Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bugaboos arrival

Big impressive walls in an alpine setting: we're in the Bugaboos... No more distractions like in Squamish! Yesterday we climbed "sunshine crack" in the shade with Minnesota Lee. It was his 26th birthday so we had a good old party up there with a square of chocolate on top of snowpatch spire. The climbing was amazing, splitter cracks the whole way up!! It feels nice to be in the remote mountains, the only sounds being the glaciers cracking and the wind blowing. The mandolin and the flute are already up there so the jam sessions will keep going. Food is next on the list of things to bring up. This morning we woke up to a snowstorm and a little lake in our tent... we need to start our 3h hike back up there now... hopefully the weather will get better.... 

Cobra crack secret

You've probably heard the "big" news: Nico climbed the famous "Cobra crack"!!!! But what people don't know are our secret training regimes. These next few lines are world exclusive, for our blog fans only! In fact, Nico's secret training consists of eating a diet of exclusive "frites" or Belgian fries...(sorry frenchies but it's not French). Being abroad it's been very hard to find all the right ingredients  and cooking tools (no friteuse here), so Nico had to improvise, but it worked out well in the end. The frites were the perfect antidote against the cobra bites! 
Sean on the other hand, didn't eat as many "frites" and choose a different training regime consisting of lifting heavy granite boulders above his head.... it appeared not to be as efficient. Thank you Mr Lemens (only Belgian specialists will understand).

More exciting exclusive news to follow soon! 
And thanks to our fans for all the support!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Boogie till you puke!

We could hear the deep drum'n bass rattling our windows as we pulled into the dusty parking lot. Climbers from all around decked out in 80's apparel were bopping their heads to the rhythm. After a long day of offwidth suffering, and the snake in the bag (alright Nico!!!), we lived up to the name of the route and "boogied till we puked" ! 
Here are some pictures of boogieing with our friends: Didj Sam, Sandy the energizer and  Danielle la loca. Rumour has it that Sean and Nico might not be climbing together anymore... 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Big wall fiesta music label!

When we step off the rocks, that's actually when the real jamming starts. Didjeridoo, guitars, mandolins, banjos, tin whistles, jambe's, mouth harps and singers all join for some free style music sessions. The technique doesn't matter, the spirit is the skill! Everyday more and more musician from all over the world are joining our band and we are please to say that agenda is already overbooked with concerts. Please contact our manager for further requests -->    

Learning how to climb like a Zombie!

In the learning process of climbing you go true different phases... and it's good to experiment and try new approaches...
Yesterday I went to the Zombie cave to try "Zombie Roof" a splitter roof crack. I was very lucky to meet the Zombie and he was a very good mentor to me. My climbing style has completely changed and I will never forget what I learned from the Zombie. From now on I will never go climbing without my skull. Thanks to the zombie for letting me do the Zombie roof.

Check out the Zombie's special taped gloves!!

The Squamish life and Friends

Life in Squamish is though: Slacklining, river dipping, 
jamming, partying, socializing, eating,... 
and sometimes crack climbing, bouldering and 
sport climbing.
But we're hanging in there and our moral is still high. 
We might have to take a brake in the Bugaboos soon,
to recover from all this hardship. 
We appreciate all the support from our fans. 
This is the only thing that keeps us going! 
We love you all.
Peace and love!

Here's a picture of the beautifull crack climb "Magical Dog".
And the second picture our hippie friends Matt, Sandy and
 their two dogs Emma & (name to come soon).
Peace out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Black Dyke

We don't have a topo so we have to be a little inventive when it comes to choosing our routes. The most obvious line on the Chief is a route called "Black Dyke" (12 pitches), basically it's a black dyke of basalt rock running all the way up the granite rock face. Pretty practical when it comes to route finding: just follow the black line of rock which leads you to the top. 2 crux roof pitches, a battle of jungly slopers, and chicken wing dyno into slot, very different climbing than the usual granite climbing in Squamish. 
Check out the black dyke all the way to the ground on the first picture.
Sean doing the Johnny Dawes pose, making sure that nobody is catching up with us. (second picture) (click for larger version)

More exciting big news coming soon!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New 5.13 offwith in Squamish

On the way down from the Chief, we found what could be the hardest Offwidth in North America. We quickly sent this new extreme test piece...
Then we brought some friends along to test the incredible difficulty of it! 
They confirmed the grade.
(check out the backpack in the second picture!)

Chrono on the Chief!

Top speed climbers from around the world... you better watch out because we are going fast!!! After a full day of bouldering, 1h 20 min for "Angels Crest" (5.10, 13 pitches) on the Chief. We shaved off about half of the recent Nose speed record by Hans and Yuji. And to succeed all tactics and skills were combined... even tree climbing!!

But even if we push the standard of climbing we would like to comfort our families. we are in good health taking good care of ourselves, always with the best possible hygiene.

Squamish music

Here is a little song I composed specially for all my fan out there! 

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Samurai crack warrior

We arrived at the Squamish Campground at the same time as a Japanese climber, his name is Yoshida. Now he's our neighbor, he always seems very quiet and discreet and rarely seems to come out of his tent. Recently we found out that he's a bit of a legend of Japanese climbing. Twenty years ago he did the first ascent of a very hard crack in Japan, nowadays it's rated 5.14 which means that at that time it was probably (one of ) the hardest crack climbs in the world. Now he's 45 and came here to Squamish for three months with just one objective... to climb "Cobra Crack" a climb which is potentially the hardest crack today. He's totally committed even to the point of adapting gear loops to his harness specially for friends, to place them faster. He works the route for a full day and then takes a couple of days rest rarely coming out of his tent. We suspect that he practices intense samurai meditation...
It's very inspiring to see somebody so committed and we really hope that he does it! Gamba!!!

Here is a picture of sharing beta with a samurai!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Environmentally sensitive area

Squamish power

We've been doing quite a bit of bouldering here. The quality of the problems is insane! Usually we start our day with a bouldering session, then move on to some rope climbing and then finish off with some music jamming. All of this is preparation and training for upcoming business... We like to be well prepared!
Today we're taking a well deserved rest day after climbing "The Shadow" yesterday... we're feeling pretty beat up. "The Shadow" is a slick test-piece dihedral without any holds, where only bad ass, calf pumping stemming can make you move up the next millimeter of rock. A full on battle with friction. First climbed by legendary Peter Croft, it's a magnificent 7 pitch route up the big Chief (the El Capitan of Squamish, except smaller). 
Here's the victory picture on the summit of the Chief.