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Kalbarri – routes in Stellar Wall area

Posted by robjwall on October 15, 2019

Its amazing to live somewhere with so much unclimbed rock (even if the Golden lines were taken by visiting Victorians).  We climbed two new routes this weekend:

 

Kalbarri Bronze, 20m, grade 18.  Trad (one bolt at crux), Head up the really obvious blocky steep crack opposite Stellar Wall to bolt belay.  EDIT – JUST FOUND OUT THIS WAS DONE GROUND UP BY KATE SWAIN AND FRIEND IN THE EARLY 2000s WITHOUT CLEANING – MAD BASTARDS – ANYWAY NOW ITS CLEAN AND HAS A BOLTED LOWER. OUR ASCENT: R Wall, K Stübner 13th Oct 2019 (pretty sure this is a new route based on the fact that it took 4 hours to clean the loose blocks and sand off). The line is amazing, with fun steep moves – it feels more like a gym climb than a crack.  The rock is not quite as bad as it looks…

Kalbarri Bronze

FA

Lone Gum, 18m, grade 15, Trad.  Approx 50m L of Stellar Wall, head up the shallow corner/crack on clean orange rock; traverse slightly left to follow the easiest line to the beautiful white tree. FA R Wall / K Stübner 13th Oct 2019 (unless someone has done it?!)  The rock is solid with quite good small cams and wire placements. Rap off the tall white gum.  (If this route gets any traffic I’ll put in a lower-off).

Lone Gum

We also repeated Owen Davis’ classic Hollis Crack (16).  A #5 Camalot makes this route a pleasure.  I’d like to clean this and put in a lower off.

 

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Alpine climbing July 2018

Posted by robjwall on August 13, 2018

The warm up was a weekend of crack climbing at Ettringen in Germany.

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Ettringen

Then a week later Konstanze and I headed to Switzerland.  We used the excellent “Schweiz Plasir Sud” guide to work out where to go en-route to Ivrea.  Intially this led us to Freggio in the Italian part of Switzerland.  We attempted to find a (~16 pitch, with a walk off after 10 pitches) route called “Via del Pivello”.  The first pitches of slab seemed a lot harder than the book suggested,  and then the route ended after only 3 pitches.  After an hour of bush bashing including the slippery fern slide pictured we think we found the actual route and traversed in about 4 pitches up, and completed it to the end of pitch 10.

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Lost

The rock was good, and the views of the valley extremely pretty (if not the noise from the Autostrada).

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Looking down “Via del Pivello”

The next day we climbed some single pitch routes in a great little crag area called “Valle di Gorduno”, then travelled to Ivrea to see Kira, and watch Demelza race in the Junior World Slalom Canoe Championships, (where she made it to the U/23 C1 Semifinal) and eat a lot of nice food :).

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Demelza and Kira at Ivrea

During the kayaking event K and I climbed 8  pitchs in the sun in Valle d’Aosta to climb “Bucca d’arancia”.  This was lovely but I was very happy to get back in the shade, and made me think we needed to plan to climb at much higher altitude.  Another day we did a couple of pitches at “Traversella”, where Demelza joined us for a great walk and very refreshing “swim” on the way back.

 

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Refugio above Traversella

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Secret swim spot

After the Kayaking was over we drove across to France and the wonderful Ailefroide climbing area where I had been two years previously.  On the first day we did a great ~7 pitch bolted 6a next to a waterfall called “Petits meutres entre amis”. I wish all routes had waterfalls – it was a constant debate to work out how much water to carry.

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Petits meutres entre amis.

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Happy climbers.

Nearly all the climbing to this point had been on bolted routes, and we both were feeling fit, so we wanted to push ourselves a bit and test out route finding and gear placing skills.  So we headed further up the valley above Ailefroide to the Glacier Blanc hut for a few nights.  (An inexpensive hut with good food!).  We managed to get slightly lost walking up the trail to the hut in the evening, we were not meant to cross this stream.

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Lucky its summer!

