Saturday, May 19, 2012

Revelstoke's Victor Lake Wall

The Victor Lake Wall offers some unreal climbing in a unbelievable setting, located just outside Revelstoke, if you are climbing in the 10c to the 11d range with the occasional gear placement this is the place for you! Good quality quartzite multipitch climbing over steep ground with lots of aesthetic moves is the idea here. Included here is a link to the awesome Revelstoke Rock Climbing webpage that gives you the complete lowdown on the climbing here along with many other areas in the Revy region. Some awesome south facing long routes are awaiting those seeking some adventure!!

Link: Victor Lake Wall

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cougar Canyon Bouldering Guide 2012

 After lots of work, photo taking, trail maintenance, brushing, tree chopping, rock moving, and sending; Cougar Canyon's Bouldering has taken off. Can you believe I saw over 15 people Bouldering down there the other weekend. Trails are getting defined, there are shouts of beta echoing around the canyon, there is chalk evidence all over the classics, and people have finally realized one main thing; the climbing is good down here!!!

Partly due to this high amount of traffic and the many new problems, I have put together one final 'new' high quality guidebook for the Bouldering in Cougar Canyon (3rd edition) but where this guide differs from the others is the detail. Color photos, lots of area information, more detailed directions/beta and some fun route icons are just a few of the new features. The guide will be available through True Outdoors (old Valhalla) locations in the Okanagan Valley (high quality prints) and for free download here on this webblog. Get out there and enjoy all that Cougar Canyon has to offer and have a great summer!!!

Guide: Cougar Bouldering Guide 2012 Edition

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Recommended Route(s)

 There is a place close to Vernon, that many don't know about called Ellison Provincial Park. For those climbers out there, Ellison is home to some awesome Granite Bluffs looking over Okanagan Lake that offer up some incredible climbing, even if the pickings are few. It might even remind you of climbing at Squamish, the granite is that good. There are beaches, camping and great mountain biking nearby (sick bouldering too!) Today I am going to highlight two awesome climbs that rank amongst some of the better trad routes in Vernon (in my humble opinion). Try them out!

WHODUNNIT 5.8 - 23M - GEAR TO 3" ***
Arguably the best moderate trad/crack climb in the Vernon area. Start by scrambling up some blocks to a funky step to establish you into the two cracks/corner. Stem, smear and jam straight up until the crack moves left. Undercling and layback (read: incredible) until you are forced to finish up a cool little dihedral with sinker finger jams and great gear. The positions and exposure over the lake are unbeatable. Bring some long slings and I suggest top belaying (better for photos anyway) to save the gear and there is a big seat anyways!!

FROGGER/BUTLER (variation) 5.10+ - 23m - GEAR TO 2" ***
A classic link up that serves up some tricky ass slabby climbing and a big steep roof. Climb 'Frogger' as outlined in the Ellison guide but instead of finishing up at it's anchors step right just above the last (only) bolt and move into the steep roof crack of 'Butler'. From the start, the first 20 feet or so starts with a beautiful layback that quickly switches into a desperate seam/layback and a committing section (read: stich it up before moving on) where your only relief is a crimpy rail and a finicky piece of gear. Move on from here carefully to a bolt. Once past the bolt traverse out right (good feet, no pro) until you hit the main corner. Pull up and into the overhanging crack/corner, sort out the sequence and pull the last roof (bolt). There are four distinct cruxes on this one and the climbing is varied and sequence-y. Pretty much the best variation (in my opinion) on this part of the cliff that offers up a link to the more aesthetic (harder) moves of both routes. Give it a burn, lots of good gear and two bolts. Committing!!!!

Check out the Ellison Guide on this web/blog for more information!!
Link: ELLISON Rock Guide 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Skaha Guidebook

One of my first climbing road trip experiences was at Skaha Bluffs in Penticton, B.C. One of the best and most popular spring and fall road trip destinations in Western Canada, Skaha has become a lure for most climbers with its dry temps and unbelievable climbing. Since the last copy in 2003, the bluffs have been a scene of much development. There are definitely some new classics highlighted in this guide as well as many new routes and areas. The colour and the ease of use is terrific and I was super excited to grab the book and get out to explore and climb some routes I never knew of. Having spent more than 50 days at least at Skaha I will say that this book is a great asset to this already epic climbing area. Let the season begin!!