Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Three First Ascents in 3 Days

The heat wave is over, and cooler temps means crushing temps. On Saturday, July 19th, Matt Hodgson got the FFA (first free ascent) of the infamous Dunamis, Lake Blufs, suggesting a possible grade of  5.11.D.  I was hoping to be able to take photos of the FFA but ended up being on belay instead.

 Matt also cleaned a new route to the immediate right, and realizing it was well within his ability, decided to free solo it before ever tying in.  I've heard rumors that this was also a nude ascent....No comment. Suggested grade of 5.10 or 5.9   This brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a 'free' ascent. The route is called Nuts in Honey, luckily there were no accidental nut placements or I don't think it would count as a free ascent...

 Today I made the FFA (after doing it on TR before bolting) of my long standing project 'Falling Up' (5.12.c?)  This route had a lot of personal value for me, for a number of reasons. It was the first route I ever bolted, meaning the bolts aren't all in the most ideal places, but most importantly it was a route I bolted under the guidance of Colin Dionne.

I fell from the final few moves, way back in 2010 when the route went up, on the last day of my season. I moved to the city, and pretty much stopped climbing seriously for the next few years. The route was never named, though during Colin's celebration of life ceremony, I heard that the term "Falling Up" was something Colin used to refer to. Aside from the obvious euphemism for climbing, it was also a term for relating to the challenges of life. Sometimes you fall down, but sometimes what seems bad ends up teaching you something valuable, sometimes it's for the best, sometimes, it feels like you fall up.

 The route sheds a lot of rock. At the time, I wasn't thinking about rock quality, I just wanted to put up something hard that hadn't been done. The last time I tried it I broke a key foot hold, and even on the FA I broke a hand hold but was able to stay on. As much as I'd love to say it's a 4 star route, the rock quality just doesn't allow that high of a quality rating. I found it very difficult to grade, and it definitely needs more consensus. There is only one 12.b at Higgyland, which I was able to do fairly quickly after figuring out the crux,  leading me to suggest the slightly harder grade for Falling Up.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Day at The Lake Bluffs

When's the best time to discover your lens is broken? I don't know, but it probably isn't while hanging from the end of a rope minutes before you plan on shooting. I was still able to get a few decent shots, despite the quality from the busted lens. Enjoy!

Matt Hodgson - Coma (Old guide gives "5.11-/5.10+", probably 10.b or C. 

To the left of Coma is a series of rails, micro crimps, and a thin seem with one old rusty hanger and a 1/4 inch bolt. After studying the guide book and rapping down it twice, it's still hard to say what line it is.

 I think it's a link up of the start of Coma into the C4 Aid route 'Perseverance" into Coca Cola Classic (5.12).   I've heard this link up has been done in the past on TR, though it isn't written in as such in the old guide book. If this line does in fact go, it will likely be in the 5.13 range, or very close to it.
"Perseverance" is listed in the guide as route #27, twice, in two completely different areas of the crag. Regardless of what it might be called, it sure is an amazing line.

Super hard link up

Cruising through micro crimps pre-dyno.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Moss Mountain photo by Tourism Powell River

Andy belaying Marc on either Taco (5.9) or Taco Direct (5.10) At Moss Mountain, Stillwater
Photo courtesy of Tourism Powell River.

There's even a short clip of Andy topping out here in this video.  Skip to 1:10 for the clip.