Friday, 17 May 2013

The 5.10 Day

All tuned up to Skaha rock, we're ready to tackle some harder (and shadier) climbs today.  A group of 5.9+ climbs on Redtail South catch my eye as we looked through the guidebook over breakfast.  'The Dogmatism Group' boasts a 5.9, two 5.10a's, and a 5.10b on a towering, 22M vertical cliff.

There's a couple who are neighbours to us at OK falls just beginning the 5.9 when we get up there, so I decide to start off on one of the 10a's, Basic Black. 

Wade at anchor on 'Basic Black'
The start is fast and easy, it takes no time for me to work my way out from behind the tree that I started beside and get way up.  At that point the holds started to get rather skinny, and after a couple of big steps up with my right foot my knee was screaming at me every time that I moved. 

I struggled upwards, fighting with my right leg's unwillingness to work with me as I picked my way up the route.  Upon arriving at the healthy overhang at the top we had worked our way down to some of the smoothest rock I have seen here at Skaha, and I wasn't entirely sure what to do to pass the roof.

Heather, relaxing in an awesome 'chair'
I felt around, however, and discovered a hole behind a block that I could park a truck in!  A great gripping point for my left hand, I was able to lever myself up with that and reach up and over the roof to a solid hold above.  Secure there, I sent my left up to join in and smeared my way over the roof, only to find myself at the anchor. 

Wow!  That was a really fun climb, and the roof moves were off the chains!  I can't guess how Heather is going to handle that big move though...

After working her way up to the big roof, Heather was able to adapt, as always, and find a lovely series of moves to go AROUND the big overhang, reaching the anchor by a completely different route.  Clever, clever.

Top of 'Facility'
The 5.9 is free now, so we bounce over to 'Dogmatism' and I start up the rock.  I'm going to be honest, this wasn't a pretty one for me, and I really don't have much of a logical explanation for that.  It was a very nice climb, nothing too remarkable, maybe a touch hard for the grade due to the small holds, but certainly nothing to complain about.  It strung together some pretty intricate series of moves, which under better circumstances might have been quite nice.  It was certainly quite nice watching Heather ramble up, so I'll take heart in that, I guess.

The second 5.10a, 'Facility' was a very tough one.  My feet were quite sore, so much so that I switched over to my older, broken in shoes for this climb.  Facility was a pleasant effort, however, and it really smoothed out at the top, making the roof move much more challenging than on 'Basic Black' although there was still enough holds to make it a reasonable effort.  I think the lack of feet when my feet are already killing me just about did me in, though.  Heather and I both nominated 'Basic Black' as the winner for the day, as the raindrops started falling.

The 5.10b located here, 'Tradition' has one of the most intimidating starts, which, I'm sure, must be the crux of the route.  If I had a stickclip available I would totally have given it a shot, but the massive overhang and accompanying dropoff was just a bit too much at this point in my day.  Maybe if it had been the first climb, I might have felt like I could take it down, but after all that climbing I just wasn't sure.  Oh well, I guess you have to save something for next time!

Up next, Hester Creek Estate Winery for some delicious lunch!

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