Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Boulderfields! (Part 2)

Saturday, the day of the 2015 Rock the Blocs, dawned warm and sunny.  The competition wasn't due to start until mid-morning, but with so much energy at the campsite/parking lot everyone was up and about early.  There was ample time to find old friends, and meet new ones.  Mark Derksen and Ryan Frecka (from Lethbridge and Edmonton, respectively) were also in for Rock the Blocs, and I was looking forward to the chance to climb with them.  Slowly, the parking lot filled up as more and more climbers arrived, and I had a chance to catch up with Andy White before the competition started.  He's done an amazing job of organizing and running RtB, and it was great to have the chance to talk to him about development in the Boulderfields, and how the RtB has evolved.

By 9:30 or so, the competitors had gathered at the trail head to register, get a scorecard, and hear Andy describe the format of the competition.  With the formalities soon out of the way, the horn blew, and all 150+ climbers streamed down the path to the basin, with seven hours to climb as many problems as they wanted.  The hardest five problems climbed by each competitor would count toward their total score for the day.  One great feature of RtB are the guides (each wearing a crisp red shirt with the word 'GUIDE' inscribed on the front); without these volunteers, finding the problems on the scorecard would be a lot more confusing, especially for the out-of-town climbers.

Andy White going over the rules for the 2015 Rock the Blocs.  A great event with great organisation; over 160 climbers participated!  

I was a bit late getting down the path, and as much as I was looking forward to climbing with the folks from Alberta, I immediately lost sight of almost everyone I knew.  Luckily, being social is part of the fun in a festival of this type, so I headed out to climb some problems and meet new people!  I ran into Ryan Frecka almost immediately, and because he was psyched to head down to a problem called Cave Dweller (V4/5), I joined him to check it out.  This was a great decision, as I followed him about for a bit, and joined the crowds on several of the problems in the Cave Dweller area.  The Cave Dweller boulders are pleasantly shaded, and host a number of fantastic lines.  I managed to flash Cave Dweller, Ribrageous (V5), and the tough Fun in Acapulco (V4).  As much fun as I was having in the area, I really wanted to check out some of the other problems deeper in the basin, and flagged down Jay for a tour of the Serenity Boulder and the classic Baby Chthulu (V7), a cool-looking line hidden far in the 'Fields.  Jay was excited to show me some of these new lines, and as there was no one at Baby Chthulu (it takes lots of pads), we wandered back to try some of the problems on the Serenity Boulder.

Evan trying Baby Chthulu (V7) prior to his send (day after the comp).  Nice work Evan!

The Serenity Boulder is a classic block of gneiss; a tall and slightly overhanging face criss-crossed with incut rails and edges, and topped with sloping ledges.  I joined the group working Heart of Darkness (V8), a fantastic line which pulls out of a cave on the left side of the face into a series of thin edges and toothy pockets.  After failing a few times on the line (though I made a valiant effort!), I set about to decipher the sequence of moves that pull through the edges to the top of the boulder.  Also working the problem was Trevor Edwards (from the Fraser Valley), who was making the incut edges look casual.  The crux of the problem is a long move between slots in the middle of the face; fortunately, I was able to use a crimpy intermediate to pull my center of gravity high before doing the crux move.  After a short time spent unlocking an efficient sequence from the crux to the top of the problem, I managed to squeak through for the send.  A fantastic five-star line!

Climbers on and around the tall (and committing) Fun in Acapulco (V4).

After sending Heart of Darkness, I took a bit of a break and watched people climbing Firefly (V5?) to the right of HoD.  Getting psyched by the great movement, I pulled on my shoes and was excited to flash it; another great line!  By now, however, I was aware that I hadn't seen any of the Alberta crew (except Ryan) for a few hours, so I headed back up the hill.  Walking up through the Dark Prince sector I managed to find an Albertan... Ryan Frecka again!  I joined him, and did Dark Prince (V5) again for my scorecard.  I definitely enjoyed it more the second time!

The impressive (!) Driven wall, hidden in the labyrinth of the Boulderfields.

