Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Slapping the Stone at Slocan

Top Roping After Breakfast 5.9

Delia and I tried to get out rock climbing most of last week, but it kept raining, and raining, so it wasn't until today that we managed to hook up and head up to Slocan City bluffs. It was Delia's first day back on the rock after almost a year hiatus, and I am a timid leader at the best of times, so we climbed mostly easy routes. One thing about climbing with beginner climbers is that you have to do all the leading, and, in the end, this makes you less timid. I always warm up on either Pie or the Big Easy (sport 5.6 and 5.7 routes respectively), so today we warmed up on Pie. Pie is a full 30 metres long, but has 11 clips so it is well protected, and has lots of incut holds – it feels like a Skaha climb. After Delia had seconded the climb, I ran up it again in a pair of new rock shoes I bought – they are pretty good, but not as sensitive as my Bongos.

Next off we moved along to the right, and I led a gear 5.6 called Sunny Side Up. A nice easy route with good gear and good stances to place gear. The bolted anchor is shared with After Breakfast, a 5.9 (or 5.10b if you pull the roof) sport route, so, as we had the top-rope up, we climbed that too. You can climb it as a 9 by deeking around the roof to the left – I've never managed the 10b variation, but, actually I've never tried. Maybe I should.

Time to move on, over to Sahara, which is a really fun 5.7 gear route up a huge corner. The opening moves are the crux, a bit of a slippery layback, where you'll smack on to a ledge if you peel, and, as I don't like leading laybacks, I bumbled around a bit before finally pulling the moves. After that it is pretty easy with good gear and good stances.

This is the last route I climbed, a 5.7 slab climb, but this is actually Hamish climbing it on another day

Finally, one last mixed 5.7 slab climb, which I led but we ran out of time for Delia to follow. Too bad, but it was getting mighty hot in the sun anyway.

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