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rocketparrotlet

[TR] Agassiz, BC - Cragging in Harrison Bluffs 4/1/2010

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Trip: Agassiz, BC - Cragging in Harrison Bluffs

 

Date: 4/1/2010

 

Trip Report:

Marc Leclerc invited me to go cragging with him for a few days in Canada over spring break, so naturally I said yes! I arrived at his house Wednesday night and met Tamara, his girlfriend, while Marc talked about intense alpine routes.

 

We left for cragging the next morning. After showing me around Harrison Bluffs while it rained and we waited for it to dry, we started up Sleeping Princess, a sweet 5.9 handcrack with a wet crux. I fell at the crux (soon to become a staple of my climbing experience the next few days.) I then tried Great Expectations, an interesting climb with a challenging section on dwindling holds that leads to a roof traverse. It felt a lot harder than it actually is, but it was super fun and a way different feel from Index climbing, which I am used to.

 

I tried a cool arete next to it and had a lot of fun while Marc showed me one of his steep blank slab climbs, Midget Love. Feeling good about the arete, I tried to lead another 5.9 bolted arete, which is generally higher than I am comfortable leading. The first bolt was about 15 feet up, so I put a nut in a flaring pocket about 10 feet up, then fell for my first time on lead. My nut pulled free and I hit the ground- nice first leader fall...so I shook out and tried again after a couple of minutes. I didn't like the committing moves to the second bolt, so I bailed, Marc led it, and I followed. Next, we headed up higher, bypassing wet pitches until we got to another cool arete. Marc wanted to try an overhanging thin hands crack called Tubby and His Pal, and so I belayed him as he worked the route. He's close to sending.

 

We then went and Marc led his project, an unclimbed crack-to-arete pitch that was near the top of the walls. We named it Turbulence, 5.10a R due to the wind. 5.9 A0 for me, because I hangdogged the beginning, not wanting to make Marc sit for 15 minutes in the biting wind while I tried to work the bouldery start. It was really cool to put up a first ascent. We then headed back through the horrendously pouring rain, soaking wet and cold.

 

When we got back, we ate dinner followed by ice cream, the first of many scoops. The next day, we slept in due to rain and headed out in the wet. Tamara scrubbed her project next to where we were climbing, and it was amazing the amount of dirt that fell out. It now looks like a great route instead of the mossy, dirty crack it was the day before. Marc and I climbed Sharkfin Crack, a beautiful steep fingercrack, my favorite! I fell at the crux the first time, came back for another shot, and climbed it with no falls on toprope. I looked at Marc's awesome slab project called the Matrix, even steeper than Midget Love with some awesome-looking cruxes!

 

It was getting dark after our super late start, so we headed home, watched Edward Scissorhands and Zombieland, and ate more ice cream. The third day, we biked over in a light rain to the Bluffs again where we climbed Tree Frog, a fun slab climb, and then I attempted to lead Kids and Old Guys, the easiest route in Harrison. Right before I took off to lead it, it rained, then hailed, then rained again, then hailed again, really hard this time. The crack was horrendously covered in water and hail now. I tried to lead it anyway, but the crack was so slippery, and I was literally scooping out a mix of slush and pine needles, so I bailed off again and Marc led it.

 

We decided to go old-school style, so I belayed him up on a Munter hitch and he belayed me on a hip belay. We both fell a lot on the slippery wetness! I took off on a nice lead of some steep dirt and acted old-school, my favorite placement on the way up was slinging a moss horn on some gnarly dirt. Marc then led a crack to bypass the trail direct, taking us to the exit cracks. We then had to retreat in the storm and reverse the trail traverse. Probably the most epic route I have ever climbed, we settled on a consensus rating of 5.15 A6 WI8 M15, but it's a sandbag, so be careful if you're going for a second ascent. Overall, I had a ton of fun, and I'm looking forward to some more climbs with Marc (and some more sick dirt FA's!)

 

Gear Notes:

Rock pro and ice cream. I wish I had brought a camera.

 

Approach Notes:

Bike to and from the Bluffs from Marc's house. 8-10km each way?

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The Death Route was classy... albiet a bit too intense for me to really enjoy... I mean the dirt was steep and collapsing and shen all hope seemed lost as I was abouto fall with my only pro being a RURP 80ft below me I dynoed to a tiny moss nubbing mono and mangaed to stick the 5.15 crux.... so gnarly,

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i want a granite cliff of that quality within biking distance of my house!

where's the pics?

 

Me too!

 

I left my camera at home. I won't next time.

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someone has got to buy a car in this group...sun was out all weekend long in the interior

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So were you guys there when the tree blew over near the Matrix or what?

 

We weren't at the bluffs at that time, but we saw it the next day. It was pretty huge.

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