Thursday, 16 May 2013

Departing The Flood

Thanks to some quick thinking by Heather, we were able to find another campsite this morning, so we won't have to worry about drowning overnight again.  The water level beside our site rose another 5cm since the time we checked in, so it's not unreasonable to assume that this site could be under water by the time we are ready to leave.  I will admit that it will be tough to leave this interesting spot, with it's moat, and duck paddling training pond...

We decided to have a day of climbing in a new area.  After leaving wet, wet Vancouver to come to this beautiful desert environment, it seems only logical to climb on a face that gets heavy duty sun.  The selection of 'Daycare' seems like a good choice.  It's a bunch of easy, higher routes, apparently set up for top-roping, which will see serious sun exposure through the day.  An excellent choice to get back into the Skaha rock and soak up some big time sun.

Heather runs a daycare for work, so it's an effort of will to begin the hike in for the day's climbing, but she puts on her big girl pants and gets ready.  It's a nice hike in, short, with a little bit of uphill, and we're already there.  I had concerns about interpreting the guidebook, but it's starting to make a lot more sense.

Proceeding in a logical, left-to-right fashion, we set up on a 5.7 called 'Your Father Wears' to start.  Heather is taking the lead, and does a good job on this reachy climb.  I find the toughest spot to be a strange undercut about half way up that is frustrating me with it's lack of handholds.  Luckily I am able to smear my way up to gain the top.

We follow that with 'Generation Z' which I found to be quite delightful.  It had an awesome series of big underclings through the middle which I found to be quite fun.  By the time we finished up with this climb, the midday sun was roasting us alive.  We had to leave the crag to go into town to buy sunscreen, lest we end up looking like lobsters before the end of the day!

After the break we returned to Daycare, to battle 'Rattlebag' It was a very exciting climb, I found the bolts to be about as spaced out as they could be.  It was quite the adrenaline rush in several locations, but you never really were too worried, just a little excited.  Probably the best of the three 5.7's, the rock was getting impossibly hot by the time we finished up this climb.

There was a very different sort of climb just up to the right.  Graded somewhere between 5.9 and 5.10b, depending on the source of your information, this was really a horse of a different colour.  Heather and I went up to check it out because of it's shadier location.  I certainly didn't expect what I found there, but it was pretty fantastic.  Big, bold moves, and really exciting, light touches were needed to achieve the pinnacle here.  Probably the best part of warm-up day for me, I think Heather really liked it as well.

After that big effort we decided to head down from Daycare, and opted out of any further climbing, deciding instead to have a relaxing lunch at Hillside Estate winery.  What a chore!

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