Monday, June 17, 2013

L-Shape Direct Direct!

What does the L-Shape have in common with the mayor of Toronto? Crack everywhere! Here's a testimony to the continued development of climbing opportunities around N.B:

About 2 years ago I submitted a letter to Gripped magazine which was eventually published. At the time, a number of fellas were busy re-equipping old lines and cleaning new routes was happening fast. It's pretty cool to see that the pace hasn't slowed. 

On the weekend, I got to climb with my buddy, and long-time Welsford climber Chris H. In the span of 3 hours we climbed 3 high-quality pitches that he'd never done before. That's incredible considering they are all moderate grade, feature great climbing, and all are in the L-shape. A few years ago it would have seemed for certain that the L-shape was totally tapped (considering it's probably the busiest formation in Welsford).

His business card simply reads:
Chris Hennigar - Mountain Man
Among other classics we did: 
  • Partner's in Crime, 5.8 PG - unearthed and cleaned by Greg H last year. This is a nice addition and pair to Comrades in Destiny. When you've gone to the fuss to climb one, you might as well climb the other. Take a purple mastercam or equivalent. I liked it enough to poach the FFA!
  • Mantle Piece, 5.8 G - a way cool line it existed mostly as a top-rope or dirty, poorly protected  for a while. Shawn B. equipped this last year with 2 bolts and cleaned it up nicely. Now makes a great alternative to Waterwalk if you want to climb any of the big L-Shape link-ups.  The mantle move is cool and makes for a stellar photo of the leader from the base of Fandango.
  • Ka-Pow!, 5.9 G - er climbed this for the first time and both of us liked it for sure. I think this one is thanks to Fred B. A great 3rd pitch after Astroboy Direct. It eats good gear and has a variety of climbing. The finish isn't as cool as the DDT totem tower but this was still a worthy line for sure!
Me. Not quite a Mountain Man yet. More like an Astroboy.
The L-Shape now supports so many quality options for link-ups that it could pretty much deserve a Yosemite-style big-wall topo. (I might do that as a mini-project sometime). Speaking of topos... Dom Caron's new guide is currently at the printers! Buy it when it's out soon. It's quite the update!

Oh yeah, finally have to give a shout-out to a few super solid ladies who are starting to dip into leading the classic Welsford trad lines. I think it won't be far off into the future before some of the tag-lines in the descriptions of routes like Pink Panther seem antiquated:  "a must do for aspiring hardmen". I'd bet a beer that in the next year a few classic Welsford routes will see their 'first female ascents'. Cool! I wonder what the list is right now of classic pitches that have been lead ground-up by strong ladies? I know I've seen a few. 

Annndd... future Welsford hardman?  Enzo M!!!


  1. Got to agree with you Chris that L Shape is one of the better walls at Cochrane Lane now. Have you taken a run up The Boulevard or Friction Addiction yet?
    Hey wasn't I promised a beer as penance for the ffa poaching? I'm still looking to collect ;)

  2. Yep. Absolutely Greg! You earned it.

    I have been up Friction Addiction. It is a nice little alternate as well.