Friday, July 11, 2008

Mr. Grimm or Upside Down Alberta

The story of Mr. Grimm has, like many fairy tales, many morales. This route was established during the second wave of Drywood routes. The first wave of routes were put up by Mike Orr, Megan Houston, Denny Winkler, Mark Iwaasa and various other climbing wall staff/ climbing club members. This wave concentrated on the lower right side of the cliff. Route cleaning was a laboriously project, even if it was aided by the cleanest rock and fewest ledges on the cliff. Numerous visits were required to prep Thumbalina. Even so, it still will spit out a loose shard or two.

Further waves concentrated on the upper tier before moving to the slabby faces of Fairy Lane and then the loser rock uphill of the cave. Exploration of the lower tier required long hikes up the back side and two or three hope for the best raps down the scree and argillite above the routes. There should still be a number of pins up there from Mike and Chris' scouting trips.

During one new route session, I was lucky enough to finally make it to the ground above Mr. Grimm. I did a long traverse from a set of pins far to the left of the route's top. A bolt anchor was thrown in at the top of Mr. Grimm, before I rapped down and cleaned as much rock as I could before my legs went numb from the harness. Being by myself, getting into the ledge to clean was problematic, not overly safe, and required bolted anchors which I was leary to put in before the route was fully worked.

Anchors went in and the route was climbed. In talking to Duncan about my new project, I learned both he and Mike had inspected the route - tentatively calling the project "Upsidedown Alberta" due to the map like geography of the upper section. I was rather unpopular for a while, but no work had been done on the work, other than a preliminary rappel after the pair had climbed Mercy Me to have a look.

The name comes from Meagan Houston's desire to have all the routes in the area named after Fairy Tales. This was something not terribly popular with some of the crowd, but everyone seemed to go along with it - for a while.

In heading back up the route with Blair the other week, the name, Mr. Grimm, still seems appropriate. Fully clearing the loose gravel on the rest ledge and some of the other loose block (not climbed on) would require eternal tunneling. This has always been a conundrum for routes in the south - the are spots where cleaning loose rocks will just generate a mine shaft, not a cleaner climb.

The crux of the route is turning the roof. While the guidebook says the top bolt is too far left due to a key hold breaking, I think I will have to take that back. The right line works well, and the bolt is in an acceptable location. There are 3 bolts on the roof section. Routes in the area tend to be closely bolted around sections that are loose.

The top section of the route is classic and unique. Choose the Right (5.10a) has similar features. Not too many people have gone up the two climbs above, Hansel and Grettle. The left hand route is short one bolt hanger, so bring a stopper to loop over the nut.

In terms of the steep overhanging climbs in the area, I would suggest getting used to Fluffy Thief 5.10a, or Choose the Right (5.10a), before hopping on Mr. Grimm (5.10c). After that you should be ready to tackle the ultra classic Macduff (5.11-).



At 7/14/2008 11:11:00 AM , Blogger Marko Polo said...

Nice work Chris! Looks fun, and by the way... you were always popular in my books ;)

At 7/14/2008 01:36:00 PM , Blogger chris g said...

Only because I never dropped rocks on you!

BTW are you in for a day at Expert's this week?


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