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Author: Puzankov Sergey

Deep Water Solo on cape Aya

We gathered on July 21 on the Embankment of Balaklava. There, on the berth, 160 liters of water were delivered because there are no water springs near our future camp.

By the way, water was ordered in advance in Vodovos company. It cost 5 grivnas per 5-liter bottle. Thus we saved a lot of money not buying water in Balaklava shops. By the way, it isn't known if they would have 160 liters.

In about 14.00 all our team got together. It was 16 people.

Boat invites no more than 6 persons.


Small paradise.

Our organizing team went arranging transport. Cutter cost too much and didn't want to moor to the shore without berth. Therefore we took 3 boats, each of them cost 180 hrivnas. Boats take only 6 persons on board. All in all, we distributed goods, water and ourselves on 3 boats, we moved to our Place of Power.

By the way, while using water transport here, take into consideration weather and sea conditions. Boats won't leave in storm and in big waves the won't moor to the stony shore.

We reached the destination in about 30-40 minutes. We admired green azure of the sea, abrupt rocks and enjoyed leave/holidays/absence (underline correct one).

Girls lay on bow of the boat like super-models usually lie on boards of luxurious yachts in the middle of the Mediterranean sea (it looks like I dream too much). Waves shook the bow like roller coaster, the big waves poured over the girls. So we were ready to watch a competition of wet T-shirts.

Natasha and Katya


Goods are debarked.

By the way, it is better to land just after the first “sail”. Here the boat can come closely to the shore, here begin DWS routes, and one more important factor: there are areas for tents upwards.

First sail.

View from the camp.

Then we tried a hard profession of carriers. Carrying 30 kilogram rucksacks and all our water upwards to the camp, we understood how hard the life of the carriers, for example, is on Everest. But in the camp we understood, like on Everest, that this hard way wasn't made for nothing. Just from the camp the magnificent views opened.

It just was some vacant area for 4 tents. They didn't stand in a line, like usually, but were evenly distributed on the area. In the evening everybody gathered together near an improvised table.

After installing camp, we changed our clothes to swimming trunks/swimming costumes/shorts/smart trunks (to underline appropriate), took climbing shoes, chalk, boat and ran to the sea.

And here we realized that pump doesn't have thread for mounting to the boat (it is needed to be held by hands) and that holds for oars don't fit our oars (we fixed them by rope to the boat). But it did not stay on the way of fanatics, full of enthusiasm.

So, we lowered our boat on water. First tries to climb the rock from the boat, first steps on the rock and of course falling down to the water. You climb 5 m, and it becomes terrible either to climb or to jump. Quickly a simple route was found – 5A-5B grade.

Inflating our boat.


Vertical line on the right can be 6b+/6 с.

By the way, it is better to start climbing DWS just on simple vertical or overhanging routes with big hangs. You must climb them even with wet hands! So you can get used to the wall and study how to fall correctly.

But as if from nowhere on the horizon a pirate ship arrived – a boat with nudists (male). They decided to try climbing too, but we were not glad. Sasha had a psychologically trauma when she was climbing out of an overhang a saw THIS!

But we had already climbed enough, and the road took a lot of strength. That's why we moved to big stones and basked in the sun.


After a tasty supper local wish master Kirill took out an oil lamp and a hookah.

First Sail.

In the morning – once more fight! Somebody was still sleeping, somebody tried to prepare breakfast, somebody was climbing 60-m route on Sail rock. Jenya decided to climb it on-sight. Rope gear had guys who arrived here just after KK. Jenya, equipped with quickdraws, came to push Sail. Bolts, if they can be called so, were made of rusty tin and nailed to the rock. Notes on the tin pieces are 300 kg. Distances between the bolts are 4-6 m. All in all, it is contra-indicated.

First Sail.

On the top of First Sail.

In the middle of the route Jenya decided to bring us some happiness with his climbing: he climbed about 6 m higher than the previous point and was holding by an overhang when a stone fell under his left hand. Jenya heroically threw it off from Pasha who was belaying him below, and miraculously didn't fall. Having made the first second part of the route, it became clear that the rope would be enough only to for Pasha's ascent, they would not be able to descend. Pasha tied-in to a piece of static 50 m and climbed too. On the summit they admired the views and threw a big tree to the water (it needed to be thrown in aims of safety).

