Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rainy Day in the Pass

In Lethbridge, Saturday morning dawned warm and sunny.  The forecast was for cloudy but warm weather, and Aya and Rowan were excited to get out to the mountains, so we loaded everyone up and headed out to the Crowsnest Pass.  Our plan was to do a little bouldering and a little hiking, so we were a little disappointed when it started to rain on the drive out.  It wasn't raining very hard, though, so we continued out to the Pass for a day of adventure.

When we arrived at the Pass, it was raining very lightly, but not enough to stop us from climbing - luckily! We hiked around the boulders for a bit, then I suggested that we go check out a boulder in the trees that I had seen the previous year; it had a slightly overhanging and nicely featured face, but unfortunately someone (decades ago) had used it as a place to dump rubbish, so there were many rusty metal scraps buried beneath leaves at the base of the boulder.

New project I found in the slide the other week.  Spent quite a long time cleaning the lip and shuffling rocks for a landing.  Need to move that one more block leaning against the face, though.

We walked into the boulder (just a few meters from the road), and I spent a half-hour dragging rusty metal and deadfall away from the boulder.  What was left, though, looked fantastic - a nice steep boulder with a perfect landing, out of the wind.  I cleaned and climbed the two most obvious lines in the middle of the face, both starting on a low R-hand block and a good L-hand sidepull.  The first climbed up and then sharply left to finish on a nice arete/compression feature, and the other climbed up and right to finish on nice edges.  Both are in the V2 or V3 range, and both are very good!

Somewhat warmed up, I tackled a harder-looking line to the right, which started low on a good incut edge (R) and a good incut gaston edge (L) near the right edge of the boulder.  It looked like it would climb leftward and up on good - but very angled - edges.  The sequence ended up being quite cryptic, but focusing on my footwork I managed to squeak though for the send.  I think I will call it Not Me (V5 or V6).  Since the boulder isn't too far from the old Lime Kilns, I'll likely name the other two problems something to do with those ruins.

There is one more independent line remaining on the boulder, but it's a hard lurch-and-squeeze problem - not really my style - on the left side of the face.  After spending an hour or so at the boulder, the drizzling rain was getting everything wet, so we packed up our mats and headed to the Cinnamon Bear for some of their excellent (!) cinnamon buns.

After pastries, we drove a few minutes to check out the new crag I'm thinking of developing.  It's not amazing, but it is (a) steep, (b) large enough for about 20 routes, (c) VERY close to a parking lot, and (d) nice and tall (about 25-30 m at the tallest point).  It is a bit loose, though, so it would take a bit of work to develop it (i.e. lots of cleaning).  Something to consider for this summer, though!  I took some pictures so people could take a look.

It was getting late, so we started the long drive back to Lethbridge. When we arrived back in the city, we found that it had been warm and sunny all day in L/A.  Hopefully the next day of bouldering will be drier!

Take Care!

Photos of the "new" potential sport crag in the Crowsnest Pass.  Some of it looks amazing, some fairly chossy.  If it cleaned up, though, it would hold about 20 routes from 10+ to 13-.


Chris said...

Sport Crag? There looks to be cracks and pro everywhere there.

Josh said...

Where is it? I'd be interested in helping develop this.