Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Godman Creek - Bits and Pieces

Hello, again.

I'll precede any comments by first stating that the Godman Creek Topo is now online - it's on the Quickdraw Publications 'Free Downloads' site, and will also be featured in the next issue of Squamish Climbing Magazine, along with an article and photos on the area by Jonas Gagnon.

Was back at Godman Creek on Saturday. A fun day of climbing, with GREAT conditions. I watched Clairee *almost* climb Cheshire Cat. Almost. The FA is still up for grabs - I'm sure it'll get done in when the cooler weather hits us.

I climbed Moby Dick again. Twice. This is seriously one of the best problems I have ever climbed in my life (and I didn't even get the FA). I also linked the beginning of Sailor's Prayer into Moby Dick, creating a new long problem that I called Sailor's Dick. It's a rad line, probably only about V3, but climbs all kinds of cracks (although, frankly, I only jammed once). A cool line, check it out.

I started cleaning some new 'problems' in a new area I call Blurred World. The area is 'blurred' because I can't decide if the climbing is bouldering or route climbing. Many or most of the lines are in the 20+ foot range (some in the 30+ foot range), and many are cracks... Bouldering? Crack climbing? Routes? Who knows. Still, there'll be some fun lines there, including 4, 30 foot cracks which look hard. One looks VERY hard.

I'll likely be back at the Creek on Friday, as long as I can get my NSERC PDF application wrapped up this week. UGH.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Topo Now Available

The Godman Creek Topo is finished. Finally. It contains an overview map, maps of the individual areas, and the names and grades of 100 problems (including projects, which are included in the guide and are generally open to anyone who wants to try them).

There is one area in the guide (The Public Works Area) that is included but is not located on the overview map. You'll have to talk to me to get specific instructions on how to get there... :)

"So," you ask, "How do I get this topo?"


I'll try to post it somewhere, maybe Dr. Topo or somesuch.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fly, Bee, Fly!

That's what I am calling my project between Bee Train and Twice Shy. Rad name for a cool line. Of course, since I have no idea how to actually dyno, I may never actually manage to send it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

West Van Bouldering Continues!


Was back at "The Creek" on Saturday with Bill and Ronald, and a few other UBC folks. Cleaned and established a few cool problems, a few of which are pretty classic.

Just right of Jenga, on a fairly tallish wall, I put up three new problems and a project. Once Bitten (V0-), Twice Shy (V1, maybe V2), and Bee Train (V2). Between Twice Shy and Bee Train I also cleaned a harder project, which involves an almost 6-foot move between holds. Ronald and I worked it for awhile, but never even came close to figuring it out.

Then we went over to the Superball Area, and actually cleaned off some new things over there. With a lot of work, I cleaned off Superball Crack (V0) and Superball (still a project, maybe in the V8 range). The SB Crack is pretty cool - a perfect straight-in fingercrack, ring-locks and all. It would be super-stellar, but it starts on a huge jug, so once your feet are on it, it kills lots of the difficulty of the jamming.

Ronald cleaned off a stack of new problems below the Superball, as well. We climbed two of them, but no names are available yet. I wanted to call the one line Horn of Plenty, but we'll see.

Topo will be available later this week! Promise (crossing fingers behind back)!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Upcoming ManCation!

Went to Godman Creek again this weekend with Shelley, Aya, and Rowan. Also along for the day were our friends Virginia and Matt, and their little boy Alex. We did a BUNCH of easy lines on the first tier to warm up - probably a half dozen V0s and V1s. Aya almost did a really tall V0 - but she couldn't work her feet up in two places so I had to boost her a bit. Still, she's SO fearless - it was amazing to see her climbing a rock face, perfectly happily, 10 feet off the deck.

I did get a chance to try Jenga this weekend - and to my complete surprise, I managed to send it easily! I've come to the conclusion that Jenga is super condition-dependent. I also sent TicTacToe and Snakes and Ladders on the same boulder. I also climbed on the Mountain Bike slabs. Fun - I just wish they were longer!