The next day we were up early and walked an hour to Pointe de Cineastes to climb the 200m “Chasses Croises” 5c (obl), which was a mix of bolts and traditional pro.  The descent was to down solo half of the “Arete Sud Classique” (3a) which was probably the sketchiest thing we had done so far.  Cineastes had a real remote Alpine feel with tricky route finding and less than perfect rock.  A lot of the pro is to put slings around rock spikes.

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Pointe des Cineastes

The second day here we attempted to find a crack line (“Eperon Ouest”) on the left side of the Cineastes, which was supposed to have bolted anchors.  There was a forecast of afternoon storms, so we wanted something we could retreat off.  After several pitches we never found a bolt, but the weather was ok, so we decided to ‘fail upward’ to the ridge at the top of the route and pickup the abseil line from the more popular ridge traverse.  The last long pitch (60m) up to a spire was magnificent exposed alpine climbing about grade 5a, with enough stable rock to sling little pinacles or place cams from time to time.  This was one of the best pieces of climbing we did on the whole trip (and its not impossible it was a new route!).   The descent was a really dirty couple of abseils and then some fun snow sliding off the backside.  We took no camera.  That night I was tired, and it was raining so we had another hut meal, and walked down the following morning in gorgeous sunshine and saw a few Marmottes.

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Marmotte

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Really, a Marmotte

 

 

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Chamonix Aguilles from the town (Peigne on R).

We ‘rested’ a day or so (pack, drive, unpack…) and headed to the Refuge Plan de L’Aguilles above Chamonix which is only a 10 minute walk from the cable car middle station.  The weather on the first day was *perfect* so we left the hut at 3pm, and started a route “Eperon Nord” 6a? (chosen from my old Piola guide)  at 4.30pm.  Not best alpine practise.  The weather continued to be warm: perfect golden sunshine with no wind, so we were lured up going almost to the top of the excellent 8 pitch route.  Oddly there were bolts on the first two pitches only, and after that we found no anchors!   I was really enjoying being acclimatized, having perfect conditions, and being on this magnificent Chamonix granite, — it felt like I was just floating up it.   Just before the top Konstanze led a long, and quite loose left traverse to attempt to find the bolted Abseil line used by some more popular routes.  She found it, and we completed the abseils and down-soloing just as it got really dark, and, sharing our one head torch got back to the hut at midnight.  It was probably pretty close to a forced night out.  (I don’t *think* it would have been too cold, but I’m glad I didn’t find out!)

DSC01360.JPG The next day it rained, so I ate cake while K went for a walk, and then Andrew Mitchell arrived in the evening.

The following day (Sunday) we were out from the hut from 6am until 10pm completing the magnificent  “Voie Contamine Vaucher” on the Aguille du Peigne, which at 15 pitches (400m alt gain) was the longest route we did.

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Andrew on one of the early pitches

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Pretending to be scared

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Looking up the line from about 5 pitches up.  We are heading for the giant ‘razor’ and chimney

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Konstanze leads the incredible chimney pitch

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Near the summit

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All we have to do now is Abseil for 3 hours, go down the snow and walk back to the hut for DINNER

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Looking down one of the many rapells

 

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Andrew shows us the poses in the fading light

This was a great climbing day.  We did the route in good style despite getting lost quite a few times, and we all enjoyed every move.  My personal favourites bits were the airy 6a traverse under the roofs (crux), and the 6a layback protected by  stuffing cams into the moss, lower down  (you will never find that, we were off route!).

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The way down –  9pm

 

We were all pretty shattered to be honest,  but the following day K and I went back onto the “Eperon Nord” and completed it properly this time AND made the 6pm cable car (we were only 30 min late so it was still running).

The final route of the trip was a few days later at Barberine: the bolted 8 pitch “Magician d’Oz”.  I was really struggling for energy and happy to have bolts.

Thanks Konstanze for an inspiring trip, and for calmness and route finding.  And thanks Andrew for making a 3, and sharing your confidence on the Contamine.  Salut.

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Routes at Secret South Coast Spot…

Posted by robjwall on January 1, 2017

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kira

Kira Wall on the FA of “No Hoes”.

