This is a first for both Kim and I. After finding the blog of an amazing couple we met in Smith Rock who are doing a road trip around North America, we (Kim and I) decided we would create a blog for our North American roadie in 2014. Recently, we decided we would start it now as both her and I will be away from Victoria for the next couple of years, so we figured it would be a good opportunity to try it out and keep everyone who is interested up to date with what we’re up to. My guess is we’ll do a weekly update. For the next few weeks, while Kim is in Vanderhoof, I will mostly be blogging about my summer climbing in Squamish. I know some people who will read this are not fluent with all the climbing lingo, so I will do my best to describe everything here so that this can be used for reference should something come up that you don’t understand. Peder and Jess (the couple we met in Smith Rock) did something similar to this on their blog, so it is very similar to theirs. Here ‘goes:
Routes – Longer climbs that are done while tied in to a rope, with one person climbing and one person belaying.
Sport climbing – A type of route that has bolts and hangers drilled into the rock in which quickdraws (or ‘draw’, 2 carabiners attached by a sling) are clipped to. The rope is then clipped to the other end of the draw.
Trad climbing – A type of route that is protected by through cams, nuts, etc. Generally climbs cracks and other weaknesses in the rock where these types of protection (or ‘pro’) can be placed. The rope is then clipped to the other end of the pro.
Routes are graded using the yosemite decimal system (YDS) that appears using a 5.__ scale. This can range from 5.0 (read ‘five zero’) to 5.15b (currently the worlds hardest climbed grade. Read ‘five fifteen B’). The higher the number, the harder the climb. From 5.10 on, each grade is broken down further into 5.10a, 5.10b, 5.10c, and 5.10d.
Bouldering – Climbing shorter “problems” that are generally located on boulders or shorter walls. They are usually anywhere from 5′ to 15′ long, however they can be longer. The problems are usually short and hard with no rests. Big foam “crash mats” protect the climber should they fall.
Boulders (in North America) are graded with the Hueco ‘V’ system that appears using a V__ scale. Boulder problems range from V0- (read ‘vee zero minus’) to V15 (‘vee fifteen’). There may be a V16, I don’t remember. Regardless, the higher the number, the harder the problem.
The objective is to ascend (or ‘send’) the route or problem cleanly (no falls or hangs on a rope) from bottom to top. Sends are broken up into insight, flash, and redpoint.
Onsight – Climbing the climb from bottom to top on your first try without any prior knowledge of the climb.
Flash – Climbing the climb from bottom to top on your first try WITH prior knowledge of the climb. That can include having seen a video, being told how to do a sequence, what holds are like, etc.
Redpoint – Climbing the climb from bottom to top on your second, third, fourth, etc try.
Generally, the redpoint term isn’t used in bouldering, so if you see me referring to “sending” a boulder problem without any flash/onsight associated with it, that is what I mean.
Different climbs have different hold types, and it usually depends on the type of rock and the angle of the climb as to what style of holds are present. Usually a particular climb can have a wide range of hold types on it – here are some:
Crimp – a small edge
Sloper – a rounded hold
Jug – a really good hold
Pinch – a hold that requires the thumb to oppose the finger pressure
Pocket – a hole in the rock, generally less than 4 fingers will fit in it
These holds can be found in different orientations aside from just upright:
Undercling – upside down hold, palm is pointing towards the sky
Sidepull – hold is oriented vertically, the palm is pointing towards the climber
Gaston – hold is oriented vertically, however the palm is pointing away from the climber
Thats all I can think of for now. If anything comes up that I haven’t described here, I will do so as necessary. I hope this helps!
So now onto blogging…I have no idea how to do this! I’ve had some help from my friend Alex who has kept a blog for a few years. I’m sure I will get more used to it as time goes on. I hope to figure out how to post pictures and videos so you all can see the cool climbs that friends and I will do!