Tuesday, 21 April 2015

2015 Eldred Valley Adopt A Crag

It's that time of year again! The annual Eldred Valley Adopt a Crag, where the community gets together to do trail maintenance, climb, develop, and party!

From Christie:
It’s time for this year’s annual Powell River adopt a crag! Come ready for a fun weekend of camping, working and climbing.
Due to work obligations I have move the date of this year’s Adopt a Crag to the May 30th weekend, Hope this works for everyone!
Saturday projects this year will include: 
• The West Main Buttress trail to the right side of the wall. Marking and building the trail to the base of the wall and up the right side to the base of Matt’s new route. If anyone feels super energetic and wants to mark farther, the route does go to the top of the wall.
• Psyche Slab trail maintenance and brushing.
• Repair of the log bridge in the campsite
• Splitting and stacking of firewood in the campsite. For safety reasons there will be no chainsaw work in the campsite on this weekend, no exceptions.
Bring hand tools for trail building, clippers and Work gloves. Please bring appropriate footwear for trail building, no sandals. I will be asking certain people to bring larger tools such as wheelbarrows and chainsaws.
Saturday evening after all you’re much appreciated hard work there will be a salmon bake and potluck dinner in the campground, complete with socializing around a big campfire!
Join the event below:


Higgy Land: New Routes

 I bolted a much looked at line at the Frayed End (or Rippin Area) at Higgy Land on Saturday April 18th. It's up for grabs, seeing as I won't get a chance to try to red point it for probably a few months. I rope soloed all the sections, but didn't link it, and had to leave town the next day. It felt in the 12.c range, but it's hard to say without linking everything on lead.
Drilling in the roof! 

  The line pulls through the big roof smack in the middle of the wall (first crux), continues up though the brown streak on crimps, blocks, a pinch, under cling, and a sloper, then thins out before the final and hardest crux right after the last bolt. You end up pulling up hard on a weird uneven left hand crimp and a paper thin micro crimp for your right hand. Super quality, especially for Higgy Land where rock can be loose (random foot chips are likely to still break around the roof, but the main foot hold is rock solid)

The awkward first bolt
Although I haven't officially done the FA yet, I don't mind if anyone else wants to get on it and do it - however, I'd like the name to be reserved for Late Bloomer.
 The name comes from the fact that to me it's the most obvious line in the area, and is only being put up now. Also, the fact that I've started going back to school late in life, so it's kind of a tribute for those two things coming together.
Tracy patiently belaying/being pulled into the air as I bolt the final few (I needed a belayer for positioning in the roof I couldn't do solo)
Late Bloomer - Project

 Over last season, I retro bolted 3 other routes and one old trad line was given a more direct mixed variation.

 Tweaky Face (5.10d?) (old guide gives a 10+, felt like at least a 10.d) Very fun route, definitely a must do.  The zig zag nature of the start makes it awkward to clean on rappel, probably easier if someone seconds it.

F*** I Love It (5.10b?) already had an anchor and a few bolts, but you couldn't get a piece of gear in until half way up the route, so it was basically a free solo that saw little to no traffic at all. The old book says 5.11 and "Much harder than it looks!" - though I found it pretty easy. It's 5.9 until a very straight forward crux, and then more like 5.8 until the end. The crux is bouldery, though the route in it's entirety I would say isn't harder than 10.b  It was given 3 stars, though in my opinion it's not very interesting. Top half is run out, but easy.

Gotta Like It (5.9) Starts the same as the above but veers left to follow the more obvious crack/rail feature, and is a much better route despite only getting one star in the old book.
 I had to space the bolts out a bit due to the nature of the rock, but it adds to the excitement. The crux is tricky, with very poor friction slopers. After a break on a ledge, the last half climbs slightly over-hanging edges before a final yet easier crux.
 Shared anchor with F-I love It (use a long draw on the last bolt to make it easier to clean)

Whatever Pal (Variation?) (5.8) - Mixed, a few mid sized cams. This is an awesome route! It has all kinds of interesting climbing in it, and though you could easily veer off route at a few spots, the natural direct line is the best. You can also traverse right towards the end to finish on Whatever (5.8) to change things up a little. Shared anchor.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Psyche Slab, Schizophrenia Video

https://vimeo.com/115652185  Here's a cool video of the classic 12 pitch climb Schiz (5.10). A great casual moderate, I'd say it's one of the most commonly climbed routes in the Eldred. A few shots of the campground, river, Carag Dur and the West Main Wall thrown in there as well.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Stillwater Beach

Just had to post this photo taken by Jason Addy of Stillwater Beach at high tide on a clear winter day. How lucky are we to have bouldering in a place like this?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

To Grade or Not to Grade: Insights on the use of the V scale in a first addition guide book

There is an incredible looking bouldering area in southern California that has been developing over the years called Black Mountain. If you're a boulderer, and you haven't heard of it yet, it wont be long until it is a well known destination. The first guide book has officially been released, and in a very interesting move, the authors have decided to not grade the problems.

Here is an intriguing and rather convincing post from the Black Mountain blog on the author's reasons behind this decision.