Rock Climbing at Nanaimo River’s Sunny Side

Well…. Since I’m working full time now, I have to really take advantage of the weekends. Soooo what do I do? I go outdoor rock climbing! My friend Nashira came to make one last visit to Victoria before she moves to the interior (booooo!!), so Nashira, Dion, and I went to Nanaimo River for an awesome day of climbing on Sunny Side. I love this place! I also love the random chairs… Great view.

Also there’s a nice view of the river.

Once we finished taking pictures and admiring the view, we decided to get some rock climbing done! We decided to get to the bottom the cool way. Which is rappelling down with our gear. It’s always a good time.

This is Dion on Psychobabble (5.9) (the climber on the left).

This next route is called Jamaica Jerk Off (5.7)

While we were climbing, Nashira had homework to do.

This has become a pretty awesome day. I FINALLY finished one of my projects. The route is called Pseudo Placenta (5.11a). And my goal for this summer was to send a 5.11 route – which means climbing it without taking a fall or break. Soooo stoked!

photo by: Nashira Birch

Photo by: Nashira Birch

What an amazing day! So stoked to see what other projects I’ll be able to finish this summer!

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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!

Day 2 of 3: Nanaimo River – Summer Goal Achieved

Day two of the trip. Wake up to the sound of the river flowing below us, and boy was it humid there! But hey.. The view we wake up to makes it worth it.

After having an awesome breakfast, we were ready to get our climb on! We were feeling pretty strong, so we went up a few routes to warm up, and then I thought to myself “maybe today is the day where I conquer my summer goal” which is to lead climb a 5.11.

It was such a great route. The first bolt was pretty high, but I felt pretty confident getting there, so that was no problem. The first few moves to the first bolt were pretty straight forward, then the next move was pretty big as it was pretty high up (for a short person). So I had to use anything I could get. Once I got to the second bolt, I was pretty happy because the first two bolts you could still hit the ground if you fell. So after a few breaks, I got to the second bolt and clipped in (phew!!). The rest of the climb was awesome. Nice and crimpy. Excellent route!

Once I got to the top, I let out a huge yell of relief because lead climbing is super scary (in my opinion). Most of it is just psychological… So it was good to conquer this – SUMMER GOAL ACHIEVED!!

This is Dion giving it a try as well.

So overall, it was an amazing day of rock climbing. But right now I’m in Vancouver, so I forget what the name of this route is, and once I get a few more pictures from my friend, I’ll be able to get you all more details about this route.

Day 1 of 3: Camping And Rock Climbing At Nanaimo River

Dion and I (Rhiannon bailed at the last minute… Sadface) were planning on going to Squamish to hike and rock climb, but the weather forecast looked like crap, We played it safe and decided to go to Nanaimo River instead. We left on July 17th and came back on July 19th. It was a blast! ….. As usual.

We got to Nanaimo River around 5:30pm ish? It was pretty late in the day. But we made it! We lugged all our stuff to our “campsite” and luckily we found two wood pallets, so we carried those back to our campsite and took it apart for firewood (yay for free stuff!). And this was the tool we had to tear those pallets apart. We decided that it would be quicker to do it this way rather than driving into town and picking up an axe of some sort… But yes, it worked!

After setting up and all that, we managed to get a climb or two in. It was raining a little bit, so it wasn’t ideal rock climbing conditions. A little bit slippery… But oh well. Here’s our sweet spot where we camped!

And of course… We had a fire!

And that was pretty much it for day number one. Keep on checking back for details on the other two days!

Week 20 – Nanaimo River

Ok, quick post before I have to head off to music practice. I’m almost halfway through my year long HDR project! Yay!

Dion and I went rock climbing and camping at Nanaimo River. We were there for 3 days, and it was awesome! This is the view we get to wake up to… Not too shabby. This is Sunny Side where we spent a whole day rock climbing.

10mm, ISO 200, F8

The last day of rock climbing, we decided to check out the other side of the river which is called “Dark Side”. Amazing rock climbing. This place is so crazy! We hiked from the car and down a ladder and had to go through the underside of huge rocks. It was quite something. Here’s an HDR pic of what I’m talking about.

11mm, ISO 400, F4.5

Once you walk out from under the huge rocks and all that, you’re greeted by amazing looking rock faces on both sides. There’s a lot of amazing climbs here!

10mm, ISO 400, F4

So that’s a sneak peak of my rock climbing/camping trip. Stay tuned for a more detailed blog posting of the whole trip!

The Awesomeness Of The Past Week

Can’t believe it’s almost been a week since the last update. Jeez, I should perhaps stop being so busy…

It’s been a pretty darn good week. A lot has been going on. It was my birthday just over a week ago, and the birthday shenanigans just kept going on throughout the week. Had a total of THREE cakes! One was on my actual birthday when I was over on the Mainland at Shannon’s place. The second one was at the Wednesday night music practice at my church, and the third was on Friday from my friends Brie and Blaine! I feel so blessed seeing all these people care about me. It really means a lot! Thank you all! Much love.

Other than those days of birthdayness, and working Monday – Friday from 9 to 5, I’ve been trying to go rock climbing more often as oppose to going just once a week, and then on Saturday my friend Chad and I did a day of geocaching. We found a total of 27 caches. Probably walked over 5km. So that was pretty awesome. Then on Sunday, me and my folks went on an afternoon trip (see below for the details).

A while ago I subscribed for a rock climbing magazine called Rock & Ice. Last week sometime I finally got my first issue!

Rock & Ice

I had the time to read through it and I must say I’m impressed with it. There’s a lot of really good articles in it such as people’s climbing projects/trips, training tips, cool places to go climbing, etc. The photography in it is pretty awesome too. That was one of the main reasons why I subscribed… But anyways, definitely a good read! Highly recommend checking it out. And now I’m really itching to go outdoor rock climbing… Sigh.

While we’re on the subject of rock climbing, my folks and I decided to do an afternoon road trip up island after church on Sunday. I decided to show my parents Nanaimo River. They said they’ve been there, but they haven’t seen the area where I do my rock climbing.

Just being there and seeing the dry rocks, awesome view, the river, and the bolts didn’t help. But soon I’ll be climbing outdoors… Soon I say!

Afterwards, we went up to Qualicum Beach. It’s so peaceful there. Love the days with long shadows.

I didn’t have my GPS that day, but I had my phone, so I was curious to see if there are any geocaches nearby, and surely enough, there was one! So I showed my folks what geocaching is all about. They found it quite interesting. After wandering around the beach for a bit, we started to head back towards Victoria. The sun was slowly setting, so I told my folks we should check out Piper’s Lagoon in Nanaimo to catch the sunset and the fact they’ve never been there. So we got there and took a few more pics, and I was able to snatch another geocache! Yay!

Such a peaceful place… So this concludes my crazy week/weekend. It’s been good. Stay tuned for more updates (hopefully).

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