Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Top Bolts at Marine Lab

It has been a long time since I posted on route developing. Well I guess this means I am back.

Jan and I have been climbing at the Marine Lab Wall on nice Friday mornings. The far left side is a bit too high for bouldering but looked interesting. We set up a couple of top ropes and have played on several potential lines. A lot of fun but quite sharp features on the fingers.

This morning I drilled and placed 3 sets of top bolts. Each line is about 18 to 20 feet high. Going left to right, the first follows a corner. Fairly straight forward, probably about 5.8ish.

The second line starts to the right of a large flake of rock, half way up, that looks like a birds beak. Start with underclings that move out to side pulls. Work your way up and over the beak. Maybe 5.10ish.

The third line starts under a overhanging corner. It goes up to a nice layback and then over a shelf. Again some where in the 10's.

Joel had said that they would love to have some top bolts so these longer lines could be worked. It is a bouldering area so I figure that the FA's ought to be highball boulder problems. I certainly have no interest in trying to send them, so all three are open. In fact, the middle one likely could be done with a stiffer direct start.

If you do send them, post to comments who did the FA, when, the name of the problem and the V-grade.

Addendum: Jan and I got out on the TR routes tonight. We had a great time. The first route is definitely a 5.8. Lots of cool handhold with thin feet. Note: the right bolt is slight angled. I try to create a small recess for the shoulders of the bolt so they sit well when I sink them. This one was slightly off. Still solid, no issues!

The second one with the birds beak is great. We started well out left, almost at the bottom of the first route. Great underclings and side pulls. There is a direct start which stays slight right of the beak.

The third is equally as fun. Start on nice side pulls with thumb catches, then into a wide layback. A nice crimp pulls it all together.

Have fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kim Cole: Rest in Piece

Today I am sadden by the news of Kim Coles death.

Kim had been a climbing partner of mine for years. We sent many days together developing Manuel's during the summer and endless nights training at Wallnuts. Many of my posts are based on the times Kim and myself were climbing together. She was always a blast to have around and her smile was infectious.

Kim was a dedicated teacher who spoke highly of her experience in school. I am sure her students adored her. I am sure there are hundreds of very sad children who are going to miss there favorite teacher.

My last time climbing outside was three years ago..with Kim. I explained to her how I was getting tired of always developing routes and that maybe I needed a break. That break led to a 4 year hiatus from climbing. It also was the last time I saw Kim. Climbing was our common link.

Earlier this year, I found out that Kim was ill and that she had a poor prognosis. Our community has lost a bright light and a great friend.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Climbing and Falling

Image result for angelIt is with very sad news that our climbing community has lost one of our own doing what she loved.
On Friday Aug 21, Jessica McErlean died while climbing at Flatrock. I know very little of the accident and I didn't know Jessica.

This is what I do know. Climbing is more than just a sport, it is a way of being. There are few things that are as exhilarating and humbling at the same time. Climbing forces you to know yourself and look at yourself realistically. Our climbing partners see us at our best and our worst. A true bond is forged as we trust one another with our lives. Everyone who climbs knows what it is like to be on the sharp end of the rope and this is a common bond we all share.

My thought go out to Jess and her family as no one can be prepared for such devastating news. Jess's climbing partners have just witnessed something unspeakable. Be gentle with them. I have witnessed many horrible sights and situations. I have the training, experience and maturity to deal with these situations. No one could have been prepared for what they experienced.

To the rock climbing community in general, trying to make sense of this is difficult. Bad things happen to good people. Planes crash, cancer kills and the innocent get murdered. There is no reason, nothing makes sense. Jessica had a horrible accident and we may never know what the cause of it was. The details may help avoid future accidents but right now, they are secondary. Our community is hurting and the closer you were to Jess, the harder it is.

From the bottom of my heart, my sincerest condolences to Jessica's parents and family, to Jessica's climbing partners (her other family) and to all of those of you who have been touched by this accident.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Blockbuster 5.11b

Today I left Louis and David at the Hangover.  I showed them a couple of top anchors I placed and let them at it.  After I left, they bolted a new line to the right of Distorted Perception.  Louis got the FA on this one.  While he was prepping the route a few blocks of rock popped out on him.  He called it Blockbuster and it goes at 5.11b.

