Thursday, July 26, 2007

Star Chek and Climbing in Squamish~!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Wow-~! last couple of days flew pass!! I had an amazing time climbing with Wayne, Jeff and Nick in Squamish, BC.

We arrived in Squamish late Monday night and were fortunate to find a spot in the climbers camping ground. Apparently even on a weekday a tonne of folks were waiting for the weather to clear out so that they can climb~!

On Tuesday as planned we went to Star Check to do the 4 pitch 5.9 sport climb, which according to Wayne will bring smile to your face!! Unfortunately due to the rain in the past week or so the route was totally moss and wet! We gave up on that and actually headed to Smoke Bluffs to try some single pitch cragging. During the whole day i lead two climbing one 5.6 and other 5.8 and followed Wayne on 5.7 (which i couldnt lead as i kept slipping at the start) and other two start 5.7. I was almost spent and pumped out by the time we wrapped off. While in the other area Nick and Jeff were trying to get out a stuck cam, but after trying several times with no luck we gave off and around 6pm or so we headed for the recreation centre for a quick shower, a hot tub dip and then had a great meal in the town! Over the meal we dicussed and i concluded that i wont be up for Diedre, i didnt want to crap out on pitch 4 and have Wayne haul me back. So the plan for Wednesday was Jeff and Nick would do Diedre and my-self and Wayne would try some other climbs near the climbers camp.

Wednesday morning Jeff and Nick went ahead for Diedre with a backup plan to do other difficult ones in case its crowded, and myself and Wayne went to the 5.8 near campground. Our climb was a little damp towards the start after trying for a bit Wayne and myself decided to go try something else. Well!! actually we ended up going to Star Check! We started climbing star check around 11:15am. Wayne lead the first pitch, i was a little scared with the exposure and the raging river beneth. After getting up to first belay station I was in double mind weather or not to lead the next pitch Wayne convinced me that if I can lead this one (5 bolts, 5.7) then i can lead the 5.9. Well i went for it a little sketched at the beginning but as i got on the arete and clipped in the second bolt i was little more confident and actually i enjoyed the rest two bolts. I did out a piece in between the first and second bolt. I belayed wayne for the second pitch. Wayne lead the third short pitch which could have been combined with the second pitch. After coming up the third pitch I looked at the 5.9 and said no way i can lead it, i was under impression that the route had only three pitches and we were done ;). After a little chat with other pair of climbers who were rapping down Wayne headed for this pitch. He looked really at ease on the 5'9 move! I had to struggle a little while following on this move but didnt actually feel that bad! Voila after completing the pitch i really felt great and a combination of fear and smile crossed me :). It was really a great experience.

After finishing Star Check myself and Wayne went across the road to do some climbing near the water, we tried some 5.6-10a friction stuff on a small wall there. Where as Nick and Jeff were doing a 5.10a variation of the St Vitus' Dance extra since Diedre was crowded. We could see them rapping from the parking lot. While they rapped down we headed to the amazing rec centre for some hot tub!

We started our trip back to seattle around 6:30pm and all along the way i kept thinking of the raging river and the awesome views Star Check definately feels like a great experience in hindsight and something which i will remember for a long time!! Thanks Wayne, Jeff and Nick for dragging me along!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

STP2007 and a new bicyclist!!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Wow~ this weekend was awesome STP weekend!! The 206 miles to portland where really fun and amazing. Maris actually finished it in style almost doubling her bicycling lifetime career miles!! The first leg until seward park was a little sketchy as Maris constantly complained about her arms and i was a little worried if we can make it! But the fast stretch from Seward park to kent convinced me about athletic abilities of Ms. first time biker on a brand new unridden K2 whirlwind! We took all the designated stops and tried to sample the un-impressive STP food. I almost wished i packed some stuff but unfortunately the food on the ride was so good in previous years that i didnt feel like carrying weight. This year was a disappointment not only in terms of quality but also the limited food!

After meeting our whole group of Wheels of Change riders at the REI stop we continued and kept meeting our fellow fund-raisers until Centralia - the official midpoint. It was amazing to see such a hugh group ride great and keep a good pace!

The 7 miles from Centralia to our camp site in Chehalis were quick. After arriving there at 7 we found that we had less than an hour to get food and take a shower so without ado we got on it! Too bad that we didnt have enough time to enjoy the swimming pool of this amazing town. At about 9pm we set up out tents and then pulled our mats out to enjoy the dawn lying on the grass it felt amazing!!

Next morning we started our ride to Portland at about 7:00am (even though the original plan was 6am ;),...). We kept a very decent pace and my about 10:30am we were at the lunch stop and met up with other riders from our group. Unfortunately one of the riders Arvind had to stop due to knee pain but man! he was a tough guy to make it all the way to 145th mile, even though he was not feeling that great!

After almost an hour+ lunch stop and a little treatment to Maris' hurting knee we scurried to get to the Lewis Clark bridge so that we can enter Oregan! and if nothing else just make a ride from Seattle to Oregan!! The passage over the bridge was a little spoky as my metal water bottle came off and almost hit a rider on a recliner. The dude was really mad at me, i feel sorry especially since we met up with this guy on and off on the ride and he kept cheering us up as well as our fundraising cause! Well i did talk to him at finish line and apologize - stupid me i bought a useless metal water bottle...

After the food stop at St. Helens Maris' biking confidence and almost exponentially increased and we entered the finish line almost keeping up a constant 20mph pace in around 2 hours! It was really awesome to see almost all of the team to enter the finishe line with strength and compassion for the cause.

Now its time for doing more of Change!, please contribute your little towards Asha's cause and support our ride.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Support my 206 mile journey to Portland

I’m really thrilled to see our team grow from 5 folks 2 years before to 15 this year!! This year being my third year in the Saddle I would love if you join me in the ride to make a small difference. The first year was grueling and I was sore for few days, the second I stuck in and finished the ride, this year I’m trying to enjoy it and have Maris attempt it!! Hopefully I will be able to keep up with the Marathoner!

Donate per mile or donate in kind! Support my ride!!!