Thursday, July 29, 2010

Farewell Norweigan

Anders (who is the star of half of my climbing notes in the last year) is moving back to Norway this weekend. We went out for a few final pitches last night after work. Great night. Melanie came along and did a great job up a tricky route in the Upper Tier. Anders sent his project and I took a few photos. It's going to be tough to find another belayer like him... cheers! Hope we can link up for a few more pitches in the future. Perhaps a 400m WI4?

Anders making a clip.

Melanie sticking the crux! Nicely done.

Mr. Clean sending Mr. Torpedo

...and a link to the full set

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I figure at least once a year it's worth it to head up Cheekbone Corner.

Interesting Fact: This used to be termed 'the Nose Buttress' as per this early topo of the area:

This year the occasion was that Anders is soon moving back to Norway and he really ought to climb it before he leaves. We left town Tuesday after work with that objective in mind, arriving at the base of the 1st pitch ready to go around 7:00. On a good day, I figure I could lead this in around 2 hours... leaving plenty of time before dark. The plan is for Anders to lead it.

He ties in and sets off, knowing that the 1st pitch is easy climbing but poorly protected. About half way up the corner he decides he doesn't like the look of things and bails; down-climbing back to the ground. No big deal. It's now 7:30 and I decide we're here anyway so let's go for it. I rope up and move to the alternate 'Pete's Retreat' start. Before leaving the ground I say to Anders 'don't forget your head-lamp'! He replies 'What? I don't have it today'. Who heads to Cheekbone after work without a headlamp? Oh well... 1 is enough... and I'm off.

We traded pitches up to 'pigeon shit ledge' (which is nicely clean now thanks to peregrines) and I bring him up while enjoying the sunset. Now in the twilight, I send him to lead the last pitch for the photo hanging off the needle. He cruises it, but can't find the route afterwards. Just go up! After some time he makes a tree and I follow up, now in the dark.

After walking off and getting back to the packs it's now at least 10:00. I call Jill:

'Jill... I'm ok... I'm just not going to be home for at least another hour and a bit', says Chris.

'Where are you?', replies Jill.

'I'm at the base of Cheekbone Corner', I respond.

'Well... that is stupid!', she explains... and shortly thereafter hangs up.

Needless to say... this isn't the first time I'll be returning home from this route around midnight.

While on the way home just pass Sunnyside, I hit a skunk. Dang. The car now smells like burnt skunk. We roll up our windows. Another 20 km down the road we hear the sound of a big motor gaining on us quickly... but no lights. We roll the windows back down and Anders realizes that it's an army helicopter right above and behind us... following us down the middle of the highway... in the middle of the night... at 110km/hr... with no lights on. A little unnerving. I'm sure the pilot was training for how to blast me away... but this ain't Afghanistan and I ain't no Taliban. Please strafe somebody else. It followed us for about a kilometer then broke off and was gone. Very weird.

What a great night!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Wedding

Now I got married about two weeks ago. I must say that my wife Jill was awesome. She pulled together a wedding and reception that worked out perfect. Very relaxed, great friends, unique ideas, it was totally custom made for us. Great job Jill.

I had a lot of fun. We took pictures down town Saint John before the wedding an made a total spectacle of ourselves. Random cruise boat people would clap for us as we stormed around the market. We tucked in a ceremony in the Public Gardens just in the nick of time before the place was overrun with graduating high-school kids. (I was guaranteed no other weddings that day but nobody said anything about hoards of well-dressed kids). We also did a good little party afterwards at my in-laws place with piles of food and drinks. I had a perfect time.

Thanks to everyone willing to take a random Tuesday to see Jill and I get hitched!

A selection of friends and family... as shot through our photo-booth... with my chintzy ebay $5 remote setup. Worked like a charm!

Ryan. In his best rock-out face.

Jess and Jon (crafter of our rings)

Krystal and Jenny (my best lady)

The Tompkins ladies.

Marcellegar! (best man on the left)

Adam (Rasta wedding singer!) Jah Mon!