What happened to our fall season?

We leapt into September this year with a vengeance. Graham and I had spent the four months of summer apart. I had a fantastic job doing biodiversity monitoring in northern Alberta with the ABMI (they’ve posted positions for next year already!) and Graham settled back in Vancouver and returned to his awesome job at MEC. Autumn just around the corner, we were psyched to be back together again, psyched to be climbing, and psyched to planning our rapidly approaching October wedding.

For Graham, September was to be an exciting time on the rock for a few reasons. The summer is usually hot in Squamish with unfavourable conditions, and this year was warm and wet – a terrible combination. He was hoping for dry, cool temperatures that tend to get people all over the continent geared up and excited. A classic “Sendtember”, as they say.

I was just excited to get back on the rock. I had to give up climbing entirely for three months, which was desperately difficult having just come back from our road trip. Fortunately, my crew moved to Edmonton in August, which allowed me to begin to build back some fitness in the evenings at the U of A climbing gym, and on weekend trips to Jasper and the Canmore. A four hour drive to get to your weekend destination hardly gets a second thought when you haven’t been climbing for months.

Ffantom Love (5.11d) at The Lookout in the Bow Valley. Photo credit: Bonar McCallum

September DID start out promising.

Graham sent his long term project Division Bell (5.13d) on the Big Show on the second day of the month. I started working Ill Communication (5.13b), and had one-hung it by the end of my third day. Graham resurrected another old project to work on, Permanent Waves (5.13d), and I started trying Young Blood (5.13a) for my fall-project-in-the-forest. Graham made progress on Black Council (V11).

First and last try of the season on Young Blood (5.13a). Photo credit: Kirsten or Yannick 🙂
And then……….

The rainpocalypse landed.

Rainpocalyse outside The Hive North Shore

It just kept coming and coming.

In Vancouver, it rained 28 of the 31 days in October. That is more October rain days for the city than have EVER been recorded.

There was a TINY gap in the wetness on October 11. Graham drove to Squamish after work, waiting patiently in line at the base of the Cacodemon Boulder, and gave Permanent Waves one more try before darkness crept into the forest. He sent!!!!!!! Then he headed to the ferry and made his way to meet me in Victoria where we would tie the knot four days later.

Despite all odds, we aren’t giving up yet. Graham and I check the weather daily… usually this is disappointing, but sometimes there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the two-week forecast. However, so far November has been almost as bad as October. Sigh.

A couple things help us to keep the psych alive. Training with friends. Religiously browsing Instagram and getting stoked about what everyone else is climbing. And dreaming big for the next time we can hit the road.

Graham, Yannick, and Andrew doing weighted pull-ups as part of our training
The path near our house. Wet wet wet.

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