightly higher land temperature than might have been expected for that time of year. Unfortunately for the bird, it was not attuned to imperceptible temperature errors, and it was also unaware of the increasing pressure buildup beneath the surface.

   The surface of the planet began to split and crack, giant trees fell headlong into the cavernous holes and returned as wisps of smoke a few seconds later. Any animals ill-fated enough to be on the ground attempted to leave, but many plunged headfirst into the holes to join the trees.
   The surrounding airspace took on the aroma of a poorly tended barbeque, singed meat rising through the air and mingling with the clouds that had formed from the rivers and streams that, until recently, had been flowing peaceably across the plains.
   The bird was oblivious to these changes.
   He often found it hard to concentrate on what he was doing, and right now he was quite interested in the sudden appearance of the new clouds that were blocking his vision.
   Two years ago he had been flying through one of the greater mountain ranges on his way to a party, when he was distracted by an attractively fish shaped cloud. He had promptly flown into a mountain and bent his beak, which had resulted in a great deal of teasing when he finally arrived. Ever since that day, his nose hadn’t worked properly, and right now he was starting to pay the ultimate price for his navigational mishap.
   If he had smelt the burning flesh below, he might have ducked below the cloud line and found the time to escape. Instead, he flew on, oblivious to the danger below.

   When the lava hit him he was surprised, naturally. The presence of superheated rock in an area you wouldn’t expect it is certainly something to be surprised at. But his real surprise, looking back on it, was the speed of it. It was travelling, and it didn’t seem to be slowing down. The volcano below, was forcing the lava above onwards in an explosion of such violence that the planet shrank as its insides flew upwards in one long stream of molten granite.
   Eventually, the pillar reached the upper atmosphere and started to cool. The liquid re-solidifying into a giant cylinder that soared on through the upper atmosphere, buoyed by the momentum it received from below. Just as it was clearing the gravitational pull of the planet…it stopped.
   The volcano was done. The planet’s core was dry, and the event was over except for the tower. The base was still liquid, while the upper part was sticking out into space. Slowly- gravity started to notice and the pillar began to descend, cracking and splitting along its length. The space pillar freed itself from its earthbound relative and soared majestically into orbit, the splinters from the schism fell like mighty bolts into the earth. Jagged and heavy, they fell into the ground and sank, only to be covered by the setting lava from the end of the eruption. Some fell wide over the surface, many miles from the epicentre, causing fiery arcs to spread across the sky.
   The tower stood for a second, unsure of which way to fall. The wind swirled around it buffeting it one way then the other, all the while, the lava on the ground continued to set. Eventually it stood, as a giant totem, lording over the landscape and casting a monstrous shadow well beyond the horizon.

   The planet sighed, and over the following millenia tried to adjust to the new space within. Many of the giant fissures widened as the core contracted, and when the planet cooled enough for the rains to fall, they became the new seas and rivers. Thousands of islands now populated the area around the tower, some large, some small, some that glittered like diamond and some that seemed to suck in the light from the sun. The planet had taken the lives from most of its inhabitants, and in return it had spilt its bounteous resources of the clean across the surface.

Oh yeah - I'm in South Africa too...

Climbed a few things, nothing nails hard yet.

  Number Cumulative
6A 0 18
6A+ 1 18
6B 1 17
6B+ 5 16
6C 1 11
6C+ 1 10
7A 2 9
7A+ 2 7
7B 4 5
7B+ 1 1
7C 0 0
7C+ 0 0
8A 0 0
There are probably some 7Bs that should be on that list that arent, havent kept it thoroughly up to date.

It is baking hot today, so we are sitting in Clanwilliam eating toasties and drinking milkshakes.
Good times, might sunbathe later. So hot.

Jack - I had a professional accountant include a bit of code on my spreadsheet to measure the number of flashes of each grade I have. If you manage to work it out for yourself, have a pat on the back.

I'll write again if I manage to do any 7C boulders, loads in the pipeline, not many achieved though.

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