The Climbing Club

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:33 am 
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Short Version: Canada is AWESOME.

Long Version: An alpine start on Saturday got Sarah, Robert, and I to Bellingham at noon, where we met Gene, acquired foodstuffs, and set off for the Canadian border. We got through without incident and headed straight to the Smoke Bluffs and Burgers and Fries to climb until we ran out of sun. Sarah was going to start out leading a 5.7, but a (really) friendly local named Al insisted that as a beginner, she try a 5.6 around the corner. Al grabbed the rope (which was attached to Sarah) and led her to the 5.6, which was fun and turned out to be a good first lead (nicely done, Sarah!). Then our guide wandered off to flirt with female climbers and free solo everything on his injured knee. Meanwhile, Gene got on the aformentioned 5.7, which turned out to be much spicier than you'd expect. After those warm-ups we top-roped a 10c and a 10a, both of which no one would really have wanted to lead. Cori taught some first-time outdoor climbers how to coil rope, and Al gave us a vehement 10-minute warning about the black flies that would soon accost us. We escaped without much ado around 8:30, and only Robert lost a bit of skin to the flies. We assumed the campgrounds would all be full by then, so we wandered until we found a great parking lot off a service road. Others had the same idea and we chatted with the other friendly Canadians (redundant, I know) who joined us for the evening.

Gene leading spicy 5.7
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Sunday started out with a bang (and then more bangs), literally. We chilled in our tents (Cori hunkered) from about 6-9am as the thunderstorm pelted us with rain marbles and sound waves. (Note from Cori: AVOID the UWCC BD 2-man FirstLight tent if you prefer to remain dry during rainstorms. I emptied quite the puddle from the tent when the rain finally stopped.)

When the rain finally stopped, we cooked up some bacon and eggs for breakfast burritos, much to the envy of the mountain bikers who'd congregated that morning in the parking lot. You see, we'd camped at the end of a seemingly quite popular mountain biking trail, so on that rainy morning lots of people had decided to hit the woods for some muddy biking fun.

Some friendly bikers from south of the border (US, not Canada) claimed we'd crossed the wrong border as we drank Jumex, ate carnitas for dinner, breakfast burritos, and were marinating chicken in mole for that night.

We figured the rock was pretty soggy after the downpour, so we headed to the climbing festival at the info center where we talked to some reps about gear and watched a bit of dyno comp. We soon became tired of waiting around, so at Gene's behest we headed to Alice Lake and ran around the ~8km Four Lakes Trail. It wasn't climbing, but it was an amazing trail run that I'd highly recommend if you find yourself in Squamish without means/conditions for climbing (or just if you have extra energy kicking around). After some frisbee and beer in the Alice Lake parking lot, we decided the rocks were probably dry.

We passed the crowded Neat and Cool area and headed to Penny Lane, where we ran into Kyle, Simon, and Catherine, some climber friends (and friends of friends) from WA/OR. We climbed 3 of the 100 classic Squamish routes: a cool crack, a sweet slabby stem, and another one I can't remember how to describe now. They all started from the same place so at one point we had to cross some rope-streams. Fortunately we were all coordinated enough to pull this off without incident.

3 rope climbing cluster:
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More simul-climbing:
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Sarah is high on crack-love:
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Gene climbing an 11a (Robert would later leave a bunch of blood to mark his trail):
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A slug trying to eat Simon's shoe:
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Because we'd gotten out so late due to the rain, we soon had to consider the waning light and headed back to our fancy parking lot and our marinating mole. Kyle, Simon, and Catherine joined us for dinner and an impromptu Cubano style salsa dance party (complements of Gene's CD collection and truck speakers). K, S, & C brought some tasty Canadian brews and and we danced and ate and drank until some sprinkles inspired a speedy cleanup. Best parking lot campout I've ever had.

Monday we awoke to blue skies and abundant sun. Robert celebrated the weather by consuming the leftover mole for breakfast, with the timeless words, "Cold mole chicken juice takes some conviction, it turns out." We were out of camp by 9:30 and headed back to the Smoke Bluffs, where we had Neat and Cool all to ourselves for most of the morning. Sarah led Corner Crack (5.7), Gene led Flying Circus (10a), Sarah led Corn Flakes (7), and we top-roped the lovely giant flake to the left of Corn Flakes. Everyone got on everything and it was a delightful morning in the sun on warm rock.

Sarah and Gene went to the car for food, finished the remaining beer, debated going straight to dinner, but decided they should rejoin Cori and Robert for a few more routes before heading back stateside. We top-roped to slabby climbs at Burger and Fries, with everyone practicing their Gecko power holds, then headed to the Howe Sound Brewery for dinner, beers, and a beautiful view of the Chief before the long drive home.

Robert climbing Burgers and Fries:
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Conclusions:
-there's nothing like a Bhangra dance party for car rides
-Robert likes marking his climbs with blood (like cave painting!)
-WINCO is still a wonderous place
-"spicy" was the adjective of the weekend
-women climbers have sexy backs

More photos here (and no evidence of icky weather): https://picasaweb.google.com/cbucherl/S ... directlink


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:34 am
Posts: 324
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Bacon.
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