Certain that I would find Kyle, Mark, or one of the Albertans higher up in the area, I headed back to the Surf Boulder.  Instead of Albertans, I found a crew of fun climbers from Revelstoke (sorry I forget your names, folks!) working Surf Arete (V7/8) and Surf's Up (V6).  I had a great time climbing and talking with them, and managed to add both lines to my scorecard in the process.  By now my scorecard was looking pretty solid for an old guy, with V8, V8, V6, V5, V5.  Still looking for Kyle, Evan, Mark, Reg, Josh, Adam, Ernie, etc., I headed up to the F1 Boulder, one of the first blocks at the bottom of the stairs.  Finally, I found Evan (and Ryan Frecka again!), and we both did Full Chub Morning Weezer (V6) really quickly.  I managed to flash FCMW, which was a nice way to end the day!

One of the fun and friendly Revelstoke posse on Surf Arete (V8).

As the clock wound down toward the end of the competition, Kyle and a handful of Albertans finally arrived at the F1 Boulder (along with several dozen other tired climbers!).  We spent a few minutes working V-Power (V7ish), but with just a few minutes remaining I didn't manage the send before the horn blew.  A long line of sweaty boulderers headed up the steps and back to the parking lot, curious to see how they stacked up against their friends and to find out who had won.

I can't remember who won all the categories. I do remember that Miles Adamson won Open Men's (with 39 Vpoints, I think, congrats to Miles!), and the clearly-talented Staci White won Open Women's.  I finished the day with 33 Vpoints, and while I don't know exactly how I placed, I was satisfied that I had represented the Frank Slide crew with distinction.  Plus, I had an amazing time!  (I also won a locking carabiner and a belay device!  Andy (and presumably the other volunteers) did a great job lining up door prizes and raffle prizes!)

Reg highballing on the Surf Boulder.  Yet another great line with beautiful incut edges! (Note: Huge thanks to Evan for several of the photos in my posts about the Boulderfields!)

The after-party was shaping up nicely, but then thundershowers moved in and people either headed for the fire or their cars.  The Albertans were hungry, though, and without many options we piled into a couple of cars and headed into Kelowna for hamburgers at a pub.  After dinner, I felt exhausted, and was glad to head back up to the 'Fields and find my sleeping bag.

Sunday dawned warm and sunny... again!  I was keen to get back to finding new problems, and had especially set my line on a highball (!) left of Nerf Roof.  The line looked about 25 feet tall, but when I rapped off it and started scrubbing it I realized that the last three moves of the line were comprised of delicate moves on small edges - not exactly the way I want a leg-breaking highball to end!  I spent about an hour cleaning the line, but after giving it some serious consideration I decided that it was best left for another visit to the basin (one where I had more time to sit, stare, and gather my courage!).  Instead, I put a toprope on an easier but very cool line nearby; a good start on a sloping rail led to a few tricky moves though a bulge, and an easier slabby face above.  Satisfied with the quality of the line, I called it Via Rail (V2/3), a great addition to the area.  I realized I could easily add another line to the boulder; by starting on Via Rail, I could continue traversing a few moves up and left after the start of the problem, then using an amazing underclinging pocket to do a huge move to a jug the problem could trend back right a bit to finish on the same prow as Via Rail.  I put my shoes back on and did that problem as well, calling it Exhale (V3/4?).  Really a fantastic line, a great companion to the other steep problems at the Surf Roof nearby.

After doing a few more moderate problems in the area, we packed up and headed back down to the amazing Baby Chthulu.  Kyle had almost sent it during the comp, and was eager to send it.  We ended up trying the problem with a handful of great guys from The Hive in Vancouver, who all seemed very fit.  Kyle sent the line in just a few tries, and one of The Hive crew (sorry, can't remember his name!) did it in just a few tries.  I worked the problem for a looong time, but kept getting disoriented by the steepness of the roof. I didn't find any of the moves particularly hard, but simply kept losing track of where I was on the roof.  It's a cool line, but not for me I guess!

By the following day, my fingers were feeling thrashed, so Kyle and I headed into Kelowna for breakfast at IHOP with several of the Albertan climbers.  Most of the crew headed back to Alberta after breakfast, but since Kyle and I were in town for a few more days we walked around town (crazy posh!) and went swimming.  By the next morning, Kyle and I still felt a bit beat up (especially our knees; 20 years of bouldering is hard on you...), but headed back into the basin to sample more of the quality gneiss lines.  We did a few moderate problems on the F1 Boulder, but by this point in the trip, Kyle's knees were giving up.  He was content to sit and read for the rest of the day, so I decided to work on a new problem down in the basin in the Dominator Area.

