Marco Lefebvre has been updating us on some of the happenings in the Fraser Valley! His first update was given to us a few weeks ago and then another update today! So great to see Squamish locals sampling the goods in the Fraser Valley!
This past month we saw some noteworthy sends from a couple of locals and some visiting climbers. There were very strong attempts on some hard projects while a few of the old classics saw their first repeats in years.
Hope resident and developer, Mark Dillon, continued crushing at the Hope Slide with his bold send of Sky Babies V4 R. This 25′ beast climbs a slightly overhanging face on good edges to a 20′ crux section while directly over a large boulder. Spotting on this problem is impossible – you will hit something on the way down.
Over at The Stacks Valley local Mike Crapo did the FA of Moonshine V8, which climbs very steep tips to an offwidth crack for 20′ and ends with a sketchy slab finish with a potential 50′ fall. It took Mike 10 tries over 4 days using 180° kick throughs and bizarre overhead toe hooks to finally send what is most likely the hardest boulder crack in the Valley. Mike, along with his brother Jason, have put up 50+ crack problems in the past 2 years with 20+ of those in the world class range, which makes the Valley one of the premiere destinations for this style of climbing in North America.
A foursome of strong climbers from Squamish, Hans Christian Montenegro, Julio Hernandez, Santiago Rodriguez, and Gabriel Mock, came up to stay with us for the long weekend. We took them to The Grid on the first day where Hans quickly dispatched a low ball project for the FA of La Pelota Baja V8. Next the crew threw themselves at a 2 year old problem Gabo had put up called Boom V? which has not seen a repeat and continued to repel all attempts. They decided to add a different exit with a hard traverse across the face with no success. Later that day we hit The Stacks where Gabo repeated Tyler Thompson’s classic, Limelight V8/9, while Hans worked on a hard low start.
The next day we headed up to the Hope Slide to attempt 2 of the hardest projects in the Valley; The Raven and The Wheel of Hope. They immediately jumped on The Raven and, after a couple of hours, had most of the moves worked out except for the hard opening sequence. Finally we went over to the mega project dubbed by them The Wheel of Hope due to its similarities to The Wheel of Life in the Grampians, Australia. This thing is hard, with the finishing sequence of moves a hard, double digit problem on its own. Long, steep, and unrelenting, this will surely be one of the hardest in the country. Hans was able to make a few moves on the rail while Gabo worked out a very early exit which will be a great problem on its own.
We headed over to The Cobbles on the morning of the final day where Hans did the FA of El Techo Perfecto V5; a beautiful variation through a roof to finish on the Nate Woods’ classic. Over at the roof boulder Gabo did the third ascent of the seldom-tried Suicide Machine V9, and also the third ascent of King of Pain V8, while Santiago came within one hold of sending Suicide Machine. Nate Woods’ Ingenious Machine of Man V10, continued to shut down all attempts for the second ascent. The end of the day was spent at Elbow Lake with attempts by Hans on the very hard continuation of Scarface and some attempts by Gabo and Santiago on the unrepeated Evolution of Power, but by this time I think they were done!
It’s good to see more strong climbers heading to the Valley along with development from non-locals. Hopefully this trend continues.
The update continues below
On the third trip back to Hope, Gabriel Moch and crew rallied again. Gabriel Moch made the FA of of one of the best in the Valley, named The Raven (ungraded at time of writing) at the Hope Slide. Over at The Grid, American climber Paul Nadler got the second ascent of Gabriel Moch’s Boom (still no rating), and a quick repeat of the Trevor Edwards classic Under the Influence V8. At The Stacks, Nadler quickly repeated Limelight V8/9 and then added a lower start at around V9/10.
Awesome fellas! Keep it up! Special thanks to Marco for the update!