My ManCation is coming up! But it looks like the rain will start at the same time as my vacation does. Ugh.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back in West Van

Shelley and I went to Godman Creek today, with Aya and Rowan in tow. Mostly I went just to get out to the forest (Aya loves going to the forest), but also to do a little climbing (not much of that lately, unfortunately). There are so many fun (albeit mostly easy) boulder problems there, and so much potential, that I've decided to start releasing more information on the place. I went to the Cube Boulder area first (which is home to a bunch of short V0 and V1 lines) to warm up a bit. This area doesn't really have anything challenging, although it is a great area to chill out amongst the ferns. I cleaned up and did Underthings (V0/1), which is probably the nicest line on the boulder. The hardest thing on the boulder will be the long traverse which starts on the V0 seam on the back, and crosses almost 3 faces of the boulder to finish on Underthings. I didn't spend too much time on it, and so it remains undone.

Then we crossed to road to look at the lines there. I wanted to do 2 problems I hadn't yet done on the Mountain Bike slabs, and maybe work Jenga (V4/5) for a bit. I did manage to do the slabs, but ran out of time and didn't try Jenga. I have done Jenga before, but was keen to try and repeat it. I sent the left-hand problem on the first Mountain Bike Slab, which has a very cool 2-finger pocket and a tricky high-step. I had heard it was possibly as hard as V3, but I sent it first go and figured it was probably V1 or so. Aya also did some bouldering on the slab - she's a natural! She'll be a top climber for sure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's been a while since I updated my blog. I apologize. I have been climbing a bit, despite work, so let me give you a brief update!

I went to a wedding near Nelson, and thought I would use the opportunity to do some bouldering near Hedley. Unfortunately, it was FAR too hot to climb (well over 30C), but Aya and I did check out the boulders there for a few hours. Aya loves to go look at 'the big rocks'. The potential there is greater than I remember - especially for the central cluster of large boulders near the middle of the slide. There could be 50 or so problems on those boulders, but lots would be highballs. All the better!

Luckily, the Hedley Boulders are near Bromley Rock. The deepwater soloing potential of this place is superb - the water is super-deep (30 feet! in places), clear, and warm. The rock is featured, solid, and steep. I tried the central overhanging arete, but got 1/3 of the way up, then downclimbed. I am chicken. I did watch kids jumping off the top of the cliff, though - 60+ feet up! Crazy.

A c0uple of weeks later, I went to Hope to go bouldering for a day. We went with Ronald and Jennifer, our UBC friends. We went to Hunter first - the rock there is so awesome, and the climbing superb! I did a bunch of fun warmups, then SHOCKED myself by repeating Snake Charmer in three tries. It was originally given V7, but now I'm not so sure. I also tried Green Lung, and made some progress. Such fun lines!

Then Ronald and I went to check out a few other areas. We looked at The Shire, and then we hiked up to the SM area - totally undeveloped - huge boulders! Steep! The area is pretty futuristic, though - it'll take a pretty strong crew to put up problems there. One area at SM I looked at I dubbed MonsterLand - huge boulders, all with caves! 20 foot tall double-digit problems everywhere. I'm planning a trip back this fall. Email me if you're curious...

The picture is of the Silver Wall - the source of all boulders for The Shire, Shinobi Gardens, and Leamers.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back at 'The Creek'


Went back to 'The Creek' on Sunday to do a little more work, a little more cleaning, with Ronald and Jennifer (who are both super fun to spent time with). We were at the Public Works Area, where there are just a few boulders but lots of tall quality problems all together in a knot. We managed to climb and send a few things, and work on the some projects...

Ron scrubbed a new line - a spectacular, tall, triangular slab, and called it Space Invaders. A quality line! Pictures will follow sometime, hopefully. We also worked on a line on the One Scoop boulder - an awesome line on perfect crimps that heads up to a sloping arete and a bold topout. This line will be stellar - 4 stars! The topout wasn't cleaned though, so no FA (although I could barely link it to the arete).

