Friday, December 31, 2010

The Pitches of 2010

This past year brought a wide variety of experiences. I started out feeling more strong than ever and pushing myself as best I could. It was a great time. Even my good friends were telling me that they noticed big differences in my climbing approach. I'd like to find that again in 2011.

I ended up having a slower year in climbing than I'd have though... but that was mostly due to injury (and gettin' hitched!!). All the same, it was a great year. Here's what sticks out:
  1. Main Street, WI3: Mt. Misery: Anders convinced me that leading ice was actually possible for sane people. I now own screws and used them today. Looking forward to more ice.

  2. Odin, A2: Cochrane Lane: It took me all of February to psych myself up to leading this. When the weather finally started heating up in March I knew Erick would belay me. After hours on the route and within sight of the anchor I lobbed myself for a huge 30' footer and bailed. It was not a loss. It was my biggest fall and my hardest attempt at aid. I learned a lot from this failure.

  3. Awe, 5.10a: My first decent lead after lopping off a bit of my index finger. A re-start and an important confidence booster.

  4. Mon Premiere French Kiss, C1: Cochrane Lane: My super fun bachelor party line. A natural line up a striking feature. Inflatable boobs on. Portaledge city waiting at the top with cold beer. The best!

  5. La Renversee, 5.9: Kamouraska: Overhanging jugs forever with a nice view!

  6. Popcorn, 5.6: Main Face: Midnight climbing by headlamp. High quality rock. A party of 4 which included Mark M. on a trad route! Jager bombs waiting at the end. What more could you ask for?

  7. They Died Laughing, 5.9: Cathedral: Fell/took all the way up but loved it all the same. A stout finger crack that I can work on in the future.

  8. Reppy's Crack, 5.8: Cannon: The first pitch on Moby Grape and a completely perfect splitter. I led it just after the crack of dawn on what would be the biggest climb to date for me.

  9. The Finger of Fate, 5.8: Cannon: This was the 5th or 6th pitch of Moby Grape and Hennigar's lead. The traverse off the anchor was airy enough to beat any single moves in Welsford and the actual Finger of Fate was an unreal feature. I've not found any pictures that do it justice. If you think a lead of Gumby's roof is impressive... you ain't seen nothin' yet.
And just as last year, a few pitches I'd rather forget:
  1. Odin, A2: Cochrane Lane (part 2): The pitch that never was. Was heading back to re-lead it and clean my gear after a week but was stopped by gore within 50 feet of the line. Set me back 6 weeks, 1.5 cm, and about 2 grades.

  2. Sleeper, 5.7: Main Face: So dirty that we swore we were nowhere near the 3-star route described in the guidebook. I got shut down and had to take on a 5.7.

  3. Scrambled Signal, 5.8: Cedar Pt.: The line that refused to be bolted. Went there twice with a load of hardware. After eating 3 battery charges in less than a single bolt-hole I gave up. Not worth the effort.

First Ice of the Season, Last of 2010

Went out ice climbing with my new (to-me) gear and the same old Jon C. It was a good way to spend New Year's Eve day. We stopped in at a roadside waterfall he heard about on the way to Hayes Falls. Lower Joclin Falls is a short 25' chute with potential for about 3 lines. Jon led the FA on the right side of the falls while the center was blasting water at full bore. Well done!

A look at the Lower Joclin Brook Falls.

This place can be found by parking at km #250 heading west from Fredericton on the Trans-Canada. I've marked the spot on my 'NB Ice Climbing' map. Worth a quick stop.

Jon leading the right side.

Hayes Falls was in. The ice was varied with some hero ice mixed in with some baked ice and the occasional hollow stuff. I led the center line a few times and Jon led the smear in the woods. The main falls has a lot of water volume crashing under the ice which made for an interesting day.

My new Cobras were very very nice! A bit of work is needed on the interface between my Rambo 4's and my old plastic boots. They fit... but not 100%. I'll probably write about this sometime but for today... all was good.