Sunday, July 14, 2013

Going West

I guess we left the blog dangling a bit at the end of our spring trip. Rest assured we made it back to Ottawa in one piece at the end of April, after Kristal unexpectedly landed a job teaching. With the end of the school year looming we were anxious to hit the road again and decided to head west for the summer.

As usual the long drive wasn't all that interesting, although we did manage to stop for a nice swim in Lake Michigan and saw this cool sunset in North Dakota.

Our first stop was at Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan, where Kristal's family were congregating to enjoy the Canada Day long weekend. The weather was awesome and we enjoyed a weekend filled with good food, good company, a mini beach volleyball tournament, fireworks and a lot of fun on the lake.

One of the highlights for Kristal and I was paddling around on her dad's stand up paddle board. Super fun.

After a week of driving and hanging out at the lake we were anxious to do some climbing though. Our first stop was some bouldering at Frank Slide in southern Alberta. We spent a few days there and were stoked to be joined by Kristal's brother Mark and his wife Beth (we also enjoyed the luxury of staying at their place in Lethbridge for a few nights).

Sitting around after bouldering we were discussing the blog and it was suggested that we should have guest writers. And so, in a Ropeless blog first, Beth is hopefully going to talk about something related to the day they spent bouldering with us. Take it away Beth!

Thank you Jason! Mark and I are super excited to be contributing for the first time.

While Jason and Kristal were in Lethbridge we popped out to Frank Slide for a few days with them. Even though we have toured the area many times, K and J schooled us with their insider knowledge they had picked up in their few days camping there a few days beforehand. Pro Tip: The bathrooms at the Bellevue campground are much nicer than those at the local gas station.

On our first joint outing, we did a classic tour of Franks’ south side, starting at the brawny Snakebite boulder. After a few non-warm up burns on the V5, we decided that we should probably start slower and found the Tidal Volume boulder. Below is Mark pulling hard on the boulder’s namesake problem.

Also in an excellent showing, Jason snagged Serial Killer, the especially reachy problem on the same boulder which is nigh impossible to begin if your less than 5’10. Kristal, I, and even Mark can all attest to the lengthiness of that initial move.

The last boulder we visited at Frank was the super sloping Vlad Slab, which features a number of low-angle, fun problems. Shown below are Kristal and I scampering up the V1s and V0s.

Ice cream and hail capped the day. Pro tip: Bellevue has an amazing ice cream shop with dozens of flavours.

We managed to make it back to Lethbridge before a crazy hailstorm hit, raining down ping-pong sized pieces. From the safety of the basement, we watched the ice ricochet off homes and cars.

1 comment:

  1. Wow tough activities there, im sure you enjoy your adventures in the West. Are you coming back for more? SUP Red Deer