We then repeated Take The Wheel (V0), which is fun, and put up a new problem that is basically a three move ending of the Helios Project. I think I'll call it Sun Wheel (after the convention of combining names that join problems). We also tried the Dynamite Project, to no avail... I can't even really pull onto the holds. I am fat.

There'll be lots of good stuff there.

Then we went to the Boring Boulders (so named because of all the Bore Holes in the boulders). No problems were sent, but several were cleaned. The Boring Boulders aren't great, mostly because the few boulders that are there are very short...

So, new problem tally - - - -

Helios (V8? Project) Start on the lowest jug, climb along then under the big roof, finish on vertical crimpy face. Much body tension is required.

Helios Arete (V9? Project). Start as for Helios, finish on the arete using a key pinch.

Take The Wheel (V0) ** Start right of the finish of Helios, traverse left along lip and mantle.

Space Invaders (V1) **** Climb the pyramid-shaped slab. Quality.

One Scoop (V6? Project) SDS on large lieback on right side of arete. Head up and left to arete using perfect edges, then finish by mantling onto slab and topping out above. Heady.

One Scoop Extension (V6? Project) Continue along arete to juggy finish. Looks fun, not yet cleaned all the way.

Dynamite (V8? Project) Grab two edges, stuff foot in blast hole, head up. Fun, but powerful.

PO (V1+) SDS The small boulder below the Helios boulder. This problem is a little sucky.

More soon! Hopefully with pictures!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Whew! Went to West Van again yesterday on Sunday, and actually climbed a fair bit ! We (Owen, Bill, and I) did a couple of new problems up on the Cypress Hill wall that Owen and others had cleaned, and they were really fun! I repeated Owen's lieback problem (no name yet) - it's probably V2ish, but REALLY fun. Also did another fun problem up there - it starts on opposing gaston holds then heads up and left onto some very cool sloping holds. V3ish, I may call it TV. Then we tried the Cheshire Cat project - very tricky to hold onto it, did the first two moves, but the last three moves look desperate...

Then went down the hill and tried to repeat Jenga - and got my license to climb handed back to me. Ugh. Couldn't do the punch move to the pinch, and fell again and again... Maybe it's harder than V3. V4? Also, One Inch Punch has been done an easier way, and it's now likely V1 or so.

Also spent some time cleaning a few projects at the higher, new area - did a short easy (and somewhat sketchy) problem called Firecracker, and cleaned a short hard project (let's call it the Blasted Project, SD start in the V9ish range, stand-up start in the V7ish range)) and a longish (6 moves at least) very hard arete/roof that looks fantastic. Let's call that one the Roof Project, for lack of a better name).

So new stuff to do at WV...

TV (V3+) Start on the opposing gaston holds at the far end of the Cypress Hill wall, traverse up and left through slots to finish on good juggy hold on mantle. Fun and a little pumpy.

TV Madness (Project). Start as for TV, head straight up. For the strong and flexible.

Owen's Fin (V1+) Climb the obvious fin / crack to a juggy topout. Very cool!

Cheshire Cat (Project, maybe V7?) Start on sidepull arete (L) and undercling (R), then climb up using the slippery smile hold. Fun, but hard...

Blasted (Project, V7ish) start on two obvious crimps at chest height, stuff foot in pocket and head up. (Blasted Low starts with one hand on edge, other in the low pocket)

Roof Project (V9ish) Start on lowest jug. Climb arete.

and like I said, Jenga is now tentatively V4ish, while One Inch Punch is probably V1.

Monday, April 20, 2009

West Van Represent!

I went back to West Van (Cypress Mountain) on the weekend. Mostly I hiked around, but I did scrub a few problems, and worked on trails a bit. I did climb one of the new problems, but it's a bit short and lame.

I am starting to name problems before things get out of hand. So, in the last two weeks, some of the problems I've done include...