Ernie on a nice arete in the Chthulu area.  Lots of untapped potential deep in the basin!

I had tried the line for about an hour earlier in the trip, and had had a lot of fun trying to decipher the movement.  The problem started on two underclings, and then had moved up a blunt (and very steep!) arete to a VERY cool ending somewhat reminiscent of the funky last moves of Wormworld Cave in Squamish.  I carried mats down the hill and set up beneath the project to figure out the moves.  A tricky toehook could be used to gain the arete, but from there the only option was (seemed to be?) to use a toehook on the blunt starting undercling to stay sufficiently tight to the roof to climb the arete.  Once matched on the lip on the arete, I could climb the final five moves to the lip of the boulder (a kneebar/scum is critical!).  Despite all my work to find the most efficient method of climbing through the roof/arete, I couldn't quite manage to send the line.  I could do the first 4 moves (to the lip of the roof), and the last 5 moves (to the lip of the boulder), but the one move in the middle (which mostly involves keeping a lot of body tension to move my feet) I could never manage to do consistently.  I was a little bummed not to send the line, but really happy to spend time working out the moves on such a cool problem.

Exiting the cave on the 'Dominatrix' project.  Fun!

Kyle and I planned to leave the Boulderfields midmorning the next day, so when I woke up the next day I decided to head down into the basin for one more session on the project.  I strapped a stack of pads together and headed down the stairs one more time.  I warmed up on Exhale and the other problems nearby, and then marched down the hill into the Dominator Area.  I worked my project for another hour or so, but to no avail; I could never quite manage to make the critical toehook stay long enough to match the arete at the lip.  I'll be back next year... after training toehook power!   It was a great experience to work such a cool line (which I already refer to as 'Dominatrix', since it's in the Dominator Area, and requires a lot of 'tricks'...); it seems likely that it's in the V9 range, maybe a bit easier, maybe a bit harder.

The beautiful (and posh) downtown foreshore of Kelowna.  A great place to be a dirtbag climber!  Swimming and cafes!  Public art!

A little disappointed, but still quite satisfied with my attempts, I packed up the pads, marched up the hill, dismantled my tent, and headed into Kelowna for breakfast at IHOP with Kyle before beginning the long drive back to Lethbridge.

"So," you might ask, "what are your final impressions of the area?" 

First, the Boulderfields is an amazing area, especially if you like steep climbing.  I suspect that the 'Fields probably holds 3000+ potential problems, with hundreds of those lines being very steep.  It will take a lot of work to develop the 'Fields; the rock is often dirty and/or lichen covered, and landings will need to be built for many of the lines deep in the basin where the landings are blocky and uneven.  Undoubtedly, however, the basin will eventually rival Squamish as a bouldering destination.

Second, much work needs to be done to preserve the area.  The basin is a beautiful place, but many times I saw climbers milling around offtrail, trundling rocks, and mashing vegetation.  Given the dry climate, regrowth of moss, shrubs, and grass will be very slow, and thus a lot of investment in trail building is needed.  Andy, Jay, and many others have clearly put in a HUGE amount of time to developing trails, but if you go the area stay on the trails, respect the environment, and ask Andy or Jay how you can help to build the trail network there.

Third, the climbing community in the Okanagan is very welcoming!  We had a great time meeting new people, and interacting with Andy, Jay, Garrett, Grizzly Adam, and the many fun people who came out for the RtB made our trip even better.

Fourth, the quality of the problems is very high, and the holds are generally big and positive.  Most of the landings are OK, and are generally accessible with two or three mats and a competent spotter.  It can be hot in the basin, but it is always easy to find something in the shade.

So, I'll be back for next year's RtB, hopefully!  What does the rest of this summer hold for me, climbing-wise?  Lots of projects at Frank Slide, and with a little luck a trip to Lolo Pass (the granite there looks sweet!) and some deepwater soloing in Lake Koocanusa.

Until next time!

Kyle enjoying the amenities of downtown Kelowna.  A little slice of LA right here in Canada...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Boulderfields! (Part 1)

Many years ago, when I lived in Northern British Columbia, I picked up a copy of Lyle Knight's guide to the rock climbs of interior BC.  Intriguingly, one of the areas in Southern BC was named 'The Boulderfields', and the guide described the dozens of sport climbs at the area. 

