Monday, March 4, 2013

The Frank Winter Continues!

Every week, I watch the weather forecast like a hawk.  I have the websites of two different weather services bookmarked on my computer.  Over the course of the week, I slowly watch the future change as the forecast for the upcoming weekend shifts; first the weekend looks warm, then a few hours later the future has become a little colder.  Nice and dry, then suddenly the future is snowy.  By Friday, though, I have essentially decided if my weekend will involve a drive to Frank Slide, or if it will consist of a visit to a coffee shop and cleaning my house.

This weekend, the forecast called for warm (12C) and windy weather on Saturday, so I packed my bags for Frank Slide.  Mark, Kyle, and I wedged seven mats into Mark's van early in the morning, grabbed a coffee from McDonalds, and headed west into the wind.  En route to Frank we decided to head to the Tidal Volume sector, partially because Mark wanted to try Bride of Frankenstein (V7), a tricky dynamic problem.  We hauled the mats to the Tidal Volume boulder, and jumped on several of the classic lines.  We did Killer Ss (V1), and then Kyle watched Mark and I fail on Tidal Volume (V4) before smoothly demonstrating the sequence he used (I NEVER would have used a underclinging crimp that small if he hadn't shown it could be used profitably).  After we finished on that line, we did Killer Bees (V4), a very fun line on slopers and pinches.  It really suited me, so I was happy to flash it fairly easily.  Warmed up, we worked on Al Bundy, which is a newish V6 problem that starts on Killer Bees and heads left into the last moves of Serial Killer.  It took a little work to get the sequence dialled in, but once I had I did it fairly quickly.  Every problem that I tried on the boulder was fun; it is a really classic boulder.

Me wrapping up Killer Bees (V4).  Fun problem, fun boulder!

I saw a couple of other new potential lines on the boulder and the block immediately adjacent to it.  Kyle and I added Bay of Fundy (V1, SD) to the right of Tidal Volume, and then we added Killing Time (V1) and another problem (V1) to the left of that on the boulder that lies against the Serial Killer boulder (really, it's the other broken half of the boulder).  I started working on another short hard project to the right of Killing Time, but Kyle and Mark started mocking me for my project-hunting predilections, so we ate lunch, packed up, and headed to the Spiderweb Sector.

Hiking up into the Spiderweb area we stopped for a bit and looked at a couple of old, VERY hard projects.  Kyle and Evan had worked one of the lines years ago, but after a hold had broken they had abandoned the problem.  We continued up into the boulderfield to try Baby Jesus Dyno (V7++), a potentially unrepeated dyno that Evan had put up years ago.  When we arrived, I took one look at it and shook my head; huge dynos with really marginal footholds aren't my thing.  At all.  AT ALL.  Mark and Kyle, both excited by the prospect of giant throws, set to work.  Kyle was making good progress (reaching to within a couple of inches of the lip), while Mark seemed to be having a hard time with the really bad footholds.  I climbed a few easy slabs, but then became interested in a potential line immediately to the left of BJD.  It looked as though I could start matched on the good left foothold of BJD, then reach left to the arete and climb up.  It seemed improbable, until I worked out a tricky heel-toe cam in a slot on the arete, and then sent the problem easily enough.  Another fun problem for the sector, Baby Zombie (V4).

We briefly worked another dyno project to the right of BJD, but it proved too hard for an end-of-the-day project, so we started packing up to head back to the van.  We finished up the day with a look-and-see mission to look at Nintendo 69 (V9), which I was VERY impressed with!  I wish I had found it first!  A really steep compression problem, with great-looking movement and holds.  It looks as though there is a much harder right exit to Nintendo 69 that would produce a new, much harder problem as well.  So much potential at Frank!  The spring and summer should be exciting!  It's been great climbing with Kyle and Mark, they're a really dedicated pair of boulderers who are always keen to head out and try hard. 

It started to rain, so we left the boulders and headed to Tim Horton's for cookies and coffees.  A satisfying end to another productive day in Frank!

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