Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 19: Mystery Solved and The Return of Napoleon

Those following this creation epic know that God (me) both manages (climbs) and despairs (Naploeon) at His creation (the route). Now, while I am a God, I am much more like one of the ancient Greek gods (or a Soprano)-- vengeful, petulant, flawed, ambitious, magnificent-- than a Judeo-Christian abstract-perfect-type Deity. So as the route unfolds, as we create the world which more and more demands all of our attention, We watch with some trepidation and more delight as the World takes shape, and Napoleon less quickly. (I get to use the Royal We, which Mark Twain said should be used only by kings, editors, people with tapeworms and first ascentionists).

So today Driller and I heard rumours of Napoleon and one Ian Bennet going up and cleaning the route. Driller and I set up at the crack of 9:35, after I forgot matches for my smokes in Napoleonic style. If there is one thing that passes time at aid belays, it is smoking, a Thomas Pynchon novel, and an MP3 player. Well, three things the first two of which I had. Driller laughed as I crammed Against The Day into my pack-- at 1100 pages the heaviest thing, outside of maybe Proust, you could bring on a route. But then Mr Pynchon, like a good aid pitch, demands slow and meticulous attention, and provides less than obvious rewards (although at the en dof both, a beer or two are certainly in order).

Long story short (unlike Pynchon's), we jugged to the top of P10, I cleaned and put another bolt into P11 (this is the shittiest pitch on the route but it iwll be fast and easy) and then Driller and I had a gander at the o/w pitch 12. This pitch needs one #5 Camalot and two #6, so we installed two bolts. YOu will be able to do it with one #5-- OK, it's lamer than cramming two 6s in there, but hwo many 5.11 climbers do YOU know who have a quiver of #6s?

At the top of P12 Driller set off up the fixed rope to see what Mystery Pitch 13 would be like. Napoleon and I had rapped down it, but weren't sure the route woudl go where the fixed line was. Drillerjugged up six meters, smacked a couple of loose flakes with the crowbar, and anounced that it would be "easy." And for once this turned out not to be just wishful thinking-- we installed three bolts, and we figure there will be one or two 10a moves on this, and what looks like a bomber crack (which we bolted)...because both flakes beside are resoundlingly hollow, at least when you have Leroy The Friendly Crowbar to help you out. (Leroy is NOT so friendly when the IRA, or the Hell's Angels, hire him for persuasive purposes). After this, Driller added a last bolt to the traverse pitch. You could live without it...but if you fell, you would saw your rope over a sharp edge, and you would swing smack into blocks. Then we retreated, and extended Napleon's precious 200 meters of ninety-pound static line down to the top of P7, from which we hung the white static line, and from which we will try to clean the second 5.12 pitch, and drill the bypass bolt ladder.

Now while all this was happening there woudl be the occasional cloud of power and shower of pebbles from above. Could it be? Was it possible? Was Napoleon off his ass and doing work? I had heard rumours, but Napoleon, he who is addicted to his Crackberry, had not replied. But on returning to the normal world, I got the following from Napoleon. Napoleon worked the route with Ian Bennet, the son of Neil Bennet, author of The Grim Reaper (seriously sick Squamish slab...fifty meter pitches with one bolt; pussies need not apply). Ian is becoming a pretty awesome climber in his own right and, mroe to the point-- he can shit-talk with the best of them, having suggested that I name our route "The Jerry Springer Show" because both Napoleon and I complain about each other so much). Here is Napoleon's email, with comments, most likely sent by Napoleon from his car, while driving:

The day according to Napoleon:

"Uh, Napoleon?"
"Yes Ian what's up?"
"What did I get myself into?"
"Work, lots of work, but it'll be fun and by the end of the day you'll
be a dreamer".

