Q&A with Sheila Alexander after she sends Anger Management (V11)
Last week Sheila Alexander proved the bouldering season isn't quite over in Sydney with a send of the stamina test peace Anger Management , V11 out at Wedderburn. We went to great lengths to be able to sit down and have a chat with her (we cornered her on her lunch break :) to get some more info and insight about her send.
How long have you been trying Anger Management?
It’s been on my hit list for about 2 years. I’ve been on it once before, but it wasn’t until July this year that I dedicated time to working the moves. Luckily, my friend Amy Dunlop was keen to try this with me, so it was good to have someone there for support and help figure out the beta. This problem is not only powerful, but very beta intensive, and it took us quite a while to work out the best sequence. Wedderburn is out past Campbelltown, so it’s a long way from home, and we were getting out there every 2 weeks, so it’s been a long process.
Are you happy to see the problem go or sad that it’s done and you have to move on?
Definitely very happy to get it done! I was over the long drive out there and bouldering at the same crag. I was running out of time and good conditions, it’s nice to finish it before summer.
Can you tell us a little bit about the climbing on the problem? It’s obviously steep and long but is it just the length that makes it hard or are there definite cruxes?
It’s a deceiving line. It looks straight forward until you pull on and realise how steep and physical the climbing actually is. There are 3 distinct sections on the climb with one main crux move. The first few holds are really positive and incut, but the angle is really steep, so it’s enough to drain you before the roof crack. From here, you’re using under clings until the end of the roof section to the crux. The bicep and forearm starts to burn, but you get a good rest with a tricky knee bar before the crux move. The next move out of the roof is the business. Removing the knee bar and changing directions was really hard! After the crux is another good rest before traversing right on good holds, the moves are not difficult, but it’s easy to pump out and fall off here. Then there’s a small mantle into a stand-up rest. I ended up spending 5 mins here trying to shake out the pump in my forearms. The top out is high and very sketchy, so you don’t want to mess it up!
I mainly boulder, so the length of the climb was a challenge in itself, but the moves are sustained until the finish. A combination of both length and hard moves gives the climb its grade.
Is there any specific training you focused on for this problem? Or was this one of those problems you’d just have a crack at every now and then when you were in the area?
Wedderburn is out west and I live on the Northern Beaches, it was a mission to get out there, so each session had to count.
I trained power endurance for the climb. It’s long and has a lot of moves that is bicep dependent. In the gym, I trained ladders over a 4-week period on the finger board, where you progressively increase hanging time with each rep over a certain amount of sets, and also bouldered a lot at SICG St.Peters on the low roof upstairs. On top of that, I did gymnastic strength training, concentrating on bent arm strength, so lots of ring rows, hinged rows, chin ups and lock offs.
You might have to correct me but is this the second V11 you’ve ticked now? Would you count this as your proudest send or was this a side problem?
Yes it’s my second V11! My first was Combat Wombat 2 years ago, which is a similar style. It is my proudest send to date. I had to work a lot harder and spent more time on this climb that Combat. I’m getting good at these boulder-routes!
What’s next on the cards? Summer is here so are you going to ride the good form or have a rest?
I want to get back on American Siege V10 at Frontline. That was the project I was working on before Anger Management. It’s getting very warm though, so I’m not confident of making much progress on it. There’s a few other climbs that I want to get on that’s easier, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll definitely have a break in December, my body needs it for sure!
What other problems are now on your radar now this is done?
I really want to do Sleepy Hollow V12 in the Grampians next year. It’s been on my mind this past year. There’s so many more climbs I want to do down there like The Departed V10 at Valley of the Giants and The Quickening V9 at the Bleachers.
See Sheila's Instagram feed HERE
Watch the full video below.
Sheila is sponsored by Mountain Equipment and also has the privilege to manage the city store. She insists there's no conflict of interest :)