Monday, June 27, 2011

Hire A Student

Are you a student who needs a little extra cash on the side? I have a few things that I need help with. I would rather hire someone from our own climbing community.
I will need one or two people this thursday and friday (regardless of weather). It will be basic landscaping stuff; digging out an area then back filling it with dirt and mulch. 15$ an hour!
Likely have some more stuff to do in August.
If you are interested, leave your name and phone number under the comments. I will not publish them. I will not contact anyone until thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Apocalypse

I have had this forbidding sense of doom. You hear all the bullsh!t about 'the end of the world' and the whole 2012 thing. But I am beginning to think there might be something to it.
Dec 21, 2012 is the supposed date for the end of time. There are several arguments to why this date. One is the Ancient Mayan Calendar which was created centuries ago. It has been incredibly accurate despite the fact it was created in a civilization that sacrificed virgins to the Gods (can't be all bad ;). Anyhow the calendar ends on Dec 21, 2012. Some believe that the calendars accuracy is 'other worldly' and there must be a reason it finishes on that date (spooky).
Others believe we are going to get sucked into a black hole and be crushed to the size of a pea. And then there are all the religious zealots who are looking for any excuse for the end of the world. Obviously I don't believe one shred of any of that crap. I am a man of science not conjecture.
I have heard of something else that we should all be very concerned with. It also happens to be based in science. There is proof that this will occur, and it will very likely happen before Dec 21, 2012. Sorry, but you may just have to get your affairs in order.
Can you say thermonuclear reaction! Ya, no shit. A freakin nuclear reaction. But no regular nuclear reaction, that would be child's play. We are talking a nuclear fusion reaction. Using the same amounts of material, it can release 10's if not a 100 times the energy of a nuclear bomb. In other words, the bomb that took out Hiroshima could fit inside a water bottle. The worst part is that we are surrounded by the stuff required for a fusion reaction, hydrogen. That's right, hydrogen in equal weight is much more powerful than plutonium when used in a fusion reaction.
Okay, now I now what you are saying, they have been trying to utilize nuclear fusion energy for decades and just have not been able to develop the technology to create a sustainable, controllable fusion reaction. Well that is the scary part, it already exists. From what I understand , this reaction is so huge that the entire earth is going to be bathed in the radiation. It will confuse and disorientate most of us. Once exposed, there will be no hope at all. The searing heat will bake our flesh and make us turn away because it is so intensely bright. It may happen anytime so be careful. The first sign will be a break in the tropospheric water formations and then it will happen, an amazing burst radiation. It will look like a huge ball of fire and I believe they call it the sun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

East Coast Road Trip

I don't know if many of you are Gripped readers. If you are, you may have come across an article in the most recent edition. The section was entiled "East Coast Road Trip". I thought it may touch on our climbing scene, but it did not. I have noticed that this is not uncommon for Newfoundland to be left out of article pertaining to the "East Coast". I felt I should reply so I sent the following letter.

Letter to Gripped.

Gripped does a great job of highlighting the climbing scene in Canada and I have always found your articles well done and interesting. I was looking forward to reading “East Coast Road Trip” because, being a climber from Newfoundland, that article must have something about our climbing scene.
I almost instantly had my doubts when the first article about the East Coast was bouldering on the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario, over 2000 kilometers west of St. John’s. That didn’t give me an “East Coast” feel at all.

“Go East Young Man” gave a nice vignette of climbing in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It discussed their colorful climbing community and classic climbing areas. Unfortunately there was no mention of our climbing community, which is truly unique.

Several of our crags are perched on the edge of the North Atlantic. The sound of crashing ocean waves is always at your back, punctuated by the occasional whale surfacing for a breath of air. We have a great range of climbs from the moderates to stiff sport climbs. Over 200 routes spread over 7 crags all within 30 minutes of St. John’s. We have big wall climbing at Devils Bay with granite unfolding for over a 1000 feet. And that is just one of hundreds of cliffs that plunge into the ocean on our shores. They don’t call us the rock for nothing.

We have an ever growing climbing community with some of the friendliest people you could have the pleasure to meet. An interesting mix of Irish, English and French heritage developed into a wonderful culture that is different from anywhere else in Canada.

So, come on out on your next ‘road trip’ and find out what Newfoundland has to offer, you just might be surprised.

