Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bob on Shallow Grave 5.8

Bob leading Shallow Grave (5.8) last Sunday.  It is calling for rain on the weekend but hopefully that will change.  I want to get out to Manuel's again.  I have a route I want to bolt (Sick Like Dog).

Pretty Thin

We had a bit of a crew out this morning: Bob, Tak, Marcie, Alex, Hakase and myself. We went to to Justin's Face and set up 4 TR's. I found the bolts over the 'dyno' route were quite a bit to the right. I wasn't comfortable TRing it for fear of a pendulum swing. I don't know if those were the intended bolts for the top of that route.
The next route had really thin feet off the ground with a really cool lay back up to crimps. The crux was just getting off the ground. Marcie and Alex really liked it and spent a fair bit of time trying to work thru the sequence.
The 3rd one followed a thin crack line up to a shallow corner with a good foot ledge. The crux was moving off this ledge up onto some thin crimps with poor feet. It then goes a bit over hanging with some nice holds to keep it all together.
The 4th is not an established route, but it should be/will be. At the start of the 3rd route, a second crack leans off to the right. It provides good hands but with very thin feet. You can then gain the ledge which is actually the extreme left of the access switch-back. From here either a hand jam or an under cling lead to a sidepull high up on the prow. Reposition the feet to get a lovely pinch/jug and then the top. We used the right most bolt and two pieces of gear to create the anchor.
All the routes were good, but my fingertips are sore. You need good edging shoes as many of the foot holds are small.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Justin at International Wall

Justin had just shown us around International Wall when I took this picture.
Justin is a home grown Newfoundlander, a townie at that.  He had dabbled in climbing prior to him and his girlfriend moving out to Calgary.  While in Calgary he took to climbing seriously.  In Alberta, Justin was redpointing mid 5.11 and was starting to knock on the door of 5.12.  He also began to look into developing.  Life changed and Justin and the better half moved back to Newfoundland.  That's when the sandbag hit Justin.  Drop the grades by a couple, but he is still a solid 5.11 climber.  
Justin brings back a great set of skills.  He is a developer with his own gear (that makes 3 now),  he has a serious enthusiasm for putting up routes (he has put up at least 12-15 routes in the last year), has a great back ground of climbing in the mountains on various terrain and to boot, he is a good shit.

Tuesday June 30

The weather looks good for tomorrow morning. Bob and I were talking about going out to Justin's Face to check out his new lines. Sounds like Matt and Trevor were out on Sat and really enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Justin Sends Cremation 5.11?

We went out to Cemetery Face and I found out that Justin had not sent one of the routes, Cremation.  The crux is at the top with an over hanging bulge.  I had TR'd it a few times in the past and was never able to get it.  Justin managed to latch a couple of key holds for the send.  He is not quite sure of the grade but it is likely lower end 5.11 (a or b).  Justin confirms that the grades are stiff when compared to the west (1/2 number grade or so).

Finally met Justin

I managed to get out climbing this evening.  I called Justin and he was up for showing me the work he has been doing by International Wall.  He is working on a face that is adjacent to the International Wall it is about as high and as long.  He has about 4 or 5 routes along this wall in the mid 5.10 range.  It looks pretty fun but we never jumped on.

The routes he has bolted by International Face should be checked out.  There is a very prominent roof/nose like feature that looks like a lot of fun, but also tough, probably an 5.11.  

Justin definitely has the right attitude for developing and I can't wait to start working with him out in Manuels.  

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weather is looking bad.

The weather is looking pretty sh!tty for the weekend.  Calling for showers today thru sunday.  If it turns out to be that bad, maybe we could do a little route setting in the garage Sunday night?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Apologies and Filming

Tak posted a comment on my last entry.  The guy who never climbed before is Hakase.  I guess he really enjoyed because he is looking to go again...cool.  As well, my apologies to Erlanga, I brutalized his name is the last post.  I guess I should try to get that stuff straight.

Trevor also left a comment.  Trevor is a good climber with a bit of a filming issue.  He has been shooting climbing videos for a couple of years.  Check out a sample of his films here

Breach is a film Trevor is producing on Newfoundland Climbing.  He is looking at the various aspects of our climbing culture, bouldering, sport climbing etc.  It will be a full feature length film.  A pretty awesome undertaking.  And once you view his clips you will agree that he does a damn good job.  

Trevor if you want to film some of this development, come on out.  I usually will post when I know I will be going out next and I usually call around the night before.  Drop me an email.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

German Wall

I have been getting a lot of great feedback about the routes on the German Wall (new small face in Manuels).  This past weekend we had a few people who had climbed outside only a few times.  One fella had never climbed before at all, indoors or out.  He climbed German Engineered twice and went up a new project once.  Impressive for his first time.  

Marcie had been climbing for about a year now.  I know that she has been down to Flat Rock a number of times. She loved climbing Tauch Auch.  She hasn't done any lead climbing course so here she was doing a mock lead.  She is on top rope with the light colored rope and is mocking the lead with the green one.