In the warmup boulders -

One Inch Punch (V4) SD. Climbs right-hand arete of the Fighter Boulder. Start with a hand on the low jug, and other on good hold on arete.
Ground and Pound (V0) SD. Start very low on sloping shelf on left side of the face. Climb straight up.
Ground Punch (V0) SD. Start as for GAP, but head right along seam after first move to finish on OIP.

On the lower side of the road...

Jenga (V3/4) Starts in an undercling in the little cave. Traverses the lip of the cave, then up right-hand arete. Classic.
Snakes and Ladders (V0) Climb up face left of the cave.
Tic Tac Toe (V1) Climb up the left side of the face using thin slots. Nice.

Also in the area is...

Walk Hard (V0). The tall slab with the slots. Fun!

Bashful (V1). Very short problem on the boulder (uphill R corner of boulder) beneath the cliff. SD start, R on arete L on sidepull.

and on the mountain bike slabs...

Rockhopper (V1). The furthest slab, middle of the trail. Tricky slab with a jug at the lip.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Problems in West Van

Hello! I spent a couple of days this week in the new area in West Van, finally climbing some of the stuff we've cleaned. On Tuesday afternoon, Ronald and I went there, and climbed a couple of new slabs and a handful of other problems. Both of the slabs were fun, but not hard - both probably V0 or V1. Most of the other problems we climbed were decent, as well - mostly easy vertical problems in the V0 - V1+ range.

Went back on Friday with Lupin for a half day of hiking and climbing. Found some new boulders near the road (including a cool steep arete in the V9 - V10 range). Finished cleaning my little boulder in the warmup area. Sent three problems on it - two V0s, and a V4 arete. No names yet... but there will be soon. The short arete was actually pretty cool, with a interesting heel hook (five tricky moves up a leaning arete/lip).

Went across the road and sent the project I had cleaned earlier this winter with Bill. Really amazing problem, with a cool heel-toe lock that allows for some otherwise hard moves to be done fairly easily. With the beta I figured out, its probably only V3 or V4. But fun!

So how many problems in WestVan now? Hmmm...

17 I think, with a few more projects. Hopefully we'll scrape together a topo soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The South of France!

Over the last ten days or so I attended the Annual Meeting of the the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, in Nice, France. Nice is right on the Mediterranean Sea, and is truly beautiful! Beyond that - and more importantly - Nice is incredibly interesting. I suppose it's likely that and semi-medieval city set on the sea would be as interesting, but since I've only been to one - Nice - it is my yardstick.

The conference was very good, the city amazing, the food was great, and the weather generally was very sunny and warm. The only downside was that I had travelled to France without Shel (my better 60% - to call her my better half would be an underestimate).

This photo is of the street near my hotel - the St. Gothard. I was staying in less-than-ideal part of town, but since everything was so different than Canada, I took pictures of everything. There are little cafes, bakeries, bars,and sandwich shops
everywhere, at least one of each on every block. It makes perfect sense to me - why can't we have that in Canada?

Monday, January 19, 2009

A visit to West Vancouver

On Saturday, despite the fog, I went to West Van to clean some boulders and maybe work on the trails at Area G a bit. I hooked up with couple of boulderers from UBC who are also keen to see more problems developed in the area.

We stripped moss off the top of several of the small boulders at the base of the slope - the problems there won't be very hard, but will be good warmups for the harder, taller problems up the hill. Due to all the snow, everything was still pretty wet, but it was good to get out and start getting problems ready for when it's a but drier.

We looked at some of the mini-bluffs further up the slope, and Ronald and I found an area with a nice concentration of problems. Probably a dozen lines, about half of them really nice-looking, all in a cluster. We started prepping some of those - they'll probably get cleaned up (and sent) first.

At the end of the day, we wandered down to the roadside boulder. It was finally dry enough to try the two problems that boulder holds. Ronald and I sent the harder lip traverse / arete problem fairly quickly (probably about V4), and Bill sent the easier, straight up line (probably V0).

So, Area G now has...
Problems = 2
Fully cleaned projects = 1
Partially cleaned projects = approx. 20