Saturday, October 17, 2009

Second Issue of Squamish Climbing Magazine out now!

I am pleased to announce that the second issue of Squamish Climbing Magazine is out now! Download at :

Big thanks to all those who made this issue possible!

Saturday, August 1, 2009 has arrived!

I am pleased to announce the launching of my new site and the first issue of Squamish Climbing Magazine.  Big thanks to all those who made this possible.  To get your free copy, please go to  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2009 August 1st, 2009 (fingers crossed)

Over the past two months, I, along with a number of contributors, have been in the process of creating a magazine designed to feature the local talent surrounding the Squamish area.  Unlike other magazines, Squamish Climbing Magazine will not feature Chris Sharma or Dave Graham, but rather, will feature local climbers making a difference in the Squamish climbing community.  

The first issue is due out August 1st (fingers-crossed), and will feature a spotlight interview with Peter Winter, who is a prominent route developer in the Squamish area, a development article on the Grand Wall Boulders by Mike Chapman, and a trip report on Leavenworth, WA by Rich Kupskay. Other articles include training with Luke Zimmerman, shoulder stabilization with Carla Cupido,  a perspective on Garibaldi at Squamish with Brian Vincent, and even a circuit section featuring 25 V4's in a day including topos and all.  

The magazine will be distributed through the website as a free PDF.  This means that you can download your own copy of the magazine to view at your own pace and start your very own collection of issues.  

Stay tuned for more at or go to the website and join our mailing list! 

For those interested in advertising for this issue or future issues, please email Tim at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Squamish Circuits

This past weekend was a slug fest in the boulders, with hot and heavy temperatures on Saturday and a cold wind ripping through the forest on Sunday.  After getting on the stuff we thought would be good on Sunday, a group of us decided to run a new circuit that I created.  The title of the circuit is called '25 V4's in a Day' and it starts on the corrupted boulder and works its way across the forest to end on the problem Timeless.  Although our group starte strong only a few were left at the end to finish it off.  The challenge itself was difficult but well worth the fatigue (I literally thought I was not going to make it at problem 23).  

I know what you are thinking. Where can I get my hands on this circuit? Well you are in luck! Over the past few weeks, I have been working on launching a new site and hopefully, it will be ready to go soon.  One of the features on this site will be a circuit post that includes the names of the problems in the circuit and a detailed map showing where each problem is in the grand wall boulders.  Stay tuned on the blog to find out the location of the new site.  you will not want to miss this one.

Here are some photos of the day. Hope you like!

Izzy getting his Pocket Problem on!
Scott on the Pocket Problem
Israel on Atlas.  Watch out because this guy doesn't wear underwear with those shorts!
Reagan Daly looking causual on Trad Killer.
Matt Lucas toping out Star Fish.
Big Micky on The Golden Bowl.
Izzy giving the stare-down to Charge.
Greg getting grizzly on Child Abuse.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reagan Daly: Breakfast

I thought the music in this video was so good that I had to post this up here. Israel Cruces has got a new camera and has been filming a lot in the forest.  This is a pretty fun video of Reagan flashing the problem Breakfast at Tiffany's in the Black Dyke warm up area.  Got to love that leg kick at the end!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kris Holms and the unicycle

So today I was looking for a few email addresses and I came across a site dedicated to unicycling by Kris Holm.  I met Kris at a wedding recently and we mostly talked about climbing but I had no idea that he was this huge unicycle guy.  When I think about unicycles. I think of those guys riding over the Burrard street bridge in the morning and everytime I pass these guys I think to myself, wouldn't  two wheels be a little more practical for the commute?  

In my search, I came across a few videos of Kris doing his thing and it is impressive!  When we were chatting Kris had said that unicycling is like climbing because it is technical and requires problem solving to figure out new challenges.  Now that I have seen the videos, I would have to say that unicycling is balls to the walls!  This stuff seems crazy!

