Well, another Canada D-eh, has come and gone, as of July 1st. 143 years and three days of quality beaver coats, ice hockey and Mayple syrup. Yup, just a puppy we are. Born in 1867, which is not too long before Jeanne Calment of France, born in 1875, who FYI was the oldest confirmed centenarian before she died in 1997, after living for 122 years. Now that’s something to celebrate. Something Canadians are not celebrating too much these days is the announcement of the latest tax release, the HST. We are officially, the highest taxed country in the world right now. Which is just fine with me, our hospitals and highways are in great shape (generalizing of course).
Speaking of highways, I’m leaving tomorrow in my new/old mini van for the Canadian Rockies, (10 hours, rugged) which if you’ve ever been, you’ll know they are one of the Worlds most pristine natural wonders. I’m off for the ACC Under 25 Climbing Camp. Should be a hoot. Everything from basic movement skills, to building and equalizing natural anchors off chossy blocks of limestone. Grin.
However there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to leave. I’ve been having too much fun here in Squamish lately, the weather’s been quite incredible the last few weeks, cool, crisp and windy, ideal for anything outdoor related. I tried a few projects, made some great progress on some, and not so much on others. I think the one I’m most excited about is a new free climb (old Maddaloni aid line) shown to me by Will Stanhope, who heard about it from Zack Smith. Will’s already put in a shit pile of work on this rig over the last few months, and he’s got it ready to fire. He floats through the cruxes, but the moves aren’t his issue anymore, it’s a stamina line, there’s not one single place to relax on the 60 foot venture, always tense, always straining. Here he is below, placing a nearly blind cam behind the undercling, feet pasted on glass, the pump clock is ticking. April Shannon Foto? Note the warrior paint under his eyes.
And again below, (Ryan Olson foto I think), taking the whipper from the upper crux. A fall from the last move would be a heart stopping event. The only way to make certain the leader doesn’t deck is a heavy, experienced belayer, with long arms, who runs back and reels in the slack. The climb is as exciting as they come…
I’ve been on it 5 times, and it doesn’t feel any easier than the first time. I took a break mid afternoon and ran a top rope lap on ‘Lake of Fire’, which is a 5.13+ that shares the same finish as 69, when I came back to Will’s route, I fell three times. Stout. I hope the pleasant weather remains for a couple more weeks until it’s in the bag. It will be one of Squamish’s hardest trad lines for sure, but more than that, one of the BEST. Much Luck William.
On a side note. Does anyone know why there are so many random bolts these days? It seems there is one (or more) people out there with a drill that probably shouldn’t have them. I think you know who you are, how could you not? Please, please, please, before placing any more bolts, ask around, talk to people, lots of people – it will save others from getting upset, it will save them going out and chopping it, and it will save Squamish as a community if we can discuss where bolts should be placed and why. And I’m not just talking about safety bolts on routes or rap rings, although that’s also a concern, someone added a bolt to Silent Menace, about a foot away from another bolt, weird, and an anchor to Penny Lane, tsk, tsk, etc, etc, but I’m talking about bolts on boulders and on slabs in the grand wall forest. Here is a picture below I took of my buddy Chris, just below Permanent Waves, now what the F is this bolt doing here, especially when any boulder could be slung if need be? Please enlighten us? Or what about the bolt below Rip Riot? You know, the totally random one on the ramp, beside the obvious crack with the pile of dust around it? What’s that doing there? What purpose does it have? Is it for rigging? Does anyone know? Was someone practicing placing bolts? I’m so curious, It’s perplexing to me. I beg you, whoever is doing this, please exercise plenty of caution, respect and awareness when adding bolts to the Squamish corridor. You are free to do so of course, this is Canada after all, you can do whatever you like, and I know this is a bit of a arduous topic, but at the same time, we are in charge of policing ourselves out there, and it’s imperative that we work (and drink) together, from time to time. That is all. I gotta go charge my drill battery now. Peace.