Dyslexia 5.7

I was out climbing today with Louis Loader, David Bruneau, Kim and myself.  I would like to say that I was crushing 5.12 like the boys but nope.  Louis and David asked if they could come out and do some bolting.  The last time out, Kim and I placed a set of top anchors below Life or Limb.  I showed the guys how to use the drill and the basics of bolting.  
We tied off the rope with a figure 8 at the mid-point.  I rapped on one side while David and Louis came down the other side.  We shared the drilling and bolting.  At one point, I thought the drill bit must have worn out.  David had half the hole drilled and he just couldn't get any deeper. We checked the bit, it was fine.  The battery was fresh.  For a couple of minutes we just couldn't figure it out.  Then David says "maybe I have the drill turned on in reverse!".  The drill has two settings, forward and reverse, for screwing in and taking out screws.  David managed to drill most of the hole with the drill in reverse.  We had a bit of a laugh about that.
Once we finished bolting the line, Louis and David did 'rock, paper, scissors' for the FA.  The line starts to the right of Obsession under a horn-like feature about 15 feet off the ground.  The are a series of nice jugs/rales running diagonally up to the left.  Above the horn, follow a series of under clings to the left arrete and follow another series of jugs for about 15 feet.  The route then head back right to the top bolts. The route is about 75 feet with eight bolts and top anchors.  
David got the FA (sorry Louis).  He wanted the name to reflect his bolting experience, especially the one he drilled in reverse.  I suggested to keep the theme of the wall (Obsession and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and came up with Dyslexia.  The decision was suominanu.  The route is called Dyslexia and it goes at 5.7.
The pic is David sending Dyslexia.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Historic Climbing Pics of Newfoundland

I had an interesting comment on one of my postings.  I basically was asking if I could get access to old climbing photos from the Avalon.  If you have any old photos that may fit the bill, leave a comment or email it to kindasleepy@rockclimbing.com.
When I was climbing in the Gunks, I saw some artifacts still being used.  Even photos like this with an explanation would be cool.
PS  This is a two piton anchor with multiple slings.  This is at the top of the first pitch of a two pitch climb (I think it is the Horseman).

Monday, August 06, 2012

Climbing Partner Needed

I am off this week and I was hoping to bolt some routes.  I haven't been able to find anyone to help me out.  I was hoping to get out tomorrow.  Place a comment and contact info if you are interested.  You can also send me an email or call if you have my info but I don't post it on this blog.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Joe and the Triplex

Last year, Flat Rock suffered a lot of washout.  Candy is a route that I bolted a good number of years ago and last summer, I had to put in 2 more bolts to make the start safe.  I don't spend a lot of time at Flat Rock so I have never gotten back to replace the bolts.
"Replace the BOLTS!!" you might be saying.  Well yes, replace the bolts I put in last summer.  The bolts I put in were a special expansion bolt called Triplex which are produced by Fixe.  They are a removable bolt that fits the same hole as a glue-in.  They are fine as a long term bolt but any expansion bolt on a sea cliff is not a great idea.  The longer they are in the more they corrode.  A couple of years would be fine but not a couple of decades.
Joe is a climber who has recently moved back from Ottawa and has taken up route developing.  He recently pulled out my Triplex and replaced them with glue-ins.  He has saved me that bit of work.  The really nice thing about the Triplex is that they are great for developing.  You can pop in a couple as a top anchor to check out a line.  If the line is nice, replace them with glue-ins.  If it sucks, pull the bolts and try somewhere else.  Joe has mentioned to me that likes the Triplex and plans on using them while he checks out a new area.  It is good to have another developer around.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life or Limb 5.6

It has been a long time in coming.  3 years ago I began developing the Upper Face.  I placed a fixed line to access the top.  I used that line to set Obsession and Jug-or-Not.  I have been up and down that line a dozen times and always thought it would be a fun easy route.  Today I finally got back to it.

The rope was too old to trust so it decided to bolt it on lead using the fixed line as a back-up.  Kim belayed me as I put in 6 bolts covering about 80 feet of terrain.  Most of it is low grade 5.3ish stuff but there is one short face that requires a bit of actual climbing.

We took down the old fixed line, and placed a new set of top bolts for another route between Obsession and Life or Limb.  You will be able to link route to Life and Limb for a 2 pitch climb.