This summarizes the overall sentiments of the day in addition to the pleasure
of not having to deal with a whining 12 year old trapped in a 40 year old's body [or of having to deal with a whining eight-year-old trapped in a twenty-six year old's...].
The sun was out with a slight breeze and I got a little excited thinking about
[Chris' girlfriend's] body [you know you're a Facebook creepr when...] sort of like the Lonely Island's song when he greets the cashier in the grocery store except in this case she was applying the moisturizing agent all over her face ["Beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green eye'd monster that mocks the meat on which it doth feed"]

The hike up the chief: The Blackberry went off as usual [you know you're an incipient yuppie cunt when...] and I figured it was
a) Chris bitching about something on the route b) Chris bitching about if we were
on the route or c) Chris bitching that we should actually be doing work on the route. [Napoleon, like a small child, has not internalised essential basic climbign behaviours, such as getting on the route with your body, rather than staring at a digital photo and fantasising lines] I'm happy to report that I did not answer the phone and left the crying sob to his own mess at some pitch somewhere on the wall; hopefully he was getting covered in dirt/moss [Yes I was; that's what happpens when you work]. Driller [and Chris] did an amazing job, we later discovered, of drilling the mystery pitch at 5.11- [that Napoleon, who sprays of his Zombie Roof attempts, shoudl find this 11-, is weird].

Ian's first reaction to the route from the top-down was "this is going to be a great fucking route!" was excited to bring him along for the mission and equally excited when I found out he was enjoying the experience. Ian set off to scrub out the rest of the V slot and make it climbable and I did the same on the undercling traverse [Napoleon as you may now see is OCD...the pitch needs to be cleaner than his ass, and a guy who takes twenty mineutes to take a dump has most certainly got a whistle-clean anus] These top two pitches are now ready to go. We rapped then next pitch and gave it a once-over with the wire brush and our recommendation was the following: there needs to be another bolt on this pitch as the climbing would be run out otherwise with no pro [we will see about that].

Likewise, the bolt at the top of the V slot should be relocated such that it is on the big ledge on the right, making an easy exit [so are you going to do it, or just talk about it?].

The 3rd last pitch needs a fixed rope during a free ascent along the terrace as it is loose and dangerous [no, it needs one bolt; fixed ropes rot].

Part of the way down i could hear Chris yelling out my name and I couldn't figure out whether this was just a natural reaction to being on the route or he actually knew I was there [or because Napoleon was trying to kill us with bombing from above?]. In any case it was another usual day on the route with
Chris being perpetually disatisfied by something and letting everyone know how he felt [this from the man who insisted we bolt a crack so that his fears of death-by-bombing be allayed].

The 4th last pitch looked great and the loose flakes at the start of the pitch need to get removed.

The offwidth and 5.12- variation look excellent as well. I'm not sure if I agree with the position of the bolts but they will do the trick [read: "I could do this thing with nly one #4, I am such a hardman"].

I rapped down to the top of pitch 9 to discover that some idiot had taken the remaining section of 200m rope out of the bag when i told him specifically to leave it up there and fixed it at lower level. When will this dumb fuck ever learn to listen to instructions? [How did Napoleon plan on cleaning the second 5.12 pitch? Having led not one pitch on the route so far, despite (Namedrop) Having Taken An Aid-Climbing Course With Matt Maddaloni one wonders why he complains about hanging a fixed rope off it].

The rest of the day proved uneventful and we applied a once over with the brush on the pitches. Ian had some ideas of including some variations along the length of the climb and I think he has some great ideas. He attempted to climb the Shit Pillar while on a grigri and it didn't move! Maybe this is a possibility but a scary one. He is also psyched to attempt the Project pitch after a 2 hour cleaning Session!

All in all a great day! Chris is like the divorced wife I have never had [you can't have a "divorced wife"-- you can have either a wife, or a divorce] and sooner or later we're going to rope up and Free this thing!


  1. You guys are ridiculous.
    Maybe you should name your route "Gravity's Rainbow". The bombing allusion is quite fitting I think. It's a book described by members of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize jury as "unreadable, turgid, overwritten and obscene." Sounds just a little like this blog. Cheers,


  2. professionalism out the window you might say.

  3. whatever "professionalism" means in context of a sport.

  4. 'Professionalism' means...oh fuck it. God, I don't miss Vancouver!

    And Stoltzy, a challenge: no more lit references. You must restrict your metaphors to the antics of the World Wrestling Federation circa the 1980's, although this will likely make you obscure-retro trendy along Main St...but your fucking hair and paisly bandanna are kinda doing that anyway, hmmm lover?