The new project is likely going to be somewhere between a 5.6 and a 5.8.  I put in the top bolts on Saturday.  I received a text from Jan the night before saying he couldn't make it because he was "sick like dog".  I could almost picture him saying it with his thick German accent.  So when I get that route bolted, it will be Sick Like Dog.

My main goal is to put up nice long moderates and it looks like the German Wall is panning out really well.  There is room for a few more routes.  The upper faces are going to be amazing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


These 3 pictures are of the same face on the Upper Area that I checked out on Saturday.  I would say that the roof is about 100 to 120 feet off the deck and 4 to 6 feet deep.  The picture taken at a distance is only capturing about a third of the entire face.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh My God!!!

Had a full crew out at Manuels today.  Kim, Bob and myself met up with Tak., Marcie, Alex, Harlanga (sp?) and another fella.  I can't remember his name but it was his first time climbing EVER!  A good time was had by all.  Jan could not make it because he was sick.  
I got a lot of good feedback about the routes and the bolt placements.  Everyone felt very safe.
Tak, Harlanga and Kim led Tauch Auch.
Big cudo's to Kim because it was her first lead of the season, the longest lead she has ever done and the hardest lead she has ever done.   I was off scouting and when I came back, she was 2 clips from the top.  I was totally blown away!!!
Now the OMG part.  I was totally blown away by the amount of climbable terrain above this small face.  I followed the rock vein up the next faces and there are a lot of vertical faces and slabby faces.  It is like the length of Main Face but all of it about 100 to 150 feet high.  I can't wait to get working on this stuff.
This first picture is looking south and the second is looking north at the bottom of the upper faces.  Justin...you had better buy some more bolts!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Climbing Sat June 20

Looks like a beautiful weekend.  I will be out bright and early.  I plan will be more development out at Manuels.

Topo Cemetery Face

This is an appended topo of Cemetery Face with Justin's new routes.  The old ones are in black.
1  Delayed Gratification  5.10a
2  Grateful Dead  5.10b
3  Shallow Grave  5.8
4  Shrouded  5.7 (trad)

Justins (in blue from left to right) are
1  Acron  5.8
2  gR.I.P.ed  5.9+
3  Purgatory 5.10d
4  Cremation 5.11

The black double ended arrow signifies the access ramp which you scramble up to get to the top.  To the left of that there are 4 top bolts for TRing.  Those routes are just TR 1-4  which are ungraded but probably 5.10 and over.  They would have been great boulder problems except the landing.
Please come out and have a try on them.  Despite it being short, Cemetery face is fun climbing, awesome access and receives the evening sun.  I would love to get some feedback.

Access: Drive west
 on Portugal Cove Road past Windsor Lake. Enter Portugal Cove and pass Indian Meal Line and Bauline Line roads. Look for Anglican Cemetery Road on the right. There is a pink house on the corner.
Follow this road up a steep hill and stay left at the fork in the road. The road turns to dirt by the last house. Follow the dirt road for 100 – 150 meters. There is a pull out on the left side of the road directly across from the face.
There is a path directly across from the pull out that goes to the base.
(Blue=pullout; Green=Face; Yellow=Slab)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nice Job Justin

Had a bumper 'crew' this am, but no pictures.  8 of us went up to Cemetery Face at 6am.  Tak brought along 3 friends (Alex, Andrew and Marcy ...I think).  They were all new to the face and I think they all enjoyed it.  Aside from them, there was also Jan, Kelly, Bob and myself.  
I warmed up on the TR area (nice and crimpy) and then went over to the face.  I decided to give one of Justin's routes a burn.  I followed the easier of two that met at the top.  It was well bolted with great clipping stances and safe spacing.  
When I came down, I began sizing up the other routes that I have not tried.  I decided to give the far left route a go.  I was kinda concerned because the bolts looked fairly spaced out for a short route.  The first one was certainly an ankle buster if you missed the clip.  I clipped the first one by staying right till I could reach the bolt and then down-climbed and went to where it looked like the route should start.
It started on a nice layback with sparse feet until you stem out right.  Soon you are met by a nice jug for clipping the second bolt.  It did not feel too spaced, just right.  I found the rest of the climb similar, great clipping holds, nice spacing and good flow.  A really nice climb.  Jan and Tak were quick to follow on lead and both really enjoyed it.
So...there are now 7 sport routes, one trad and 4 TR routes at Cemetery Face.  The sport routes are fun and safe and I can't take all the credit.  Nice job Justin.  Now if only I had the route names and grades......

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tach Auch 5.9

Well, only Jan and I got out today, but we had a great morning.  We bolted a new route on the first set of anchors we had put in (middle of the face).  All of us had top roped a few times and it has a nice natural flow to it.  It is a little stiffer on the upper third as it is more vertical with fewer features.
One of my batteries is f@cked up.  It only holds enough juice for about 2 holes.  I can drill 10 with the other one.  Jan and I did the simu-rap bolting and placed 13 bolts over the route (80+ feet).  It took a little bit to figure out good bolt placements because of a couple of ledges but the falls are pretty clean.  Jan sent it first (his first FA of the season) and then I gave it a burn.  We both thought it was either going to be a hard 5.9 or an easy 5.10a.  Keeping with Flat Rock tradition we called it a solid 5.9.  Jan was humming-and-hawing over what to call it.  We thought it would be kinda cool to keep a German theme going.  He called it Tach Auch which is a German greeting when you run into someone unexpectedly, like 'hey, how ya doing'.
Looks like we will be going to Cemetery Face on Tuesday morning.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Change of Plan

I am meeting Kim at Tim Horton's on Majors Path at 5:45 am.  Then we are picking up Bob and Jan to go out to Manuels and hopefully put up a couple more routes.