Here is a video.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Squamish News Update

Big news yesterday.  Matt Lucas, after a deep battle with No Troblems has finally sent the problem! Awesome Matt!  It must be that Muira !(not to mention the training regimes and the hard work!)  In other news, Rich Kupskay made as send of Kung Fu Fighter, which he has found difficult for a long time, and from the trad world, I was at a wedding the other day and heard from her brother that Katie Holmes made the first female ascent of Zombie Roof in the last month. Great way to start the summer! Let the summer temperatures stay low...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Squamish News Update

A lot of action in the boulders for a Tuesday night. Where do I begin?  Thomasina and Sam Schwartz both sent No Troblems for the first time.  While they were at it, Ben Harnden and Sonnie Trotter sent Loh Troblems, a low start variation to the original line.   Thomasina also completed King Kong later in the day.  Nice one Thomo!  In a little news of my own, I finally ended up sending Rollercoaster on Black Dyke boulder.  If asked how this problem climbs, I would have to say it has its ups and downs. badoomche!   On a very last note, I forgot to mention that two weeks ago, Rich Kupskay sent Northridge Mini which, in my personal opinion, is quite an awesome feat.  That's it for now folks.  Stay tuned for more summer action and if you have a chance, attend the meeting tomorrow night regarding the ski development in Squamish.

Squamish Ski Resort Development

This morning I received an Email from Brain Vincent regarding the proposed development of a ski resort in Squamish.  This development has been on the docket for years but I think over the past few months it has gained a lot of momentum.  Here is what Brain had to say.  Anyone who can make it to this event should surely go and voice their opinion. Here is the email:

Travel thirteen kilometers north of Squamish, and you find yourself in an area marked by two beautiful lakes, second and old growth forests, high ridges and extraordinary views. This spectacular wilderness area is the jewel of the corridor, and is enjoyed by locals and visitors from all over British Columbia and beyond who seek solace and outdoor adventure in a natural setting.

This land was originally set aside for British Columbians to freely enjoy, however it is on the verge of being handed over to Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. This massive development proposal would cover an area roughly 1/2 the size of Squamish and include: 2 golf courses, 25 ski lifts, 98 km of new road, 500,000 sq feet of commercial space, and 5,739 new housing units (22,000 bed units). 

The ski development is proposed for the stream's headwaters at Brohm Ridge and includes extensive water management plans, including up to five dams, extractions of water for snowmaking, golf course irrigation and potable water supply, storm water and sewage discharge, plus resort development that includes hotels, condominiums and other homes.
Environmental assessments reveal the resort would adversely impact grizzly bear, black bear, wolverine, mountain goat, and salmon and steelhead fisheries.



*Attend the Garibaldi at Squamish open house, Wednesday, June 24. The developers, along with the Environmental Assessment Office, and Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, will be giving presentations on the project. They need to hear strong opposition from local residents. Details for open house below:

TIME: 6:30 presentation of project

*If you can't attend the meeting, please contact me at to learn what you can do. Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Squamish News Update

Rich, Brent, Gord, Adam, and I went to Hope this weekend and it was off the hook.  We spent Saturday in an area called Hunter Creek that is home to a couple of the best boulders around.  Brent and I both ended up sending a problem we tried last year called The Ice Box.  Hunter is definitely worth the trip so if anyone needs the beta on getting there, let me know.  I am going to try and post a few photos tomorrow

Not much in Squamish new, as I wasn't there this weekend, but during the week Meshkat had a good go on Aftermath and got to the top.  Nice Mesh.  I also heard a crazy story that Ben Harnden (along with Sonnie Trotter) onsight free soloed Rock On and Squamish Buttress.  I guess Ben couldn't find anyone who wanted to climb on ropes that day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Squamish News Report

Lots to report in Squamish news this week.  First, cougar sightings all over the forest including the Grand Wall Trail and the Smoke Bluffs.  Last I heard the cougar got a dog on a leash Saturday evening and the rangers had shot a cougar sunday morning.  A rough situation all around.  

In sending news, I am super psyched to note that Greg from Victoria (who I don't know the last name because every time I ask him, he thinks I want to add him to my Facebook) finally sent The Egg Friday evening after trying for a long time.  In other great news, Matt Lucas sent Bates Motel after a small battle.  Last but not least, Gord Konkim did Calculus Crack for the third time.  I feel there is something else I am missing.

In development news, there is a rad new boulder problem called Doubt that climbs the arete next to American Gigilo, above Vince's Pinch Problem.  Be careful on the first hold because it is fragile!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Squamish News Update

Lots of things going on in Squamish despite the worst temps and conditions for climbing.  This week wednesday I went to climb in the boulders and after an hour and a half I just gave up.  The place was dead!  

