I know I’ve been bitching about the heat in my last few posts, but it’s for real, it’s HOT. At least, it’s hot after 8am. So get up early you wankers. The last two days I set my alarm for 4:50am. No this is not a joke. Yes, I am a terrible morning person, I get nausea, and sometimes I physically cannot open my eyes. No matter how hard I try. I love getting older though, gettin up early is gettin easier.
Hot Aches Productions rolled through town this week, they asked me if I had any projects worth filming for the next DVD. I said, “Paul, I have about 20 projects worth filming, but I can’t climb any of them in this heat. The rock feels like old salami left out in the sun for too long. If you can imagine that.” Then it came to me. Instead of trying to climb 5.13d on rubbish wires and old slippery pins, I could “probably” climb 5.13a or even b on rubbish wires and it would “probably” feel just as hard. Right?
So that’s what I did. On Wed I went to a climb I had done previously called Presto, about 5.13a. I had originally done the line on bolts about 4 years ago I think, and it’s fucking amazing. Tall, proud, direct. A must tick for all 5.13 climbers. Three stars. But when I did it back then, I do recall thinking to myself, “hmmmm, maybe this would be fun on gear”. When I talked to Heavy Duty about it, he said, “That’s the way it should have been done in the first place”. Now I don’t know about that, but I do know that’s it’s good solid fun. Retro Trad is like a party trick, you just do it to see if you can, for no other reason, than because it’s fun. And the truth of it is, that sounds almost like the same reason I go rock climbing at all.
So, up at 5am, climbing by 6:30am. Still felt slimy, but way better than I expected. A hold broke off the line some time ago, but I think it’s more fun now, you have to do a very cool move that wasn’t necessary before, so I’m stoked. The line took about 4 pieces of gear in 65 feet. I found a nut at the very top that prevented a ground fall, so I was completely thrilled about that. I led it on my first try. Probably E8 or 12 or something in that range. I would honestly like to see someone climb this ground up on gear, awesome style, it’s completely realistic and since I’ve blown my chances now, I nominate you. Ya U.
A clip provided by the boys from Hot Aches. Thanks.
In other news, Paul Robinson is here trying Dream Catcher. 5.14d, Super Awesome.
From his blog….”The past week Alex has spent countless hours on the belay as i work out the moves and complain about how hot it is. I have been able to do some really nice links and feel that in cooler temps it could for sure be possible. I am going to continue to try the moves and get the climb all sussed out. Since the temps do not look as if they are not going to be under 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes climbing such a hard route quite difficult. I think i am going to try and make a trip back here for a long weekend sometime this fall to go for a redpoint attempt. Hopefully it will get cooler and i can try for it because today i finally figured out the slab section which was the last section of moves i need to do!!!”
Paul has the reverse problem I have. I can do the slab, I can do the slopers, I can even do the pin scars, it’s the damn campus section at the end, only one move that puzzles me, but I think I have a secret solution to the move, which I will try once it cools off, say in November maybe.
Also, more news, Matt Wilder (the fly, the swarm, the scarface) is in the Bow Valley, my old stomping grounds of Accephale and Lake Louise, he’s been using this summer trip to get back into sport kletter shape, which I’m sure took him all of five minutes. But what caught my attention was his email asking me for beta on the Path. Dope ass. Matt is another big gun who for sure has the firepower to walk it up, have you seen him crimp? So strong. He’s got a great lead head too, think “Musta Been High”, so it will only be a matter of time I have no doubt. I think it’s fucking great that so many people are coming out to try this line, it’s really world class and I hope they each get as much joy from it as I did. Any girls interested? Vikki?
This is from his blog….”So far the trip has been a success on all points though I haven’t completed any climbs of significance. I tried The Path two days and figured out some beta. I’ll probably go back soon and work it some more. I’m not sure if I’ll commit to going for the redpoint. The route is really long and the setup is pretty involved. Redpoint attempts will be challenging so I’ll probably only try to redpoint if I think I have a high probability of success in a few tries. I’m always wary of taking on a project that could just consume the trip.”
“I was up at Lake Louise for the past three days and I tried the Path again. This was exciting because I figured out the rest of the moves and had some good links on TR. I’m definitely more psyched about the climb now and am committed to doing it. I’ll probably start giving lead attempts the next day I try it. It’s definitely going to be a bit scary so it make take some tries to get my head in the right space to be fully going for it. I think it should be mostly safe though. Hopefully the weather cooperates. It’s hot right now and then it looks like it will rain a bunch soon. I’m worried that the Path will not dry quickly — it has many black streaks that are obviously from water running down the face. I have a week to two weeks left here so perhaps I’ll get some good conditions.”
When I googled Matt Wilder this was the only image that came up. So, it will have to suffice for now. I’m sure you’ll get fine conditions Matt, that thing stays super dry, we’re all pulling for ya, I know you’ll have fun up there, it’s hard not to. Best of luck mate, best of luck.
And of course, last but not least, Yuji Hirayama, will be in Squamish very soon, (if he hasn’t already arrived) and he’ll be getting amped to stuff his digits into the tight locks of the Brah. I say, “onsight”. Any takers????