Saturday, 22 October 2016

BIG news! New Eldred Valley Information Website

Local pioneer Christie Dionne has just published a website with all current route and area info on the Eldred Valley! I also just sent her all the info I have on bouldering in the valley and it will be added shortly. This is a huge step forward in Valley development. I have also heard that the paper guide book (which will be combined with my bouldering guide) should be ready by next season....though of course it's a huge project, so please don't quote me on any actual time line :).

 I've also recently been able to connect with one of the original climbers in Powell River, Robert Richards (who along with Colin Dionne made the first ascent of the West Main Wall). Rob is literally a walking encyclopedia on every square inch of rock ever climbed in the original days of development. With Rob's help I'll finally be able to add the history of bouldering in the area, and add names to problems that were previously climbed to give credit where its due. Things are really moving forward with getting information on the area, and with the climbing gym co-op opening this winter, I really feel like next season is going to be a big one!

View the website here:

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First Ascent of Stillwater Project

On his way back to the ferry, despite days of rain, Tyler Thompson managed to snag the first ascent of the project he had tried earlier on the main boulder in the Bulldozer cluster in Stillwater.

This problem is to the right of The Leprechaun's Wand on the overhanging face - though still a contender for hardest problem in the area as it has yet to see a repeat, they are very different styles. TLW being very technical, this new problem is one huge power move, to a very committing final move.

To start, there is a low right hand undercling, and a left hand on the sloping arete. Smear a foot and gun for the only obvious hold.

He named it Bump Up the Jam, and suggested a grade of V8/9.

Tyler recently sent Black Hole (V11) in Squamish, known for a notoriously hard bump to a tiny crimp - yet said this send involved one of the hardest single moves he's done in a while.

Here's a video!
Bump Up The Jam, V8/9, First Ascent

Monday, 29 August 2016

Video of some B Branch Boulders

A friend from Vancouver was recently in town, and despite only a few hours spent in the valley, in the rain, he managed to make some sends, including one FA, and work a few projects before the conditions became too wet.

The problems are:

FA of a V7 variation to Inverted Academics(V6)  (*Update, the V7 is now called Nameless Nirvana), instead of going straight up from the crimps, bump right to the good hold, bear down on a tiny left hand crimp, control the swing, and lock off to pull through to the lip. Super fun gymnastic problem!  (Warning: the jug that you leg bar off of is flexing, use caution)

Working the Ataraxia project (my guess is around V9)

Attempt to link  'Cheater' (V2) into the classic The Revival (V4)

A quick send of The Dark Crystal (V4)

 Most problems stayed dry despite a heavy overnight rain and off and on rain throughout the whole day.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Video of a classic and a project, Stillwater

Tyler Thompson doing a lap on the classic V2 highball, The Blade, Bulldozer Boulders, Stillwater.
Plus a quick clip of an attempt at a project up the steeper right face.
Please excuse the poor filming, It's my first day.

Just some pretty pics

View from top of moss mountain, just outside the bulldozer boulders. Stillwater

Anna on Appetite for Destruction 5.10 Higgy Land

New Problems in B branch

On a recent trip up the valley we bumped into two French climbers, currently calling Revelstoke home. They were very stoked to explore the area, and in only a few short hours we added 3 new problems, one project, and I eyed up another yet to be scrubbed.
 All new problems are right next to the parking, to the left of the Communication Eater boulder (see map and mini guide posted on the bulletin board in camp, and the binder I left in the out house), new problems not added yet.
 Anthony put up a V3 ish slab just left of the V1 on Communication eater.
 All other new problems are on the same boulder, it's visibly obvious, directly behind communication eater, so as soon as you walk in and look left you'll see Rain Away and Azule's arete.

Anthony on a new V3 I put up after a team effort, RainAway. To the right on the same boulder is a quality arete we put up, now named after Anthony's dog, 'Azule's Arete' - V2. 
Trying all kinds of beta on the project. This didn't quite work, but it lead to figuring out the sequence.

Me testing out my hamstring on the project, about to hit the crux swing to get around the corner - unfortunately my leg wasn't quite ready for this yet.

Anthony searching for holds.

New Routing on Carag Dur

I haven't been posting much this season due to working on opening a not for profit climbing gym co-op (which takes up 90% of my free time) -  Please feel free to support the project and find out info here -

In other news, a crew has been living in the Eldred over the season. Here's a peak at a route they've put up. Topo should be available in the camp site by now on the bulletin board.

 From Evan Guilbalt's FB post:

"Pitch 1 of "Building Gondolin" New Route using parts of Afternoon Delight going up the right side of Carag-Dur. 4-5 pitches of sustained 5.10 crack climbing...More info to come. Lots of new routing going on in The Valley."
Pitch 1 
 Though at least this pitch is actually an old route, it was long abandoned about 10 years ago. It had been recleaned about 4 years ago, but not beyond the original two pitches and had since grown over again. There were  two adjacent lines (one up the splitter and one to the right of the flake) to the same anchor. However, now, this is a 4 pitch line, and it appears that the obvious crack is what was re-cleaned. 
 To get to it, hike the carag dur trail to the top and walk right along the base of the wall. You can't miss it.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Just a quick snap shot of some spring cleaning up in the Valley from this weekend. I built a cedar ladder to leave in B-branch to make scrubbing easier. Here I am testing it out on the amazing A Dog Named Boo (V1) ****, which is now extra clean and ready for some laps. I gave my project 'Ataraxia' a clean as well, the line that starts underclinging the huge flake and traverses out the very shallow sloping crack. I'm recovering from a torn hamstring still and can't do much climbing still, but hope to put that project down this season.

