Summer 2014 Epic Road Trip Part 1 – Chasing A Waterfall

First off, I’d want to say I’m really sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been really busy – working, rock climbing, sorting out some photography things, and road tripping. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on all my work soon…

I decided to go on a two week road trip. It was something I had to do because last year I wasn’t able to go on a trip, so I was really itching to get out there. I got the chance to meet up with a bunch of friends along the way. It was definitely great seeing them again It’s been too long! And this was actually the first time I’ve ever done a trip by myself (well… Drove all over the place by myself), so it was something out of my comfort zone because I had long days of driving and I always felt like I needed a partner in crime when doing trips like these. But I was glad I went for it!

My trip started on July 11th (Friday) right after work. Packed up my car and headed for the ferries. Spent the weekend in Squamish doing a trad/multi-pitch rock climbing course (no pictures for that). Then on the Monday, I was off to my next destination – Lake Louise. Met up with a friend and her friend and camped at the Lake Louise campground. The next day we climbed Takakkaw Falls. It was my first big multi-pitch climb, so I was really stoked about it. 12 pitches rated at 5.6.

 

Here’s a picture of our camping spot. Rise and shine! Ready for an epic day!

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Here is the beauty we’re going to be climbing.

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After climbing up all that scree at the bottom, we were ready to rock! This is Sean leading the first pitch I believe.

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Joy leading the second pitch.

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4th pitch – just a little bit of traversing.

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This next pic was great. This is the view you got after coming out of the rocks on pitch 7.

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So much focus…

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The next one is the 11th pitch. It’s not really a pitch… It’s more like climbing through a 200ft tunnel near the top of the waterfall. So awesome!

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Joy finishing up the last pitch!

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We made it to the top!

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After hanging out for a little bit, it was time to get back down. This is Joy setting up the first rappel.

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Thank you Joy and Sean for bringing me up this amazing climb! You guys rock! What an epic way of starting the road trip. So much beauty.

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Next day, it was time to head over to Calgary, so I made a quick stop at Lake Louise to snap a few shots.

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Stay tuned for the next part of the trip!

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More Rock Climbing At Nanaimo River

On Aug 25th, Bethany, Lauren, Chrissy and I decided to go rock climbing for a day in Nanaimo River (Dion and Marilee were going to meet up with us later on). Chrissy has never climbed outdoors before, and Bethany and Lauren were always itching to do more rock climbing outside. We finally were able to arrange a day where all of us weren’t busy. So off we went!

The awesome part about Nanaimo River (Sunny Side) is, it’s a short hike to the crag. And once you get there, it’s an amazing view from up top, and then you get to rappel down. It’s always a great time!

Lead climbing a route called “Green (5.8)” (Thanks Lauren for taking some pics of me!)

Now that a top rope has been set up, it’s Bethany’s turn.

Lauren’s turn!

And this is Chrissy’s first outdoor climbing experience.


After this, we moved over to a really interesting corner climb. So after I set up the top rope, I stayed up at the top so I could take some pictures from up top. I’ve never done this kind of photography before, so it was new to me (which was really cool!). This route is called “Jamaica Jerk Off (5.7)”. Lauren was first to go on top rope!

Bethany’s turn on the route.

And Chrissy is next…

And look who finally showed up! Dion and Marilee!

Afterwards, we did a few more climbs… Lauren found a frog in a hole in the wall. It was an awesome day! Great to see Chrissy climb so well on her first time! As well as seeing the progress on Bethany and Lauren! Sooo proud of you all. It makes me super stoked seeing you all stoked on climbing and just getting better and better each time. Can’t wait for our next outdoor adventure!

Victoria Rock Climbing In Late October

This summer was definitely a weird and short one. It rained quite a bit, and we only had about a month of real summer weather. So as you know, you need good weather to go outdoor rock climbing… August was amazing. September it started to rain a little bit. October wasn’t any better, but then I saw a window of opportunity last week. Two days of sun! One day to dry the rock, the other to climb. I NEEDED to squeeze in one more day of climbing before putting my gear into storage. So Nashira and I decided to go for it! I must say… It was such an awesome day of climbing, AND it was a place I’ve never been to! The whole day I had a big smile on my face. Didn’t take many pictures, but at least here’s a few!

A pretty sweet view from the top of the climb!

This next picture is composed of 9 pictures. I wanted to do a panoramic shot but instead of taking the pictures horizontally, I chose to try it vertically. Across from us is Mt Wells where I do a lot of climbing…. Such a beautiful day! And it was warm which is really odd for island weather. Click on the pictures for a higher resolution.

So I’m hoping I’ll be able to squeeze in one or two more climbing days… Crossing my fingers.

A Quick Climb In Squamish

Day 2… Squamish! My friends have never been to Squamish before, so I decided to be the tour guide for the day. We lugged all our gear to almost the top of first peak… And it was crazy! Great views though… I lead the first route and just hung out there for a while to take some pictures and to just chill out. It was good times

Robin climbing up the slab!

Bronwyn makes it to the top! Yay!

Yeah… Not a bad view at all.

