Friday, June 22, 2012

Aberdeen Columns Climbing Guidebook - 2012 Update

Aberdeen Wall (Money$$)

A great asset to an already amazing climbing area, Aberdeen Columns has another update for the 2012 season. For those who dont know, Aberdeen hosts some awesome Columnar Basalt crack climbing at a higher elevation in a isolated forest environment that is a must visit if you are in the Vernon area. Locals, to name a few, Lyle Knight, Gary Wolkoff and John Dyck, have been active in this area for a few years making it user friendly. With camping and fishing nearby, this should be on your list for a summer weekend for sure! Bring lots of cams, some tape and a good head, although it is also friendly for top rope (bring some long slings). The new update looks really good, I am putting up a link to the CLIMBKAMLOOPS that is nice enough to be hosting it (free, no gimiks). ENJOY

Thanks Lyle!
Link to Guide: Aberdeen Columns Rock Climbing Guide 2012

Mike Weldon on 'AND HERE WAS BEAUTY'

Lyle Knight - Author of Guidebook

Kamloops Rock Guide Update

View from the Beach

Here is another addition to the updates for the 2012 season's rock guides. Kamloops has a great selection of climbing crags and there seems to be a little something for everyone. My personal favorite is Roche Lake (with the ample lakeside ((free)) camping nearby and good fishing), but for those who have not visited the area, The Beach, Hen House, Prickly Pear and Oregon Jack Bouldering are all unique areas that offer a something a little different. Along with the awesome climate, quiet areas and loads of camping, you should definitely put Kamloops on your list for a visit.

Here's the link to the new Guidebook, Thanks Trevor! Check out the great site CLIMBKAMLOOPS as well for all your area info!
Guide Link: New Kamloops Rock Guide 2012

Drew Nylen at the Beach

West Kootenay Rock Guide Update 2012

Vince Hempsall (One of the authors of the guidebook) at Arrow Lakes

With many new additions to an already nice guidebook, this update really shows these guys (gals) have been very busy around Nelson & Castlegar. It looks like Arrow Lakes crag has really seen some traffic and is shaping up to be a really nice area. As well, just around Ymir (pronounced 'Y-Mmer, a few minutes drive from Nelson) there are a few more really nice looking crags that have popped up full of juggy granite. All in all looks like the Kootenay's are turning out to have some good climbing hidden in those trees, I certainly psyched to go check out all these new routes!

Check out the awesome website CLIMB THE KOOTS for all you area updates and info!!
2012 Link to new Updates: New Climbing Update

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Recommended Route(s)

Night view from Cedar Park Parking Lot

SPIDERMAN 5.10B/C - GEAR to 4" - 22M
Located on the Yellow Wall at Cedar Park Crag in Kelowna, this fun climb starts with a little burly off-width (that you can get sport-like overkill by bringing a Camalot #3, #4 and #5) that leads into a steep corner (crux). The remainder of the climb offers sinker fingers, steep aesthetic moves and good gear. Amazing that I never see anyone trying this. A must!

One of the best parts of this climb is that you can climb an amazing mixed 5.11a off the same anchors. This one requires delicate moves up the first half to a steeper pumpy finish that really is quite exhilarating.  It's called Pull Off My Lichen 5.11a - 2 Bolts - Gear to 1" - 22m

For those not aware of Cedar Park in Kelowna. Let me explain; amazing rock (solid like Skaha) steep pumpy routes, crimpy & steep face routes, cracks, easy stuff, 3 pitch route, south facing (aka climb in winter) ticks, full length climbs, aesthetic, mostly 3 star routes, good view, close to Kelowna, hot in summer (too much) and no crowds. Need I say more?!!

Ryan on top of a great route at Cedar Park

Climb Smarter & Safer

I've seen it a hundred times, and Im sure some of you out there have too. Recently I witnessed an incident at a local crag where the belayer really got yanked up the wall, making the situation crappy for the climber and belayer. After the incident the climbing couple felt weary about trying any difficult climbs. I think careful planning and good belay techniques can help to avoid these kind of situations. Posted here is a great write up from Climbing magazine to help with it!

Stop the Flying Circus

By Dave Sheldon / Illustrations by Jamie Givens


How to belay a heavier leader
People whose partners outweigh them by 25 pounds or more routinely get yanked off the ground when catching sport-climbing leader falls.  
Although this phenomenon is disconcerting at first, it can be perfectly safe with a few simple precautions—and it provides a nice, soft catch for the climber. Some climbers recommend anchoring a light belayer to the ground, but this may cause the falling leader to experience a hard, shocking fall. In most cases, allowing a sport-climbing belayer to move around decreases the chance of injury to the leader and belayer, and also lowers the force applied to the system.

When belaying, stand directly under the first bolt. Should the leader fall, this ensures you will be lifted straight upward, not dragged across the ground or scraped along the side of the cliff.

Wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes: no flip-flops! As you’re yanked upward, both hands will be occupied with holding the rope, so it’s your feet that keep your body away from the rock. In a hard fall, the forces can be violent, so belay gloves and—if you’re not too cool—a helmet also are recommended.

If the first bolt is close to the ground, consider having the leader unclip it after clipping the second bolt; this will prevent you from being yanked up into the first quickdraw. Or, use an extra-long stick clip to bypass the first bolt, eliminating the down-climbing and unclipping shenanigans.

Scan the rock under the first bolt or two, following your likely path of upward trajectory. Are there any rock spikes or nasty overhangs to be wary of, or is the wall smooth and forgiving? Visualize where you might impact the rock—hopefully feet first—at three, five, or 10 feet off the ground. If there is a chance of being yanked into something nasty, find another climb or recruit a heavier belayer.

When the leader pitches off, hold on tight and prepare for liftoff. Do not jump! If the leader is low on the climb, consider dropping down on one knee. This will increase the distance between belayer and leader by a foot or two, which might be just enough to prevent climber and belayer from knocking into each other. If a collision is unavoidable, turn your head away, keep your mouth shut to protect your jaw, and don’t let go of the rope with your brake hand.

As you get pulled, keep your feet underneath you— the movement feels sort of like a speedy rappel in reverse. Your goal is to leave the ground in balance.

Holds break, wasps fly out of holes—a good belayer should be prepared for a fall at any time. Still, the leader can help. When a fall seems like a distinct possibility, calling out, “Watch me!” puts the belayer on high alert.