10 Ques­tions

Gripped - - CONTENTS - Bran­don Pul­lan

On­tario’s Joe Skopec

This year prom­ises to be the busiest at Canada’s crags. Climb­ing is boom­ing with new gyms across the coun­try, new school pro­grams and en­try into the Olympics. This is the year for climbers to be­come the best climbers they can be. Be­ing a good climber is about more than send­ing hard things, it’s about be­ing a pos­i­tive part of the com­mu­nity of Cana­dian crag-go­ers.

Chances are high that you’re plan­ning to travel some­where this sum­mer for rock climb­ing, whether it’s for a week­end or a month. There are two types of climbers when they travel: those who plan and pay and those who go on a whim and dirt­bag, both are cool. Which­ever type you are, be sure that you re­spect the rules of the area you’re trav­el­ling too. At some ar­eas in Que­bec, such as Weir, you need to pay a day rate. Some crags’ ac­cess, such as Crag X in On­tario are closed and oth­ers such as Lion’s Head’s are just tol­er­ated, so tread lightly. There are strict park­ing rules at some Al­berta crags such as Echo Canyon, so park where you won’t threaten ac­cess. Bird clo­sures ex­ist at many ar­eas in Canada, such as on The Chief in Squamish. Check the lo­cal ac­cess boards and so­cial me­dia to find a list of sea­sonal rules.

Crags are sen­si­tive ar­eas, they’re not in­door climb­ing gyms. Less is more, so leave the mu­sic at home, don’t bring hy­per dogs and clean up af­ter your­self. Don’t leave wrap­pers, roaches or fruit peels in the out­doors. Don’t smoke at a busy crag (not ev­ery­one is keen) and don’t bring booze to the base of climbs. Tread lightly and use your com­mon sense. Don’t be the an­noy­ingly loud bolt-to-bolter who kills the buzz. And don’t hog routes, get your lap in and move on and please clean your tick marks.

Be safe this year. Check your gear, and knot and wear a hel­met. Prac­tice good com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Study the topo, and bring the right num­ber of quick­draws and cams. Call other climbers out if they’re be­ing sketchy. Feel good about back­ing off a dan­ger­ous move. It’s bet­ter to be a live chicken than a dead hero. Don’t send new­bies on lead un­til they know what they’re do­ing. Know how to make an an­chor be­fore lead­ing. If you’re a new climber, don’t be pres­sured to do some­thing you’re un­com­fort­able with.

Use your so­cial me­dia to hype oth­ers, ar­eas, climbs and your sends. Don’t use so­cial me­dia to be a poser. Just be­cause you’re hav­ing a good day at the crag doesn’t mean that ev­ery­one is, so use that stoke to en­cour­age oth­ers. Give good boul­der­ing spots, pro­tect multi-pitch tra­verses, stay roped up on glaciers and don’t free-solo just be­cause you watched Free Solo. Buy guide­books, make new friends and be the best climber you can be. And if you send hard things, bonus.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.