This weekend has been super dead as well but to I am pleased to announce that Luke Zimmerman sent Worm World Low on Friday afternoon.  Luke has been back in the boulders lately after an intense 6 weeks of training weights and dead hanging the campus board.  I also did not report that in the last two weeks he has completed both Tension Extension and Rollercoaster.  Watch out route world.  I hope we see more sends in Luke's future.  I also want to take this time to mention that Meshkat Javid made his first ascent of Fixing the Car aka Autobody the other week. Nice one Mesh!

In more news, I continue to make the plunge into the trad world (only because with the namesake of this blog, it has to be more than just bouldering).   Ben Harnden and I completed Bird of Prey on the Squaw this weekend. I tried to lead the first pitch (70 meters) but ran out of gear half way up.  Ben took over and brought us the rest of the way. Nonetheless, the route was pretty awesome!! Finished up the weekend with a trad lead in the bluffs.  Can't wait to get back!

Please write in if you have any news to report! 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Squamish News Update

With my ear still to the ground, I thought I would post some news from the past couple weeks.  Jeremy Smith has freed a new six pitch line on the Chief directly above the Titanic boulder called Great White North, Tim Doyle added a new problem in The Farm called The Bull that starts on Chicken Lips and moves left across the face and finally, I am pleased to announce that Gord Konkin made his first ascent of Backseat this Sunday afternoon after getting some key beta after four years of work. Congratulations Gord!  Nice one!

In a little bit of my own news, I did my first Squamish mutli-pitch today.  Ben Harden and I went up the route Snake on the Apron.  After placing a bomber piece on lead and feeling on top of the world, I ended up loosing one of my shoes from the back of my harness on the final pitch.  Thank goodness no one was hurt, and even better, Ben found my shoe in the woods where we started the climb.  

Post in if you have any other sends to report over the weekend.  It looks as though the summer is off to a great start.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesdays and Rain

I am here at home waiting for the rain to stop in Squamish.  It doesn't look like it is going to happen today so I decided I would post a few videos because everyone loves video posts. 

The first video is one I stumbled upon that features Robin Avery (a guy i don't know) walking a slack line in the north gully of the Chief.  Pretty awesome I would have to say.  I think the funny part here is that Matt Maddaloni got him to sign a waiver before he walked.  After watching those guys jump into a safety net with holes I don't think  I would be the first to sign that piece of paper!

Squamish North Gully Highline from Robin Avery on Vimeo.

The second video I am posting is a video that was posted on someone's facebook page featuring an unknown climber on an unknown route in an unknown area.  The reason I am posting this is because we have been talking a lot about using new camera angles when filming.  The way this film is shot, it looks as though the camera is swinging back and forth slowly, allowing the camera to capture all aspects of the route.  Let me know what you think.  

Natalija Gros from Jure Breceljnik on Vimeo.

Finally, I am going to post another photo from Walker Kearney that features his trip to Squamish a couple years ago.  This is still the best montage of Squamish climbing that I have seen on the internet from an amateur film maker.  Most people may have seen this already but it is worth a look. Hope you enjoy!  

Friday, May 15, 2009

Trip Report: Fountainebleau Part Three

Everyone is climbing without me today because I came down with a cold yesterday so I thought I would take the time to finish up the Trip Report for Font.  I have left this last post of my Font photos far too long but I ran into some computer problems along the way which has left me sans computer for the past couple weeks.  The psych for these photos has long diminished but I thought I would post them anyways.  

Week Three in Font opened up my eyes to how big Font really is.  I climbed 6 out of 7 days in the last week and everyday we went to a new area that was off the beaten trail.  Each of these areas was pretty big with at least 3o classic easy problems (I use this term loosely because I fell off pretty much all of them) and then a handful of lines that will keep you coming back for more.
Screw John Butters!  Dan making this thing look good!

To start off the week, we got Dan back from the Swedes.  Dan had ditched those of us at the campground during my second week for the high life in a gite with his swedish friends.  After too much cleanliness, he was back in full force.   We also got Gord back from the city so the crew was back to full psych and everyone was climbing together.  Nice!

One of the sweetest areas we came to was a place called Gorge aux Chats.  This place had a lot of problems with unique moves and also a few classics to keep us busy for the whole day.  We even got Micky to climb a couple problems here.  All and all a pretty rad time.

