Saturday, October 30, 2010

David Lama-response to Cerro Torre

This is already old news, but I thought I post it here as a bit of a defence of David Lamas actions on the Compressor route of Cerro Torre. I am also impressed with Davids blog, well worthwhile reading. This guy evolved from a pure gym climber, winning pretty much anything on plastic before he had the first signs of pubic hairs, to a great all rounder in the mountains. Don't underestimate the guy, I'm sure we will hear lots of him in the future.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

drilling and stuff

Last week I went up to the major cliff band, which is the continuation of the Lookout, to drill another route there. I started the new development before my first aid course with a 40m line of perfect stone. As we know since a few years, the potential up there is almost endless and so is the work. So since everyone else is out there searching for ice right now, I decided to have my workout closer to home and at least start this fantastic new area with a few lines, so we can hit it next spring. I hope more people get encouraged by this and join in with some hard labour. If you don't have a drill and want to help out, mine is hanging up there and I even charge the batteries for you. Since this area is separated by a good 10 min walk from the Lookout, I thought it deserves it's own name. "Bellavista", which is italian for beautiful view.
Right now I'm sitting at the lodge, struggling with Power Point in preparing a presentation for guides training on last winters helicopter accident. I would like to share the picture below with you, all I can say is the 3 passengers walked away with no scratch, which is quite unbelievable. There was definitely a bit of alcohol involved that evening.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

seasonal closure

Last week would have been a perfect week to play around. One could go rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, hiking, mountain biking and God knows what else. This is the time of the year what makes living in the Rockies so attractive, this is the reason why I chose to live here a long time ago. And what do I do? I spend the whole week in indoors at a "advanced wilderness first aid refresher". After the test, which I still doubt that I passed, I got the wildest stomach flu, which pinned me down for the last 24 hours. Although I enjoyed learning a lot of useful skills on the course again, I'm just not used of sitting from 8 to 8 in a class room anymore. As soon as I felt a bit better this afternoon I started packing away my rock climbing gear for the winter. If you can trust the forecast, this will be the end of a great climbing season for me. I've had the pleasure of climbing lots this year, sharing my excitement with a lot of wonderful people on tons of different cliffs, and full filling most of my little climbing goals I set myself in the spring. A big thanks to all who shared a rope with me this year, and sorry for all my smoke you had to inhale. You are the reason I still try to keep going. And now let's make the most of the upcoming, long Winter.
photo Derek Galloway

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What a great fall

I keep on telling myself that this is it, this is the last day of rock climbing this season, and then catch myself touching rock again. Although I was working the last couple of weeks up at the Bobbie Burns, I got out for Thanksgiving weekend and could not stay away from the Lookout. Since I have climbed every single route at the upper Lookout already, Greg T. was very kind in giving me one of his projects, although he could have easily climbed it himself. "Burn one down" is a very good 12+ to the first anchors, which accommodates a sit down no hands rest. But after this, the extension is one of the best routes of the wall (how often did I say that now?), and I was blessed to get the first ascent on this one. The rock quality and the moves would fit really well to the lower wall of Acephale, like the upper part of Nemo. I think the grade of the extension is no harder than 12d, so two 12+ stacked on top of each other. I'm sure it will become another classic up there again.
Simon and I had a great day on 3 brand new routes for us on Thanks giving Monday. First we bagged the first ascent of my new route left of Tetris, it's called "wasted on the way" and goes at 12-, slightly harder than it's right hand neighbor. Then we went downhill to finally visit the Echo Cave, where I was able to flash a partially wet 12c called "Morpheus". Juggy, overhanging climbing suits me and the route felt more like a 12b to me. For our last goal of the day we chose "Destination Unknown", which was really hard and awesome. Although only a few meters apart, the route has a completely different character than Destination, and since I'm not a good boulderer, it felt like a solid 12d. I would highly recommend this little subarea to anyone heading up to Atlantis wall, very unique climbing with unbelievable pockets for rockies standards. There is plenty of potential for new route development, so don't forget to pack your drill. Remember, those batteries don't get better sitting in your garage for a long period of time.
And then there is always the family, I know I have not been the best dad and husband lately, too much caught up in my own goals. I'll sure try to make up for this selfishness as soon the weather craps out for good ...does this sound like selfish again? But first I have to endure a 5 day first Aid refreshers indoors with the best weather forecast imaginable, oh would I love to go to the Ghost for a few days and do some of those grand multi pitch lines.