Monday, September 29, 2008

Yosemite jamming

We have moved our jamming sessions to Yosemite Valley (California)... unfortunately the rangers do not seem to recognize musical talent... But fear not... we will not be broken... We have had some good sessions on El Capitan (more news on that soon).

Last week we Climbed the North West regular route on Half Dome with some friends (Sean on-sighted the free variation) . Amazing climbing... and good fun, cause there was 7 of us on the route moving at the same speed... good atmosphere. 
When we got back down the bear had eaten all our food which we had hung up in a tree... The bear knows the drill... as soon as we were one pitch off the ground he ran up the tree... we yelled but the bear just laughed back at us...
Sean also had a nice morning wake up... "In the middle of the night I could here my backpack next to me moving. I thought it was Nico trying to get something. Then I started imagining that it might be a bear and I wondered what I would do if the bear started eating me. Being inside my sleeping bag I had had no way of defending myself. I turned around and there was a bear right in front of my face! I started shouting as hard as I could thinking my life was over... The bear ran away... Exciting way to wake up I tell ya!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Look good in Squamish

The 3 golden rules of rock climbing:
1) Look good
2) Be cool
3) Safety third!

We're back in Squamish. Slowly heading south towards Yosemite... 
There's a lot of bouldering going on... the POWER is coming back! TchECkkk!!!
We hope to fit right in when we get to the US with our new look... Remember kids: "look is everything" and "the way you look is the way you climb!"

More exciting news coming soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies

Yamnusca: The crown jewel of the canadian rockies. That's what it says on the front cover of the Guidebook.
Our friends Chris, Cody and Ian, showed us around some of the climbing around Canmore. Canadian limestone. Yamnusca: adventurous multi-pitch. We searched the guidebook for the hardest route: " Gestiegenheid" 8 pitches 5.12 c R. The description used words like: loose rock, death block, bad gear and plenty of potential for getting hurt... 
It seemed as good a line as any to try...
While I was climbing the 5.12a R pitch (5th) a little voice kept repeating in my head: "plenty of potential for getting hurt, plenty of potential for getting hurt..." It made the climbing pretty interesting... I was almost disappointed to find quite a few bolts along the way... good thing I skipped a couple. (seems like it might have been rebolted since the guidebook)
However we had our share of excitement when on the second last pitch (5.10+ one of the easiest pitches) a big jug broke (before I had clipped the first bolt) and I went flying over Nico landing about 5m below him... Luckily it was a good place to fall. There were definitely other sections of climbing were it was better not to come off... 
So the Crown Jewel has some pretty adventurous climbing... a fun outing for sure!!

Many thanks to Chris, Cody and Ian we had an awesome time hanging out with you guys!!!

white out in the Bugaboos...

It was still dark in the tent even though it was late morning (almost noon)... We didn't understand what was going on until we opened up the tent and discovered that we were buried in snow! It had snowed 20 cm during the night! It was still snowing hard, and everything was white. Visibility was about 2m. Sean went out to empty his blather and almost got lost trying to get back to the tent! It was like swimming in mashed potatoes. Looks like the Bugaboo season is over early this year. It was time for us to pack up and leave. We had 14 days of food left... so we stuffed ourselves, eat as mush as we could, and started swimming true powder snow over the glacier with big heavy backpacks. Suffering. Crawling. Navigating in the white stuff hoping not to get lost...
We had a couple of short windows and managed to get a small glimpse of the rock faces: everything was plastered... 
Although there were still plenty things we wanted to do up there, the weather decided it is time for us to move along...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wide Awake Corn Flake

A lot of snow... The bad weather came in, and we went out for a couple of days... back to Golden to fuel up. We got back up with our buddy Ben Ditto who joined us for a ride, but there was a lot of snow on the peaks. So we opted to try some smaller spires while the bigger ones clean up. We decided to try and free this amazing wide crack climb called "Wide Awake" 8 pitches, 5.10 A2 (400m). With binoculars from the ground, we spotted this huge flake in the shape of a gigantic ear, just to the left of the crux pitch. We decided to go take a look at it. A delicate slab traverse on razor blade crimps and crystals for the feet, brought us to a roof crack followed by a enormous flake (25m) the width of a corn flake... We could see all the way true it! Would have been scary for some! We named our variation "Wide Awake Corn Flake" (5.12). Yeah buddy!!!