Showing posts from March, 2017

Field follies, part III: The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

From Luka to Raphael: Hi Raph, Ian suggested that I should ask you about your new route in Field. Cheers,  Luka *** From Raphael to Luka: Luka, Here’s a photo of it. It's a couple hundred metres right of Twisted. The pitches go something like this: Pitch 1: 50 m, WI4. 2 bolts then thin ice getting thicker. A few screws for protection and a screw belay. Pitch 2: 20 m, M4. Move right then up over chossy rock to ice. Small cams and some screws. Screw belay. Pitch 3: 25 m, M7. Move right up some small pillars, then follow a few bolts up and right. Screws to start, cams to #2 Camalot to finish. Bolt belay. Pitch 4: 30 m, M8. Move right then up past many bolts. Not physical but sustained. 15 draws and #1 and #2 Camalots to finish. Bolt belay. Pitch 5: 10 m, WI3. Easy ice to finish. If you have 2x70 m ropes, you can probably get down in 2 long raps. There’s a bolted rap station straight down from the belay on pitch 3. Let me know if you

Field follies, part II: Blob Blob Blob

Eamonn Walsh and I thought we'd save weight on the boring ski up the Moraine Lake Road, and instead of bringing a tent, bedded down on the tables in the picnic shelter beside the lake. With dinner out of the way, we were leisurely packing for next day's climb when Graham Maclean and Rob Owens showed up. They had skied in that morning, climbed the notorious Gimme Shelter, and were on their way out to complete a one-day ascent of the route. They also brought some bad news. "Barry [Blanchard], Steve [House] and Rolo [Garibotti] are up the valley, and they're getting on your route!" The news was as surprising as it was unwelcome. And the unclimbed thin white line on the east face of Mt. Fay belonged to us, dammit! Having failed the previous fall a couple of kilometres out of the parking lot, when our bikes ground to a halt in the few centimetres of fresh snow on the road that was already closed for the season, we believed we had a unique claim to it. After a

Field follies, part I: Lone Pine

I don't know about you, but I find my climbing comes in waves. When I'm into sport climbing, all I want to do is session rock. When I'm into ice, all I want to do is swing tools. As a result, sometimes I have a hard time switching gears as the seasons change, and keep crimping with frozen fingers into November, or keep seeking out ice in high, shady places into May. I'm prone to a similar obsessiveness when it comes to where I climb. I won't visit a particular crag or valley for years, then on a whim I'll go there, see all the potential, and for the next few weeks go nowhere else. Take the polar pit that is Field, for example. I hadn't climbed there for years other than an occasional plan B, but now my last five outings have all been there, and I don't think I'm done with the place yet. Lone Pine The great Isaac Newton was an anti-Trinitarian. A what, you ask? In case you've forgotten your Catholic catechism, the doctrine of the Trinity is c