Saturday, October 20, 2012


The forecast weather for last weekend was perfect bouldering weather; 18C and sunny.  Keen to do some exploration, Shelley and I gathered up Aya and Rowan (who were both keen to get out to the mountains) and went for a drive on Sunday to Frank Slide and the Crowsnest Pass.  I wasn't planning on doing too much bouldering because my ankle had been really inflamed and painful (again!) on Saturday, but I brought some bouldering pads and shoes so we could spend some time on the boulders.

I am really keen to find new problems at Frank.  When I first moved here I was worried that all the hard and classic lines were already done, but after a couple of quick hikes around the boulders I am convinced that there are MANY lines yet to be done. 

When we arrived at the Frank boulders, I went for a short walk and found what looked like a more-or-less virgin boulder in a nice (for Frank) setting, with some trees and near the river.  With a bit of moss on the holds, and a loose hold,  I was (am) fairly certain there were new problems to be done.  A bit of a brushing (what a welcome change from Squamish!) and I was ready to start working my new project.  Three reasonably hard moves on positive edges lead to a tall arete; falling from the end of the problem would be pretty dire, except for the fact that an agile climber can jump onto the next boulder if they fall.  The arete project is probably V4 or V5, and a lot of fun!  There are three more potential problems on the boulder (all a bit easier), and two short hard problems (both likely harder than V5) on the adjoining boulder.  All in all, a nice little area, and a nice reward for a few minutes of exploration!  I fell awkwardly and hurt my foot a bit when a foothold exploded off at mid-height, but I'll be back so I can send it, hopefully this fall.

Frank desperately needs a proper guidebook, however.  The Frank section of the "Bouldering in the Canadian Rockies" Guide is poor, and finding the problems listed in the guide is difficult (and sometimes impossible) due to the overly brief descriptions and crude drawings.  Furthermore, there are many new problems that are not included in the guide, which further reduces the value of the existing guide.  It would be nice if a guide also included a listing of the local restaurants and coffee shops, although that represents my personal bias... :)  Since I was reasonably happy how my Bear Mountain bouldering guide came out, I am tempted to turn my guidebook writing attentions to Frank, next. 

At any rate, I had a fun (albeit brief) outing at Frank.  Here are a few photos of the day.  Enjoy!
 A view of the boulders from my car, looking towards the river.  The Teardrop Boulder is just out of the picture (I think), and some big boulders are visible across the river. 
Project arete!  It's probably 15 feet high, with a lot of fun climbing.  The biggest chalked hold is about 6 feet off the ground.

Take care!

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