Monday, June 17, 2013

L-Shape Direct Direct!

What does the L-Shape have in common with the mayor of Toronto? Crack everywhere! Here's a testimony to the continued development of climbing opportunities around N.B:

About 2 years ago I submitted a letter to Gripped magazine which was eventually published. At the time, a number of fellas were busy re-equipping old lines and cleaning new routes was happening fast. It's pretty cool to see that the pace hasn't slowed. 

On the weekend, I got to climb with my buddy, and long-time Welsford climber Chris H. In the span of 3 hours we climbed 3 high-quality pitches that he'd never done before. That's incredible considering they are all moderate grade, feature great climbing, and all are in the L-shape. A few years ago it would have seemed for certain that the L-shape was totally tapped (considering it's probably the busiest formation in Welsford).

His business card simply reads:
Chris Hennigar - Mountain Man
Among other classics we did: 
  • Partner's in Crime, 5.8 PG - unearthed and cleaned by Greg H last year. This is a nice addition and pair to Comrades in Destiny. When you've gone to the fuss to climb one, you might as well climb the other. Take a purple mastercam or equivalent. I liked it enough to poach the FFA!
  • Mantle Piece, 5.8 G - a way cool line it existed mostly as a top-rope or dirty, poorly protected  for a while. Shawn B. equipped this last year with 2 bolts and cleaned it up nicely. Now makes a great alternative to Waterwalk if you want to climb any of the big L-Shape link-ups.  The mantle move is cool and makes for a stellar photo of the leader from the base of Fandango.
  • Ka-Pow!, 5.9 G - er climbed this for the first time and both of us liked it for sure. I think this one is thanks to Fred B. A great 3rd pitch after Astroboy Direct. It eats good gear and has a variety of climbing. The finish isn't as cool as the DDT totem tower but this was still a worthy line for sure!
Me. Not quite a Mountain Man yet. More like an Astroboy.
The L-Shape now supports so many quality options for link-ups that it could pretty much deserve a Yosemite-style big-wall topo. (I might do that as a mini-project sometime). Speaking of topos... Dom Caron's new guide is currently at the printers! Buy it when it's out soon. It's quite the update!

Oh yeah, finally have to give a shout-out to a few super solid ladies who are starting to dip into leading the classic Welsford trad lines. I think it won't be far off into the future before some of the tag-lines in the descriptions of routes like Pink Panther seem antiquated:  "a must do for aspiring hardmen". I'd bet a beer that in the next year a few classic Welsford routes will see their 'first female ascents'. Cool! I wonder what the list is right now of classic pitches that have been lead ground-up by strong ladies? I know I've seen a few. 

Annndd... future Welsford hardman?  Enzo M!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Series of Sweet Poses Trending Upwards

Climbed a few fun routes at Greenlaw on Saturday that I hadn't done before. Managed to narrowly avoid disaster low on Bitch Recognize by pulling off an insecure stump-jam. Cool move on a nice route. Also tried my luck at Space Invaders, a very cool climb through significant overhangs on good holds. I managed to 1-hang it after blowing a close chance at a flash. Just didn't find the key hold in time. Nice line. Certainly more like 5.11a and less like the 5.12b it's given in the old guide. 

Psychedelic Ferns is one of the signature routes of this area and just about as good as any 5.9 sport climbing gets. Thoughtful moves down low, a big move through a roof, and a top-out with an ocean view. Sonia W. knows how to style it for sure:

Step 1) Bust a sweet, marginally-necessary stem.

Step 2: Stop for a snack to keep up the energy level.

Step 3) Make epic clips!

Step 4) Pose while scoping out the beta.

Step 5) Don't let the paparazzi see you fall!

A friend of ours once said "I don't climb... I just do a series of sweet looking poses trending upwards".  Seems as if someone has learned this secret! Cheers