Crocboating Area:

The following 3 routes share a two bolt anchor on top of the “Croc Boat” boulder.  The starts are all normally  separated by fresh flowing water! To get off, leave crabs on the bolts or solo off via a tree on the back (easy but exposed)

Left. Croc Boaters 10m, 3 bolts  (grade 17). Kira Wall April 2011

Middle. Just a couple of crimps 11m, 2 bolts (grade 18). Rob Wall April 2015

Right. *No Hoes (grade 18, easier if you stay right?).  12m, 3 bolts. Kira Wall April 2011.

The next route is on the face of the big boulder to the left (downstream). ie in the Chimney.

**Aladeen 12m, 3 bolts (grade Aladeen, but harder (prob Aladeen) if you don’t lean back on the Croc Boat boulder).  Tarky Wall April 2011

Further down the creek on the right side is an excellent bolted arete/chimney 12m  (grade 20???). **No name.  FA by S.

On the other side of the creek is a really good hard short 7m finger crack (grade 21?)  *Crime.  FA Rob Wall April 2011.

 

 

 

 

Magic Faraway Tree area

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Rob Wall near top of  Sandcrawler, 20

To get here walk past ‘Crime’, uphill on river left (ie East bank) on a sort of track, under a tree and over some rock to an obvious cliff about 80m uphill.  You know you are in the right place when you see the most amazing tree (and some bolts shhh).  From right to left the routes are

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FA of Magic  19

team

Bolting team hard at work.

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Bolt man

Sandpeople 13m, grade 17, 3 bolts to rings. Starts on top of the flake/block. FA T Wall Dec 16.

*Sandcrawler 18m, grade 20, 5 bolts to the same rings.  Sustained. Bring spare fingertips.  R Wall Dec 16.

big blank section then:

Magic 15m,  grade 19, 3 bolts to a two bolt belay

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Kalbarri Info

Posted by robjwall on August 24, 2012

THIS POST NOW CORRECTED AFTER 2015 VISIT.

I have extracted some of these old Kalbarri route descriptions from my diary / brain. Neither is very well organized. These descriptions and grades all need checking!  This is not consumer cragging, but always an adventure.  You will run out of water.

Stellar Wall. All 20m. <1km up river from 4 ways on river right. Obvious clean wall with overhanging off-width on RHS. Routes from R to L

“Hollis Chimney” 16, Owen Davis 2005.  The offwidth, actually better than it looks. “The Rest of the Robots” 22, Rob Wall. Sustained climbing on 4 bolts and cams, Go left of the crack feature at to to finish on [new lower off added this year by Remi]. Owens Route 22 (shares same lower off). 2005 * “Absence of the Bear” 7 bolts to loweroff. 24 Kate swain, 2005. The best route on the wall. “The Aimless Blade of Science”. The interesting bolted arete. 21 Rob Wall, June 2006. [this route could use another bolt before the first perhaps – if you want to put one in, do so!].  Lower off two bolts (quite spaced) at the top of the hard climbing.Red Wall. 1.5km upstream from 4 ways on river left (the sunny side). The obvious red wall facing down river. “Red Woman” 15m Grade 20+ Up middle, around L side of cave. Trad gear to bolt belay on top.Done ground-up style. Rob Wall / John Smart, August 2005. Most loose rock removed during FA.  Its a long walk off, or rap off the bolts (very hard to pull rope 😦 ).Wonder Wall. The largest clean wall in the Gorge (its on river right) , but suffers from seeping.  About 2km up from 4 ways.  Very good camp cave on river left with some bolts on top of wall above cave (left rhs top-rope problem is very good and was done by Dan and Rob in 1990s and is about 21 – the others are harder – I don’t recall if they have been done or not). The main wall on the R is above water, and has an unfinished Rob Wall / Dan Harris bolted project from 1990s in the middle, and one bolted route on the left. “The one that saves me” 23. Access from RHS of  ‘purple haze’ ledge.  Rob Wall, April 2009. Wonderwall  central butress has a good trad crack / overhang: * “Purple Haze”, 19 Rob Wall/Dan Harris 1995ish. Lower off tree on large ledge. The first route in the area. “Bridge over troubled waters”. 15. do purple haze, walk R on ledge and make improbable moves across and up (close to CCT L2), and easily up to top of gorge. Rob Wall / Gerard Chipper, mid 1990s. Pete McKenzie also came here with me one trip and led the runout easy slab up from the L of purple haze. Wonderwall  left side is accessible from a broad ledge and has some routes L to R “High class games of sorrow” Trad. L1 17. Obvious crack then flake left of tooth.  L2 23?  up from flake into wild overhanging country, crux was scary traverse R & use kneebar to place pro?. Rob Wall / Florean Wellman.  Use 2 ropes? “Cracken” 22 obvious R trending crach up tooth. . Wires then 4 bolts to BB. Rob Wall oct 2008 “The Cure” 22 up hand crack then 2 bolts to BB, Ed Nepia Oct 2008 “can’t change time” Trad.  L1 19. very R of wall up wide crack (bouldery start, needs bolt) then easily up to purple haze ledge. L2 21. walk R then wild foot first move up. Rap 28m to water. Rob Wall / Florean Wellman.  “Secret Garden” 12m, A very nice grade 5, is about 100m left of the central butress at the very left of the ledge system.  FA Demelza Wall (solo) 2005.

