The Coli­seum

Gripped - - NATIVE STONES -

The crown jewel of the area and host to the best rock is The Coli­seum, known pri­mar­ily for its con­cen­tra­tion of hard bolted lines rang­ing from 5.11c to 5.13b with a new cur­rently closed project that is sup­posed to be even more dif­fi­cult. Those look­ing for a mod­er­ate warm-up can sam­ple the 5.10c trad route that runs up the mid­dle of the crag or a rarely climbed 5.9 at the far left, but most will sim­ply bolt-to-bolt one of the harder sport lines rather than lug a full trad rack on the 45- minute ap­proach. The crag is only 20 me­tres wide, but packs a punch with three 5.12s and a 5.13 each boast­ing its own unique crux move­ments. In all cases, the style is best de­scribed as power en­durance with poor rest po­si­tions and con­sis­tently hard pulls from the bot­tom to the top of the 15- me­tre-high wall. Though the wall is only gen­tly over­hang­ing, ex­pect to find your core fully en­gaged as you fight barn doors, make reachy lunges to small edges and com­press slip­pery slop­ers that might make you feel like you’re on a Squamish boul­der. This is def initely the spot in the Vic­to­ria area to get your try-hard on. For those look­ing for a more men­tal chal­lenge, an ex­tremely spicy 5.11 mixed line is known for spit­ting off many strong climbers and would make a proud ad­di­tion to any tick list.

Un­like the lesser-known bluffs of the re­gion, The Coli­seum is well-tended with min­i­mal moss in­va­sion and shiny new bolts on many of the lines. Nev­er­the­less, ex­er­cise cau­tion as the fri­able basalt rock can, and does, break. Con­sider wear­ing a hel­met when be­lay­ing, par­tic­u­larly early in the sea­son.

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