Shaving with a Knife
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.