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If you read one blog – read this one (some of my climbing partners have progressed to better things :) )

Posted by robjwall on May 12, 2012

http://www.loganclimbsrocks.blogspot.com.au/

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Across Australia

Posted by robjwall on February 11, 2012

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Buttface

Posted by robjwall on July 9, 2011

June 30th.  Kira (now 11 1/2)  and I wake up to light rain.  I wasn’t feeling too lucky after breaking a seat-post bolt and having to walk out of ‘The Plunge’ with Kira on a very wet day before.  Over breakfast it cleared a little and we decided to have a go at ‘The Chief’ today, as we only had a week left. Kira and I had done 2 or 3 multi-pitch routes together recently, and she was climbing well, and more importantly managing belays, cleaning and abseiling.  At 9am we left the car in the Apron lot, and started up ‘St Vitus Dance’.  We moved pretty well up the Jungle pitches, having done them a few times now.  I was really enjoying the 3rd pitch  – a super clean 5.9 hand crack, when it really started to rain.  Bugger; its madness to do this today, I am thinking…  We need to lower off, but my belay was 3 Cams and I would have to leave at least two behind.  I decide its easier to ‘fail upward’ and climb some more 5.8/9 to the top of the Apron and  walk off.  Kira came up the crack with a big smile on her face “This is Awesome” completely unfazed by the rain.  Of course by the time we got to Memorial Ledge, it was warmer and dry, so we had a 20 minute lunch (tuna and wraps!) and pondered.

Kira was keen to climb on, so I led up the fantastic ‘Memorial Crack’.  Climbing as good as it gets.  Then we had a 15 minute hike up the woods to the base of the ‘Squamish Buttress’ slab.  These easy pitches were harder and better than I remembered (we just managed to link them into 1 with a 60m rope).  More walking and scrambling and we could see ‘The Buttress’ above us.  The normal finish is a short 5.9 crack and then a no nonsense pitch of 5.10c.  But the genius of ‘Buttface’ is that you can avoid the last two pitches — instead head left through a small cave and  boulder on up  to a  bolted  wall.  Its 5.9, but a bit different to the rest of the climbing.  You have to pull on some side-pulls with not much for the feet, heading up left.  There is a bolt or two just where you need them.  Then you walk left along a ramp to a two bolt belay (pictured)The 2nd pitch heads back right to a chimney.  It looks really hard from below (can we be lost?), but if you put your back to the rock some amazing foot-holds appear and its ok, then some good cams, and a monster jug :).  Its now raining quite hard and we are expecting to scramble off, BUT this final scramble is actually loose and hard to protect — I actually thought it was dangerous, and given that there are bolts on the route, I think one here would be good.

