Friday, September 18, 2009

Manuels Upper Faces

I made this video when I first came upon the Upper Faces at Manuels. They range from 70 to 200 feet and continue around both ends from what can be seen here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jan on Tach Auch

One of my first attempts at posting a video in a blog. Unfortunately at this point I have only been able to upload to YouTube and then make a link. (Help!!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Sh!tty Topic

Kim has stopped belaying me. I can't trust her anymore. Ever since I posted about her lack of fecal production, she has a new evil look in her eye. She says that she will get me back in some way, I just want to avoid any rapid descents. But in her defense, she did remind me of something else. It is one of the possible problems associated with the defecation habit.
One day not long ago, we were out climbing when the urge came to Bob. He dutifully collected his arse wipe and went for a trip in the woods. During his preparation he forgot one important thing. While in the midst of his squat with nature, her noticed something unusual hanging between his legs. The problem was that he almost shit on it, or should I say in it. Bob forgot to take off his chalk bag and he nearly filled it with an innovative new chalk. So remember to take off your harness and chalk bag.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bob's Big FA.

Saturday morning Bob had a fairly big first. He sent his first FA of the year but also his first sport FA ever! On top of that, and I might be wrong, it was also Bob's hardest FA to date.
Bob had been spying a line beside German Engineered. He had top bolts over it for over a month. Last week we set up a TR over it and began sussing out a potential line. That is when his rope got jammed in a constriction. The effort to get it out shredded the sheath of the rope, causing a core shot.
After that, Bob spent the rest of the morning bolting the line but we ran out of time. He had to leave with it only half bolted.
Soon as we arrived at the face yesterday, Bob set up his rope and took the drill to finish his line. With 12 bolts plus top anchors Bob was done.
Bob then jumped on the sharp end and began his ascent (Kim was climbing Tach Auch and took a few pictures while Bob was climbing). Beginning just to the right of German Engineered, the route follows the face directly up where it meets a hollow sounding but very stubborn boulder. It then goes right of the boulder to gain a ledge. From here it goes further right to a flat face that has good but not obvious features as it shifts back to the left to meet another ledge where the anchors are.
Bob sent it in fine style. Core Shot 5.8 made the sixth route on the German Face.
While Bob was bolting, Kim and Jan were climbing and I was cleaning the fixed line ramp. After Bob sent Core Shot, Jan and I bolted the ramp. Six bolts protect the climb to meet up with the top anchor of Sick Like Dog. German Access 5.5 is the easiest and probably the most traveled line there. We took down the fixed line and that rope is now retired. Next season we will use a fixed line for the upper faces.
We think that the German Face is pretty much played out now. There is room for other routes, but they would be fairly broken up and contrived. We feel pretty good about our progress this summer, a new area with seven 80-90 foot lines. Those are from left to right:
German Engineered 5.7
Core Shot 5.8
Tach Auch 5.9
Photophobia 5.10c
Hat' Shit 5.10a
Sick Like Dog 5.6
German Access 5.5

We cleaned out our stuff for the winter though we may get out a few times before the snow hit. The Halloween stuff is already in stores and before ya know it, we will be drinking eggnog and singing Christmas tunes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time to get the WOOD out.

I am thinking this Sunday evening would be a good time to start getting some routes up for the Viagra Classic. If your interested and can come Sunday 8pm, let me know in the comments. I only have one crash pad, so if you have one, bring it.

Climbing for tomorrow am is looking good.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Equalette

I read about a new anchoring system called the equalette in John Long's latest edition of Climbing Anchors. It is an very different book than the previous edition. Much more involved with the physics of anchor building. It is not just pictures of what to do and what not to do.
In this book he described an equalette and discussed how it is better than a cordalette. I loved my cordalette so I just had to check this thing out. Well, here it is.
It is any piece cordalette or webbing. The center is found and 2 overhand knots are tied about 6 inches apart. This provides 2 limbs between the knots and a biner is clipped each one separately and the rope is threaded thru both biners. If either side fails, extension is limited by the overhand knots. If either limb between knots fails, the other is there for backup. SO it is equalized, redundant and no extension. What makes it better? An equalette can accommodate 2 to 4 pieces and it distributes the load more evenly to all pieces.
A cordalette require 3 pieces, and is used to connect all three with an overhand knot at the power point. Rarely things are perfectly equalized. This causes one piece to carry more load than others. Even if it is well equalized, the anchor is unidirectional. If you climb out of the intended direction of fall, the load does not distribute equally.
The power point of the equalette acts like a sliding X, it automatically equalizes to the direction of pull. Unlike the sliding X, extension is minimized by the overhand knots. It can be used with 2, 3 or 4 pieces. With 2 pieces, figure 8's on a bite are used to determine where the power point is placed.
With 3 or 4 pieces, the highest piece is tied with a figure 8. Then each of the three remaining limbs are tied to the other pieces with clove hitches. They are adjusted so the power point hangs in the middle. When loaded, the weight is evenly distributed over all placement (unless your adjustments are really messed up).
In his book, John Long states that once you are used to the system, it is faster to set-up and tear down, neater and easier to check. If you require only one biner (ie for Gri Gri), you can place a biner thru both biners already hanging or rig a single biner as for a sliding X.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Threat of Personal Harm