Afterwards, we headed for the top and just hung out for a bit, and then we hiked back down to the bottom. We ditched our packs and then I showed them around the bouldering field. It was awesome! Thanks for the great day! I’ll be back for more Squamish adventures! (Hopefully)

Day 3 of 3 – Nanaimo River… The Dark Side

Last day of camping at Nanaimo River! (sadface). Last night some jerks tried to break into the trunk of my car, but luckily they didn’t succeed. Instead they damaged the lock so now my key doesn’t work in the trunk. It really annoys me people who try to steal and/or break into things… I don’t understand how people can get so desperate… Gah! I can go on about this forever, but I won’t.

Dion and I packed up all our stuff and decided to check out the other side of Nanaimo River (it’s called the Dark Side) for some rock climbing. I’ve never been to the Dark Side before, so I was really excited to check it out.

We parked our car on the other side of the river and started walking to the rock climbing site. It’s such a cool place to hike as there’s parts where the ground is cracked and you can see down to the bottom. We then got to a skinnier trail and then we were greeted by a ladder going down under rocks. At this point I was pretty excited.

Once we got out from under the rocks, we were greeted by rocks on either side of us. It was a corridor. It seemed like something from Lord of the Rings. It was surreal! Everything about it looked beautiful – the rocks, the sights… Everything!

After a bunch of picture taking, we decided to keep on going. But every few steps we took, we kept getting distracted by more amazingness! This tree grew in the crack!

After a few hours of distractions, we were trying to figure out which climbs to do first. The only problem was, a lot of the rock was still a bit damp. So we had no choice but to warm up by lead climbing a 5.10c…. Well… I decided to warm up on it (I’ll update you guys with the name once I get back from Vancouver). This route was AMAZING! It had everything in it. Jugs, big moves, crimps, laybacks, cracks. It was great!

By the end of the route, I was really glad I was able to finish because my confidence isn’t that great yet. So there were a lot of times where I was pretty sketched out because I didn’t want to take a fall. But I think I’m slowly getting more confident every climb!! Afterwards, we attempted a 5.11 but failed miserably because the rock was wet. I ended up smashing my knee into the rock and left some blood behind… Oops! But oh well, we’ll be back for it! Can’t wait to get out there again!

My First Multi-pitch At Samsun Narrows… And Now I’m Even More Hooked!

June 25th… Saturday… Dion and I decided to head up to Nanaimo River to check out Dark Side because I’ve never been there and only been to Sunny Side, and from what I’ve heard, there was some pretty good climbing there. The weather has been bouncing back and forth from sunny to rainy to 30 – 40% chance of rain. So we decided to be optimistic and go for it.

We got there… And… RAIN! Not just a little bit, but a downpour. We decided to start heading back into town, and then Dion suggested we check out Samsun Narrows which is near Genoa Bay which is near Duncan. I’ve never been there before, so I figured sure why not! I love checking out new rock climbing areas! We got there, and it was still dry and sort of sunny and cloudy. We decided to go for it. The hike in was about a 45min hike. So we lugged all our gear (30+ lbs packs) and off we went. We finally got there, and wow was the view beautiful!!

It was a pretty interesting hike to the bottom of the crag because there were some steep sketchy wooden stairs. Luckily there were rope to hang on to while going down. By the time we got climbing, it was already in the afternoon, and we left around just after 10:00am! Since Nanaimo River was a bust (I was planning on making my summer goal by lead climbing a 5.11a), we decided we had to do something epic. So why not try out a multi-pitch (because I’ve never done one before)! So we had to fly up a few routes and get warmed up quickly before it got dark.

This is Dion rappelling down the route, Wasp Buckets (5.8). It’s pretty hard to take pictures when there’s just the two of us…

After a few climbs we decided it was time to tackle the multi-pitch because it was going to start getting dark soon. So we had to fly up this 2 pitch multi-pitch route (The Roof Is On Fire, 5.10a).

Dion finishing the first pitch. Thanks for leading the hard overhang!

Met up with Dion at the top of the first pitch!

Not a bad view….

Our beautiful setup… Wow that’s a lot of stuff.

Yay! Halfway there!

Ok enough with the picture taking! It was getting dark quickly, so it was my turn to lead the second pitch. Luckily it was a pretty easy lead. Phew! This is the view from the top of the second pitch.

We made it!! Time to rappel down and get out of here! What an epic first multi-pitch! And this definitely won’t be the last!

By the time we got to the bottom, it was pitch black. Good thing we had headlamps and flashlights! So we had to pack up all our gear and hike back to the car HOPING we would remember our way back. I think we did alright… Found our way pretty quickly, thank goodness! By the time we got to the car it was around midnight? Or 1:00am? I can’t remember. Anyways, it was a loooong day, but SO worth it! Can’t wait to do more crazy trips!!

More Rock Climbing At Mt Wells

After a long hike to Leechtown on Saturday, I thought it’d be a great idea to do some rock climbing at Mt Wells the next day! Yay! I’ve never been to the left side of Mt Wells, so it was a great experience. Got two more lead climbs under my belt.

The first wall we got to was the Far Far Left Wall. That’s me leading a 5.10c

Rhiannon rappelling down a route

The second wall we went to was the Far Left Wall. That’s me leading the 5.10b? I believe…

Dion leading the 5.10b

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