I have no idea if it will get any attention or not but I thought I would share it with all of you. At least someone might read it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Upper Face

This is a temp topo of the Upper Face as of June 2011. As previously mentioned, this is a new area and there are loose rocks that we have not found yet. WEAR YOUR HELMETS!
Not sure of actual grade of deminshing returns since I have not climbed it since last year.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

OCD 5.5 PG Trad

Went climbing tonight in Manuels. I have not received my bolts from MEC yet so I was unable to do any developing. I have always thought that a nice trad line followed to the right of Obsession up to a set of bolts we use for access to the top of the upper faces.
I started at the bottom and clipped the first couple of bolts prior to getting to the belay bolts at the bottom of Obsession. I clipped the first two bolts on obsession before moving out to the right. I was kinda wet after all the rain we have had. Plenty of good placement. A couple spots with vegetated ledges. I came to one in particular that was quite wide, but with a lot of moss. On the left was a crack that split the face and continued left. On the right was a broken face with what looked like bad placements. I was unsure how far it was to the anchors and I was pretty sure I was now going to go sharply left. I wanted to avoid the rope drag, so I built an anchor and brought Kim up.
Once Kim was at the anchor, I went on belay again and tried the crack at the left. I thinned out to nothing very quickly and lead up to a blank slopey face. I re-examined going to the right. I found a good placement or two before I got to the shitty, broken face. I put a #1 C3 at the base (not awe inspiring) and putz around for a few minutes. There was a small relief in this face where I was able to slot a substantial nut (#9 BD Stopper). I was wet and mossy but I had a good piece. I climbed up thru the relief up onto a mossy and brush covered face with the anchor only 20 feet above. I trudged up and got to the anchors. After clipping in, I saw a place or two that probably could have taken some gear but I had run it out.
Because of the shitty placements to the right of the moss covered ledge and how I had run it out at the top I figure I should give it a PG rating. There was some loose rock and wet ledges. It was more heady than if it would had been dry. From the anchor, you can rap on a 60 meter rope to the scree slope below. Be careful, this is not a cleaned route! It shares it start with Obsession so I figure it name should have a common route. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD for short. With a name like OCD, you would figure it would be sparkly clean really soon.
This is the 3rd route on the Upper Face and I still have several more planned for it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Time Last Year

Bob and I were climbing at Rumney, New Hampshire. 24 to 27 degrees everyday with excellent climbing. 5 days straight! Not that I am bitter or anything but please God let this weather improve.
This is Bob seconding a climb called "Clip a dee do da".

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fly Dope

Back in town now. I had to go to Ottawa for the week.

Got a comment from 'Abseil' who was out on German Face on the weekend past. (S)he said that were a ton of flies and they really needed fly dope. Tis' the season!
Usually the next 2-4 weeks are pretty nasty for black flies on the inland crags. Don't let this dissuade you, I actually like using a 'bug shirt'. It is one of those shirts with made of fly netting. I wear it when I am belaying so I am not swatting when I should be belaying. You can get a cheep one like this at WalMart for about 20$. You can get better quality ones from MEC. The fly dope seems to be enough once I get off terra firma. Once July hits, the flies are not nearly as bad.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Winter 2011 Damage

There has been a lot of damage to Main Face over the last winter. The pictures don't do it justice. The access ramp has had about 2/3's of it washed out towards the bottom. It is still very passable but one more season like 2011 and it may be completely gone. This was a man made ramp to allow heavy machinery down to the Main Face Area to harvest boulders for the Flat Rock Town breakwater. It is all soft dirt and easily wash away with high wave action.

The next obvious area was when we came upon Iron Hand (Left of Candy). It climbs the corner Bob is looking at up to the large horizontal crack, traverse left and up from there. It is a good heady trad climb. The is no protection until you get to the first bolt. When it was bolted, the first move was to mantle up onto the flat ledge that come from the left side of the corner and slopes into the right side, about 15 feet above Bob's head (Bob is 6 foot). This could be reached from the ground. A balancy move would get you into the thin corner and with a back step you could reach the first bolt about 3 feet below the large horizontal ledge. That first bolt is now 25 to 30 feet off the deck with little to no chance to get gear in then so it is now a 5.9+ X trad route.
This is where 'No Freebies' used to be. The large boulders in the forefront are the rock that had the routes on them. The inverted staircase in the background is where it came off. This used to have 3 solid 5.10's on it. The anchors are still at the top.
Bob educated us on what happened. In the left of the picture, at the base of the wall you can notice a different color band of rock. That is a layer of relatively soft sandstone. Sitting on top are the massive cliff faces that make up Main Face. They are composed of a much harder conglomerate rock. When the base gets exposed like this, the sandstone erosion accelerates. Literally, the foundation of the cliffs above are being washed away. They loose support, fracture and fall away. Just hope you are not climbing when it does happen.