Are these guys city workers?  Two guys standing around while one guy does all the work.

Gord getting ready to fly on a red circuit dyno.

What the... is that a new spotting technique you statue-like son of a bitch.

Timbo getting his pig paws on an unknown problem at Gorge aux Chats.

That pretty much sums up the trip.  Hats off to Brent who drew the short straw when driving me to the train station, and actually everyone who made the trip a huge success.  I will definitely be back to Font again.   Till next time Tara..till next time.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Squamish News Update

Looks like the weather held through the weekend despite the bad outlook during the week.  In climbing news, Thomasina Pigeon sent Encore une Fois on Sunday.  This may be the first female ascent of this problem and the way she did it encompassed a number of extra moves to compensate for her size.  Pretty awesome!

In development news, there is a small new cluster of boulders that have recently been cleaned just past the Funeral Arrangements boulder.   I think these were cleaned by Andrew Boyd and crew.   A couple of classic problems here that are sure to put a smile on your face.  That's all for now folks.  Looks like the rain is going to give our fingers a break for a few days.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Squamish News Update

Great weather had the boulders buzzing this weekend.  I am proud to announce that Luke Zimmerman made his bouldering come back on Sunday with his fist time sending No Troublems. In other news, Rich and I made a one two ascent of the timeless classic Breakfast at Tiffany's, and rumour has it, Tyson and Jeremy Smith sent one of their projects (although I have no idea where it is).   

Video Review: Leavenworth Climbing

So this is the second time this week I have found a video on someone else's blog and put it up here on my own page.  However, after seeing Jamie Chong's first shot at making a climbing video I was pretty psyched.   

So...a couple things that I thought were rad about this video.  First off, the beginning sequence is perfect with the use of the wide angle lens and the music.  The music got me psyched right away because it was so different than other climbing videos I had seen with their boring techno beat. The music gets pretty intense throughout the middle of the video but it kept me tense even when everyone was just sitting around.  

Two moments in video were timed perfect to the music.  The first was when Jamie hits the good hold on The Practitioner and then when Vicki hits the jug on The Shield.  Getting all this music timed out right must have taken Jamie a long time but it was well worth it.  Finally, I was psyched on the use of color and font in the video's word formatting.  The red and white contrast and opposite movements is a simple contrast between sections.  

For a first try, this video is pretty awesome and I am psyched to see more of Jamie's work. Hopefully this link helps a few people see this video who would otherwise miss out (although as of a week ago this video had more hits in one day than my blog has had in two weeks)  Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Squamish News Update

For those of you who are hooked on blogs, then the following news is not new at all.  However, for those of you who don't spend too much time on the internet, Sean McColl recently completed the second ascent of Velcro Low and posted a nice video of his send on youtube.  For the whole story and beta you ca go to his website  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wales Legend: Neil Dyer

This time around in Font I had the good luck to bump into Neil Dyer.  For those of you who don't know Neil, he is not only a top notch climber but he is a gentleman and a scholar true to the word.  Neil has spent plenty of time in Squamish over the past few years both bouldering and trad climbing. In fact, he even is credited with first climbing one of the harder problems in the forest, Stalling Tim, where he snatched the first ascent right under the nose of some local climber who was taking his time socializing in the parking lot.  

All this preamble brings me to a video that was brought to my attention featuring Neil climbing his most recent first ascent in Parisella, Wales.  The problem is called Silk Cut and the uncut video makes it look pretty rad.  Good work Neil! 

Squamish News Update

Awesome weather has brought a bunch of people back to the forest. A couple of notables this week with Sam Schwartz making the pendulum rush on King Swing Low and this Wednesday, Meshkat Javid sending Airtight Garage in only a couple of tries in the day. Nice one guys!  

In other news, the big flake on Tatonka has taken a bit of beating after Israel Cruces got his mitts on it and pulled off part of the hold. It looks as though it is about to break so be careful if you are climbing this thing or you may end up with a whole lot of granite on your chest.

