Monday, October 31, 2011

New Developments

I managed to get back to Hasler Flats this weekend in an effort to do a little climbing and some exploring. This time I went with two solid members of Grande Prairie's climbing community, Steven and Renee (please forgive me if I have spelled incorrectly). Steven rappelled off into the canyon right above the steepest wall in order to get a toprope on it. The steepest part of the wall is steeper than I thought, and his rope was probably 6 or 8 meters from the base. This wall is steep! It is certainly one of the steepest walls I've ever been on the Canadian Rockies, but well-featured with aretes, slots, jugs, and edges. I think the steepest part of the wall may actually have a couple of 5.11+ routes, but we'll see. The left side of the wall is slightly less steep, but is less heavily featured, and will yield harder routes. That's fine by me - the routes on the left will also be a lot shorter, which will suit my spectacular lack of endurance.

The tallest, steepest part of the wall has a huge horn/ledge about 1/3 of the way up, which will also reduce the difficulty of some routes as it will provide a completely no-hands rest (maybe even a sit-down-and-have-lunch rest). Still, the wall is so spectacularly steep it won't really affect anything. It's going to be a lot of fun! The rock is a bit dirty, and there is some loose rock, but nothing that will impede development in any serious way.

We also spent some time cleaning some problems on one of the boulders in the canyon. We cleaned off 4 problems - two really quality aretes, and two easier lines. The two aretes are probably V0+ and V3, and really showcase the rock there nicely. I think I will call the V3 arete 'Fossil' (there are some very cool trace fossils on top of the boulder). Renee made quick work of all the problems (doing them a lot more easily than I did), and was the only one able to get off the ground on a sit-down / direct start into Fossil (which felt like it was about V7).

The future? Time to load up on bolts, and charge my drill. Some knifeblade pitons would come in handy, too, for directionals while bolting. I can't WAIT to see a row of quickdraws swinging on the steepest part of the Project Wall. There should be room for about 15 routes on the Project Wall from 5.11 to 5.13+ (I wouldn't be shocked if there was a 5.14 there too). It's going to be fun!

No photos this time (I forgot my camera). Steven and I hope to get back this fall to get some bolts in before the snow flies. We'll see!

I would also like to give a huge shout out to Chris Small, a longtime climbing friend, who pointed me in the direction of the Canyon at Hasler Flats. Thanks CS!




Unknown said...
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Geoff M said...

This sounds awesome, especially the Project Wall. I would love to see more pics

julian said...
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julian said...

Sounds great trent, hopefully this summer I can make it out to help you, if you'll have me. I'd love to be apart of developing a wall like that!