Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exciting Eye Catching Title...

Well it has been 4 months since my last post, proving once again that I may be one of the least consistent bloggers alive. I've been pretty busy, climbing, working, keeping up with life, and a little bit of this...

and getting stoked for things like this:

 I will mention that I turned 20 last month and I also fully decked out my stairwell/foyer into a relatively sweet little living space, complete with artwork and trippy tapestries and whatnot. No more messy stairwell dwelling.

On the climbing side of things, the weather was SICK this fall and I wish I had been able to climb a bit more, but they days I got in were fantastic and I'll share some photos because pictures say 1,000 words... and I sure don't want to type that many words.

Alpine bad-ass Colin Haley following the Golden Throat Charmer. A stunning Croft/Fraser testpiece from the 80's. 

And here is a telephoto shot of us from the parking lot courtesy of Bruce Maconald. Cheers Bruce!

Here is my friend Brette cruising 'The Daily Planet', easily one of the funnest corners in all of Squamish... and Squamish has MANY fun corners.

This typically damp Smoke Bluffs classic finally dried up enough to climb this Fall, here is my friend Chris leading 'Elephantiasis'

More recently, we finally got some cold dry weather. These days are pure gold for climbing in the Smoke Bluffs, the rock just gets so sticky and things that feel impossible most of the year suddenly feel 'not that bad'.
The other day I managed to finish a slab at Penny Lane dubbed 'The Moth', I had tried it a year or two ago and got utterly shut down by the crux bulge at the top, but feeling psyhed and with excellent conditions, the line went down on my third attempt in two days. The route was given 13+ by the first ascentionist and certainly felt like 5.impossible+++ when I first tried it. But everything came together really well for the send and the entire thing felt smooth and super enjoyable. It's amazing the difference having really good conditions can make.

Now I have a couple new unclimbed projects in the bluffs, a desperate face at Easter Island and a beautiful open slab at Penny Lane. I rapped the latter of the two in the rain with a set of hooks this afternoon and found enough positive crystals that I believe I may be able to bolt it on lead, which would be fun to try. Looking forward to some more dry weather, and hopefully another post relatively soon... for real this time.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Genius Loci

So the weather has improved dramatically since the last post I made, and there has been a lot of action around town. People have been crushing, locals and visitors alike, and I could probably write quite a bit about it. But right now I'm only going to talk about one particular climb because its sunny and I should be out climbing...

The first day the sun arrived I headed back up the quick drying 'Genius Loci' after work with my friend Brad Gobright. I had written off climbing for the day, as I had felt pretty drained and tired at work that day. I had also decided that evening time was not a suitable time to try the route, as the lower two slab pitches would be baking in the full sun, but we headed up anyways and things went fairly smoothly. I almost fell a couple time on the first pitch, and had to change beta on the fly at the last crux, but I made it to the belay ledge without pitching off. The only fall of the day came on the second pitch surprisingly, but I pulled the rope and led it clean second go. We finished the route just as it got dark and made the quick rappels to the ground.

The whole route is amazing, it takes a wandering line linking improbable features and eventually ends on the Sword pitch of the Grand Wall route. I think the final pitch would be a spectacular way to link the 'Left Side' into the Grand Wall as well. It climbs an exposed line, linking the 'Grinning Weasel" into 'The Sword' an is one of the raddest pitches I've climbed in town. Also, if anyone doesn't know the story behind 'Genius Loci' a team of local legends, including Hamish Fraser, established the route in 1991 placing all the bolts on lead. The route has character, like the first ascent party, and as expected it was a great experience to climb it.

We didn't bring a camera, so there aren't any pics to post, but I'll see if I can find one off the web..

This believe this is a shot of Greg Foweraker (leading) and Hamish Fraser on pitch 4, which climbs a traversing dyke over to the Left Side of the split pillar.

Also, the Squamish Mountain Festival came to town, and put on the Flashed Dyno comp again. A fun little even held at the Squamish Adventure Center. The mens category was big this year, and there seemed to be a tonne of strong indoor/competitive climbers around. Somehow lankiness prevailed and I juuuuuust managed to scrape 1st place based on fall count, winning a nice new crash pad for the house.

But the real action was on the ladies side, Canadian national team member Elise Sethna broke a world record! Here's a vid of that... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxtotQfSNww&feature=youtu.be

Hoping to get on something cool this weekend, so maybe I'll have something to write about soon... peace.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Dreaded First Blog Post...

So after two years of living and climbing in Squamish I have decided to start a blog sharing some of my thoughts and adventures. I am new to this so bear with me, I will try and keep things interesting and entertaining but I can't make any promises. Anyhow I will try and get things going here...

So right now I am living in a house with three of my best friends and climbing buddies where I rent the stairwell and front entrance space for 180$/month. My bed at the moment is a queen size air mattress inflated inside a 3ft/8ft room that folds up on each side and swallows you whole when you lay down on it. It may not be the most glamorous sleeping arrangement however rent is cheap and I use my money for more important things such as beer, ice cream, cookies, and sometimes rock climbing.

 Here is a shot of my stairwell below, as you can see I did not bother cleaning it before sharing a photo. I want this blog to accurately portray who I am... I am not a person who keeps his stairwell tidy.

Living with you best friends is pretty rad. Sometimes there are minor disagreements about who is responsible for the dishes in the sink, or why I have my entire wardrobe strewn about on the living room floor, but all around I think we get on pretty well here. Here's a shot of my roomies and myself hanging out in Smith Rock, Oregon. We look pretty fly for Canadians eh?

Right to left... Richie, Tyler, Luke and myself.

As far as actual climbing goes, things have been pretty damp around Squamish so far this year, but this is about to change... I hope. There actually have been many dry days and climbing has been going well. My project I have been working on the North Walls of the Chief for a while is approx 5/6 complete. Every pitch goes free, I just need a solid dry weekend day to climb the route from the ground. It's a beautiful line and I can't wait to finish it, more on this soon hopefully.

I managed to squeeze out a couple amazing after work sessions on the Chief last week as well. This time trying a possibly unrepeated line on the Grand Wall called 'Genius Loci'. Hamish Fraser and friends put up this testpiece route in 1991 in ground up style, drilling the protection bolts on lead. The route is of amazing quality, with fun and varied climbing ranging from desperate friction to steep pumpy crack climbing. The climb has a lot of character and you certainly have to 'go for it' through most of the crux sections which makes for an engaging climbing experience. Again, more on this soon I hope...

Here's a shot of me heading up pitch 1. I found myself dealing with missing bolt hangers and some dirty holds on this pitch, which kept things interesting.

Jason Kruk photo.

That's it for now, hopefully the weather will change for the better so I can get back on these routes and have something to follow this post up with. Ciao!