Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

So, this past weekend, I was planning on heading to the Adirondacks. The weather, unfortunately, did not cooperate. Eric, Grand, Nick and I set off in the car Friday night, after a last minute change of destination. I was heading for Montagne D’Argent – again.

We arrived at the campsite that evening and set up. We were the only ones there, so we took the primo spot – under the tarp, by the picnic tables, SCHWING! We quickly hit the nearby IGA for some cheap Quebecois beer. While at the IGA, we found a GINORMOUS wheel of cheese, that we could have purchased for the low-low price of $99.98 for half the wheel. We declined, but gladly had our picture taken with it. Returning to the camp, we drank some beer and turned in.

Figure 1: Grand and his expensive cheese

Saturday morning, we awoke to beautiful weather. After a quick breakfast, we headed out for the M&M area, which happened to be about 30 seconds from our tent. This area has a beautiful grey granite stone that is chock full of cracks. It was great. We started on “M&M” (5.8), of course. Grand lead it, I seconded. Then we moved over to “Krakabra” (5.7+), which I lead, very sketchily because it was soaked to the gills. From the ground, it looked as if only the sidewall was wet, but I soon discovered that the entire crack was seeping and slippery. Plus, I didn’t have enough #2s. So, I had to walk gear up the whole way. Basically, it was tricky, slippery, but successful. Grand decided against seconding it. Then we moved to “Lezadomachos” (5.9+), which was a technically difficult climb, with a swing in the middle. It was fun, but hard. Once we had exhausted the cracks at M&M, we moved to “Le Fou” area, so we could hop on some multi pitch climbing. Grand and Eric did “Maudit Fou” (5.10b), while Nick and I did “Le Centenaire” (5.8). It was fun; the climbs shared anchors, so we saw a lot of each other. Plus, the last pitch was the same for both. Once down, we moved to La Petite Folie area, where Nick lead his first trad line – “Encore! Mon Lapin” (5.4+) – way to go Nick. Grand and I climbed “Colonel Kirtz” (5.10a), a disgustingly dirty hand crack. Soon, we moved to the amphitheatre, where Grand, Eric and Nick climbed “Meo Penche” (5.10c). When they were done, we called it.

Figure 2: Me rappelling off M&M

Figure 3: Me at the top of Le Centenaire

Figure 4: Eric on Colonel Kirtz

We quickly went back to the tents, got ready and headed for the river. We brought some beer, to cool in the river, but the water was too warm, so they just got slightly less hot. We swam around a bit and headed back to camp. Our night in camp was pretty uneventful. We made dinner, ate, drank beer and went to bed early. The next morning, we awoke to pouring rain. So, we ate breakfast, packed up and headed for home. We stopped in Ottawa, had lunch and shopped at MEC. It was a pretty good day, even though it rained. Of course, once we arrived back in Kingston, the weather was beautiful.

Figure 5: The swimming hole/river

It was a pretty good weekend, all tolled. We got a bunch of awesome climbing in, so that was good. It was just a little too much Montagne D’Argent in two weeks for me. I need to go somewhere new! It looks like I will be soon, though, so that is good.

Figure 6: Us unhappily eating breakfast in the rain

Figure 7: Us happily eating lunch in Ottawa

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