We Enjoy the summit glow for a while before the traditional getting slightly lost on the tourist trail descent, and grabbing our bikes from the camp to ride back to the car (about 11 hours and 15 roped pitches all up).  Thanks  to Sonny and the guys who did the work establishing this route.  You can read about that here.

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Sea Kayak to Garden Island

Posted by robjwall on April 25, 2011

Back in Fremantle now, with a new toy.   To see it watch this 2 minute video of the first recorded ascent of Mt Haycock (40m)   ha ha ha on Garden Island which is about 10km offshore.

Mt Haycock

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Kangaroo Rock – article as submitted to “Australian Rock”

Posted by robjwall on October 27, 2010

Its March 1792.  The French Frigate L’Esperence (“hope”) is sent to the bottom of the world to search for missing sailors.  Its crew become the first Europeans to set foot on the amazing coastline of Cape Le Grand National Park.  Skip 214 years and we are there on a holiday. Something in the back of my mind can’t stop searching this perfect granite, hoping for a line.  Mostly its typical W.A. rock, either too slabby or too blank, but while paddling I see an incredible snaking crack splitting an enormous orange boulder. I snap a photo from the kayak.

 

You can see the “Kangaroo” and the crack line up its haunch.  The next day I’m up early to try the route on self-belay.  Its mostly a clean finger crack (my favourite!) but the start of the crack is too narrow for me.  Eventually I find an improbable move out right to a slopey undercling that solves the problem —  I vow to return.  That afternoon I chat to a friendly park ranger about climbing in the park.  It transpires they don’t have a problem with it, as long as we can’t be seen from the tourist tracks.  I don’t dare mention bolting…

After some failed attempts to lure climbers the 780km with the photo, we return in Easter 2008.   The crack route is hard to get to safely with my 10 year old daughter Demelza, so after some exploration I place 6 stainless expansion bolts in a stunning Arete further left.  The crux move is again near the start: you have to pull hard on an ‘ear’ with your left hand, smear high with your left foot, and cross your right foot improbably high over the left, then balance up on one leg.  (No-one has yet onsighted this bizarre move, yet everyone eventually does it the same way!).  Demelza has belayed me on TR before, so after a quick lead-belay lesson she clips in to shiny new belay bolts on the narrow ledge above the sea.  I don’t plan to fall off.  I fell off — snapping the ‘ear’ off.  The grey sky now delivers light rain, and we notice some blood on the rock.  I feel a strange mix of emotions, but Demelza assures me she is OK, so we decide to give it one more shot.  I barely manage it, yielding the area’s first route “Family Affair” 22.

In January 2009 I do a lightning trip down to meet visiting Kiwi guides Rachel Ryan and Ed (“I love a bit of adventure”) Nepia.  In a two day mission we clean and bolt the 3 excellent sport routes on “Kiwi Wall” to the right of “Family Affair”.   Ed can’t believe how easy the cleaning is compared with NZ (we just kick the rock a couple of times and pronounce it clean).  Ed also leads the hyper-classic grade 15 corner to the right of Kiwi Wall, naming it “Windjammer”
For some reason we laugh a lot on this trip, odd things happen:  Rachel has to climb in one shoe and for the first time in my life I rap off the end of a rope, falling two metres into a bush unharmed. On our last day Ed and I climb the crack I have been obsessing over for three years (take an 8 rock for the crux!), naming it after the question with the answer 42, because thats what it feels like.  The contentment lasts the whole, long drive home.