"What an unfortunate name for a sport climbing area," I would think. "It's too bad that it isn't actually a bouldering area."

How things have changed in the last 20 years!

Today, the number of cleaned and climbed problems is rapidly growing, and the vast maze of gneiss blocks that is the Boulderfields is emerging as one of Canada's most important bouldering areas.  Due to the dedicated efforts of climbers such as Andy White and Jason Duris, there are over 800 problems in the Boulderfields, with potential for thousands more.  For the last two years I have heard a lot about the quality of the rock and the problems in the Boulderfields Basin, and the 2015 Rock the Blocs Festival provided the perfect excuse for me to pack up the van and head west to check it out!

The Rock the Blocs Festival is organised by Andy White, with input from several other climbers in the Kelowna area.  It is a two-day bouldering festival; the first day is dedicated to an outdoor climbing competition, and the second day to clinics.  Kyle and I organise a similar (though smaller) festival in Frank Slide (the Tour de Frank), and we were curious to see how Andy managed the RtB.

I have never felt that two days is sufficient to sample the problems at a new area, so Kyle and I planned to stay at the Boulderfields for about a week (with six days of climbing if everything worked out).  We left Lethbridge in mid-morning, armed with coffee and snacks for the long drive.  I really wanted to check out the Cathedral Ledges Boulders on the way through Yoho National Park, so we stopped briefly for a bit of a recon mission through the blocks there. 

A few of the blocks of the Cathedral Ledges Area in Yoho.  I think I should pay them a more serious visit!

Finally we arrived in Kelowna, and began the long and steep drive up a logging road to the Boulderfields.  Although the road is rough, I managed it just fine in my surprisingly trusty minivan.  After scouting about for suitable camping spots, we pitched our tents and went to sleep, psyched for the following days of climbing.

The Boulderfields basin!  Almost a square km of thousands of boulders...

Unlike most other climbing areas in North America, the Boulderfields are neither a talus slope nor eroded batholith.  From what I gather, the Boulderfields basin is essentially a huge collapsed basin resulting from subterranean erosion.  As such, it looks like a huge (about 700 x 700 m) shallow sinkhole.  Because the blocks didn't tumble, they neither broke up nor settled; the boulders are uniformly large-ish (perfect for climbing on) and often overhanging (also perfect for climbing).  I don't think I've been to area with so much steep climbing (much of it undeveloped).  In our first day of climbing, Kyle and I sampled many of the area's classic lines, such as The Chipper (V1), Ladybug Strikes Back (V2), and Surf's Up (V6).  Eventually we ended up at the Dark Prince Boulder, where I was happy to flash Dark Prince (V5), and eventually (with a lot of effort!) climb Dark Prince Ultra Right (V7).  A great first day!

Kyle on one of the four problems on the Ladybug boulder.  Big juggy slopers = fun!

Sloping holds are relatively rare at the Boulderfields, with most problems featuring a combination of incut edges and pinches.  The technically-demanding problems of Frank Slide really prepared me well for the problems of Kelowna; the movement is somewhat similar at the two areas, but the smoother holds of Frank demand better lower-body movement and body tension.  There are a lot of very sculpted holds at the 'Fields, and many problems feature funky pockets, rounded blobs, and incut flakes in addition to edges and pinches.  Steep faces + cool holds + great movement = amazing climbing!

Kyle and I were soon joined by several other climbers from Alberta.  Kyle's good friend Evan was combining his bachelor party with a climbing trip, and was accompanied by several of his climbing friends from Calgary and Edmonton, including Josh, Reg, Adam, and Ernie (all very fun guys!).  They rolled into the parking lot of the 'Fields in the late evening, and after getting Josh's jeep stuck (then trying to get it unstuck, then ultimately giving up), they unpacked their tents and went to sleep.

The following morning (Thursday) we headed down into the Fields.  With so much untouched rock, I was keen to scrub some new lines during my stay.  While the Alberta crew warmed up, I checked out the potential.  Very close to the Surf Boulder I had spied an untouched boulder right beside the trail, which formed a bit of an alcove where it lay against other blocks.  Checking it out, I found that the backside of the boulder had a great-looking arete; a start on a sloping rail led to a big jug notched right into the arete, a then a big pull to the lip wrapped up with a fun mantle.  Breaking out the brushes, I scrubbed the line nicely, and sent it quickly, calling it The Bachelor.  Initially I thought it was V1ish, but when Kyle and Evan repeated it they felt like V2 was more appropriate. I also quickly scrubbed a fun mantle problem to the right, calling it Exit the Pool (V1).