Pic of the day goes to Meshkat feeling LOST with the goodtime blues on Anubis (I bet no one gets this reference).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trip Report: Kelowna

This weekend Ben Harnden gave me a tour of the Kelowna climbing scene.  The plan was to check out the boulders in Cougar Canyon but because of crap weather Ben thought the boulders were most likely soaked.  In a quick change of plans, Ben and I headed to Skaha to meet up with Drew and Anna, from Victoria, and Marek, who is know living in Summerland.  For those who don't know Drew, he was once a power house in the Squamish climbing scene and is dubbed with the first ascent of Be on Four, one of the most intimidating highballs in the forest.

Anna and Drew.
After a tour of the new house and some friendly banter we headed out to Skaha.  On the way there it was pouring down rain and when we arrived at the new parking lot things were looking pretty grim.  The new parking lot, on the other hand, appears quite the hotspot for parking and now cuts the Skaha approach in half which is a huge plus.  I have always had a true love hate thing for the Skaha approach.  Damn those stairs and their fitness! 

Ben caught in a sea of cars.
Despite the weather, we ended up heading to the Great White Wall and found ourselves having a pretty good time. If you have never been to Skaha, it is more than a good time.  The routes here are jammed packed with good holds and always seem to get you feet thinking.  If I had the chance, I would stay here for a whole season and climb everything.  Marek and I had not been sport climbing in years, so we were sticking to the short routes and still getting pumped like crazy.  We ended up climbing most of the afternoon until Marek went down after a rogue boulder busted up his leg.  After climbing, we all headed back to Marek's to have some sweet sweet moose stew that was brewing at home thanks to Clara.  All and all a great day!

Anna climbing on the edge of the Great White Wall.
This morning I woke up early and called Ben because I wanted to see what the bouldering scene was like around Kelowna.  Ben brought us to a place called Pebble Beach that was host to a handful of good problems situated right next to Okanagan Lake.  The place doesn't have much but some of the problems were really great.  I stuck to most of the easy stuff while Ben bounced around climbing all over.  Here are a few pictures of Ben crushing and the local art scene.  

Putting the crotch of these pants to good work on The Savage.

For those who can't see this says "BALZ". Nice!

Benny getting hippy on Skull Duggery.
That pretty much sums up the weekend.  Looks like the weather might cooperate with us for some bouldering after work on wednesday. Any takers?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Trip Report: Fountainebleau Part Two

Week two in Font started off with sunny weather and a well needed rest day.  Brent and Tim came down with the cold that Marek had the week before and everyone's skin was thinning because of all the wet weather and the sandpaper slopers.  Despite all the dirty looks from Gord, I put myself in quarantine from the rest of the group. This proved difficult while sharing a van with five guys but it had to be done.  I couldn't risk getting a cold on my vacation. However, I think Gord was secretly still licking my cutlery and spitting in my water.

Would you want this guy licking your cutlery?

After growing new skin, I thought it necessary to make another trip back to the Franchards.  TD wanted to have a couple goes on Karma and I wanted to try my luck on El Poussay and a few of the sweet problems in the back of Isatis including L'Aroche Coeur and El Poussif.   I ended up going back to Isatis two more times because of all the rad problems (and because it rained on me the first time).  I think Isatis is one of my favorite areas in Font.  It's got a great red circuit and the holds on the boulders are different than other areas.  To end our time here, we went to check out the Rainbow Rocket dyno.  This thing is huge.  No one made the catch this time around but both Peter and Neil came close.

Neil making knee bars look easy on L'Aroche Coeur

In Font, its all paparazzi and big crowds when your climbing the big stuff. Neil getting celebrity on L'Aroche Coeur

Peter standing in front of Rainbow Rocket.

Peter going cross over crazy on Rainbow Rocket.

Neil on a full stretch coming just short of the lip

TD fighting sickness to wrestle with Karma

A trip to Font would not be complete without going into Paris at least one time.  I ended up heading to Paris on a rest day with Peter and his girlfriend Veronica.  We ended up trying to get in the Louve but a lot of it was closed because of the strike so we hit up some classic tourists spots like Notre Dame and Le Sacre Coeur.  walking around the streets of Paris is pretty rad because of all the crazy styles and the cool buildings.  Parisians are pretty crazy with their styles and they certainly put North Americans to shame.  I think the trick is in a good pair of shoes and big collar jackets.  

Clean guy in the city.

So that it is for week two.  A bunch of climbing in the main areas with great temps and the sun shining down on the forest canopy.  At the end of week one I thought to myself 'Font is a little hard!" and at the end of week two I thought 'Do I even know how to climb anymore?'.  Font was handing my ass to me over and over again and despite the constant ego beatings I was loving every minute of the climbing.  This is a place where it feels absolutely wrong to have a rest day. Stay tuned for week three!

