Monday, August 10, 2009


I finally got some time off, and it coincided with a cool down in the weather in Squamish. In case you missed all of the whining from your friends in BC and the PNW, it was ridiculously, record breakingly, motivation destroying hot for along time here. Vancouver and Seattle both recorded there hottest temperatures EVER, yup, ever. It hit 104F in Seattle. We don't have AC on the coast here, just lots of lakes to swim in. So glad that is over with.

So less than 48 hours after the heat wave breaks, Jasmin and I miracuously have some shared time off, and we are packing puffy coats, yup insulated jackets (!) into our bullet packs to head up on the multi pitch classic University Wall in Squamish. It was so great to be wearing fleeces and long pants again in the first week of August with sticky temps on the granite. If you haven't heard of UWall it is one of the steepest and cleanest (at least for the first half) pieces of granite crack climbing in Squamish. Long, hard and reverred, this climb has it all, steep, overhanging thug fest wide climbing, and delicate and run out face technician pitches.

I had been on it a few times before over the years. My first time was with Steve "The Roadie" Seats back in 2001. I could not really climb 5.12- trad back then, but boy did I try. And Steve did too. He was a bit of a mentor for going for it on lead, and tried pretty hard with no fear of falling and its consequences. To this day I try and embody some of those traits while trying to send! We got schooled back then, pulled on lots of gear and I even had to do a hook move on my nut tool to get us off the last pitch which was missing a few fixed knifeblades making the free climbing possible!

This year I went back up in June with my buddy Jesse Huey who has a love-hate relationship with the climb (which many people do!). And alas neither of us sent, but I only hung on pitch 2 due to its early season wetness. I was pretty content with my performance, until Jasmin lit the fire under my ass to really send it with no falls. So we headed back up, and I am happy to report that I dispatched with it, pretty psyched. You can see my description on the link above. Here are a few shots of the day, enjoy!

Jas on P2 leaving the Shadow corner for the UWall free variation.

Me being content and mellow after sending the first 3 5.12- pitches

Jas following the funky p4.

Jas following the exciting p6 free variation, run out on the wafer thin flake on the right!