Sunday, December 28, 2008

"New" Cypress Falls Problems

Ahem. It has occurred to me today, while sitting at my desk, that I have failed to report some new problems I opened this year at Cypress Falls in West Vancouver. Ordinarily, I might not worry about it, but because I think these are three of the best problems at the area, I am making a special point of describing them.

All three are on the Darwinian Boulder, near the parking lot. This boulder also has the hardest problem (I think it's called Double Decker) at Cypress Falls. Double Decker is supposedly rated V10. I have tried it on three separate occasions, and it is very stiff, indeed.

All the problems on the Darwinian Boulder share the same start - a low start on a long positive edge below the slot in the middle of the boulder. My three problems are (from left to right)...

1) Darwin's Riddle (V3). Start, then traverse left to the arete using all kinds of trickery. Climb the arete to the fun topout above using a small chicken-head. If it feels hard, you haven't solved the riddle correctly...

2) Survival of the Fit (V5 or V6). Looks impossible, but isn't. From the start, move a meter or so right, then climb directly up the blank-looking face on tiny knobs by underclinging the slot. High, tricky, cerebral, technical. An amazing problem, one of the best at Cypress falls.

3) Natural Selection (V1). From the start, traverse right using the giant foothold; using a hold on the arete and an edge on the face, climb up to the fun topout. A more challenging variation (Unnatural Selection, V3/4) stays left of the arete, and uses only the holds on the face to top out directly above. Another great problem.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Area G

Despite all the (unfortunately) snowy weather here in Vancouver, I thought I should post of photo of one of the walls at my new Vancouver bouldering area. This wall is one of many - it's between 2 and 7 meters tall (approximately), with lots of interesting features. It overhangs slightly along it's entire length, and will likely have 20 problems or so on it. You can see my German Sheperd friend Lupin standing at the base, so you can get a sense of how tall it is. Some of the problems (well, most of them at this wall) will be well into the highball category. A real 'climber's bouldering area', not for the faint of heart.

When all this snow melts, and we get a few nice days, I'll start posting the problems I've done. Yes, this "Area G" is going to be interesting, I think.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Names for Problems?

With the growing number of projects in my North Shore bouldering area (let's call it "Area G" for now), I realize that the onus will be on me to come up with interesting (and exciting) names for dozens of new problems. I'm sure I won't be the only one putting up problems, but I still hope to get the first ascent of lots of lines.

My first project already has a tentative name - "How to Pull a Tooth". The name makes a lot of sense when you see it. It's just two moves and a mantle, but fairly hard, I think (V5 or maybe V6).

Pictures will follow when I get them.

It's super cold here in Vancouver this week, so I may be forced to go ice-climbing this week. ;)


Monday, December 15, 2008

Hello Again!

Even though it's mid-winter, the time has come to update my blog. I've been pretty dormant (climbing-wise) for the last year, as I finished my PhD and helped usher my son Rowan into the world. But lately, I've been in the bouldering gym here at UBC a fair bit, trying to get back in shape. I set here at UBC, which certainly helps my motivation.

I am also motivated because I'm working on a new bouldering area in Vancouver. It's only about a 20-minute drive from my house. There's probably room for about 400 problems, lots of which will be pretty hard. The climbing is mostly on short bluffs, but there are 10+ free-standing boulders as well. I've been prepping stuff, and laying out where the trails will go, but now I'm almost ready to start climbing. I was working my first problem there on Saturday (just before it snowed) - a short 2-move problem that'll likely be V4 - V6, and it felt good to be working new problems in a new area.

I've got a bunch of stuff prepped, and now those lines just need a good wire-brush scrubbing before I get on them. On the weekend I found that a small boulder that I had previously ignored will actuall have a couple of really nice short power problems on it, as well. I also found a new boulder hidden behind a fir tree - the largest free-standing boulder yet, will likely have 5 - 7 problems on it.

Anyways, I'm pretty excited. I'll post some pictures when I have them.

"Where is this area?", you ask. When I get 50 problems cleaned and sent, I'll post the directions here.