Friday, 23 November 2012

Back in Ontario

I've been back a few sleep deprived days and I figured I better get caught up here.

Sunday, Jen Olson and I spent the afternoon training at Malcom's gym in Calgary. For being a short day it wasn't very easy. I was still pretty worked from climbing all week, but I think I still got some good training time in. We talked a lot about strategy. Being strong is very important, but its usually the smartest, most efficient climber who wins.

Driving to Calgary.

Starting up one of the warm-ups.
Monday I went to The Playground outside Canmore with Jen and my friend Brenden. It was fun to see Brenden getting psyched on mixed climbing. After a long break from drytooling I may have got him hooked back on it. Because I had to fly out in the evening it was also a little bit of a short day, thankfully I still got to get a pretty good pump in my arms before it was time to go. After a week of climbing it didn't really take too much anyway.

Climbing at the Playground.

I'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to my friend Grant Parkin. He picked me up at the airport, drove me around to go climbing, let me borrow his Jeep on the days he couldn't get out and he let me crash at his place for most of my trip.

My chauffeur, Grant.

Thank you also to Jen, Brenden & Pat for rides, belays and places to sleep.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Training, training, training......

l'm doing some more mobile posting while I have some down time.

Friday was a training day with actual real traing. My teammate Jen Olson and I climbed in a gym and got put through the wringer by British World Cup climber Malcom Kent. After warming up with some climbing we basiclly just did training drills until our arms were putty. Learned a lot about training and I'm excited to get back home to set up some more training boards.

Yesterday Jen and I went to Bear Spirit Crag for an active rest day. We were hoping to just climb some easy ice but there wasn't much in yet. When we got to the cliff there was already a small group climing the ice, so we jumped on a couple of the mixed lines. It was a lot of fun to drytool up the rock and climb onto hanging ice. Around the time we were losing interest in the mixed routes the other group finished up and we got to pump out a few laps on some fun ice.

Today its back to the gym.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Another pretty good day at Haffner. Got a pretty good workout and redpointed Caveman. I also found some weaknesses I need to work on, which is good.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Finally some hard climbing!!

Had a great day today. I went to Haffner Creek and got to do some hard drytooing. I onsighted a route called Fire Roasted which is somewhere in the M10 range.

I'm going back tomorrow and will finally get to climb with my Team Canada teammate Gord McArthur. We'll be in a group of three so hopefully we will get some pictures.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

More acclimation.

Today was a rest day. I don't really feel like I needed it, but I've been behind on sleep so it was probably good for me.

Sunday was another easy acclimation day. Grant had already made plans to take some friends out  so I tagged along. As it turned out they were also from St.Catharines and I had met Mary a few years back. After bushwhacking to the cliff it wasn't nearly as big as it looked from the road and the two mixed routes listed in the book didn't have any ice. Thankfully I learned long ago that its not what you have, its making the most of what you were given. After leading the first routes we just set up topropes and I was able to climb the rock and hanging ice to the sides of the main flows while everyone else got to get back into the groove of climbing on ice.

On Monday Grant, Brenden, and I headed to the Ghost Valley looking for multi-pitch ice routes.

We were hoping to climb Wicked Wanda and from the valley floor it looked thin but climbable. After a nice 45 min. hike through the woods we were at the base.

The view of the mountain from the parking lot.
Wicked Wanda is visible just above the trees.
What we couldn't tell from the road was how wet the ice was. Brenden started out leading the 1st pitch. After climbing around 25 feet of vertical slush he tried putting in a screw but there was no solid ice. Another 10 feet higher the ice looked a bit better, but the water pouring down the ice flow made it difficult to look up. After some debate we decided getting soaked might not be worth it so we headed back down to the valley floor to look for something else.

After a bunch more driving around on 4WD trails we stopped to take a look at another cliff. Brenden noticed that one of the tires was leaking air. Fortunately he is pretty handy and came prepared after an hour or so the tire was fixed and re-inflated.

We had just enough time to go check out a couple of short mixed routes at the Bird Cage before driving back out. We started on Free Bird M7 which started on ice climbing up a small roof with a few rock moves before the curtain of ice above. Dodo Bird M8 was similar, but with a deeper roof and a few more rock moves. After finding the hold at lip of the roof, a series of figure-4's and figure-9's lead to the ice above.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The fun part of my WC training.

Here goes mobile posting.

Training in my back yard and around St.Catharines is all well and good, but it leaves out two very important elements, elevation and actually cimbing inthe cold. Not to mention the lack of access to many difficult drytooling routes.

So here I am in Calgary at a friend's place waiting for himto wake up for day two. Yesterday started in St.Cath. but I was still able to get a little iceclimbing in. The cliff we went to was alittle more casual than I would normally pick, but we found enough stuff to make an interesting first day back on ice.

Route one I just meant to climb part way and down climb, but it felt good and was very easy so it wasn't long before I was at the top waiting on Grant who was coming up withe the ropeto rappel on.

Route two I actually brought some gear with. The ice was thin and had been further thinnedby the over exuberant hacking by the party before us. A lot of dripping water had my gloves soaked in no time while trying to get in the first ice screw.  A bit of sketchy climbing with frozen hands and I was at the top in a hurry to get down before my hands actually started to warm up and the barfies set in. Back on the ground I had one of the worst cases of screaming barfies I can recall. No barfing, but much screaming and cursing followed as my fingers felt like they were being smashed with a hammer.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

I've been busy training. I'm hoping to be better with the posts here. Hopefully I can figure out posting from my phone.