I the midst of all the rope work Kim and I were doing today, twice I pulled her off her feet.  The second time was much more spectacular because she was belaying above and to the right of the line I was working.  When I weighted the rope, I pulled her off her feet and she began to swing into space.  She pendulum'ed about 20 feet spinning the whole time.  It is a strange thing to see your belay partner fall from above.  Kudos to Kim, her brake hand never left the rope despite hitting her leg off the wall.  Her leg was cut and she bled a bit (looked cool!).  Life or limb, Kim kept me safe.

The climb starts at the highest point of the scree slope directly above German Face.  There is a small ledge with a birch tree were you can belay.  The first bolt is out to the left and the bolt spacing is fairly wide as I was placing these on lead.  Note the black line denotes how to get to the base and the red dots are approximate bolt placements.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Back

Just got back from vacation.  I have been away for 3 weeks.  I know, the blog has been kinda dead.

I am very glad to report that Dave Stack has been to the Hangover and has sent the 2 problems I have bolted.  There are two lines off one set of top bolts.  The one on the left has been named "Thuggy and Juggy" at rated 5.10a.  The second line is to the left and is meant to stay on the face.  The bolts were placed to keep climber from going out onto the arete.  Dave has called it "That's Not Right" and is suggesting a grade of 5.12a.

There is another route on this face called Distorted Perception at about 5.8 but the grade needs to be confirmed.  It is just around the corner (to the right) of That's Not Right.  There are 2 sets of rap anchors placed but I have no intention of bolting the lines.  One is to the left of Thuggy and Juggy.  It would definitely go beyond a 5.12.  The other set is to the right of Distorted Perception above a slight overhang.  I have no idea what it would go at but I got very frustrated trying to get off the ground.  There is easy access to the top by scrambling up a ramp to the right of the face.  There are a set of top anchors at the base of the cliff above Hangover to allow easy rap access to the top bolts.

My attempts at developing Hangover have left me a bit demoralized.  It is hard work developing overhanging routes and then not being able to send them in a reasonable time is like slapping yourself in the face.  It just seems stupid!

I will get back to developing now but I think I will be staying at grades under 5.10.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hangover goes open.

I little bad news for me, possibly some good news for you.  Jan, Walter and myself were out climbing on Saturday.  We went to Noobie Squeeze area and once again I found myself drawn to the Hangover.  The Hangover is the small overhanging face to the right of Noobie Squeeze.  There is one route that sent called Distorted Perception at about 5.8.  I bolted two other routes with a common top anchor.  I was hoping to send the easier of the two (on left) on Saturday but no way.  I figure it is probably a 5.10-.  The route on the right is harder, more like a hard 5.10, possibly 5.11a.
The video shows Kaleb and Terry playing around on them before I had them bolted.  Trust me Terry, it is no 5.7!  Both of these routes are officially open!  If you climb them, you name them and you claim the FA.  Leave me a comment and some details about who was with you and what you think of the climb.

I repeat...The Hangover Face has two projects that are OPEN.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baby Face: Not what I thought.

I went out to Baby Face yesterday to do some bolting.  Last year about this time, I put up Boston Mantle (5.9) while Bob started bolting another route.  We never got back to finish it.  Bob had placed to top anchors and one bolt.  I figure I would put in another couple of bolts and 'voila' another route.
Well, I put in though couple of bolts after hangdogging for awhile.  It was not a gimme.  If fact, it was kinda frustrating.  There is nothing special about it.  It will probably go at 5.9ish as well.  Since it gave me more grief than I bargained, I am going to call it Colic.
After that, I placed a couple of safety bolts to get access the top of 2 other routes.  If figured they would be quite easy and fit with the theme 'Baby Face'.  They both have short sections that significantly harder than the rest.  The only section that was consistently easy cut across the entire face.  Not good for a beginner.  Probably only put 4 routes on this section.
NOTE:  There are a couple of large loose blocks that I could not take down by hand.  One is in Colic.  Two others are on the left side of the face.  Climb with caution.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Partner for Tomorrow

I am going out to Baby Face to bolt some routes tomorrow.  I have no climbing partner confimred.  If someone is curious, I will be out bolting between 0930 and 1230.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Season 2012

Hi Everyone.

I am BACK!  We have already had better weather than the entire summer last year and I hope it keeps going.  I managed to get outside in April!  I don't think I have ever done that.

