Rock Climbing at Nanaimo River’s Darkside

Well, it’s been a few years since the last time I was here. Dion and I saw a break in the weather, soooo we decided to do some awesome rock climbing at Darkside. Once we started hiking to the climbing area, a huge wave of flashbacks from the last time we visit hit me. That was when I knew it was going to be an amazing day. We had a late start, but oh well… We’re outside! So let’s get our climb on!

This is our hike into the climbing area. It’s such a unique place! Walls on either side of you… These pictures don’t do it justice.

We set up shop and had lunch in the area. Afterwards, we were ready to climb! This is Dion rappelling on Puppets On Strings (5.9). We weren’t able to take pictures while climbing because it was just the two of us…. Oh well..

After a few warmups, we were onto Too Much Boogie (5.10c). Excellent route! Nice and high, tricky in some spots, and fun! This is one of my projects. One day I’ll send it. And this was the last climb of the day as it started getting dark.

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Rock Climbing at Mt MacDonald

On May 27, Nashira and I went for a quick climb at Mt MacDonald. It was my 2nd outdoor climb of the season, so it was great knowing that the weather is warming up. It was raining a little bit lately, but hopefully it will be a better summer than last year!

After the short trek up the mountain, Nashira realized she forgot her climbing shoes. So she had to do a few routes in her bare feet. She toughed it out!

The next two pictures are of Mt Wells. Can you spot the climbers??

Happy to be climbing!!!

The view from up top. Not bad at all.

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!!

The Coliseum At East Sooke Park

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with this post…

My friend Mark and I were trying to arrange a short climbing trip before he leaves for Squamish. We played it by ear the whole time, and FINALLY we were able to arrange something! I kept hearing about the “Coliseum” wall in East Sooke Park for rock climbing, but never been there. So today was the day! The wall has a bunch of harder climbs and it’s mostly tradition climbing, or mixed climbing… The only sport route just happened to be a 5.12b… Ugh. But it’s good to finally check out some harder routes!

Mark has been hyping this up quite a bit… So after 20 or so minutes of hiking, there it was… The Coliseum. I must say, I was pretty impressed by it. Probably the best rock in the park. We climbed three routes. You’ll be able to sort of see it in the picture. The first route we did was a 5.9, “Lust for Life” (it’s located on the left edge). It was a nice warm up… Good thing Mark is confident in placing gear, otherwise I wouldn’t be checking out this wall at all. Second route was a 5.11c, “Gladheateher” (in the middle of the left edge and the big gaping hole). And the last route was 5.12b, “Outrageous!” (to the left of the big hole). I must say, all those climbs were pretty intense… And awesome!

Mark getting ready to lead climb the 5.9

The right side of the Coliseum.

The 5.11c was pretty intense. Popped off a few times, and it gets a pump going… So that was a lot of fun. Didn’t expect to be climbing this high outdoors so soon! Then afterwards, Mark lead the 5.12b, and then he told me to give it a try. I laughed at him, but he was serious… So up I go! It was definitely the highlight of my day. Great route! Big moves, sharp small crappy crimpers, good pump. Everything about it was awesome! I couldn’t believe I was climbing it! I had a lot of problem when I got to the sharp small crappy crimp holds… But after a bunch of falls, I finally got it! This pic is of Mark rappelling down the route… I wasn’t able to take that many pics because it was just the two of us.

Words just can’t describe this day… I just can’t stop smiling about it. Everything was perfect!! This is the life… The Chief… I’ll be seeing YOU this summer :D

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

Week 14 – Leechtown and Mt Wells

Summer is here! Summer is here!!! There’s been quite a bit of stuff going on now that the weather is finally amazing. On Saturday, a bunch of us decided to hike to a little ghost town called Leechtown. It used to be a gold mining town, and then yeah… Ran out of gold. Anyways, access to the town has been closed off, but there’s still a few vehicle remains out there. Here’s a pic of the remains of a bus.

12mm, ISO 200, F4

Then on Sunday, a few of us went rock climbing at Mt Wells. Always a great time! It feels so nice being out on the rock. This is Dion rappelling down a 5.10c route. And once again, I didn’t have a tripod with me at Mt Wells, so only 3 shots were used to make this picture.

10mm, ISO 400, F4

More pics of these two events coming soon!

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