Psyche Slab - The Most Developed Wall in the Valley * Updated

The most accessible wall in the valley, it's host to 15 free multi pitch routes (from 3 to 12 pitches), and 2 single pitch routes. Pysche Slab is by far the most developed, most climbed wall in the valley. Due to it being a slab, though at times near vertical, it lends itself to easy to (mostly) moderate free climbing. 

Mika on the awesome first pitch of RacknoPhobia

You'll also notice that the view on the slab is stunning. The West Main Wall and Carag Dur protrude in the background.
Beer Ledge - Scattered Conditions (Credit John W.) - Carag Dur in back

Detailed route info as posted on the sign heading into the climber's camp:

From left to right:

SRI - 5.10 

Day Pass  - 5.7

Sanitarium - 5.9

Skitsophrenia - 5.10 *** A must do!

Racknophobia - 5.11

Never Never Land - 5.11b

Solstice  - 5.10

Trailer Park boys - ? (A steeper crack system start to the right of Solstice...I think, but don't take my word for it) 

 The next 3 routes start on an alcove up a very steep trail that branches left directly off the main trail

Pyscho Path - 5.10

White Dykes and Dirt Barbies - 5.9

Decoy - 5.10b

Scattered Conditons  5.11d or 5.11-A0
  - *Not in photo, between Decoy and Falkland Crisis. Starts on a very low angle slab just passed the steep Psychopath trail, at the time of writing this too dirty to climb but the next few pitches look fine.  Could traverse in from WDandDB.  Topo found here: Scattered Conditions Topo

The Falkland Crisis - 5.9+  - 
This early line climbs the strikingly obvious dihedral feature in the middle of the slab, just right of Scattered Conditions. Although I'd like to try and clean it this season, it is currently completely grown over and best avoided. 

Delusional Reality - 10.d
  (Hard to find, you've gotta know what you're looking for to find the access pitch which is very bushed in)

Check out Mountain Project for some topos of the routes.  (Warning: Topos may not be up to date or entirely accurate, use your best judgement)

Comfortable shoes that are good for smearing are highly recommended, unless you're a total masochist of course.

 Since the current guide book is over 10 years old and 90% of the routes aren't in it, it's understandable that there is little traffic. Many routes are vegetated or mossed over, particularly in the lower pitches. Once you get passed this (or find a cleaner route, - keep looking, they're there!) the climbing is top notch.  Bringing a brush is always a good idea - be a good sport and scrub on your rap down!

Monday, 9 May 2016

New V0's in the Eldred, B-Branch

Spent a day in the valley with my partner Anna, who put up her first boulder problems. Two new V0's behind the giant Dog Day boulder in B Branch. One of which "Shadow Porn", is a great climb on well featured rock up a steep slab. The other, "My Humps"

No crash pad? No problem - I donated an old pad to the campsite. I hope people will see it and realize there must be some bouldering around!

Working for the send

New problem! Needs a good rain to clean it up more.

Great features found beneath the moss

Sending the awesome Muddy Rails (V1). A steep jug traverse that ends with a belly flop of a mantle.

Sharing is caring

Stash pad

Friday, 15 April 2016

Newly Established 10.D at On The Fritz

John Rapp recently got the first ascent of a line he bolted at On The Fritz.

From his FB post: "Super spicy lead with ten feet between the bolts at the second crux. 5.10d 25m, a classic sport climb that involves a huge variety of moves, pumpy but has good rest".

The route is called Clobber Globber, and from what I remember, the name came from an encounter with Fritz when he showed John and a friend his home made bug spray concoction. "You clobber them in the air, and then you globber them on the ground!" - I may not be quoting directly.

Props to John for putting up what sounds like a classic, and keeping it bold.

Update - I went and climbed this, and it is now possibly my favourite sport pitch in town. This is definitely worth the walk in even though there are only 2 routes currently - even if this were the only one there it would still be worth going to.
John Rapp leading Clobber Globber, 10.d 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Why the long silence?

 I haven't been updating this blog for awhile, but not due to lack of climbing news in Powell River.

Matt Hodgson has been crushing, developing a whole new bouldering area across the river in the Eldred, with a new zipline access.
 There's been ascents on the Buttress, and new stuff at the lake bluffs as well.

I haven't been posting because I'm back in school, living in Vancouver, and have been very busy working on opening a co-op climbing gym in Powell River. Between that, school, work, and climbing as much as possible in Squamish, I've been a bit out of the loop with the actual climbing scene in PR.

 For anyone who doesn't know, check out our website, at for info, and join our FB page "Powell River Climber's Co-op" for updates as they come.

 In the mean time, enjoy a few videos! The first is one I made of one of the most recent problem's I've established in Squamish.  It might take me a while to get the hang of filming and editing, but I cant wait to start making some videos of the climbing in PR this coming season.

 Enjoy!  <--- Click there to see the vid.

 Here's one I dug up of Matt H getting the FA of Inverted Academics (V6) in the Eldred. I busted my knee on the second ascent and still can't do certain kinds of heel hooks. Injury aside, it's a really unique, must do problem in B Branch.

Inverted Academics, FA, V6 - Matt Hodgson  <--- Click there for the video of Matt!