I am going bolting on Wednesday and I am really looking forward to it.  I have a new drill, a 36volt Hilti. It is the big brother of the drill I have been using for the last 10 years.  I can't wait to use it.

There are many different routes I want to put up.  There are a couple on the Upper Face that I have my eye on.  I also want to finish bolting Baby Face.  That will be a great intro spot.

I will begin posting about my summer progress, lets hope I am active.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking

The American Safe Climbing Association has some good information about bolting and retro-bolting. I copied/pasted an article off their site. It has to do with the issue of using expansion bolts on sea cliffs and dis-similar metals. Please visit their site for more good information on how to inspect bolts for safety. There are a good number around I would not trust.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
New Warnings about Sea Cliff Bolts
John Byrnes, Skip Harper and Mike Shelton

"My last month was spent climbing in Thailand on some very questionable bolts... About a week ago while I was waiting for a guided party to finish a second pitch on Thaiwand wall, a leader broke a bolt by pulling on the quickdraw. This caused him to fall and break the next bolt. He was lowered off with a badly injured leg. Both bolts fractured in the shaft at the hanger."

"Just returned last night from Cayman Brac and I wanted to drop you a quick line. Really great trip but... when Gene weighted the second bolt on 'Throwin' The Hula Girl' it broke! He came down on his butt and foot and suffered contusions, luckily missing his spine. It could have been ugly. The bolt was stainless steel..."

"Andy... reached down, grabbed the draw and said "Take". As he lowered his weight (the hanger broke). He landed on his back on some big boulders (breaking ribs and puncturing a lung). I tried to help him as my girlfriend ran for help, but he kept insisting that I not touch him and he just wanted to try to keep breathing."

Sardina, Thailand, Cayman Brac, Calanques. Warm weather, beaches, exotic food and incredible sea-cliff sport climbing, but all is not well in paradise. With the growth of sea-side climbing around the world there has been an ever increasing number of bolt failures. The marine environment is tough on metals. The constant exposure to salt water promotes a specific powerful corrosion mechanism that is not seen at inland climbing areas. High quality stainless steel bolts and hangers have failed in as little as 18 months when placed near the sea. Most of the time there is no visible indication they are unsafe. They may look fine but not hold body weight, much less a fall. Affected cliffs don't even need to be right over the water. Breaking waves create a fine mist which can be transported inland for miles by the wind.

The stainless steels used today in almost all climbing bolts are susceptible to a failure mechanism called Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking or SCC. Just like it sounds, the chlorine ion, which results from dissolving salt in water, and stress must both be present. A typical multi-piece expansion bolt has the shaft in tension, and the hanger has complex stresses placed on it when it is clamped against the rock as you tighten the nut. This type of bolt placed in a sea cliff is a bomb with a short fuse. Once started, SCC spreads like a disease following the stress lines in the steel, much like grass grows in small cracks in concrete and forces the pieces apart. The cracks get larger over time, and soon the microscopic grains of the metal are no longer in contact.

Although SCC can occur on any part of a bolt exposed to salt water, it usually occurs under the hanger where salt water wicks into the crevice between the hanger and the rock surface. Bolts corroded by SCC typically break flush with the surface of the rock. Hangers typically break at the ninety-degree bend, and nuts can crack just about anywhere. At least one bolt vendor sells stainless steel "clad" bolts and nuts. These have a thin outer cladding of stainless steels urrounding a core of mild steel. This type of bolt seems to be worse then others, since once SCC cracks the cladding,oxidation (rust) finishes the job in short order. If you see a stainless bolt with a rust "beard" on the rock under it, beware!


A few years ago the Thailand locals started rebolting with one-piece glue-in bolts made of stainless steel for the simple reason that they knew regular expansion bolts weren't working. These should be an major improvement since they don't have the high levels of stress that expansion bolts have. However, they are not impervious to SCC.

Steel gains much of its strength from "work hardening" which is residual stress created by the manufacturing process, and glue-in bolts have these stresses designed into them. No one knows how long stainless steel glue-ins will last.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Big Concerns About Bolting

I recently heard of a couple things that have made me concerned about people bolting rock faces around St. John's. Terry told me that the Outfitters had brought in some bolts. I went down to have a look at what they have.

