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.