Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lighthouse Park Climb In March

Yes, that's right.  March.  In West Vancouver.  Climbing.  It's a bit of a long shot, but we have had 3 days of not raining, which is a rare treat here.  The temperatures are climbing into the low single digits, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of rock.  It's a relaxing Sunday morning, and I have been perusing climbing websites and guidebooks in an attempt to plan my goals for the coming climbing season. 

I realised that the exposed sea cliffs at Lighthouse park could possibly have had enough sun and wind in the last couple of days that the rock could very well be dry.  Pretty much no vegetation above to hold moisture, and this could mean climbing on the third day of March.  Heather and I round up Mert and set forth.

As always in this wonderful city a sunny break in any season other than summer is so rare that EVERYBODY will take full advantage of it, and today is no exception.  We get out to Lighthouse Park after noon, and parking just is not happening.  We find a spot all the way out on Marine Drive and trek in.  We soon find the path down to Juniper Point, which is where the routes that we intend to attempt are located.

What a BEAUTIFUL day.  I feel so lucky to be here today, and we set out in search of anchors.  All the routes here are listed as 'top rope only' routes, so it's safe to assume that we will be rappelling down to climb. 

We find a couple anchor pairs, and after consulting the information we have we select an anchor that works for both a 5.7 and a 5.10a.  I set up the anchor, and by the time I'm finished, Mert and Heather have found a way down to the base of the climb.

By the time I'm down Heather is already tied in and ready to achieve the first climb of the year.  She works her way up the 5.7 side.  She makes it look like she's been out on the rock every day for a month, having no difficulty with 'Jugs Away'   Mert and I both enjoyed climbing the 10a, 'Boobies' as a great way to warm up for the year.

There's allegedly another anchor a few metres over to the left, but I can only find one bolt.  Nobody is going to be climbing on that, so we head over to the only other spot that we found with a pair.  This was fun.  There were a lot of other people enjoying the area, hiking and taking pictures and such, and some of them started to get rather excited when I walked over to the edge and tethered in to start setting up my anchor. 

I was a popular photo op for the next few minutes while I got everything ready and rappelled partway down the climb to check for water.  This one is really cool.  The belay space is right down at sea level, the waves crashing behind you, the sun hot on your back, I can't imagine a place I would rather be right now.  We all come down and climb out.  Joyous.

The day's climbing at Lighthouse Park over, I reflect again on just how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place.  Third day of March!  Not the most wonderful climbing, toproping some 12M warmups was a great way to start the year.

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