I began asking some questions of the sales person. They obviously didn't know much about bolting for rock climbing. He went on to tell me that they have actually been selling a fair number of these bolts. They have also sold just the hangers. So why am I concerned?

In that discussion, the people he had sold the bolts to were thinking of placing them in Flat Rock. The guys he sold the hangers to said he had some other bolts at home. I asked what kind of bolts the guys had at home...he didn't know. I mentioned that if the metals were different that it could accelerate corrosion under the hanger. He didn't realize that nor seemed to care!!!

If you are planning to bolt something outside, PLEASE do your homework! Expansion bolts should not be used down at Flat Rock. There is a lot of water spray during the winter and multiple freeze-thaw cycles which weaken the bolt and the rock around it. The salt water mixed with dis-similar metal accelerates corrosion under the hanger. It is difficult to see this. Flat Rock should be bolted with Glue-in bolts. The bolt is bonded to the rock. No water can get in. The bolt is all one piece so there is no corrosion.

I use expansion bolts in Manuels because it is inland away from the salt water and spray. I have put expansion bolts on the bottom of Candy. These are removable bolts!!! They are temporary. I am going to pull them and put it Glue-in bolts.

If you are buying bolts and don't know the basics, you should not be putting them in. There are many thing that can go wrong placing bolts. It is fantastic to have enthusiastic climbers but it takes a lot of consideration to safely bolts routes.

When I learned to bolt, I read everything I could on the topic. I went to an 'out of the way' rock face and placed a bunch of practice bolts. Then my first season I used Jay and Leo as mentors to make sure I knew what I was doing. Then the next season I began bolting by myself.

Phil had mentioned to me about possibly teaching a 'bolting clinic' with the new climbing club. I would certainly be willing to do that, I just want to keep our climbing community safe.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Manuels Trail Clean-up

Phil has informed me that the Climbing Club has organized a trail clean-up for April 14, 2012. I am very glad that they have chosen to do this out in Manuels. They are going to thin out the over grown area's, remove deadfalls and improve the newer trails to areas you may not have seen yet. I hope to be there but at this point I can't be sure.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Endurance: Week 1

Gym workout:

Solid warm-up.

Attempt project.

400 feet of vertical climbing.

Home Work-out:

Warmup- 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups and 5 pull-ups. 3 sets in rapid succession.

Jugs: 5 pull-ups x 3 sets.
30 second deadhang on jugs.
3 finger pocket: 3 pull-ups x 3 sets
15 second deadhang x 2 sets
2 finger pockets: 2 pull-ups x 3 sets
10 second deadhand x 3 sets.

10 second L-hang (bentarm hangswith legs up) x 3

Hanging Intervals-
3 finger pocket: 15 seconds on then 15 seconds off x 8 sets
2 minute rest
Slopers- 15 seconds on then 15 seconds off x 8 sets
2 minute rest
Jugs- 15 seconds on then 15 seconds off x 8 sets.

Cool down

Friday, March 16, 2012


Well it is about that time of the year. Just a few short months until climbing season. This is when I figure I should get in shape.

Leo runs a fantastic adult training group through the gym on Sunday nights. I have taken part every year accept this year. Maybe I am lazy or the planets just didn't line up. I have had 2 major issues with the training schedule in the past. First it is geared toward a climbing competition in April (Rockfall...watch Wallnuts website for it). I am not really into climbing in competitions (too old and I just don't care how I climb compared to others). Also, the sessions is aim to peak in April. My climbing season doesn't start until May or June. Hell, I am already back to being in shitty shape by then.

My second issue is that I just don't have time. Most training schedules are aimed at the young. They haves hours to spend doing laps at the gym. They can take a 20 to 30 minute rest between exercises. I am lucky if I can find 60 minutes to workout.

So here is the deal...if you are foolish enough to read my blog about training, I will outline a training schedule. This is geared towards people like my training partners. We only get to the gym once or twice per week and we have only limited gear at home. I figure a short workout at home is better than a kick in the ass.

My intension is to blog the basics of the workouts for the week. I am going to follow the good words of Eric Horst and Leo van Ulden. We will go through 3 macrocycles: endurance, power and power-endurance. Aside from this, you are responsible for getting 3 aerobic sessions per week and 2 antagonist sessions per week. The aerobic session should be at 30 minutes, what ever the exercise. Antagonist exercises should be chest, shoulders and tricepts. Again a 30 minute workout to hit all three muscle groups would be good. I will spell out the climbing workouts only. This is primarily for my climbing partners but you can follow if you want.

