Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Frank Slide's Top 50!

The last twelve months have been busy at Frank Slide!  Over 100 new problems have been opened at the area, landings have improved, and new areas have seen substantial development.  As such, it is time to update the Top 50 Problems in Frank Slide list!  This list is based on my experiences, the experiences of other 'Frank Slide locals', and the consensus ratings on  I have made an effort to include problems that have had multiple ascents (to avoid the biases of individuals), and I have avoided including any problems that are absurdly tall (e.g. Jolly Green Giant (V0+)), are contrived or are eliminates, or are very hard to locate.  With over 700 problems to choose from, this list was difficult to compile, but I think the effort was worth it; all 50 problems on this list are fantastic, and well worth the effort to find and send.  I hope you enjoy the problems on this list!

If you disagree with any of the problems on this list, or want to propose a more worthwhile problem at any of the grade ranges, feel free to contact me.  If you can provide a strong enough argument for a substitution, I am willing to make the change!

Me on the fantastic Pamela Anderson (V4), one of the several new problems to make the list.

The best easy problems in Frank Slide are often slabs, although two of the top five easy problems are vertical to slightly overhanging.  Railway Slab (V0) is a standout line, with a nice height and interesting features.

1. Railway Slab (House) Absolutely fun (and tall) slab with great features.
2. Crack Attack (Healing) Easy and fun arete.
3. Gold Leaf Slab (Healing) Cool slab on great rock.
4. Coalbanks Revolution (The Prow) Fun!
5. Easy Healing (Healing) Nice and high, with a slightly tricky crux.

Generally speaking, Frank Slide limestone produces very technical problems.  Even the relatively easy problems are somewhat tricky, but very rewarding to climb. Enjoy!

6. Helping Hands (Karst) Techy, but amazing movement once you figure it out.
7. Scarleg (Healing) A very fun arete.
8. Cottonwood Road (Healing) Steep rails.
9. Killer Ss (Healing) A fun technical line, with a great landing.
10 High Noon (Healing) Great easy highball with amazing movement.

The technically-demanding features of Frank Slide limestone really start to shine at this grade.  All five of these lines are worth tracking down!

11. Bearhug (Riverside) A great-looking compression feature, not to be underestimated!
12. Overdue (Karst) Highball on flat (but hard to read) edges.
13. Little Hulkamaniac (Hulkamaniac) Another great highball!
14. Four-Inch Pinch (House) Steep, with fun holds.
15. Monorail (Spiderweb Left) Tricky, and powerful for a slab.

Getting harder!  There are many fantastic lines at this grade, you won't be disappointed with these!

16. Evil Eye (House) Techy highball arete.
17. Phantom (Hulkamaniac) Amazing movement, very cool holds, dabby landing.
18. Chicken Little Arete (Riverside) A great, technical arete.
19. Gunslinger (House) Steep crack/rail climbing on the infamous Railway Boulder. 
20. Tonic (Healing) Fun compression line in a shady forested setting.

It was a bit tough reducing this category to just five problems, as there are many great problems at this grade.  It is fortunate that Frank Slide has so many moderate problems; V4 is a very accessible 'project grade' for many climbers, and a nice grade for experienced climbers to onsight!

21. Tesseract (The Farm) Great movement, and a bit unusual for Frank.  Low in the grade.
22. Shutdown (Albatross) Classic mini-cave problem, also a bit low in the grade.
23. Black Peter (The Farm) Nice height, nice moves, hard first two moves.
24. Pamela Anderson (Heart of Frank) New line, tall and crimpy, very cool.
25. Killer Bees (Healing) Fun and balancy, on great rock.

Frank Slide really starts to produce some amazing problems in this part of the grade range.  V5-V7 are likely the best grades in terms of quality of movement at the Slide, and these five problems are no exception; all of these problems would be standouts at any area in Canada.  Problems that should be included on this list are the amazing slab Frankenstein (V5), the tall Snare of the Fowler (V4/5), and the lip-to-prow problem Feed the Need (V5).

26. Sunspot (House) Great compression line on good rock.
27. Wild West (House) Steep start, hard lip encounter, techy finish.
28. Aftermath (House) Great holds, nice height!
29. Flexion (City of Giants) Great start, great finish, steep angled arete.
30. Healing Arete (Healing) A classic roof, with a tricky arete finish.

This grade range is fantastic at Frank Slide, so if you are looking for quality V6ish projects, you won't be disappointed.  All five of these problems are incredibly fun, and satisfying.  The steep and powerful Tomb Raider (V6) isn't on this list, or the tricky Prodigal Son (V6), but they could be!

31. The Communist (House) One of Frank Slide's best.  Maybe a bit of a sandbag at V6.
32. Submarine (Riverside) Fun arete in an amazing setting.
33. Indian Tacos (Olympus) Very technical lip problem high above the Slide.
34. Man of Science, Man of Faith (The Farm) Fun powerful line, easy for the grade.
35. Relentless (Healing) Long, powerful moves.

On of the best grades to climb at Frank Slide.  There are many amazing V7s in Frank Slide to choose from (36+), especially compared to the number of harder problems (22 V8s, 10 V9s, and 11 V10s).  The very cool Breathing Underwater (V7), Evan's Seven (V7), and Paleofit (V7) all could have been included here.

36. The Evangelist (House) Very technical climbing on perfect rock.
37. Lord of the Flies (Olympus) Way (!) up the mountain, one of the highest.
38. The Blessing (Karst) Slopers on perfect rock.
39. The Ice Cave (Healing) Crimps to a tricky arete.
40. Fender (Snakebite) Cryptic! Figure it out if you can.

Getting stiffer!  All five of these lines are fantastic.  There is a great diversity of V8s in Frank Slide; these five problems include steep crimpy lines, sloping rising traverses, roof problems, and techy highballs.  Enjoy!

41. Nintendo 69 (Healing) Frankly, a sandbag at V8, but one of Frank's steepest lines.
42. The Right Right (Karst) Crisp movement on edges, a great testpiece in the Karst area.
43. King in the North (Karst) Highball!  Amazingly sculpted rock.
44. Rising Tithes (Wind War) The classic lip of the area!
45. Energitus (Healing) Great holds, resistance-oriented rising traverse.

V9 and Harder
There is a growing number of hard lines at Frank Slide, and these five problems represent some of the area's hardest and best.  All are worthy projects!

46. The Renaissance (V9, Spiderweb) A savage first move leads to a techy finish.
47. Split Left (V9, Karst) Devious climbing on small edges,
48. Railway (V10, House) Frank's original testpiece, steep climbing on edges.
49. Apollo 11 (V10, Frictionary) Jump!
50. The Shield (V10, City of Giants) Reachy and powerful!

No comments: