Sunday, March 20, 2011

Calabogie is climbable

I hit up Calabogie today with Bojan, Matt and Rachel. As we piled into the car, with the morning chill still in the air, I wasn't sure what to expect. The main climbing area does not see much ice so I figured there must be something climbable.

Rachel, Matt and Bojan

There is still plenty of snow and ice on the ground at Calabogie and crampons would have made the approach easier. It was still quite manageable thought. If the weather stays warm the lower approach will be under water shortly. There is already a significant amount of water to walk around. Add to this the loads of ice still on the cliff and you have a flood of biblical proportions to come.

The main area was for the most part dry with very little ice on the climbs. We started on the revamped (bolts now protect the bottom half of the climb) Calabogie Sunset. My fingers numbed out by the time I clipped the first bolt which made the little roof feel harder then usual. As I passed the third bolt, above the tree line, the rock felt warmer and my fingers recovered by the time I hit the anchors. The cliff faces west so it takes time for the sun to get onto it.

Rachel on TR

After a bit of coffee I sent the new line left of Free Flight. The ice on my usual foot holds near the top added a little spice to the otherwise familiar climb. It was no big deal really as there are other feet but just not as big. Once back on the ground I took a walk along the cliff to look for older guidebook climbs but I'm not sure I found any. I could not say for certain I found the landmarks the guide was talking about. It was a nice walk in the sun though.

At this point I decided to toprope the direct start of Vulcan Mind to see if I could remember the beta. To set up the toprope I re-climbed the previous climb (we left a rope up for this propose) and topped it out. After slinging a tree I lowered to the direct start's anchors on the left. I climbed the direct start twice but it was not pretty. I have completely forgot the beta between the second and third bolt. I worked out two options but neither feel quite right. I really like this climb; it is just so good.

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