I will outline one gym workout and one home workout each week. You have to make sure you are well warmed up before starting the session. I will assume that you have at home a hangboard and several light dumbbells. Ideally you should be training 4 times per week. Minimum would be two times per week. We will do 3 weeks endurance, 3 weeks power and 3 weeks power endurance. This will bring us to mid May and hopefully climbing season. Please watch for weekly workouts.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Viagra Classic Re-scheduled

The classic didn't go ahead. I couldn't pull it together on short notice. Now I am aiming for March. Just in time to train for summer.

Any route setters interested in getting on this competition should leave a comment on how I can contact them.

Kaleb, Dave and Ben have already thrown their hats in.

Next setting date- February 8- 8pm my garage.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Viagra Classic; The routes of all evil.

I finally figured out a time to have the Classic: Next Friday! That would be Friday Feb 3, 2012. It will be a route setter competition so come on out and vote for your favourite routes.

Time: 7:00pm
Location: 36 Cheyne Drive
East end St. John's

Please bring a crash pad if you have one.

Each route setter is going to get a specific pattern of tape. They will each put up a route in the V0-V1, v2-v3, and a V4+ range. We get to vote on them. Now they can put up as many bloody routes as they want but they need to choose the 3 they want to compete with.

I figure we put some money in a pot that goes to the winner.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year- 2012

2011 has been a year I think most of us would rather forget. We had a bad spring followed by the worst summer in many Newfoundlanders memory. I has a very short season. Not only that but Main Face suffered a lot of erosion damage.
There were also some good things that happened. Here are my top 5 good and bad things to happen in my climbing life this year.

5 Bad Things About This Climbing Season

5- Upper Face Access Climb. I have had a fixed line on the right side of the Upper Face since spring of 2010. I had every intention of bolting a nice long easy sport route up that line to provide easy access to the top. With the season so short and so many other things on my plate, I just never got to it. Definitely in 2012.

4- Bolt on Iron Hand. Terry is like a Pitbull with a bone. His unending whining about how he can't climb Iron Hand because the first bolt is so far off the deck now. He reminds me of a child who needs his neck throttled because he will not stop saying "Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!... .... ... ... ". You get the point. Well #%$&@ you Terry, I will NEVER put in that bolt!

3- Stolen Bolt off Lady and the Ramp. I was blown away to find that some one had taken bolt hangers off 3 bolts and a set of belay hangers as well. Sure Lady and the Ramp is only easy, but it allows safe access to the top of Noobie Squeeze. That one just pissed me off.

2- Bad Spring Weather. The last time Newfoundland suffered a spring/summer like 2011 was back in the mid 1970's. I got out 2 times before August and a handful of times in the fall. Brutal.

1- Flat Rock Erosion. This is the most concerning thing to me. I don't climb there a lot but it is the Premier area in Newfoundland. I would say in a few years, the access ramp is going to washed out all together. The only access will be to rap in, climb out. I believe that will significantly limit travel to those areas.

5 Best Things of the 2011 Climbing Season

5- DFO Climbing Area. I didn't know what had become of Justin after the 2009 climbing season. He had done some excellent route developing and seemed really eager. Well, he kept himself busy. He opened an area he had been working on by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It is great to see other people developing here in Newfoundland.

4- Climbing Club. Phil and colleagues have taken the bull by the horns and begun establishing a regional climbing club. They are taking a well organized approach. There is talk about mission statements, annual general meetings and even becoming members of the Alpine Club of Canada.

3- German Face Popularity. I am so amazed by the number of people climbing at German Face. Every weekend there seems to be people out there. I keep getting great feedback from all kinds of people. I guess the area just struck a cord with the community.

2- Noobie Squeeze. The FA of this route was quite awhile ago. It was Kim's first time climbing with Bob and I outdoors (hence the Noobie). It was a trad line with 3 bolts on. The placements were not obvious and all quite thin. I never felt really safe on it. After a few years of developing and seeing other area's outside of NL and how they were bolted, I decided to retro bolt Noobie Squeeze. I am very glad I did. It is an excellent climb and still supplies a thrill but much safer now. Phil had commented that it is probably the best climb at the grade (5.7) in the area.

