If Tom Cruise wants to rock climb my body …

… he’d better get in quick.

I’ll tell you why in a sec but back in the day, those heady Top Gun days of bomber jackets, bad profile shots, sunsets and motor bikes, I have to admit that I was a big Tom Cruise fan.

Tom Cruise Top Gun

This was before he gave up rock climbing and took up the far more dangerous sport of couch jumping.

Poor Tom.

Anyway I was standing in the shower this morning and I noticed that one of the world’s great rock climbing challenges, the Hogan Overhang, is in danger of disappearing forever.

It hasn’t disappeared yet and it’s not likely to happen overnight but the signs are there Tom. Having said that, you don’t have to strap on your crampons just yet, I’m just giving you the heads up, the bicycling is starting to take effect.

Anyway I just thought I’d brief you on what you’re potentially facing … and for this I have referred to the M Numeric scale of grade for rock climbers. No doubt you’re familiar with it.

The mission, should you choose to accept it, goes something like this…

The first stage…

M1-3: Easy.  Fairly low angle, usually no tools required.

The second stage…

M4: Slabby to vertical with some technical dry tooling.

This might also involve a bit of M5 work:  Some sustained vertical dry tooling.

The third stage …

Now this is where it gets tricky Tom but after re-watching the opening sequence of Mission Impossible 2 I’m confident you’ll be up to the challenge. It begins with a stretch of M8: Some nearly horizontal overhangs requiring very powerful and technical dry tooling; bouldery and/or long cruxes. Then it ramps up to an M10: At least 10 metres of horizontal rock or 30 metres of overhanging dry tooling with powerful moves and no rests. Good mental attitude and solid technique necessary.

But…there are also some points that might require a bit of M12-M14 work: bouldery, dynamic moves and tenuous technical holds. This is the Hogan Overhang at its worst.

Get through that and you can expect a bit of M9’ing: Continuously vertical or slightly overhanging with marginal or technical hold, or a juggy roof of 2 to 3 body lengths.

The home straight …

If you’ve made it this far you’re through the worst. Now you can take in the view and really start to enjoy yourself. There’s a bit of M6 work: Vertical to overhanging with difficult dry tooling followed by an M5 to bring it on home which you’ll recognise as sustained vertical dry tooling.

This blog post self destructs in 5 seconds.

Probably a good thing 😉

Have a great week guys. I’ll try and get some photos happening again soon. Just had too much on.


Photo of Tom from here.


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    1. Posted 18 November 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      now I can’t get the ‘mission impossible’ theme song out of my head!

      totally loved this and big laugh of the day, Go Tom!!!

      • Marg
        Posted 18 November 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Funny. Tell Sam to strap on his crampons. Managed 7km on the bike this morning, of which half a km was on the #5 setting. Little by little. Have a lovely day Lisa. Look after yourselves in that snow x

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