The last two Thursdays have been spent in Squamish. I totally called it wrong in my last post – spring showers have yet to come. Lately we’ve endured a time change, arctic weather, and a few days of snow, but alas, the sun still shines. A few weeks ago I was shown a problem I had never done before called Pool, which is in the Easy Chair area. It’s quite tricky and I couldn’t finish it off before the sun went down, but I was so close I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So last Thursday, on an impulse, I skipped work to climb in Squamish. I did make it back to the office by 4:00 only to work quite late, but it was well worth it because I sent my project first try. It’s a hard problem to grade, but I figure it’s close to V10, maybe easier.

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There’s nothing like a Pool Party!

Yesterday was another stellar day. I drove up with Vikki Weldon with the intent to try something hard. We didn’t know what or how hard, but we were in the mood to crush stone. After warming up at Black Dyke, Ryan Olsen mentioned he was going to try an old Sharma campus problem on the Octagon boulder. I had tried it years ago, but never had success even after a few close attempts. To the left of this problem is Rookie, a pretty classic V7/8. And to the left of that is Rookie Low, V9. If it wasn’t for that damn Vince Chung who stole it from me two days before my redpoint, I would have had the FA. I would have at least given it a creative name! Anyways, Rookie proper attracted interest from Vikki so we laid the pads out and proceeded to dominate.

Sharma redpointed his problem in the dark during the shooting of Rampage. He somehow managed to use his feet, but really the wall is nothing more than smooth, slightly overhung granite with a few holds 8 feet above the deck.  So his beta was to start with his left hand on the first hold and jump from the ground (stacked pads) to the next. Then use a bad left hand to paste his feet onto… who knows! It was dark, he couldn’t see his feet, but he swears he got it on something to kick him to the next hold. At least that’s how the story goes… New school beta doesn’t involve feet. Instead, start with the right and jump the left hand up to the 11ft edge, campus match (or not if you’re Vince Chung), then campus the right hand to the 3rd hold, campus one more move, get a foot on, and finally mantel the lip. Getting the 3rd hold is the crux and I came close a few times by putting a foot on the first hold while matched on the second. Once I decided to give up on feet altogether, I sent first try.

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Ryan Olson trying to use his feet on Sharma’s campus problem, V11.

Vikki Weldon is super fun to climb with. For those of you that don’t know her, you’re missing out.  Strong climber chicks kick ass. She had no problem redpointing Rookie, even with an intimidating mantel top-out. Confidence, strong will and an infinitely positive attitude go a long way!

Vikki Weldon on Rookie, V7/8

Veteran climber Vikki Weldon slapping the Rookie around.

I finished the day off on another Vince Chung problem a Terry Paholek problem called Send the Pain Below, V10. To get to it follow the trail past Worm World Cave that runs parallel to the highway. No pics of this sweet problem, but it’s definitely above average. Go check it out.

The grand finale of our incredible climbing day included great music by Brett Dennen who played at Richards on Richards last night. We were all highly entertained. If you were to see this guy walking down the street you’d never… ever imagine him having the voice that he does. He’s an amazing singer and artist. Check out his site and buy his CD, especially his older albums.

Brett Dennen

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