Monday, April 6, 2009

One Tree Missing?

While climbing in the forest this weekend I went up to the Thighmaster area and found that the tree separating Mosquito Incubator and the slab to its left had been pulled out by its roots and thrown about 3-4 meters away from the boulder. After surveying the damage, I stood over the tree for about ten minutes and thought to myself 'this tree was not in the way of the climb and it is not endangering the safety of other so why would someone go out of their way to pull it out of the ground?  
Now I am not delusional about the state of the tree in question. The tree itself was dead and had surely been though a lot. However, its roots remained planted in the ground and it was still standing freely in the air like many of the other trees that nobody notices in the forest. The situation itself, although not catastrophic, begs the question of this: What is our responsibility, as climbers, to leave the least amount of impact in the forest as we can? and where do we draw the line on our own actions that make an impact on the natural state of the forest that are simply not necessary?  
As a climber who regularly climbs in the forest, I am no doubt a hypocrite on this issue. I have cleaned the moss off boulders. I have trampled through the forest on unmarked trails. I have even thrown my pad down on small vegetation.  However, after putting this issue to thought, I have become much more aware of the impact the last couple of years has had on the forest. The trails are looking worn, root systems that were once buried under dirt are now exposed, and the forest generally looks like it has been through a lot.  So where does it stop?
I am of the opinion that, as climbers, we should minimize our impact as best we can while continuing to climb in the forest.  This means sticking to the main trails, stepping on rock over the roots of trees, and leaving the forest to progress as naturally as possible.  I believe that if a tree interferes with a specific line, then the line should be kept closed until that tree is no longer standing.  If a tree dies, but continues to stand, then it should be left to fall naturally unless it is endangering the safety of the trails.  
Bottom line is that the forest is a public space.  The decisions that we make in the forest affect others and if a decision is to be made to change the natural state of the forest, at the very least it is important to know what others think. So what is the public opinion out there?  What is the general consensus on making an impact on the forest?  Is it okay to knock down free standing trees that are dead or dying? Should boulders be kept closed because of pre-existing trees? What about the removal of rocks from specific lines? What about built up landings?  All of these issues have come about at one time or another so here it is.  Where do you stand?  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ben and The New Silent Menace

Yesterday I was fooling around on the internet and I came across this photo of Ben Harnden climbing The Silent Menace, a route in the Grand Wall Boulders first bolted by Jim Sanford and then first climbed, I think, by either Sonnie Trotter or Jordan Wright. The line starts by the climber jumping a gap to a huge jug that hangs midway on a blank face to start the climb. Two summers this hold was mysteriously found at the bottom of the climb with no explanation of who pulled it off or how it came down. A few weeks passed and Matt Lucas found a video of someone climbing this line on the internet. I have posted this video so you can check it out. You got to imagine that a number of people have started this climb without clipping the first bolt on the wall before jumping! make a long story short, Ben Harnden was really close to climbing The Silent Menace when the hold was ripped off. Ben had found a way to traverse in from the left instead of jumping the huge gap and when finding out that the hold was gone he was pretty bummed that he would finish his project that summer. Now for those of you who know Ben, he is made of steal. No one can stop this guy and especially not a big hold ripping off the wall! With a whole lot of determination, Ben started back on his project the next summer to find a sequence on very small crimps that now were in place of the huge jug. Two summers later, Ben got the first ascent of The New Silent Menace (This is actually not the new name of the climb but I think Ben gave it a super weird name that I think everyone has forgottten). Nice one Ben!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trip Report: Fountainebleau Part One

Got back from Font a couple days ago. In a word, the trip was awesome. Last night I made Matt sit through all 581 photos and I am going to try and post the best photos here for people to see. If you have never been to Font, without a doubt you should make it you next destination for climbing. It is a place of epic proportions and could take a lifetime to explore. is the spray down.

