All summer I’ve been sneaking out on rain days (and nice days!) to drytool at The Playground. 😀 When most people we’re still in bed or sitting at The Summit Cafe because it was raining, I was headed out climbing with my tools and fruit boots.
The Playground is a bolted drytooling area on Grotto Mtn. It’s less than a 10 minute drive from Canmore and about a 45 minute hike up to the cave. There’s certainly more development to be done too!
At first I was warming-up on the M5(Rat’s Nest Route) & M6s (Baptism & Prowler) and then getting on the M7+ (Mutt) and M8 (Jeff). Then it became warming-up on the M7+ and working the M8 and M9- (Single Malt) and staring wistfully at the M10, Swiss Cheese. Then I was warming-up by up and down climbing the M7+ (endurance increasing!) and then working Swiss Cheese. I’m still working Swiss Cheese. I have it down to 1 hang in the upper roof, and it’s going to be sent soon!
This fall the traffic at the playground picked up, and I was stoked! I love to see other people being introduced to drytooling and loving it. The last day I was up there we had 16 people throughout the day. If you want info about The Playground or a partner to climb let me know!
Gord McArthur has been competing in Ice Climbing World Cup competitions for a couple years and I am lucky to have him near by in Cranbrook BC so that I can train and climb with him. I am also lucky that he has been psyched to have a training partner and that he has been very open and helpful. Gord is also the creator of new bolted drytooling and mixed routes at The Bull River near Cranbrook. He has and is putting up some awesome hard, steep, and long routes. Check out Gord’s blog MacHavok On The Fly
I went to Cranbrook to train and climb with Gord. The first day Gord and Ryan took me out sport climbing at one of their local crags and then Gord and I hit his backyard training. He has built, as you can see below, a whole system of hanging logs that are roped together and he has logs leading into his climbing gym shed and to his Splice. It’s an awesome endurance workout to figure 4 and figure 9 all around the logs and into the gym and up and down the splice.
Gord had also just received and hung the large log that is hanging vertically at the back right of the photo. It only had 2 hols drilled into it and the below video is of the first time we’re getting onto it. Subsequent trips on and off the log went much smoother and didn’t need assistance. 🙂
Gord also showed me some of the other exercises he does such as one arm rows on a tool, wide pull-ups on tools, hanging grip strength endurance, one-arm lock-offs on tools, leg lifts on tools, and more.
Here are a few pictures from a trip last spring that Jen Olson and I took to The Bull River. It was a really fun two days of drytooling and mixed climbing. I’m really looking forward to going back to The Bull this winter and getting on the longer, harder routes!