Friday, July 4, 2008

Summertime, and the climbing is (not really that) easy

Many days of guiding, many hours of moving and many loud curses about how much SH#T I have collected over the years have mostly filled the time since my last post. But there have been a few really fun days of climbing since then too, including quite a few forays on climbs or crags that are new to me.

Checked out Deadend Dihedral, a 3 pitch techfest in the dihedrals of the Chief with Jesse Huey. We wisely chose one of the hottest and most humid days of the summer to get on this thing and got seriously spanked on pretty much all three pitches. We eased our pain by downing cold beers by the lake, going swimming, then enjoying amazing food with friends at a kick ass pad in the Smoke Bluffs overlooking the entire valley. You gotta love Squamish in the summer!

The next day of the heat wave saw Mandoline and I on a mini road trip to Suicide Bluffs near Pemberton, BC. We thought that the breeze from the Soo river would keep it cool enough to climb, which was true. Did a few interesting routes before the sun hit and we ran away to the beach in Whistler, spending the rest of the day, yes, drinking beer and oggling rich, fashionable tourists before finishing it all up spraying and gossiping at the Brew Pub in Squamish for half price pizza night. The most exciting part of the day was the tyrolean to get to the crag:

Mandoline scales the tree at the start of the tyrolean

Tyrolean video

The next climbing day saw me heading to the Sherrif's Badge with Jason Kruk. I wanted to try Astronomy, a steep finger crack, and Jason wanted to check out the unclimbed extension to Hot Rod. It was a fairly unsuccessful mission, unless you judge success by the amount of sweat produced per square centimeter of skin. It was higgity-hot even in the shade, and no wind to offer relief.

white boy on white rock - Jason follows the filthy second pitch of Hot Rod

Jason looking sketchy, but climbing pretty well

The best climbing day I've had in awhile was with Kinley Aitken. We went to tackly Alaska Highway, the feared and revered 5 pitch route in the North Walls of the Chief. Taking our time on the route paid off, because we both managed to send every pitch of burly crack climbing that the highway offered up... a pleasant surprise to both of us! Some pics from the day below.

Kinley following the crux pitch - way steeper than it looks!

You know you are in Squamish when you find yourself doing 5.11 tree climbing - Kinley on the 1st and 3rd pitch.

Kinley getting ready to bust out on the pumpy 11a hand traverse of the last pitch

The last notable day of climbing was with Evan. In the middle of our intense moving session we needed to blow off some steam, so we thought that some overhanging, thrutchy chimney climbing would do the trick just right. U-Wall here we come. We had to make it to Home Depot before closing (oh god what have I become!!!) so we just played around on the first three pitches. I got schooled big time but Evan snapped a few cool shots of me following U Wall and toproping the Shadow. Amazing route, can't wait to get back up there now that I know what to expect!

"I thought chimneying was supposed to be restful!"

The gorgeous Shadow

No comments: