Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 21: You Can't Always Get What You Want

We chattered like monkeys. We gangsta-rap texted each other. We whooped and hollered. And, five feet off the ground, arm-barred into the v-slot on Pitch One, feet skating, fingers scratching at a muddy crack, Dilly gently urging me on, I knew that the fabled send was not going to happen today.

Last weekend, Napoleon and I had pounded, drilled and cussed our way around P2. What had started as a hand traverse became a footledge; trees were felled, and above all, Napoleon sweated, something he usually avoids unless he is two feet above his last three cams. Anyway we fantasised ourselves into thinking that we were ready roll.

So the email shit-talking started, plans were made, and then on Friday night emails from Driller came. Now Driller, who is moving up in the world of accounting, has a new Friday night ritual-- getting pissed with his bosses. This is actually much like his old Friday night ritual, except now he isn't sitting outside an Atco in the middle of a seismic line, swilling Coors Light with Randy the Cokehead and getting ready for twelve hours on the drill. No, now he goes to Global in Yaletown with his shi-shi bosses and gets plastered on drinks with at least seven ingredients.

I told him "See you at 7!" and the first late-night email from Driller was this:

Ok sounds good, I'm half fucked at the moment. Had a
Patttner / bad ass junior drink off meeting. Will be reasyvdor tomorrow. -d

Then came the second email: Yo hope your ready to lead cause I'm half driunk from a good night of corporate bonding that needed to happen -d

And finally: Maybe let's leave at 8 -d

So of course I didn't actually GET these till Sunday. So The Driller appeared, woozy on his feet, at 7 AM, his neighbours cursing my Singng And Sending Excitement, which was shared by the crows and swallows in the trees.

The Driller was much, much worse for the wear, even after an injection of McDonald's and coffee directly into his veins. But then, it occurred to us that on this day, the big send was very much in the tradition of The Filth, whose epic drinking engagements have led to more than one woozy tie-in. In Fact, the Driller was so out of it that he was rocking the Euro Shorts Look.

Here is a word from our sponsors, without which there would be no sending. Well actually that's misleading-- we havn't sent anything yet, and, well, we actually paythem, which as nearly as I can tell is how sponsorship is not supposed to work...but we will pretend that these corporations are in fact all supporting us.

Napoleon and Ian today had instructions to clean the fixed ropes off the top of the route. Napoleon-- who does not read emails, despite havng his CrackBerry surgically grafted to his hand-- and I argued over how to clean the ropes off the traverse. I finaly trusted that Neil would be able to figure this out. Driller and I walked to the base, put on an almost normal climbing outfit (with drill and bolts in a pack) and I fired into the V-slot.

Well it quickly became obvious-- well, for non-smart people like me-- that when you spend an entire day dumping rocks and dirt off one pitch and onto another, the lower pitch will be dirty. So I hung on a nut, thrashed higher, and then moved into the bolted crux that Napoleon and I had cleaned two weeks before. There was only one problem...the slabby crux was the last place to dry out, the bolts were in the wrong spot, and the moves were very hard. So I climbed to the top of the pitch, brought up the Driller, and we used what limited brainpower we had for Plan B.

Well Plan B was what Plan A should have been-- ten feet to the right of our cleaned line and th bolts that Napeloen had placed was a crack!

A base jumper drifted past, then some twigs, then some screams, and then a whistling rushing sounds just like in the movies, and finally a tree-smashing crash of rocks. Napoleon and Ian were cleaning. I was a bit worried-- Napoleon, Driller and I had tried to kill Perry Beckahm a few times with rocks (and failed); now it was obviously my turn. But the boys missed us. So we hacked, tore, stomped and scrubbed, and by day's end we had a 35m crack pitch with a very nice layback finish ready to go.

We left with Ian and Napoleon dinking around on the Shit Pillar...which is basically a "get the f**k out of here!" move, considering the thing weighs probably 40 tons and will when it finally falls off make it all the way out to the Mamquam. What was really funny was imaginign hwo much Napoleon would whine abotu having to walk the 1.5km up to the Grand Wall lot to retrieve hsi car, heh heh. Anyway, I got Ian's report of the day. Now I also got Napoleon's...and comparing the two goes to show that, if you go to University (which Napoleon has done, and Ian not) you will un-learn writing skills. So here's Ian's story of their day.

As I sit here typing away on probably the last nice climbing-weather morning of the summer season, I wonder "What the fuck is wrong with me? Why don't I go climbing??" Similar thoughts ran through my head as I rolled up to Epic Napoleon's house Saturday morning, only having partially satiated my subconscious with a whopping 4 hours sleep the night before. I think it's a necessary requirement to be slightly drugged by lack of sleep to go up and work on this project, seeing as our two main "heroes" don't shut the fuck up about each other and it's nice to be able to sorta tune them out, drifting off and fantasizing about the reason for my nocturnal woes... Epic informs me that he is similarly challenged and I think that maybe I'm in luck and he'll be too tired to whine and complain about Chris today: "Teacher teacher! That bully pulled my hair on the playground!"

Well you can't win 'em all.

Just as we're pulling together gear from the melee of Epic's trunk to start our way up the Backside trail, a car full of American girls pulls up and gets real friendly-like real fast. I'm somewhat of a Cassa-novice, but before you can say, "Hey Epic are you making me carry the rope up again?" he's recruited them to hike the trail with us, maybe hoping to slap his way up another backside or two. It's always funny to listen to Epic's synopsis of female encounters. It never really matters to him if I'm interested in a girl or not, cause "Dude she liked you, you shoulda moved in!" is the standard Epic response. He kind of assumes that everybody is as stoked as he is to have the biggest Little Black Book on the planet. [We are all going to be VERY curious to see Epic Napoleon's little Crack book...the man is a s secretive as Stalin's secret police about his love life].

So anywho, we get to the top of "The Deputy" - as I am trying to christen the wall that the project is on - and put on a bit of a show for our entourage as we begin our rappel down the face with the objective of removing the fixed lines. It was pretty mellow for the most part rapping down my climbing rope, unfixing gear, ropes, and pounding out the odd piton bashed in 90 degrees to the uhh.... wrong way. Good thing the gumbies theme has already been covered in this blog. The only minor clusterfuck was on the traverse pitches as you might be able to imagine. If not, well .... rappelling sideways = suckfest.

Nonetheless we made it to the steep part of the wall and Epic informed me we need to warm up for the Wet-Like-Your-Wife [second crux] pitch so we did a TR of the one above [P10] in our approach shoes. Damn is that gonna be a fine pitch. Wow. The only thing I didn't like refers to something I've learned over the years of climbing; when you grab a hold, especially a big one, it shouldn't make any noise.

Oh right, this is still a project.

"Uh Epic?"

"What? [I'm pimping bitches on my Crackberry; Leave me alone!]"

"Make sure your helmet's on tight, this thing might go for a bit of a ride!"

"Oh shit......"

Now I'm sure he was emotionally returned to the initial days of this project, when he was belaying Chris aiding up and releasing buckets of rock and dirt, when the first rocks I let loose sailed past his face, but it was nothing compared to the 40 lb block that came off. I set it against a tree not really knowing what to do with all that widow-making power [Epic Napoleon is married??], and lowered off. Epic didn't really have to think very hard when he got to the top; he made his way along the little ledge and took the block for its first and last flight lesson as I screamed warnings to Chris, Dylan and potentially even Perry Beckham. And I must say: trundling, though inadvisable in most normal circumstances, IS REALLY FREAKING SWEET! I got about 15 years younger as that thing crashed down in a blast of erosional fury.

But it was back to work for me as I explored and cleaned the overhanging left-leaning Wet-Like-Your-Wife pitch of 5.12 madness, so named because of its perpetual seep. [This would be Napleon's wife, since he has such sexual prowess that women-- and not just his wife-- need fresh udnerwear after even the mnere thought of him] I doubt the seep will be the crux of the pitch, and once you're through it you are WAY stoked because the rest is far too cool with some pretty wild moves on it. However, if this sounds like something you feel compelled to avoid (don't let the name scare you off) this pitch is on the block to get bypassed with a very large bolt ladder.

That was it for us that day, Epic needed to get down so we blasted down the remaining fixed lines and caught various rides back to the car, one of which involving a second-person extrication of Epic from his sardine-like predicament.

Ok folks-- on Sunday the 4thof Oct, Napoleon and I are hoping to free the first half of the route. The send is, uhh, nigher...


  1. Hey! I'm a university DROP-OUT thankyouverymuch.

    Oh, and my name isn't neil.

  2. HAHA! oh Dilly. you look like a YMCA toprope instructor burping stale vodka and eyeing the fourteen year olds.