Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A World of Hurt

Don't worry. I'm not injured. Nor have I become a blues musician. A World of Hurt is the name of Jordan's new highball in Squamish. I'm psyched to get strong so I can get on it next spring, but my training regime isn't exactly turning me into the Hulk. In fact, my 'training' is starting to make my middle look a little bigger, and my lats a lot smaller.

I was in Squamish on the weekend, doing a little bouldering. I climbed a bunch of moderate slabs, which is supposed to be moving me towards my goal of climbing all the hard slabs in squamish. There's just not that many slabs over V4 - really, only Black Slabbath (V7) and Phat Slab (V4 or V5 if you don't cheat). I did my new V0 slab Sel de la Terre a bunch of times - it's such a fun bit of climbing. I also did a new slab / arete problem to the left of it as well. It's a bit harder, more like V3 or so. I'm trying to make a slab circuit - when I do I'll post it here. I haven't decided how many problems should be on the circuit, but probably 20 is a good number.

I also went crack climbing the weekend before last. Cracks are weird, and incredibly painful if you don't have the right shoes. Which I don't. My tight 'bouldering' shoes ended up causing me a lot of pain as I tried jamming them into hand and finger cracks...

I have some more pictures to post, I'll get them posted soon.

Happy climbing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ahhh... winter.

While I realize that winter has not yet officially arrived on the coast, it certainly feels like it. Grey days of drizzle and cold dampness are here. I hope just for a few days, but I suspect it's here to stay until Spring. Luckily we did get the chance to do some climbing before the rain set in.

One of the highlights of the last month was Jordan Wright's ascent of my project in the boulders. Ordinarily, I get a little grumpy when I don't get the chance to get the first ascent of something I spent the time cleaning, but I felt honored to work the project with two of Squamish's strongest (and nicest) climbers - Jordan and Tyson. I actually did pretty well, I thought - I made it almost through the first cruxy bit - but it took stronger fingers than mine to make it to the top. And a fair bit of intestinal fortitude.

The project, you see, is almost 25 feet high. Even for Squamish, that's pretty tall. And when you throw in a pretty sketchy landing, it's a pretty bold line. And atypical for Squamish, in that it's almost all basalt crimps, lots of face climbing (not a single granite sloper on the entire problem). It's got some fairly dynamic moves on it, and some pretty committing sequences, so it demands 100% dedication to top out on. The moves are so great, though, I am psyched to get stronger this winter so I can put in a real effort next spring on it.

It doesn't have a name yet, or an official grade, but it's about V8. Or so I thought. maybe V9.

Anyways, I posted a picture of Selena on my new slab problem, tentatively named Sel de la Terre. Hope you enjoy it.

I need new slab-climbing shoes. Jack Fieldhouse embarassed me by climbing Superfly Slab in his running shoes, no hands. I can climb Superfly Slab, but I don't find it easy.

More later. Hopefully the rain will stop.

Selena on Sel de la Terre (V0), one of the best easy slab problems in the forest.