Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Camp Coffee

Finally broke out my new camp coffee machine. Works really great with freshly ground Johnny Java Roaster beans! Thanks Browns! 
This picture makes my mouth water! Yumm.

A Friend in Town

... is a great excuse to go climbing. With Anders back from Norway for a two week stint in Fredericton we took off to Welsford as soon as he was over his jet-lag.

Apparently all the grades in Welsford are sandbagged... so I can't wait to head to Lofoten! Apparently I hear that a new guidebook is to be published soon!

Climbed a good day at Minkey and Upper Tier. At the tree anchor on Smokin' Crack I found a really amusing set up: 3 bomber lockers through 4 old sketchy slings. I bootied the newly added 3rd locker. Not needed. I will bring some new tat next time I'm there however... as all the existing stuff is pretty baked.

At the Upper Tier I got on the Waltz for the first time. This had some really great climbing on it. I found the crux pretty tricky and hung several times figuring it out. Placing the gear through the layback was awkward but not all that bad. I've got to suggest that the bolts could be better placed. The crux comes as your feet are above the first bolt and before the second is clipped. It was a heady situation. I ended up backing down to the bolt for several tries before I got the sequence. I think if I had of bombed on the first bolt it would have been difficult for Anders to keep me off the ground with a combination of a hard catch and him being pulled up. This first bolt hanger was also spinning but otherwise in good shape. Whenever it is up for rebolting I think they should either be relocated higher (and stick clipped) or a 3rd added.

Also... I found on the trail at the Upper Tier a Garmin heart rate monitor. I'm told it pairs up to a fancy watch and makes a system. If you've lost it... contact me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Letter Submitted To Gripped

Just submitted the following letter to Gripped Magazine. In the event that it's not published...

Dear Gripped, 

During the 1980's a wave of development and discovery hit the Welsford areas which saw many routes established on outstanding rock features in a traditional style. Bolts were often used as a last resort to unlock key passages between natural features. The hardware of the day was of mixed composition, and maritime climate has taken its toll. Many of these original bolts are now brittle with rust, and some have been reported to break under minimal effort. Reputation of sketchy bolts spreads quickly and otherwise approachable routes go unclimbed. In this part of the world, when classics go unclimbed the flora moves quickly to reclaim the land. 

Over the past 3 months a surge of energy has come forward to refresh the hardware on many of NB's classic lines. Lead by a small group of three local climbers, many classics have been rebolted and anchors upgraded with modern hardware. The quality in their work is top-notch and a visiting climber would be challenged to find the remnants of the original bolts. Best yet, they've spurred some momentum in the local community to the cause. Their lead has inspired others to contribute time, sweat, and hardware to the effort. At the time of writing, more than 40 routes have refreshed. 

First ascent parties often reap the glory with a classic line. Often unnoticed are the scrubbers and rebolters that keep these classics in shape. So.. in the event that future guidebook editions fail to mention this: thanks to Luc Gallant, Marty Thériault, and Dom Caron!
Chris Norfolk
Fredericton, N.B.