We can’t believe the quality of climbing Kangaroo Rock is giving.  All the routes so far have been twenty to thirty metres of interesting moves on clean, featured granite.  We’re also watching Kangaroos, Seals, Octopus, and wondering about the bouldering on the hundreds of boulders all over the park.   Ed and Rachel are in NZ now, but Shane Richardson agrees to come down just before Christmas 2009, “for a look”.  His family beat us there, and Shane transforms into a new-routing super-hero, doing 10 or 12 pitches on self-belay, and chalk-dotting the bolts for two routes on his first day. One follows an amazing series of flakes up the orange wall right of “Windjammer”, and is now possibly the best middle grade sport route in WA.  Bastard.  I bolt a steep line through the big series of wacos left of “Family Affair” and reckon its about 18, so I offer it to the kids.  Kira has a go, succeeding on top rope.  Demelza looks solid on TR, and starts thinking up route names!  But after she falls on her first two attempts (her first lead falls) she is less keen…

An hour later Demelza fights it all the way on her 3rd attempt, naming it “L’Esperence”, 18. We also came in  hope, and we found the lines we were looking for, and I feel strangely connected to those brave 18th Century French who trod here first. (But didn’t record any routes!)

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The Routes L to R


Music Wall:
*L’Esperence, 18, 15m, 5 bolts.  DW 12/09. Steep fun.
UNNAMED, 21, 20m, 6 bolts + take one thread. SR 12/09.  Tricky move L near top.
Tingle in Your Fingers, 23/4, 24m, 6 bolts.  RW 12/09. Desperate at the start.
Kiwi Wall:
*Family Affair, 22, 28m, 6 bolts. RW 4/08. Crux at start.
Flying Kiwis, 18/19, 28m, 5 bolts.  EN 1/09.
There She Blows, 19, 28m, 6 bolts.  EN 1/09.
Dance on Fires, 20/21, 28m, 6 bolts.  RW 1/09.
*Windjammer, 15, 25m, Trad. EN 1/09.
Orange Wall:
*UNNAMED 22/3, 25m, 6 bolts. SR 12/09. 21 until the last move!
Universe Wall:
Ultimate Question, 22, Trad with 1 bolt.  RW 1/09.

All these 10 are stared routes (really, new route developers are never biased). The * means absolute classic!.

Access

From Esperence head East, making an improbable number of consecutive right turns following the signs to “Cape Le Grand National Park”.  Once in the Park follow the sign to “Lucky Bay” (named by Matthew Flinders who sought refuge there in 1802), where you can camp for $8 per night and have free solar hot showers.  It does get busy in peak times as its a fantastic snorkelling and swimming spot.  To get to the climbing walk on the signed trail toward “Thistle Cove”.  After 1km, near a hilltop you will see a balancing croissant rock, just after this take a left fork and follow the fisherman’s track down for 50m.  You get to an obvious ledge facing “L’Esperence” , and can scramble down the gully (grade 5) to the climbs.  The climbs all reach top-bolts so you can belay on top and walk off.  Long slings are needed if you want to lower off.

Photographers and Climbers

RW Rob Wall
DW Demelza Wall
KW Kira Wall
KV Kate Vyvyan
SR Shane Richardson
EN Ed Nepia

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Squamish – long routes

Posted by robjwall on October 12, 2010

Well the climbing season is at an end now, but I’ve been able to do some great long routes over the summer.  Here they are as I remember them (in order, more or less)….

Snake (5.9).  A great 5 pitch route on the Apron done with Pad.  I recall it feeling runout on the top slab!  We did a couple of great single pitch routes on top of it including “Memorial Crack”.

Diedre (5.8).  Six pitches.  One of the world’s great easy routes I think.  Several pitches in a row of immaculate low angled corner crack.   A great day out in the Sun with Australian Dave, and Kira.  This was Kira’s first multipitch route

Birds of Prey(5.10a) on “The Squaw”.  Six pitches done as 3 with a 70m rope.   Not my favorite long route – but you get a good look at Pipeline (Arrrgh).  I would like to get back on the Squaw to try “The Great Game” to the right — it looks awesome

Rock On /Squamish Buttress.  (5.10c)  A good way to get to the top of The Chief.  A lot of rambling pitches up high, but the top pitch is especially fine,  I struggled, but made it in the end when someone from a party above told me I was “almost in the promised land”.  Rock On felt quite greasy to me, and had one scary move.  Did these last two routes with visiting Sweedish Filmmaker Sean.