Climbing Sunday

Looks like the next time I will be out is Sunday afternoon.  I will see who I can wrangle up to go out to manuals (bring your fly dope!).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spankies Overview

A bit of a topo of Spankies

1  Toil and Trouble  5.11a
2  Taming the shrew.  5.10b
3  Much ado about nothing.  5.9PG
4  Twelth Night 5.10a
5  Cuckold 5.10a
6  Even tide  5.7

New Routes at Cemetery Face

This is an older route map for Cemetery Face.  All the route information is correct but the project was sent and is named Grateful Dead (mid 5.10).  
There are 4 new routes.  3 routes between Grateful Dead and Shallow Grave.  Two of them share a top anchor.  One is easier at about 5.8 or 5.9.  The other was pretty stiff.  Jan or I could not send it with out going off route.  Unless we are missing something, it goes at a stiff 5.10 or easy 5.11.  The 3rd goes straight up to a slight bulge at the top.  I had worked the route on top rope prior to being bolted.  It likely is going fairly stiff as well.  I won't try to guess a grade.   The 4th line is at the left of Delayed Gratification and it follows an arrett.  No idea of the grade.  
A fair bit left of the main face,  Jan and I placed 4 sets of top bolts.  This short face was too short to bolt but the landing was too poor to boulder it so we put in TR bolts.  There might be room for one or two other things but I think this face is played out.  

Friday, June 05, 2009

Busy Weekend

Unfortunately, I have a busy weekend.  Between working and other commitments, I will see any climbing (outdoors anyway!).  

I have been trying to find an old photo of Cemetery Face so I could publish the new routes.  I will have to take a new one.  Regardless,  there are 8 bolted routes and Jan and I placed some top bolts on an adjacent short wall for TRing.  It is only about 12 feet high but all crimpy.

I have heard back from Jan who was speaking to Justin, the fella who put up the other routes.  He also posted a reply to my last entry.  He sounds like a pretty keen guy who itching to put up some routes.  No harm was meant.  Justin...if you read this, could you let me know the names and grades of the new routes?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mixed Blessings

Jan and I went climbing this morning at Cemetery Face.  I was looking forward to bolting a route that Jan and I were working on last fall.  I already had in the top anchors.  When we arrived at the base, there were bolts already on the route with my anchor as the top out.  Then we saw that there were another 3 routes that had been bolted as well.  
We climbed a Grateful Dead and got a better looks at the bolts.  I actually was able to clip the top bolts of a neighboring line.  The bolts were in good rock, a couple were a little proud but all seemed OK.  A couple of placements were kinda suspect.  We top roped 2 of the lines that were put up.  They flowed well.  There were good clipping stances.  They did a good job
Now my biased thoughts! 
 Someone took my project.  Someone bolted the lines I have been looking at for some time.  This guy has no respect for the first ascensionist or the local ethic.
Now optimistic thoughts.
  There is another developer in town and he is putting up a lot of routes.  He is putting up routes well below his redpoint level, in the moderate range.  He seems to know what he is doing.  He may just see St. John's rock faces as a sea of potential routes not realizing that he may be stepping on toes.  I don't know what to think.
What I do know. 
A guy has recently moved here from Calgary.  Jan has spoken with him a number of months ago.  He said that he had been working on a face out in Bauline.  He said that there were already some bolts there and that he was finishing them up.  Bob and I had started developing there as our first efforts back in 2004 and 2005.  We abandoned it thinking it was too much of a pain in the ass.  I was talking to Jay last week and he was telling me that someone was putting all kinds of bolts down in the International Area.  This is apparently the same guy.
As a developer, especially if you are new to an area, you seek out people to find out what the local ethics are like and try to stick to them.  If you are developing a new area, the ethic is yours to establish.  If you propose to add bolts to a route or change a route, you should attempt to ask permission from the first ascensionist.  It is only courtesy but it helps keep the piece. 
We only have a small community and having a guy who loves to put in bolts could be a huge asset.  I have to assume that he has the best of intentions and by no means is trying to piss anyone off.  I would like to meet him.  I bet we would have a lot in common.  I am not trying to be an A-hole, just venting over my lost project.

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Goal!

I have a new goal,  and it is bolting.  I received my order from MEC the other day.  In it I had 40 bolts.  Jay asked me if I would like to buy some other stuff before he left.  Well, there was another 40 bolts.  This is not to mention the 20 ring bolts he gave me and the 30 odd ring bolts I already have.  The goal...to place them ALL!!!!

Tuesday Mornings

It looks like the first tuesday morning is finally here.  The weather looks good and I should be looking to leave at about 5am.  It with either be Main Face or Cemetry Face.