Monday, November 14, 2011


Over the weekend Adam and I spent a day checking out a cliff west of Lake Utopia and the Bonnie River. I'd had this spot, and another just north of it marked on my Potential Rock maps for some time but I hadn't seen it on the ground yet.

Access is no issue as it is public lands and a passable road leads to a quarry pile within spitting distance of the climbing. The approach is a 3 minute walk on level ground. Nice!

With two walls summing to about the size of Sunnyside, this place has some real potential. The rock is granite of similar character to the Upper Tier and varies from friction slab to radically overhung. 'Utopia', as it's been coined, will probably sport some of the most athletic lines in the province... eventually.

Development will be a challenge on the really overhanging stuff but a significant amount of work has already been done. Anchors are starting to be installed and several lines have been scrubbed and have seen top ropes. A slab line has been bolted and led already.

For our part, we spent the better part of the day establishing a climber's trail. Please try to use it. It has been flagged/blazed and some marker stones cleared. Henni also helped in a big way to fell some trees which were obstructing the cliffs. With a better clearing it should dry more. We also bushwacked to the top, and Adam established an anchor over what will be an outstanding crack line. Fingers to hands it is about 15 degrees overhung. I bushwacked to a good spruce at the pinnacle of the overhanging prow shown below and cleared it for an anchor. A fixed line skirting the top might be a wise idea. I did not rap it however as it didn't look like my 60m rope made it to ground. A 70m would work for sure.

This tries... but doesn't do justice to just how overhung this prow is.
I think there's a good crew of developers working here and projects are being staked out. Given the huge effort required to establish some of these lines it might be a good idea to map out who's working on what?

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