 

Calculus Crack. (5.8)  A very exposed route.  Demelza and I slept at the base, and got up early.  This is the  first time I had attempted something like this with the kids with no other adult in the party.  Demelza climbed quickly and efficiently and didn’t’ seem to notice the exposure, which is very real on this route.   She seemed to have no trouble taking the belays apart and making all the right calls.   The couple of 5.8 handcrack pitches that are the core of this route are absolutely brilliant.

Borderline. (5.10d)   This was a fun day.   I led the 3rd pitch which has some incredible, technical and exposed climbing (with lots of bolts thank god), and the fourth pitch (which I fell off seconding) has the most amazing wide hanging chimney.  It was the first time I had climbed with local ex Ranger now Nurse Aaron, we decided impromptu to finish by climbing the Angels Crest.  Unfortunately we got about 4 pitches from the top when the rain poured, so we had a very long wet series of Abs to the gully.  Neither of us could remember when we had last had to retreat!

Angel’s Crest. 5.10b, 14 pitches.   A few days after backing off the top of Angles,  Peter Larose drove up from Vancouver nice and early, and we got on the full Angel’s Crest.  The climbing is not hard, but there is a lot of it!  Its a fun day out, rather than great climbing.  There are  some great positions, and a few pitches of good climbing, including the last.  You have to muck around with a short rap and some walking on the ‘towers’ in the middle.  We were a bit slow in 8 hours, I’d like to do it quicker.

Banana Peel. (5.7, 6 pitches)   Tarquin’s turn for an adventure.  We slept under the route (in colder weather) and did this in the morning cool.  Tark found the crux section hard.  I had a rope stretching lead linking pitches at one point, and we actually had to simo-climb for 5m!  Tark led the  last 5.5 pitch, and placed some good gear (he forgot to clip the rope into one piece which is something we can tease him about when he is dragging me up 5.12 one day).

Vector (5.9, 6 pitches).  Kira and I snuck this in one Autumn afternoon (Kira wanted the full dad and kid experience too), after a rainy morning, and the obligatory coffee at the Squamish Kite-surfing shop (best coffee in town)  and a quick visit to climb-on to buy a #4 Camalot .  We had intended to do the parallel route “St Vitus Dance”, so didn’t think we’d need my new #4, but we ended up on Vector.   The long off-width pitch is an amazing clean crack.  I had my shoulder and knee in at the crux, and  found my new Cam very comforting!   Kira and I had a rest on memorial ledge and then walked off just making it back to the bikes on dark…

Sunblessed. Got its own post 🙂

Generations apart: John Fantini and Kira Wall.

The Grand Wall. (5.11a, 10 pitches).  This is an incredible route.  I was due to do it with Fantini, but had to pull out because of my bike crash.  I was very sad about this.   Most difficult climbs  are either long or hard, but this is both.  I was lucky to have a strong partner (local lad Marc-Andre) so I knew I didn’t have to lead my half, but I wanted to, so I didn’t feel ‘guided’.  We had a really warm day, after a long wet spell. Marc  got us two pitches up via Apron Strings (hard start), then I linked Mercy Me in a 70m pitch, with about 6 bolts and small waterfalls coming down… mentally tough!.  I got to lead “The Split Pillar” which I really loved.  I fell off seconding “The Sword” (insert wet rock excuse here).  I got to lead “Perry’s Layback” in the usual way (resting on the bolts!).  By the time I got to my last lead, the magnificent “Sail Flake” I was so tired I couldn’t hold onto the top jugs, and took my first real whipper in Canada:  “About time” I  remember thinking as I fell some way onto a good Camalot.  TheBrew pub beers tasted especially good.

Dancing in the Light (5.11b, 6 pitches).  Marc and I did this the next day which was also a rare fine day.  He hadn’t been able to find a partner for it.  Not surprising with 10m or more runouts being the norm.  I only led one pitch of this!  The crux is maybe not as hard as they say (I can’t climb 11c slab).  Its quite a journey, but suffered a little from damp rock and moss.

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