Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cold October Climbing

I have climbed seemingly very little in the past month. Several weekend trips were ditched on account of rain. However, recently that streak has been turned around and between last weekend and yesterday, both proved to be a good day out in the cold fall air. 

I think unused bones accumulate rust. It sure felt like my knees were out of tune. Maybe it was rusty nerves. Either way I thought twice about swimming up the soaking wet first half of Waterfall Layback last weekend.  I eventually came to the realization however... that if one waited for this entire route to be dry... it would never get climbed. Glad I made the choice however... since by the time the difficulties appeared the sun had dried my shoes, and I finally got a clean lead of it (something that's been on my list for a long time). Actually, that same day we climbed Warm & Sultry, making back-to-back two of the nicest pitches in Welsford. 

Yesterday it was my turn to follow some nice pitches, which was a nice switch, top roping and cleaning Comrades in Destiny, and Sparky Start.  What's been very nice to see this year is a lot of new interest in traditional lead climbing. I can think of at least 5 climbers who've been asking a lot of good questions, and following smart processes. It's a pretty exciting feeling to start becoming the most experienced person in the party on a particular day and I've witnessed a couple people make this transition recently. I've also heard the statement a few times: "I don't want to clip any bolts today". I wonder where this has developed? A few years ago there were alarmist statements being made in N.B. about the decay of the local traditional ethic. Every time a new bolt was drilled, it was claimed it would lead to a new generation of pansies... only interested in safe sport lines. Generally, I just don't see that happening. The traditional climbing approach is thriving in the area and new leaders are in many cases safer, smarter, and sometimes even bolder than those in the past. 

A few shots of the fall: 

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