Holy, Moly – What a week!

So after the ACC Youth Climbing Camp last week, I took two days off to chill out, sleep in and drink coffee – but then heavy rain paid a visit to the Bow Valley for two more long, soggy days.  All I wanted to do was drag Lydia up an 8 pitch sport climb, with an hour and a half approach (and descent) and eat sushi.  Is that too much to ask?  After a week long intense yoga retreat and another week of teaching yoga and doing a workshop in Canmore, Lydia (my wonderful girl) needed no convincing to go climbing for a day, she was, how do you say… jonesing.  But with two weeks off, she wasn’t sure she was up to the task physically, which she always says, but then crushes anyway, because she’s a freaking ninja.  The goal:  to climb Tall Storey, 5.11c in Echo Canyon, it’s a new route, only climbed twice before, but of incredible quality.   We stuck it, Lyds let me lead every pitch and she free’d the whole thing behind me,  so rad for a lady off the couch, but not surprising in the least.  A few photo’s to prove our claim of actually being on the route.

I have some opinions about the climb (most notably about the descent, as it was dangerous), some pictures and some video I will get to sharing later this week, but I don’t have any time tonight.  Tonight, I am destroyed.  Today, I scrubbed and have never worked so hard for a 5.9 in my entire life.

So, where was I, oh yah, in short, we did one more day at Lake Louise, (the Goblin Arete another 5.11c MEGA CLASSIC) and then departed for the best place on earth, Squamish.  Some more pictures of The Goblin Wall and the view from the anchors.

Okay, so now, I’m back in Squamish, just in time to catch the tail end of the Squamish Film Festival, what a party.  Lots of great people here, it’s so nice to have so many world class people come to our tiny town to celebrate the passion we all share for this odd but exhilarating activity.  Climbing.  What a concept.  Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell are both here right now, they’ve been attempting Cobra Crack a little with my man Pee Wee, they say it’s painful, but they say that with a smile, so it’s the good kind of pain, not the bad kind.  The new beta is OUTSTANDING.  Kick-flip, right foot, heel toe hook, latch, scratch, top.  As for me, I’ve been putting in my time SCRUBBING,  yes, scrubbing, not climbing, at all and let me say, scrubbing in Squamish is harder on the motivation (AND THE ELBOWS) than anything else you are likely to do here.  I’ve been getting the beat down on this new route I’m working on,  and while I’m at it,  let me be the first to say, that when it’s complete – YOU WILL ALL WANT TO CLIMB IT.  Yes, even YOU!   It’s going to be a semi-classic.  ha ha ha.  For sure.  Here’s a picture of my man Ben Moon who is in town for a few days and who was so unlucky enough for me to recruit him as a gutter boy.  There’s plenty of dirt that needs to fall before we release this puppy to the world.  But we’re nearly there, and although we (Lydia, Ben and I) have already free climbed it, it’s in no condition to start bragging about it, ha ha ha!  But soon.  Enjoy the pictures,  and latter, enjoy the route.

yes, that’s a rake in my hand.

yes, that’s a broom in Ben’s pack.

some walk on water, others…

only the beginning.

A tasty section of 5.7

Benjamin, all SMILES at the end (or was it the middle?) of a very, very. very hard days worked.

Why bring a camera at all – if you’re not going to take the mandatory, (some say cliche) rope coiling by setting sun shot?  ha ha.  Took me 50 takes to get it all just right.  No seriously, that’s a joke, I was just coiling the rope because it needs to be done,  Ben’s just got fast fingers on the trigger is all.  Okay, that’s it for now,  if you’re still with me here, pat yourself on the back, if you’re not, I don’t blame you, the world is full of amazing things to do.  But I thank you for dropping in,  happy adventures everybody.  It’s a good time to be alive.

  • Matt Tack

    Mate, great pics. Can’t wait to try out your semi-classic when I am in Squamish next year and maybe head over to Canmore to try Tall Storey (so I will need that info on the descent when I come over!). In the meantime keep the pics and musings coming, they keep us inspired!

  • Stray Cat

    Got my passport and no money so mahalo for the pics and for sharing your stoke. Aloha!

  • Martin

    Thanx for sharing Sonnie, its inspiring!

    Now I have to check the rockies out….but Im only starting to explore Squamish! So much to do!!

  • Sonnie, thanks much for this fine post. It stands out for its embrace of all climbing, not just 14c climbing. That’s an inspirational position to take, and true to the underlying reasons we all climb. My friends and I have been working on a new area in Montana, and we are trying to create something for nearly everyone who climbs. So far we’ve got everything from 5.7 to 5.12b. And we are as excited about some of our 5.8s as we are our 5.11s. Your excitement for a new 5.9 at Squamish mirrors our own thrill at seeing any new route in Mill Creek, Montana. Well said!