Me, Evan, and Kyle on the crux of Surf Arete (V8ish).  Kyle and Evan opted for the 'lockoff to a crimp' beta, I managed to use the arete itself, luckily...

By the time I had sent Exit the Pool, Evan and Kyle were trying Surf Arete (V8).  I had tried it briefly the previous day, without any luck.  The typical beta for the line involved long pulls on good holds through a roof, then a cruxy long reach to an edge.  However, I was curious if I could instead employ a balancy arete move to climb through the crux.  After playing with the moves a bit, I decided that the arete beta would work, and I sent the problem in a few more tries.

The most prominent feature of the 'Fields is the Nerf Roof Boulder.  It sits right above the main trail that descends into the basin, and features a HUGE nicely featured roof that has never been climbed.  Below the roof, however, are a number of fantastic holds that are rarely, if ever, used.  It seemed like a shame to me, so I scrubbed (with a LOT of effort!) and climbed a line that started directly below the roof, but traversed up and right to escape through the right edge of the roof.  It is a funky line with a cool cross-off-a-handjam crux, and since it is the smaller, less committing version of the king line on the roof I named it Nerfling (V3ish).

Many of the large boulders are marked with signs at the Boulderfields.  Without them, it would be easy to get lost!

After two days of climbing, our fingers (and knees!) were feeling a little thrashed, and since we wanted to be rested for Rock the Blocs, we decided to take a rest day on Friday.  We headed down to Kelowna (down the logging road!), and spent the day browsing in shops, slacklining in the park, and swimming in the lake.  It certainly felt great to wash off two days of sweat, dust, and boulder-cleaning-debris!  Suitably refreshed, we headed back to the Boulderfields.  For the first three nights of our trip, we essentially had the 'Fields parking lot (and camping) to ourselves.  Now, however, the parking lot (and all the available camping spots) was filling up.  The 2015 Rock the Blocs was going to be fun!

Me on the classic Tie My Rope (V1).  High, steep, and juggy!

Next Post: The 2015 RtB, and how I both succeeded and failed on my trip!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spring? Summer? Frank!

The season is starting to heat up here on the east slope of the Rockies!  The days are getting longer and warmer, and we are well into the beautiful climbing weather of early summer.  Some days it is a bit too warm for climbing hard problems at midday, but the mornings and evenings are fantastic.  Early summer is one of my favorite seasons at Frank Slide, and this year has been no exception.  I've been able to get out to the Slide nearly every weekend, and while I haven't climbed anything particularly hard, the season is shaping up nicely.

I've been plagued with injuries this spring, however.  A few weeks ago, I hurt my wrist moving boulders in my garden (Shelley and I are re-building our back yard; it is going to look fantastic, I hope), and climbing on the wrist is somewhat painful unless I am very careful to keep it in a neutral position.  I also have a slightly tweaked ankle; I sprained it setting for Boulderfest in the early spring, and this past weekend I fell and landed a little weirdly, and hurt it again.  I don't think the injuries will slow me down too much, but I'm being careful.

One of the reasons I am trying to avoid injury is my upcoming trip to the Boulderfields at the end of June.  The climbing community of Kelowna hosts a bouldering festival / competition every year (Rock the Blocs; check out Andy White's blog with all the info HERE), and this year I've decided to make the trek west to check it out.  Should be a lot of fun; the climbers of Kelowna (especially Andy White) have put a lot of work into Rock the Blocs, and I'm excited to climb at the Boulderfields for the first time!

The toothy frowning start hold of Flexion (V5).  A jug lies hidden inside...

Over the last two weekends at The Slide I've managed to do many fun lines; several new problems, and several old problems that were new to me.  The weekend before last Kyle and I spent much of the day in the west end of the City of Giants, trying some fun new lines with Josh Bylsma.  By the time Kyle and I arrived at the Slide, Josh had already put in a solid session on some hard new lines, and he waited patiently while Kyle and I warmed up on some easy lines near El Sendero Tortuoso (V6 or so, Josh did it while he was waiting for us to warm up).  We then turned our attention to a long, angled, overhanging arete.  Starting on a huge hold hidden inside a crack, the line battled up through a long reach to a gaston, then followed a series of good edges to a fun mantle onto a huge scooped ledge.  After several attempts, Kyle and I managed to put it together; it is likely an old Evan Erickson / Kyle Marco problem, but it needed a name so I dubbed it Flexion (V5+).  Josh added a line that added several moves onto both the start AND the end, and called it Extension Extension (V6).

