Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Year, New Problems!

The ridiculously warm bout of winter weather continues here in Southern Alberta.  In the past couple of weeks a handful of climbers made the commute to Frank Slide to take advantage of the weather.  I've managed to get out twice in the last couple of weeks, though if I had more time I could have climbed a lot more!
The iterant Josh Bylsma made it down several times from central Alberta, once with a handful of Calgarians in tow (including Josh M., Mark, and Zak).  He's been spending a lot of time in the House/Railway area, getting increasing close to sending Frank Slide's hardest problem, Chain Gang (V11).  This week he finally linked all the moves, and sent the second ascent of the problem!  Congrats to him, it's been a long time since the first ascent!
He then promptly went on a tear through the Railway Area, sending the first ascents of Once Upon a Time in the West (V9), and Into the Sunset (V10+).  What's next for Josh B.? 
In my last two trips to Frank Slide I dedicated a few hours to hunting for new lines in the City of Giants.  I brought a rope along, and found and cleaned two highballs in the CoG, a tough-looking V10ish line right beside a fun V1.  Other than these two problems, I unearthed a few more great lines and a few more projects as well.  In my last trip I sent a handful of moderate lines, including the tallish (and spooky) steep slab Casper (V2), the technical The Opposite of Walking (V3), and the punchy Crankin' Time (V3).  There's not a huge amount of potential in the west part of the City of Giants, but I managed to find a few cool lines nonetheless.
Jonas G. has also been fairly active at the Slide, and added a fun new warmup high in the City of Giants called Laps on Laps (V0+).  He also sent The Opposite of Walking (V3), which is a nice send given that it is a slightly heady problem and he has only been bouldering for four months or so.
The other usual suspects at the Slide are either injured or recovering from injuries; Kyle is recovering from an injured wrist, Morgan is almost recovered from his leg injury, and Mark has acquired a tweaked finger (not before he sent Nintendo 69 (V9) and The Approved Beta (V8) though, congrats to him on the huge back-to-back sends!).
We have been enjoying trip to the Cinnamon Bear in Crowsnest while on climbing trips to Frank Slide; they bake one of the best cinnamon buns I have ever had, and that's saying a lot!  If you have a chance, stop in and enjoy their great hospitality and cinnamon buns, and make sure you tell them you are climbing in the area!
On a final note, I have finally compiled a descriptive guide to all 26 sectors of problems at Frank Slide!  It's long overdue, so I finally took an evening, sat down at my computer, and worked through all the individual areas.  I have delineated each of the original sectors based on Kyle's original descriptions, and have delineated the new sectors that have arisen.  So if you are reporting your first ascents on various online websites or social media, try to use the correct nomenclature so we can find your new problems and climb them!  It is hoped that this new guide will cut down on the confusion when it comes to finding boulders in the vast sprawl of Frank Slide.  You can see the new Sector Guide HERE.
Take care, and happy climbing!
PS> Sorry for the lack of photos, I forgot my camera...

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