Saturday, 11 August 2012

A Pilgrimage To Sport Climbing's Mecca

A new destination to explore.  Cheakamous Canyon, the home of the biggest concentration of high quality bolted climbs in the area.  There's also a camping area here to investigate for future use.  Starting up from the highway, things are looking good, despite the description indicating that 4 wheel drive vehicles are recommended.  The GTI is all over this.  Then the road starts to get STEEP.  I keep trucking, however, picking up speed as I try to get up the hill before losing traction.  Happily, the GTI prevails and we arrive at the parking area.  There are a bunch of tents in a quaint ravine, a few outhouses, and a lot of high granite walls.

Good morning world, we have arrived!  I'm very excited today, both because we're discovering something new and also because we're going to climb our first multi-pitch climb today.  Now we're going to get high!  Some new skills to practise and put in the tool kit.  Emil and the Detectives, a 5.8 two-pitch climb, which is rated as a 'can't miss' climb in the guidebook.  7AM and it's already getting hot, it's going to be a beauty.

The first pitch was reachy, not a lot to work with, but not excessively taxing.  I was really sweating trying to pass the crux, and was really happy once I managed to get onto something a little more substantial.  At the anchor, I set up to belay from top, and Heather followed me up.  The second pitch was shorter, and a lot easier, and after we got up to the top, the view was AMAZING.

Rappel off, and high fives all around.  There's another multi-pitch climb right beside this one that we wanted to try, but unfortunately there was somebody already on the climb.  The decision was made to head just down the path to the 'Foundation Wall' to get in a good group.

We hit 'Flaming Arete,' 5.7  'Awake in a Ditch With a Horse Licking Your Face,' 5.8, and then moved on to a 5.9 graded climb called 'Mystery.'  I started working my way up the start of the climb.  Really, really thin climbing.  Not much to work with at all.  I got up two bolts and was starting to get into some significant difficulty.  Heather was discussing my climb with Mert, trying to come up with some suggestions, when they arrived at the conclusion that I was not climbing the 5.9 at all, but the 5.11a beside it. 

Ooops...  what now?  Logical answer, I guess, would be start again.  Wade's answer, of course, is somewhat less logical...  Try to move over to the correct route and continue up.  Stubborn bastard...  It wasn't easy, but I did it, which was a nice start to a very pleasant climb.  A great way to finish an exciting day.

Multipitch on!

No comments:

Post a Comment