This section is nearer than others. There are many routes , all of them overhanging . There we spent the most of our time.

In the meantime our second team decided to explore a new area for DWS. And they explored it very successfully. On the new massif we found many good routes of different grade. It has a relief diversity, deepness under the rocks with no reefs.


And what is also interesting, in 15 m there is a big ledge which was a TOP. From this ledge it was easy to jump.




You climb on the top, and it is terrible to jump. But the Sun shines, and it becomes clear that you have only one way – to jump! How difficult it is to make this step to uncertainty. Then everything happens quickly. Several seconds of flight – and you are in the water which freshens a bit after the hot sun.

By the way, this is one of the main advantages of DWS in hot season: you can freshen anytime, all you need is to fall.

The first route was “Sandalik” – about 6B grade. It's rather hard to give grades to DWS routes because of wet hands (even with chalk) and fear of high falling. “Sandalik” is a route with good start from water, force middle part and very technical ledge.

“Sandalik” Crux is on about 10m.


Katya and Natasha.


Began to find new routes. Pasha tried many difficult crimper problems. Jenya in the meantime found a route “Don't be afraid” 5C+. It goes diagonally upwards to the ledge where the TOP of “Sandalik” is located.

Pasha on a cornice.

Rock push didn't stop till the dinner. Somebody has already started to sunbathe on the shore, somebody continued to wet overhangs and themselves.

Bouldering ~ 6С.

Pashas :)











And suddenly an unexpected thing happened. Our boat was pierced by one of the reefs. Fortunately, we had a repair set with us, and in the evening the boat was afloat again.

By the way, if you have such a boat, care about reserve patches for it. And don't leave a patced boat on the sun, because glue can melt and the patch will come unstuck.

Shadow under a big stone is a salvation.

Lesha and Kirill.







amen ...

The day flew by. Total tiredness affected. Climbing all day long, swimming, jumping, rowing is not so easy. A full set of “fitness” exercises for loss of weight. The sunset was beautiful as always.


Sailing to Injir, we explored an excellent wall with potential routes. We decided to return and climb.





We found an excellent route about 18 m high which has 2 variations. Approximate grade: left variation – 5 B-5 C, right one – 5C+-6A.

Pashas' route.

On this section we climbed most of all. It is rather easy and vertical . If you climb 6A on-sight, then only fear can break this ascent.

A bit to the left Pasha found one higher route – about 20 m, 6B+-6C grade. It was called “Gondoliers”. Start is a problem on a nail inclined slab, and then along the crack little to the left, top is along an inclined nail area with holes for fingers and crimpers.




In the morning we decided to sail to the Lost World. The distance was long, and it was rather hard to row. But these efforts were compensated. We didn't expect to see such relief. Massive overhangs over the sea. Red rock with many overhangs attracted.

This grotto has very scaring roof . There are no definite holds. But after the roof an overhang begins, turning into a vertical with holes and holds








This transition to the vertical is a crux

This will be a project!

Matros and Jenya.


Potential place.

Senya is trying a roof under a huge overhanging ridge.

A wall of huge potential is just on the other side of cape Aja.

Stepa on a huge overhanging ridge

The way back was very long and difficult, because the wind blew and the waves began. By dinner a dangerous person arrived in our camp - Sergey.


We ran to show him our routes, tell how to fall down…


Commonly, we wanted to have a day of rest, but it happened as always.




In the Friday morning Sam, Katya, Kirill, Nastya, Lida and Igor left us. They arranged for a boat to take them early in the morning to Balaklava.


By dinner it began to storm. The guys decided to make a super-traverse of the main massif. And it was made, despite wet feet because of the waves.


Our favorite evening recreations were playing the guitar and game “I am”.

In the morning we packed our tents and went to Reservnoe village to the bus. It was a pity to leave this place, but we had no more water and food.

But we will certainly return in the next year. There are so many unexplored regions and routes!

Photos: Sergey Puzankov (Matros), Zaytceva Elena (Lacena), Sokolov Kirill (SoX), Jiganskaya Alexandra, Semen. © 2008 Limewall team.
DWS in Crimea.

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