Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Information Bureau Rock Climbing

It has been a while since I last climbed at the info bureau. During that time the cliff has certainly increased in popularity. There is now a well trod path along its base. It looks like boulders have been busy on the 15 foot bulge to the left of the main climbs. Rod & Laura from Waterton (Zum's) have got quite a traverse circuit along the base of the cliff.

Most of the loose rock, as well as pebbles and dirt on the ledges have been removed. Perhaps it is just me, but the climbs seem to have improved a lot due to the traffic.

As a result a few updates to the guide book are perhaps warranted.

5.8 (maybe 5.8+ ?)
There is a new anchor far to the right of the wall. It is located around the corner of the main chains and requires walking down to the large lower ledge that is to the climbers right of the cliff top. A grey chain with two bolts is at chest level. This makes top roping this route much easier.

The start of the route is now more solid. It has some decent stemming up to a bare section of rock. Here there is a fun, but rather slippery move that would go at 5.8/5.9. Thoughts on the grade? At the ring bolt it seems life staying left instead of sticking to a more direct route through the overhang is more fun and makes for a more consistent route. Doing this makes the route not quite as contrived as I remembered it being. I think I figured the bolt was useless because the one good crack on the climb is about 3 feet to its left. I guess I have mellowed. The top exit is pretty fun.

This route has certainly improved with traffic. The days when it was a gamble if you could hold on to the sandy ledges are now gone. The route has definitely improved. Leading it wouldn't be a bad proposition.

While Away
5.8 (maybe 5.9)
This climb head up directly through the multiple overhangs. Unfortunately it is hard to set a top rope on. Draping a sling to the left of the lone bolt is possible. You should back this up from the main chain. I am tempted to add in another station just for this climb. Thoughts? It is actually pretty good and probably the hardest route at the main cliff.

Was it Here
5.7 (definitely a 5.8 at least)
Cleaning has also improved this route. A couple of broken bits of rock have changed things so going right at the roof is now the way to go. This is pretty fun as well. I don't know if I would like to lead this though. While it certainly protects, it may be a bit pumpy to place pro. Heading left at the first roof is also another way to go. To do this, try underclinging the pocket at the base of the roof. Is 5.8 a reasonable grade for this route? In comparison to the other routes in Waterton?

Left Useless
With the extra traffic around here, I am wondering if replacing the fixed pins with a chain station is warranted. The extra traffic may turn this into a decent beginner route. Thoughts?

Right Way
This new route is to the right of Chainman. There are two single bolts at the edge of the large roof. The route at the bottom is a series of very nice steep pulls that appear to have very good pro. At 2/3 height there is a short difficult section (5.8). Climbing the roof is a bit sharp and puts you above your top rope anchors (5.9). This is another good route, despite how unappealing it may look from the ground

Also I looked at the picture on page 86 in the 3rd edition, and the climber to the left is clearly on the crux (the roof with the pocket where you can go left or right) of "Was it here" not Centerfold as labeled. Also the right hand climber is exactly between Centerfold and Chainman, not necessarily on Centerfold as labeled (although that is the route he did head up if I remember the day the picture was taken)

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At 9/04/2007 03:14:00 PM , Blogger chris goble said...

Just got a comment from an very experienced park climber suggesting both "Chainman" and "Was it Here" are solid 5.8's.

He also mentioned there is a new bolt station at the base of Cusak's and Harebell. I guess the two pin station - half of which fell out with a loose rock has been upgraded.

At 7/09/2008 11:21:00 PM , Blogger chris g said...

There are also two more top rope anchors far to the climber's right of the info bureau. They climb the low angled rock off to the right. The left hand of the two has a hard start. Well actually both seem to have a hard start! The top section of climbing is actually pretty good - much better than it looks from down at the bottom.


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