1- Hangover. After bolting Noobie Squeeze, I revisited a little over hanging face that was close by. I had not looked at it in about 4 years and wrote it off as too short. I have to say that I got almost a little giggly when I started scoping it out. Sure it is only about 30 feet high, but we have a lot of crags at that height. Then I started seeing features and possible lines. Suddenly I am looking at maybe 8 to 10 lines on a wall that is over hanging anywhere from 10 to 45 degrees. I managed to get 3 lines bolted but only one sent. The other two are waiting for spring. Very challenging to bolt but very fun athletic climbing. I can't wait to see what else will pan out.
I kept referring to face as the little over hanging face near Noobie Squeeze. I was hoping to name it after one of the routes but that is taking too long. So shag it, a play on words, "Hangover" for the over hanging face.

2012 looks to be very promising. There is so much rock left to develop out in Manuel's and so many area's outside of that. I am going to buy a new drill so I will be more efficient, and well, the old one keeps chewing thru batteries. I know of a couple of people who are interested in learning to develop. That is good because I will be old, wrinkled and retired before could touch half the rock around here.

So, here is to a New Year and good riddance of the last. Keep checking back, I have not forgotten about the Viagra Classic.

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Holy Night

Just had to share this. My daughter sings in St Bonne's Chamber Choir and they were asked to sing in the Holiday Festival on Ice with the Canadian Tenors. It was televised on Global but it also made it to YouTube. Peyton is in the second row (middle) with glasses.

Merry Christmas and Enjoy

Monday, December 12, 2011

Viagra Classic Having a Hard Time Getting Up!

I haven't forgotten about the Viagra Classic. I am having some work done on the house and they are using the garage as a workshop. We haven't been able to get the cars in there either. I figure it will have to go ahead in January.

The Sunday Night Training Sessions have started again. It looks like a good crowd is attending. Last night was the first night I dragged my ass off the ground in about a month. I was not ready to jump into training with Leo.

I have joined the Boulder League! What on Gods green earth was I thinking? I am quite vocal in my dislike for bouldering. I would much rather climb routes. I can boulder in the garage anytime so when I am at Wallnuts I like to do routes. So whats up? I need to get strong plain and simple. The best way to do that is bouldering. I just hope I don't drag my team down. We will see.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Inaugural Climbing Club Meeting

Leo has informed me that the first meeting of a newly formed climbing club is at Wallnuts Climbing Center Tuesday November 8, 2011. This club will be organized and maintained by climbers like you and I. It's mission statement is yet to be written but I believe it is to be a group of climbers who are proactively approaching problems concerning access and other liability issues. It is likely going to be a chapter of the Alpine Club of Canada.
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend but I look forward to what will become of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Looks like the end

Well it looks like the end of another season for outdoor climbing. I will not be able to climb outside for the next 4 weekends. That puts me squarely in mid November. I have two routes up I have not sent. I have a fixed line on another route begging for bolts. There is a small face we started to develop but never got back to. Then there is several other faces that people point out to me that they think will be really good.

For next year, I want a new climbing partner. This is a picture of her. I don't intend to climb, just watch.
If I can't find this new climbing partner, I guess Bob and Kim will have to do (I don't watch them climb like I would the new partner!).

Thanks to everyone who watches my blog. I seem to get a steady 20 to 60 visits per day. I will still put up the odd post but not weekly like I do in the summer.

Keep an eye out for the Viagra Classic coming next month.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Viagra Classic III

I have been thinking about having a Viagra Classic in the near future, but with a spin. Instead of having a prize for the strongest boulder, I going to have a prize for the best route setter!
Route setters break their balls (or labia's) trying to put up challenging routes in the gym for all of us. It takes a lot of work to be innovative and they change them up quite frequently. These are the same people asking me when I going to have the next classic because they can't wait to come over and route set. They are nuts!
My proposal is simple. I have 3 main sections; 15-30-45 degree overhangs (see pic), each about 7 feet wide. Each route setter gets a specific pattern tape. They set 3 routes, a V0 to V2, a V3 to V4, and a V5 or over. They can only put one route per section. On the night of the Classic, the climbers score each problem and the overall highest score wins.
Well what do they win? I'm thinking that I charge a small entrance fee per climber as a fund raiser; 50% to the junior climbing team and 50% to the winner of the Classic.
Thoughts and feedback please.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Open Project

I beat myself out today. My plan was to send Distorted Perception and then bolt the two line to the left of DP. John had placed a bolt on the left project last week so I only needed to put in two more bolts. I was able to lever against a tree so it went fairly smooth.
The project on the right was a different story. I had never really climbed it, just the bottom bit. I put in a directional above the meat of the climb so I would go flying into a tree. It was a strenuous climb for me and I had to figure out where to put the bolts. I fell up it several times until I was happy about clipping positions and bolt placements.
Bolting this thing was another story. I had to use aid hooks to keep myself into the wall so I could drill and stuff. I used a lot of energy getting those bloody bolts in. Your pulling yourself in with one hand while pushing yourself out with the drill. Regardless, I got the bolts in.
I figured that I had enough time to send the left project and play on the right. My first time up the right, I got to the move below the bolts but couldn't pull it through. I had to sit back. I lowered off and rested a bit. The next time I couldn't even clip the second bolt. My arms were absolutely dead. Crap!
I have had several people out on this little face and they have climbed this left project on TR. The general consensus is that the route is a 5.10. I can usually flash a 5.10a fairly consistently, I have flashed a 5.11a in the gym but it usually takes some effort. This route has taken me some effort and I think it will probably go at 5.10b but some may contest that.
The right project is definitely harder, 5.10d or maybe a 5.11a. I had intended on leaving the right as a project after sending the left but that didn't happen. I have flagged the left project with red tape so I can get the FA. I can't realistically see myself sending the right before the end of the year. So I open the project to you!
Post a comment to this blog with the time and date of your ascent, what you would rate it and your proposed name for the route.

Distorted Perception 5.9

I sent the route that I had bolted last week. It is kind of a neat series of shelves on an overhanging face. You have to be a little careful of the fall potential. I figured it was about a 5.8. After I sent it, Kim and Bob gave it a go. Both found it challenging enough that it shouldn't be a 5.8, so 5.9it is.
Looking at it from above, it reminded me of one of those impossible optical illusions created by Escher. Distorted Perception seemed to be a fitting name.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Please don't snag my FA.

John Bennett and I were out at Noobie Squeeze today. At little chilly first thing but stellar otherwise. I showed John the lay of the land and then put a couple of new top bolts above a line I liked. We then set up 2 ropes over 2 different lines. We decided to bolt the two lines.
The new line I bolted has several large ledges or steps the overhanging face. It was awkward to keep into the face for drilling and hammering. It took longer than I expected. Unfortunately that didn't leave much time for John to do any bolting. I took all the gear/rope off the line I had bolted and got John started on the other line. He only had enough time to get one bolt in before we had to take off.
I left my line bolted but with no FA. I didn't have any red tape to flag the lowest bolt. I figure the only people who know where the overhanging face read this blog. Please don't climb the right most (only) bolt line. I will post it as soon as I do send it. It is not hard, probably 5.8ish.
Aside for not having enough time, it was a good day. John liked the area and has already has a couple lines he is scoping out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Just a few pics.

I was farting around with some software. I decided to put together a compilation of various rock faces out in Manuels. I went out earlier this summer and took a bunch of picture to scope out other areas. All of these areas have not been looked at. They could be crap or they could be stellar. I won't know until I get to the foot of them.

Monday, September 05, 2011

DFO Climbing Area

I have heard through the grape vine that Justin has been developing a sea cliff behind the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). He has all the details of how to get there, access and grades on rockclimbing.com. I got to hand it to Justin, he finds a line and he goes after it. He has put up some bold lines on some really cool features. He has no problem lowering in over water. The man has nads!
DFO has 10 lines directly over water ranging from 5.9 to 5.11. It requires a 60 meter fixed line to lower into and to ascend out of the area. The feedback I have heard is that it is pretty cool climbing. I hope to check it out sometime but I seem to have a lot on my plate.
I don't tend to push my comfort zone, especially when developing. I am always looking for good approach, easy access to the top and escape from the bottom. I know that limits the rock faces I work on. It is great to know that there is someone out there putting up lines to challenge the heartier climbers.