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.