I was off for 23 days. On Labor Day we had dad’s 90th birthday with my sister, her husband, their daughter Ginny, my Aunt and Uncle, my brother and his wife. Our kids had to work, but Sue and I went down with a salad. Brent cooked a salmon at Burfoot park where it was pouring down rain, then went up to dad’s at Panorama for a slideshow of 35mm slides dating back to the fifties and sixties. The inlaws were bored out of their minds, but it was riveting for us siblings to see back in time 50 years ago. In many of the pictures we could only see the backs of our heads, but we were able to recognize the clothes and knew who we were looking at back over the many years.
I framed a couple paintings through Labor Day, but arrived at Squamish on Tuesday evening without a partner. I learned later (in Smith of all places) that the campground at the Chief is the hotspot for finding partners. I tried to paint Penny Lane, but it didn’t work.
Marty showed up and we began climbing all the usual warm up routes at the Smoke Bluffs. Our best day was when we did 7 pitches up to Memorial Ledge via St. Vitus Dance and Karen’s Math, which I hung on once after the traverse. Sue and Lisa showed up for 3 days. They hiked the Black Tusk (18 mile round trip), rode mountain bikes at Whistler, and climbed one day. I led the nine at Octopus Garden and felt super solid. Those moves stuck in my mind for days. It’s funny how a good climb leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Marty left after his usual 4 days and I drove South to do more framing and see Sue. My nephew John was available so I drove to Smith. He is a very capable 10C sport climber and we teamed up on Wherever I may Roam, J-T’s route, Moonshine Dihedral, and Karate, which I again led clean…to my great surprise. That route is all about staying calm, milking the rests, and using some critical tiny footholds on the traverse. I placed all my traverse gear (Blue and green) from the last good hand jams, both vertical and horizontal. They are both wrist bone lockers, so it’s relatively easy to hang there and set up the traverse.
Karate Gear list:
- two #3 blues (2.5″)
- four #2 yellows (2″)
- two #1 reds (1.5″)
- three .75 greens
- two .5 purples (.75″)
- four in the half inch to 5/8″ range. (grey, yellow metolius, blue metolius)
I painted for two days, completing a couple nice, but troubled paintings, and then Richard showed up. We did the Monkey on the first day via the 5.8 river side cracks. Exiting the mouth was scary, as was the rappel, but it was a grand adventure. We met a married couple from Yosemite who swung lead up Monkey Space 5.12 trad. They were an amazing couple…so talented. And she was a nursing mom. His parents were climbing with them two days later, kids and all.
We also did Zebra Zion. Richard combined the first two pitches, I led the traverse, and he led the money pitch. That traverse is only 5.7 for the first 15 feet, then it goes to butter sized foot holds and good hand crimps in an easy rising traverse to the ramp, which protects well with finger sized gear. I wasn’t sure I could have led the 10a pitch, but maybe it was just the heat. It must have been over a hundred in the dihedrals. Highlights of that four days were White Satin (bring two blues and 4 yellows), and The Outsider, which felt rediculously easy. At the crux there are huge foot holds. It is literally a stairway of flat one inch spearmint gum sized foot holds. You stand up on those and stick your fingers in two perfectly sized finger holes, almost as good as a bowling ball. Pull up on that, move your feet up on very nice jugs, and clip the bolt.
I have at least 6 paintings that are good except for minor touch up details like sky, or unfinished foregrounds. Most of them simply needed another day of work on location. I will be chipping away at them over the new week or two. I have 4 going down to the gallery this week, while I need to pick up two unsold paintings from the Fair.
I have 5 paintings in State of the Art gallery through the fall season. Details here: