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.