Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chris in BC Part II

Hey! Chris keeps a diary, here is week two...

Now that I've spent a couple of days in the city, I'm ready to go back and rough it out in Squamish once again. While in Vancouver I had a chance to see Stanley Park and spent an afternoon on Granville island. Stanley parl reminds me a lot of our own urban park back home in Montreal. I also had a chance to go climb at the Edge Climbing Center. The Edge is smaller than Allez Up, the routes are about 15-20 meters high (Allez Up has high ceilings and our routes are quite long) but they boast a large boulder section. They have a good wall to warm up on and they have some nice roof and steep overhanging sections. It's a little out of the way and you need to cross the Lions Gate Bridge to get there but there is a really good vibe in that gym and my friends living in Vancouver suggest that I go to the Edge. So I spent an afternoon climbing with an old climbing partner who relocated to Vancouver last year and we climbed hard and got re-acquainted.

I planned to get back to Squamish on the weekend but the local forecast calls for rain this weekend so I decided to go early and hope for some nice weather.

June 18
1:oo p.m
I'm at the Vancouver Bus Depot and it's a beautiful day. I hope it's like this in Squamish.

3:30 p.m
It's a cloudy day in Squamish. People have been telling me that the weather hasn't been great this week but its been climbable. If it doesn't rain, I should be able to get a session in before dark.

5:00 p.m
I've got my shelter up and I'm still trying to locate Aryane. She's been here since Tuesday. She's probably out climbing some sport or trad. The weather held up and I haven't seen the rain all afternoon. The boulders are calling me.

9:00 p.m
I went up to Dreamcatcher and found the crash pad that I found there last week. I want to focus my attention on Baba Hari Dass so I warmed up on some of the problems I sent last week. So far I find the Black Dyke boulder is the best place for me to warm up. The easy highballs put me in a good head space. I moved onto the Easy Chair boulder and then headed back to Baba Hari Dass. I have three quarters of the sequence dialed in and the few hours spent at the Edge has prepared me for working on this problem. Now I'm pretty much getting to the top most of the time but I'm trying to figure out hoe to top it out. So far, out of all the people working this problem (and there are a lot of people who try it out) I haven't seen anyone finish it so every time I get to the top I'm trying to figure out what to do and I fall off. Thank god the landing is flat, its a scary fall.

June 19
8:30 a.m
I found Aryane at the cooking shelter last night hanging out with the Quebec contingency. No surprise there, we make up a large part of the climbing community here in Squamish. We're heading out to Cheakamus Canyon for some sport climbing. Should be fun and it will give me a break from Ali Baba...I mean Baba Hari Dass;)

8:00 p.m
What a productive Day! We started off on Foundation Wall and although there are only six climbs in that area, it's a good place to warm up, with climbs ranging from 5.7 to 5.10. I find that the grades here are light compared to what I'm used to at Montagne D'Argent back home. We moved onto the Forgotten wall and I found a really good 5.11d to work on...I think it's called Rug Munchers, although I'm not sure since I don't have a guide with me. I worked on it and sent it on my third attempt. It's a pumpy route with one good rest despite the obvious good holds found throughout the climb. My friend Jason sent a nice 5.12d with a hard throw to a three finger pocket in the crux of the route. Its a really impressive climb that I would like to work on the next time I'm in Squamish. We've been invited to go out and party in downtown Squamish but we're pretty tired from climbing today and we'll be taking it easy back at the campsite. No Baba tonight.

June 20
10:00 a.m
Breakfast is in my belly and I'm ready to go climb. Aryane went to go spend a second day in Cheakamus Canyon with Jason. It's been a pretty overcast all day, but I don't think it'll rain and I've decided to stay in Squamish and try to send Baba Hari Dass. I think this is becoming an obsession.

2:00 p.m
I went and did my regular warm up on the Black Dyke before moving onto my project. I can execute every move...start matched, cross onto a slope, left hand pinch, foot onto start hold, roll and cross into crimp, etc...and the moves come so easily the first couple of attempts but then I lose my juice and my sequence gets sloppy and I fall of the first couple of moves. Maybe a V7 will be unattainable this trip.....nah....I think I just need a rest day.

6:00 p.m
I went out to hit some new problems to boost my morale. I met a guy from Utah named Sam working on a cool problem on the Titanic boulder called the Mantis. The first move is a throw from an under cling and its a move that is really my kind of style. It goes from this to a top out. Short and sweet:) I also sent Titanic and Jer's Arrete on the same boulder. This ended up being another great climbing day.

June 21
9:30 a.m
This should be a rest day but I met some tree planters that Aryane was hanging out with and they've invited me to go out to Cheakamus Canyon. They're planning on taking it easy and I won't climb any harder than 5.9.

3:00 p.m
Did I say 5.9? I meant to say 5.10 c. There was one climb on Foundation Wall that I had left untried and unsent the last time I was at Cheakamus that I need to climb to complete the six climbs in that area. We tried to find another area with easy climbs but got lost so we decided to come back to the campsite.

June 22
8:00 a.m
It's early and I've already taken a walk around the park, eaten and ready to warm up and hit Baba Hari Dass.

11:00 a.m
I found the crash pad under Dreamcatcher again. It must be my lucky pad:) There are many boulders around Dreamcatcher that go untouched. I can see that they've been climbed before from the faint chalk marks washed away by rain under the overgrown moss. I worked on an arete that is a V6 or higher that I wasn't able to send so a changed the starting holds to make it a V0. I sent the Easy Chair problems to prepare for work on Baba Hari Dass. It was a good warm up and I made it to the last move on my three attempts on the problem. Now it's time for a break and lunch.

1:00 p.m
My bus leaves at 5:30 and I have enough time to give Baba three more attempts.

6:00 p.m
I'm on the Grayhound going back to Vancouver and I still haven't sent my project. I'm disappointed but I've made progress. I'm consistently getting to the last move but I'm having trouble topping out the problem. I don't know if I'll be back in Squamish on this trip since I'll be leaving for Skaha Lake on the weekend and may stay there for the remainder of my trip.

My Sends
Random 5.8-5.10c sport climbs in Cheakamus Canyon (I don't have my guide book)
Rug Munchers-5.11d sport
The Mantis-V4
Jer's Arrete-V4
Random V0 near Dreamcatcher

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