New Routing

  • Another two dry days gave us the chance to go back to the new proj today with our friend Andy. Sunny November! Warm rock. Scrubbing and trundling a thousand feet above the cloud sea on the ocean.

    Looking down to the Pacific, and up to the mountains of Vancouver Island...

    Cloud sea.jpg

    No photos from half-way down the cliff, but here are Andy and Mari headed back to the top...

    End of day.jpg

    And, the view back to town...

    PR from Gibralrar.jpg

    If you blow the above photo up a bit, you can see a plume of steam in the mid-left. This is from the pulp mill in our home town of Powell River. Not much today, but once upon a time the biggest paper mill in the world. Just under a hundred years ago, 4 percent of the world's newspapers -- yeah, that's one in every 25 newspapers in the world -- was printed on paper from this mill.

    And then, back to town, where we drank a pint at the Townsite Brewery.


    The structure in the mid-center is part of the mill.

  • @David-Harris that kind of gross. are those some kind of slugs???

  • @NickG It took me a while to figure out what you were talking about. Gross? Some kind of slugs? No, just my wife and our friend. Okay, they might look a little dirty after a day of scrubbing, but slugs?

    Ah! Wait! Maybe he means some photo I'd posted earlier. So I scrolled up and...

    ...yup, that is a slug munching on a big mushroom. And yes, slugs in these coastal forests get pretty big. The one in the photo was only about 3 inches long, but they can grow up to twice that size.

    And not just in the forests. Anyone with a garden -- or a yard around their house -- from Portland to the Alaska panhandle is familiar with them. Other than wanting to eat your low-growing vegetables they're harmless. Just part of life here.

  • initially it looked like a snake!

  • Glorious early December day here, so we headed out to the new crag we've been developing, not to climb or scrub, but to see if we could solve the problem of how to get to the base of the cliff.

    Getting to the top is easy. As I've posted above, it's a short drive (don't even need a 4X4) and casual hike on a popular trail. But not everyone wants to rap 70 meters, pull their ropes, and hope that they can climb out. So a path to the base has been on our minds for some time, and today, with calm and sunny weather, we decided to see if we could find an easy way down.

    Which we think we did. But since we cleverly forgot to bring a roll of flagging tape, we were unwilling to get too far down from the main trail -- you know, that old "Hmmm, I'd really like to be able to find my way back out" feeling. But tomorrow is going to be more sunshine, so we'll go back in with the flagging tape.

    In the meantime, a few photos. Starting with a shot of Mari heading back up the bald granite dome at the top after a tentative foray down. But "bald granite dome" is different here from what it is elsewhere. As in bald, but not really bald...

    December moss.jpg

    Yes, it is damper here than in Arizona, and exposed anything is covered in moss. But there is moss and then there is moss...

    December white moss.jpg

    Not snow. Doesn't really snow here. But some kind of white moss. Of which this is a close-up:

    December white moss closeup.jpg

    It, and the green moss, grow up to six inches thick on the bare granite.

    We'll go back tomorrow and try to follow what looked like a potential route to the bottom, but here are a couple of shots from the top. First, the view to the northwest:

    December view.jpg

    And finally, looking out past the cliff edge toward a cloud sea in the valley below and the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver Island to the southwest.

    December cliff edge.jpg

  • looks like a beautiful spot!,

  • @NickG It is beautiful. And today we remembered the flagging tape, so felt confident in thrashing down what looked like a way to get to the base. Turned out we hardly needed the tape -- just a matter of dropping down a short gully and then a descending contour around the cliff. A day's work with the loppers and it'll be an easy two- or three-minute trail to the base.

    And there is more rock than we realized.

    We probably won't be doing much more there until mid-Feb when the weather gets decent again, but who knows? There can be sunny days in December and January...

  • Sounds really good!

  • Crappy winter so far. a few spattering's of snow and some ice up on Mt washington but nowheres else... and we are not allowed to go to NH from VT. lots of rain the last few days. getting colder now so possibby some real ice locally in 10 days????

  • Not much new routing here for the last two months, but even if we can't make first ascents we can cheer on first descents.

    No, not on skis or in kayaks, but on a 1,600-ft granite slab.

    And no, not with ropes, but on a bike! Fire up this YouTube video, but fasten your seat belt first.

  • Thats insane..

  • David,
    Would that bike descent be part of the Cuillin Ridge?

    Sounds like you're doing well. Good on you mate. And Fitz, thanks for the CoR photos. I was there this last fall but without findable photos(?).

  • @was-dar said in New Routing:

    Would that bike descent be part of the Cuillin Ridge?

    I had to look it up, but yes, it is. Good overview here:

    That page starts this way: To quote the SMC Guide:- “This is the best easy climb in Skye and a contender for the best easy climb in Britain”.

    It might be an easy climb, but it sure looked like a near-the-limit bike descent.

    Good to see you back on here -- you should post more often. And yes, we're doing well (if a bit stir crazy) as I hope you are.

  • With the exception of a four-hour freak blizzard here two days ago, we're edging into Spring. And since there wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday morning, we decided to get back at it on the crag we started developing in the Fall.

    But while the snow here in town was all gone, the hike in was 1,000 ft higher, and the snow had definitely not gone. Not that it was hard to walk in -- just a shallow layer -- but all the trees were dripping and it felt like walking in a light rain.


    And when we reached the open bluff at the top of the crag it was almost like summer.

    Almost summer.jpg

    The day's objective was just to rap down and put in a 2-bolt station at the tiny ledge at half height, jug back out, and be home by beer-thirty. Everything went as planned until we got to the "jug back out" part and I realized I'd left my ascenders on top.

    Stupid climber tricks.

    Oh well, it was nice and sunny, so no problem hanging out while Mari jugged up and lowered my ascenders down to me. (And yes, I did have enough slings and cord that I could have prussiked out if I had to)

    But the highpoint of the day was on the hike out when I realized there was something different about a big boulder that sits right at a turning point on the trail.

    Big boulder.jpg

    Nothing jumps out at you? Well, here's a close-up of that tiny orange dot in the center...

    Sunset on the big boulder.jpg

    A painted rock the size of a baseball.

  • @David-Harris For what it's worth, jumped right out at me. Heh, orange ya' glad to have these little unexpected encounters along life's trails? Nice!

  • Sounds like an awesome day!

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