Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Leprechaun's Wand

Here's a brief clip of Matt Hodgson right before getting the FA of the Stillwater project, which he's named The Leprechaun's Wand. He's decided not to grade it yet, and it may need another ascent or two to come to a consensus.

Of course, the video doesn't show the brutally small, fingertip sized slit that you start off in matched, and somehow Matt makes hopping on with the awkward backstep look easy - after a dozen attempts I couldn't even get off the ground into that position.
Being much shorter and not being able to start without a pad stack, I tried to find a different beta which will likely add a few moves, but I wasn't able to put it together.

It's great to see gems like this coming out of an area once thought 'totally tapped out.'

Friday, 8 November 2013

Support Your Local Developers!

If you've ever been to the Colin Arthur Dionne Memorial camp site in the Eldred Valley, you can't help but immediately wonder: "Wow, who did all of this?"  The climber's camp site, all of the structures and amenities, and all of the trails are the product of a very small group of local climber's hard work. Much of that original work was done by Colin himself, and the impressive scale and quality of the area is a testament to the man's unstoppable passion for sharing what he loved.

 Of course, no one can do it alone, and it takes a community of climber's who share that passion and love of labour to keep developing the areas, as well as to maintain them. This is no easy task, and everything is done for free. They spend their own hard earned money to purchase tools, supplies, the giant tarp, keep the out-house stocked, and anything else that's needed every season. Not to mention the hundreds of dollars it takes to buy bolts and hangers for routes...

 Every May, the Access Society ( helps to sponsor the 'Adopt a Crag' event where we band together to do some heavy labour on the trails. Other than this, it is the unseen and un-recognized devotion of local climbers that give us all the incredible opportunity to climb here.

 While in the Valley this summer, a group of Americans were so impressed with the camp, that they had trouble digesting the fact that it was free to use. They were adamant about paying something, despite repeatedly being told that 'There's no one to pay, we do this for free!' Finally, they just left $40.00 on the table and told me to use it for something. I realized that maybe other people would be inspired to generosity in the same way, and so now I've created the Donation button.

 Since this is not a business or organization, the donations go to my personal e-mail address. To ensure transparency, whenever a donation is made I will post the tally, and whenever a purchase is made will post what it was for and a receipt if I can. If you don't like that system, please donate to the Access Society. Though not as direct, the money will still go to a good access related cause somewhere.

Oh and PS, the $40 they gave me was going to go into a splitting maul for the wood shed, but Matt discovered an apparently amazing bouldering area across the river, so the money went to him to eventually buy a cable for a new crossing.

Donate now! The donation button is on the top right of the home page. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Khartoum Road Closure

The road to the Khartoum Valley wall has been de-activated.  It is still easily accessible, but for now, you must park your vehicle and hike an extra 45 minutes or so along the road. Unfortunately this detracts from the appeal of Khartoum having such easy access, though at least it is an easy walk.

The de-activation is just passed 19 mile on the 3rd lake road. After walking passed this, stay on your left when you come to the next fork - the next road is on your left after a few minutes and trends uphill. This is the '4x4' road as described in the above link.

You'll know when you're at the climbers camp site, as it sits atop a cliff with a great view of the side of the wall. Continue up the road (not through the camp/waterfall) for 40m and follow the trail at right to the wall.