It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything at all, the Squamish Mountain Festival Swept into town and took over everything. There were so many “ON” days in a row I had little time or energy to do anything else. It was still hot, but not as bad as it had been. So, what’s new, what’s new….?
My last blog update was about the best summer camp I ever went to, be sure to check it out here at the Petzl website. Basically, lets get some young climbers out onto the big cliffs and show them that the climbing culture is rich, and the mountains can teach us everything we’d ever want to learn in life. www.petzl.com
In regards to todays post…sheeeeet…
First Off, HUGE CONGRATS to Matt Wilder for making the third ascent of The Path. Wilder is a serious force on the stone. He commented that the climb may be 5.14a or b, depending. I basically rated the climb the same grade thinking that for a tall climber it may feel more like 5.14a, but for a slightly shorter climber it would feel more like hard 5.14b, because of the long reaches between crimps. Matt Segal commented the crux felt like V11 for him. So I gave it the slash grade and people can say whatever they like, but what remains the same is the big fat RUNOUTS. I’m glad Matt sent it, he did it differently than Ethan and I, opting for approaching the climb via the 5.6 corner, instead of the straight up 5.11- solo that we had chosen. For me, I wanted to climb the whole overhanging face, from the bottom to top in one pitch without clipping any fixed gear. Anything less than that for me would have been a compromise. But I’m glad Matt did it the way he did, he obviously wasn’t as concerned as much about the style as we had been and put more focus on the headwall, but most importantly he showed more climbers that it’s in fact a safe and classic climb, he showed us all that there are options, and because the climb is trad, the leader can feel free to roam where the natural line wants to go. It’s a choose your own adventure situation.
Secondly, The Squamish Mountain Festival was AWESOME. Will Stanhope and Peter Croft gave impressive slides shows, as usual, and the Steep Shot photocontest was as good a party as it was last year. My photo’s came out okay and I was stoke on the amount of good positive feedback that came back to me afterwards. The winners were truly inspirational however, Andrew Burr, 1st place, Keith Ladzinski, 2nd place and Cory Rishards, 3rd place. It was such a fun night, I’m looking forward to it again next year, big time. The crowd was nice and rowdy and didn’t hesitate to let out a hoop and a hollar when a particularly strong image flashed the screen, it was instant feedback and I’d be lying if said I (like the other presenters) didn’t get a huge rush from the raucous applause. So thanks to everyoe who helped organize the events and to everyone who came out to support it. Respect. Here’s funny photo I took the next day while guiding during the event. We stumbled upon this baby toy, (apparently forgotten) stuffed into a 5.12c crack and thought it was hilariously placed, so we made a moment from it. Thanks Stephen.
Last but not least, projects, making good work on them dispite the heat, sent my ubber scary projects again on Top Rope, so I think during the cold weather we’re about to have in Sept, I feel very confident that they’re both going to go down. I also have some bigwall projects, but they may require some more days of cleaning and preperationg before I link them, probably hard 5.12 or 5.13 R. I also tried DreamCatcher yesterday for the first time in nearly 2 months. Keith Ladzinski wanted to do some photo’s and I was up for the challenge. I was so stoked, the slab crux feels super easy now and the sloper traverse as well. I didn’t have much skin, but I was able to unlock a new sequence at the pin scar crux which makes things much easier for me, but still I have’t yet stuck the final campus match move. DESPERATO! It’s sort of a shame I wasn’t able to hook up with Paul Robinson during his visit here, but I had too many other commitments, summer in Squamish is a very busy time. But maybe when he returns to finish the route in Oct. Also, Yuji Hirayama arrived yesterday and has 4 weeks to crush everything he can. His first objective is to climb Cobra Crack, then who knows what else. Yesterday he onsighted (with many tick marks in place) the Zombie Roof, 5.12d/13a. Super impressive. I had dinner with him last night and many friends, he sounds keen to tear it up, two months of solid gym climbing, no rock, he’s fit, and when he’s fit, he’s unstoppable. Check this space for more updates.