Arriving at the Fontainbleau-Avon train station, I was greeted by a downpour of rain and four guys crammed into a small van that smelt like french cheese and peanuts. I had been traveling for for almost 14 hours and was feeling pretty tired but couldn't shake that 'first day of the trip' anxiousness to get on the rock. I piled my stuff into the van with TD, Brent, and Dan (from New Brunswick) to go to visit Merrick who had rented a hotel room. I guess he had been hit with the flu and everyone thought it a good idea to hang out with him in a windowless room and all drink from the same cup and share spoons together. Man down! And more to come!

Waking up the second day, I was psyched to get on the rock but it had been raining all night and I was starting to worry that we would never get to climb. Gord joined us after hanging out in Paris for a couple days and we were off to Cul de Chien , a small but quick drying area in the Trois Pignons. When we got there, the sun had already come out and everything was drying quickly. Cul de Chien is basically a huge sandbox in the middle of the forest with a couple of stand out problems that beg to be climbed. Needless to say I was relieved to finally feel some of that Font sloper magic.

Dan giving it a college try on Le Toit de Cul de Chien.

Your man trying to figure out the toe hooks on Eclipse.

Gord in the ejector seat on Le Toit de Cul de Chien.

Third day the rain began pouring down in my tent early in the morning. Everyone piled into the van around 1030 am to go and hang out at the Carrefour. For those of you have never experienced the 'Carrefour magic', it is basically the french answer to Walmart except that it is bigger and has all the french food one could handle. The boys had discovered Streetfighter 5 the previous day and had organized an all day tournement to keep us busy while it poured outside. Picture 7 grown men wearing dirty clothes buying nothing while huddled around a demo machine playing video games while the staff watch from a distance for any unussual behaviour.

Brent playing the parking lot blues at the Carrefour.

At this point in the week, I was worried that I would never see dry rock again and had vowed that every day the sun returned I would be climbing. At this point in the trip, we were joined by Neil (from Whales) and his band of friends along with Peter Michaux from Victoria. We spent the next two days visiting two classic areas: Bas Cuvier and Roche aux Sabots. Bas Cuvier is the birthplace of bouldering and is probably twice the size of the grand wall boulders in Squamish. It is home to a condensed area of classic problems and the options feel endless. It is also home to some of the most polished footholds in Font. To top it off, if you stay past dark you better keep your wits about you because it is the the biggest 'gay man' meeting place on the A6 highway to Paris. A little piece of advice, be careful when walking around the parking lot or you might step on the unthinkable.
Dan losing some serious skin on Areodynamique.

TD trying to find balance on an unknown arete problem next to Duroxamanie.
Niel putting the power on Big Boss.

Roche aux Sabot is another area in the Trois Pignon and is home to what I would describe as the best blue and red circuit in Font. All of the problems are super fun and you can fit in 30 to 40 problems in one day with each problem feeling better than the next. To top it off, this area is filled with a few highballs and a dyno in the middle that looks very promising. This is one area that you don't want to miss if you ever find yourself in Font. It is also a good day 2 area because of all the top quality easy to mid range problems.

Gord getting Jersey on Smash.
I finished off the last day of the week with a trip to the Franchard Isatis area. This is one of my favorite areas in Font because it is set in a beautiful forest with little sand and is home to a number of three star problems. The photos here come from a rest day I took when other people were climbing. This is a rad problem in the back of Isatis called El Poussay. So much for perfect friction. Out of all the talented individuals who were trying it here, I think only Peter came away with a send. These slopers are slopey!

Merrick fighting back for friction.

Someone has got a bad case of sloper heaven on El Poussay.

Peter putting that sunshine to good work on El Poussay.
Well that is it for part one. Stay tuned for part two. More photos to come!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Matt!!

Yesterday marked the 32nd birthday of our dear friend and squamish legend Matt Lucas. Festivities began with the drinking of beer followed by the eating of a mountain cake, ending quickly with the young cries of a baby. Happy Birthday big guy! Welcome to growing up!

On a quick side note, this will be my last posting before I leave for Fontainebleau, France to meet up with TD, Brent, Gord, and Peter. I will try to keep up my posts while I am there if those damn q keyboards don't piss me off. Until next time...

Does this guy look happy or what? Mountain Cake anyone?

Matt Lucas...a magnet for asian babies.

Introducing legend in the making Cameron Chung.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Battle of the Berrics Final

For those of you who have been following the Battle of the Berrics, the final matches have been or will soon be posted on the berrics website. This is a must see!! Some of the tricks in these final matches are absolutely sick!