Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shugga Mumma

It is definitely a great summer when the hardest part of the day is deciding...
Where should we climb today?

I was living the good life being a professional non-professional, traveling to the North West's premiere climbing destinations.

Some call us dirt bags, but we consider ourselves Dharma Bums on a quest to live the vision that pops up while not getting after it.

Most other climbers drool over blogs and wonder, how do they make that happen for themselves? We have known all along...

Don't work that much.

Move into your car.

Don't take extravagant vacations.

Eat lots of cliff bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Don't be attached to the outcome.

Visit your friends who live in cool places.

Where your at, is where its at!

Sunblessed 5.10
Squamish, BC


We spent two weeks in Leavenworth waiting for the rain to stop in B.C. Icicle Creek Canyon is a gem! The peaks are massive and there is granite everywhere! Fred Becky came here many times as a youngster. The cragging is challenging and the backcountry routes are worth the hike. Not many climbers make it out to this destination because it is pretty far away from most places. We ran into another skier boy one day cragging and spent some time hanging out, whitewater rafting and hanging off cliffs.
Outer Space 5.9- Snowcreek Wall
Leavenworth, WA

We spent the 4th of July on San Juan Island kayaking with Tom Murphy.  When we got back to check the weather in B.C it looked like another week of rain... so we quickly decided to climb Dreamer, a fairly obscure route in Darrington, WA. The approach to this climb was adventurous to say the least. Driving up the road 12 miles, my subaru bottomed out and was making a loud noise until it corrected itself months later. We hiked through a dense wet forest up through snow bridges and then to the long slab leading to the base of this beauty!
Gae starting up the run-out Dreamer
Green Giant Buttress, Darrington, WA

Climbing out of the jungle in Darrington, WA

Flake pitch 6 on Green Giant Buttress
Darrington, WA
Finally the weather pattern changed, and after crossing the border we were where we wanted to be, Canada! I can't say enough about Squamish, just go there! In my opinion it is the best climbing destination out there. We climbed for ten days straight because there is just so much to do. Once you are there you hardly use your car- which is a good thing because gas is expensive in Canada! Every climb we got on in Squamish we loved! We talked about not leaving because the more we climbed the more we treasured this place.

Angel Crack 5.10c
Angels Crest Squamish, BC
Top of pitch 12 on Angels Crest
After a few weeks we packed up from Squamish and left without looking back, heading east into Alberta. We couldn't drive through Glacier National Park without having an adventure. These peaks are iconic and we needed to see more. Mt Tupper's neighbor, giant Mt. Sir Donald, is the true classic in the park.  It still had lots of snow on the ridge so we went over to climb the West Ridge of Mt. Tupper instead. We headed up towards Rogers Peak and the Swiss Peaks, then detoured over to this awesome ridge that we solo climbed. It was a 8,000 foot day up and down and the views and climbing were memorable.
Mt. Tupper
Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park, BC

Lots of scrambling on MT. Tupper

Ropeless 4,000 feet above the road on Mt. Tupper

Pitch 10 on Squamish Buttress 5.10c
 After checking out Lake Louise and the town of Banff we headed to Canmore, AB and got some beta about some classic climbing to get on. We quickly found out that there is lots of limestone sport climbing in Canmore, some of it covering entire mountains. They used to call this peak Chinamans peak because of the story of the man who first climbed up its south face, but these days it's known as Hai Ling Peak. The rock was surprisingly solid and we had a blast climbing its 1400 foot face in 5 hours casually.
Hai Lin Peak Canmore, AB

14 pitches of 5.6 on solid limestone
Happy to be moving fast to beat the heat!
Good exposure

Great corner on Hai LIn
We didn't chance the Bugaboos because the weather was too fickle and our time was running out in Canada. We decided to drive to the Valhalla mountains outside of Nelson, B.C. These mountains are dramatic and not many climbers get out here to climb because of its remoteness. There is lots of potential for new routes here! We climbed the cleanest line in the range, the South Ridge of Mt. Gimli. The gnieiss was different then any route we had done in months and the moves and exsposure were fantastic. We climbed its 8 pitches in five hours with a lighntning storm on our ass, wow!
Mt. Gimli- Valhalla Mts, AB

Southeast Buttress of Mt. Gimli
Impeccable Gneiss on Mt. Gimli
We reentered the states in early August, driving through the smallest border crossing I have ever witnessed. There was only one guy working there- way more relaxed than the crossing in Vancouver. We stocked up on supplies in Mazama and hiked up to the Early Winter Spires and Liberty Bell. It felt great to get back on some granite. The mosquitos were heinous but we toughed it out to get up both South and North Early Winter Spire and the Becky route on Liberty Bell tower in two days of climbing.
Whats in a Dharma Bums pack?

Gonaa miss you guys!

After running out of money we went to California for a couple of weeks and scored some work! It also gave us some time to reflect on what we had accomplished so far this summer. Getting back on the road we were excited to drive down into the Sierra mountains and meet up with our friends Justin and Olivia.  We pulled onto Tioga Road, sussed some camping outside the park, and planned out the next few days. The next day we got backcountry permits and backpacked out to climb Mathes Crest and Cathedral peak. Both of these routes are moderate ratings and the rock and views are as good as they get anywhere!
After the Tuolumne warm up we hiked into the Incredible Hulk outside of Bridgeport, CA. Peter Croft calls it the best alpine cliff in north America. We had to go. We climbed the Red Dihedral 5.10c in twelve pitches, taking ten hours on the route.
Hiking into Cathedral Peak
The south east face is rated 5.7

Mathes Crest
We simu climbed this mile long ridge

Gae leading the first pitch of Cathedral Peak

Summit Cone

Fun with ropes on the long exposed ridge of Mathe Crest

The Incredible Hulk

Gae leading the first pitch of Red Dihedral

Fraser on our heels the entire day!

Memorable pitch after Memorable pitch for twelve rope lengths

Fraser jamming the crux 5.10c pitch of Red Dihedral

Panthers on the top of the SIerra
Thanks Gaelen for being an incredible person to travel and climb with for five months and counting. Thank you for your sponsorship, I would have never done it with out your help. We had a blast and hope to be on the road again next summer following the same guidelines we have been. Live the Life you Love
Jah Buf