Monday, November 22, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

So this picture can tell you two things about me:

  1. I'm a knob and yep... I'm still wearing my well socked-in flip-flops with 3 inches of snow on the ground. I concluded that this was retarded today so I promise I'll smarten up. Socks aren't worth much once doused in slush. Gross. If I've ever harped on you in the past for wearing impractical footwear you really ought to call bullshit on me. (that's you Jenny)
  2. This picture isn't typical of my snobby camera set-up which can only mean... wait for it... yes, I own a cell phone. [Gasp]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Few New Bolts

You win some and you loose some.

Last weekend I planned on finally bolting 'Scrambled Signal', a moderate sport line at Cedar Pt. on Sunday. That meant that I had my bolt kit and the drill with me on Saturday while I was climbing at Sunnyside. Liam and I looked at a line he'd cleaned a year ago and both decided it was both worthy. This line is at the far right end of Sunnyside past 'Celestial Motion' just before it becomes a boulder heap. I even think it may have been looked at (and possibly scrubbed) a few years prior by Erick... but if so... it's been abandoned. Liam asked for some help since it would be his first route. It was a quick job and a fine addition. Well done Liam. 'Two Armed Bandit' 5.10d. A nice addition.

Liam putting in bolts for his new line.

The next day bolting at Cedar Pt. didn't go as well. I drained a full battery on 1/4 of a hole just as I did the last time I tried to establish this line. I jugged back up to my pack and grabbed another fully charged battery only to waste it on 1/2 a hole near the top of the line. WTF! Two dead batteries in less that a singe bolt hole. The weird thing is they both were drilling smoothly making quick progress and then went instantly dead. To make matters worse, the second hole was being drilled in the marble-looking rock that makes up the top 20 feet of the route. This rock was literally pulverizing from the vibration all around the bolt hole giving it a blown-out look. It did not inspire confidence. For this reason, I believe the second quarry area at Cedar Pt. might have to remain a top rope only area.

Monday, November 8, 2010

History at UNB Rock & Ice

Since I've taken on the job at the climbing club I've yet to write anything about the experience. Mainly, it's because I'd be stretched to have positive things to say. I've had a rough time this year and I've felt squeezed from both the University and occasionally from other climbers. It seems as if all new ideas are bad ideas... and that has me wondering whether I'll ever bother again. Now, that's been my personal experience and not a reflection on the club as a whole. The many volunteers we have this year have been stellar and new climbers are appearing with enthusiasm all the time. Which is great.

Anyway, my perspective on the job brightened up considerably when I received an interesting letter, right 'out-of-the-blue'. It was addressed to me from a Mr. George Strunz. I've pasted in some snippets below:

Hi there:

A recent e-mail from a Shay O'Hanlon of the Irish Mountaineering Club got me reminiscing about the joy I got from climbing when I was much younger, and brought about the attached little article.
While it is mainly concerned with climbing in Ireland, at the end, it does mention some climbing I did in the White Mountains and especially on Mt Kahtahdin with a group from MIT in the 1960s, and later the efforts of a small group of us start a climbing club here in NB. We explored quite a few routes on Eagle Rock though I have forgotten most of them by now! The hoped-for club never really got off the ground (unintended pun) and after its demise, I used the small amount of money left in our treasury to buy a book on mountaineering for the UNB library. (Unfortunately I have also forgotten what the book may have been something by the late Gaston Rebuffat, a member of the French team who were first to climb Annapurna in the Himalayas in 1950.)

I am delighted to know that the UNB Ice and Rock Climbing Club is thriving. It may be interesting for you to know that the rock climbing potential of Eagle Rock was explored some 50 years ago...and possibly earlier for all I know!

All good wishes
george strunz

George wrote again today to mention the names of several other climbers now in their 70's & 80's, some of who still reside in Fredericton. Unfortunately, he doesn't believe any documents or photographs of their climbing days in Welsford during the early 1960's still exist. I'd be curious to see if anyone can track down the book mentioned above.

Just thought I'd share this interesting piece of history. I've always been told that the club as it exists today was formed in the 1970's by Steve A. This piece of information would date club back another decade... and I think that's worthy of mention.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Not sure which costume was more frightening:

Zombie climber!

Dick English. Uurrgghhh