Shav­ing with a Knife

Gripped - - NEWS - Marc An­dre-Le­clerc –Jamie Fin­layson

Leslie Timms of On­tario re­cently com­pleted the ex­ten­sion of her route Stra­tus Fear 5.12d, at Li­ons Head on the Bruce Penin­sula. Above the Clouds is a 45- me­tre 5.13a, and it looks wild. “When I started up the route I some­how knew that it would be my last tr ip on this wild climb. I soaked in the rests and the views, I em­braced each move, I en­joyed the r ide. When I pulled the fi­nal lip, I got to live that mo­ment that I dreamed about all sum­mer, I screamed from the top of my lungs into the am­phithe­atre be­low me, my cheers bounced off the walls be­low, echo­ing into the dis­tance. Then I got to top out the fa­mous Lion’s Head Look­out with my dream route be­low my feet. I stood on top, soak­ing in that panoramic view for what felt like the last time. Though of course I would be back,” said Timms. I swam up the per­fect hand-jams of the split pil­lar, pulled the tech­ni­cal crux of the Sword and lay­backed the thin fin­ger locks to the be­gin­ning of the long bolt lad­der. I used my daisy chains on the bolt lad­der as well on Perry’s Lay­back, then cruised along the Flats and up the ex­cel­lent juggy sail-flake soon find­ing my­self run­ning along Bel­lygood Ledge to the start of the Ro­man Chim­neys.

I checked the time, I had 18 min­utes to solo the Chim­neys in or­der to match the cur­rent speed record ( 59 min­utes held by Alex Hon­nold and Ma­son Earle) This is where I ac­tu­ally com­mit­ted to an at­tempt to break the record. I had never soloed the Chim­neys be­fore, so I climbed cau­tiously, par­tic­u­larly through the ini­tial 5.11a slab crux. As I power lay­backed a slightly damp 11a of­fwidth I thought to my­self, ‘even if I don’t break the record I won’t be try­ing this again,’ but soon enough I was rac­ing through the gr itty face climb­ing that avoids an 11+ roof crack and up the fi­nal 5.10 cor­ner to the top. I checked the time as soon as I reached the ledge that marks the end of the Ro­man Chim­neys. It was 11:30 bang on. I had taken some­where be­tween 57 and 58 min­utes, just shav­ing a minute or two off the pre­vi­ous record.– The Cliff at Mur­rin Park in Squamish. Lo­cal Colin Moor­head found the cliff and did the first cou­ple of routes.

Son­nie Trot­ter had climbed a route on the wall called C is for Safe 5.11d, which the lower sec­tion of Shav­ing climbs to at 5.13a. I climbed that part last year, but the rains pre­vented me from top­ping out.

This spr ing I set my sights on other routes such as The Bat­tle of Ev­er­more 5.14a, that Trot­ter bolted last year and I climbed for the third as­cent.Then I went to work on Cap­tain Amer­ica 5.14b, on the Big Show at Chek.

With th­ese awe­some routes be­hind me and the cooler fall tem­per­a­tures ap­proach­ing, I was ready to start work­ing on the des­per­ately thin Shav­ing with a Knife ex­ten­sion. It took me a to­tal of 12 days (six last year and six this year,) in­clud­ing my time on the lower sec­tion last year to fi­nally send the route. I had to change my beta in the up­per-sec­tion af­ter break­ing a cr it­i­cal crys­tal. The new beta was more fun any­ways. It in­volves me get­ting al­most hor­i­zon­tal to reach a cr imp out r ight, which is unique for a less than ver­ti­cal route.

The route has five dif­fer­ent boul­der prob­lems which are stacked, with rests in-be­tween on small sharp holds. A big chal­lenge for me was that I kept slic­ing my left in­dex fin­ger tip. When I sent I had to have that fin­ger taped which was not ideal, but it worked out any­ways. I graded it 5.13c.

I am ex­cited with the first as­cent and was lucky to get it done be­fore the fall rains. It started to rain as I was leav­ing the park­ing lot. I would like to thank Tim Em­mett for his sup­port and awe­some be­lays and my very sup­port­ive and un­der­stand­ing wife.

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