Past the crux of Flexion (V5ish).  Note the heavily taped right wrist...

We then moved uphill a bit to try a new arete that I had spied a few weeks ago, and Mark D. had flattened the landing for.  Unusual for Frank in that it starts on a good jug, the arete would prove to be a lot harder than it looked.  Josh fired it off in just a few tries, but Kyle and I couldn't quite manage the first two powerful moves.  I insisted that Josh call it Welcome to Turpinchistan (it DOES have a pinch in it!), a name I thought was quite funny.  It is tricky and hard, somewhere in the V6+ range.  I added a much easier crimpy line that headed up and right from the start, calling it Crimpistan (V3ish).  

One of the strange, puckered, apple-sized pockets of Monorail Slab.

This past weekend, Kyle, Mark G, Mark D, and I headed back to Frank Slide, with the intent of heading into the Spiderweb Sector.  Spiderweb isn't a fantastic area, but it does have some really classic lines.  Mark D wanted to try an old slab line called Monorail, so we packed up and marched deep into the west end of the Spiderweb.

Mark sticking the lip on Flying Circus. It's an interesting problem; I managed to do it statically when I was able to use a small foothold on the slab.  If you can't make that foothold stick, though, you are committed to either the dyno or a very hard crimp-to-finger-jam sequence...  After many tries, Mark D managed the dyno way, and Mark G managed the finger-jam beta.  Both look hard.

The area proved to be a lot fun.  We started by doing a handful of fun moderate problems (V2-V3ish) on a boulder right beside the Monorail Slab.  Warmed up, we then moved on to climb essentially all of the lines on the Monorail Boulder.  We all managed to do the unusual but very fun Flying Circus (V4ish to V6ish, depending on whether you climb the slab statically or dynamically), and the very cool slab/edge problem Monorail (V2ish), a tallish slab that follows a small incut rail and - you guessed it - a mono.  We did another line between the two, Pucker (V2ish), that features a very cool puckered pocket and a big move to the lip.  To the far right side we did a very fun but somewhat contrived slab that uses two pockets to move upward, and Mark G tried a steep and blank-looking slab, managing to make the impossible-looking line somewhat plausible.

Mark G on his new *hard* slab project...

Packing up, we hiked over to the other side of Spiderweb, where Kyle and I wanted to try the Telekinesis project, a hardish line on edges near The Wind and the Wizard (V5ish).  After my failure a few weeks ago, I wanted to try TWatW again to see if it felt easier, but all I managed to do was almost send the problem... again.  Mark G and Mark D both tried TWatW, with Mark G sending it after only a handful of tries.  Kyle and I managed to make some progress on Telekinesis; Kyle deciphered the first cruxy dyno, and also unlocked the tricky match move in the middle of the line (he's now done all the moves!), and I finally figured out how to do the second crux jump, and also found a smoother way to do the tiny hand-shuffle crux in the middle of the problem.  Its strange how even after two decades of bouldering, I am still finding new ways to become more efficient at aspects of the movement of climbing.  Now that Kyle and I have figured out all the moves for the project, it's just a matter of linking them together... I hope.

Kyle nearing the end of the Telekinesis project.  Fun!

Kyle and the Marks headed back to Lethbridge, and I spent some time with Josh B. trying a hard (!) new problem left of the Telekinesis project.  After he, too, left the Slide I headed over for an end-of-the-day session on The Renaissance (V9ish).  I had made some progress on my last session on it, but couldn't figure out the first move.  This time I focused entirely on the first move, and made absolutely zero (!) progress.  I still have never managed to do the opening lunge, but I recognize that The Renaissance is my anti-style (namely, very small slippery feet, at least for the first move), so it is going to be a battle for me.

After a long day of climbing, I packed up my mats, shoes, and chalk, and headed back to the van.  Stopping first for a muffin and coffee, I turned my back to the setting sun and headed east to Lethbridge.  I'm looking forward to a great summer of bouldering in the Pass and beyond!

Until next time!