There is something I have been wondering about for some time now. Maybe someone out in cyberspace has the answer.
On our morning ventures, which start at 5am, we always meet up at Tim Horton's and then carry on. Now matter how well I plan or how much time I spend planning. The same bloody thing happens. It starts as that wonderful caffeine buzz starts to hit. Rumbling, twitching, and then spasm. That intensely horrible urge to shit your brains out and you are in the middle of the freakin' woods by the time it really hits. It is not a nice thing to be moving into a crux section and your main concentration is spent on keeping your sphincter tight (god forbid you risk a fart!).
In case you are wondering, caffeine is a GI stimulant and Tim's happens to be very strong in me. I have seen the same phenomena in most of my climbing partners. Almost everyone has, at some point, had to go fertilize a tree. But then there is KIM.
I don't get this chick! I meet her at Tim's at 5am. I know she is drinking the same shit I am. I have not yet once know of her going off into the woods to have a glorious dump. 3 years of early morning, diarrhea inducing, caffeine. The odd 'tinkle' in the wood sure but why doesn't she have to take a crap like the rest of us. I asked her about it on Sunday, I got a dirty look. I told her I was going to "post it" and that's where the personal harm thing came in. Oh well, curiosity killed the cat.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Core Shot

Today Kim, Bob and myself were out at Manuels. We were prepping a line to bolt and I was actually lowering on his rope. The rope got jammed in a crack at the top. After much friggin' around I managed to get the rope clear. I finished lowering off and Bob got on and noticed a near core shot about 2-3 inches long. I had basically ripped the sheath trying to get the thing unstuck.
The strength of a rope comes from its core and if it is compromised, retire the rope immediately. The sheath of Bobs rope had been shredded off exposing the core for a long section. Though the core is still intact, that is reason enough to retire it. Lucky we were on a burly 11mm rope. A skinny 9.5mm rope could have been severely compromised. That is why Bob and I still climb on the biggest rope we can get. I hope to post a picture of it soon (no camera today).
On a lighter note, I am also going to post something on Tim Horton's coffee, climbing and bowel habits!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sunday Sept 6

Climbing in the morning if the weather holds.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Who Wants to Play With My Woodie?

I feel a Viagra Classic coming on and I need some routes set. Any volunteers? (Leave in comments)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Developers Paradise

Not many people in our climbing community realize just how good we have it. We think about how other places must be SO good and don't think about what is in our own back yard. Flat Rock is a good climbing area. It has hard exposed routes and a minimal approach maybe 15 minutes. What you may not realize is that by national and international standards, we have some good damn climbing. It is very technical, ocean exposure (which is kinda rare) and near dead vertical routes. Now they many not be multi pitch but they are hard.
We are one of they few places in Canada where you can be climbing outside and a half hour later be at work. Most places have a longer transit time or an approach that makes it difficult for a quick spin on the rock. Red Rocks, Nevada is just outside Las Vegas. Once you drive thru town (30-60min) most of the approaches take at least 30 min. It is not uncommon for climbers to drive for hours just to get to there local outdoor crag.
Development here is very new. Climbing started in North America in the 30's and 40's. Most climbing areas with sport routes began significant development in the 80's. Climbing didn't get a good foothold here until the 90's. The vast majority has been centered on Flat Rock. There are over 200 routes most of which have gone up in the last 10 years. But why do we have only one main area? The answer is the path of least resistance. It is much easier to put up new routes in an established area than to start a whole new area (trust me!).
We have so many cliffs of about 100 feet or less that could be developed within a 30 minute drive of town. I can think of 6 off the top of my head, and some I have already played on. Bob frequently tells about faces he has seen and would love to develop. I tell him he is nuts because it is over an hours drive and no one from St. John's would bother. Case in point: Jay began developing an area in the Avalon Wilderness Preserve 3 years ago. He was giddy with its potential. He put up 6 or 7 routes in the 5.11 and 5.12 range. Despite his efforts no one climbs there today. It is only a 60 minute drive.
There is amazing possibilities for multi-pitch climbing. I know of a face that is about 200 meters high and you can hike to the very top and you could walk off the bottom. The is an hours hike to get to. Not many here are willing to make that trek when there is good old Flat Rock.
All this and I have not even considered the faces that are over water. If you are fearless and don't mind the lack of an escape (lowering off), the development potential goes up ten fold.
And big wall shit! Devils Bay is an internationally known destination for it's bullet hard granite and fine climbing. It is only one of many many 1000 foot faces on the south coast of the island. Honestly, it kinda blows me away.
For me I get to pick and choose. Bob brought me to Manuels about 3 years ago. It had a number of things I had been looking for. Close to town, easy approach and most importantly lots of moderate terrain around 100 feet. We began developing then, but kinda slowly. Chopping out paths, cleaning faces and all the scutt work that come with developing. This summer has been a bit of a culmination of a lot of work. Both Bob and I are really excited to see people using the area. It makes it worth it. But the best part is yet to come. There is much more stuff to put up at Noobie Squeeze Face and then there are all of the upper faces which we haven't even touched yet. It will take a few years if we maintain our pace.
Manuels is only one of the 6 area's I can thinks of within 30 minutes of town. There is just so much rock and so little time... a developers paradise.