September 14, 2011

Climbing Ha Ling and EEOR

Jim F climbing the NE Face on Ha Ling above Canmore.
This post is a little dated but oh well. On the last weekend of August, Jim F joined me from Colorado with the main goal of climbing cool rock routes. I'd just climbed Homage to the Spider on Louis and the Greenwood Jones on Temple during the two previous days, and was looking forward to classic routes with short approaches. We decided on the two walls standing above Canmore - Ha Ling and the East End of Rundle. We climbed Generosity on EEOR and I was surprised to find it even more enjoyable than I remembered. I don't know if rock quality can improve over time or if it's just my poor memory, but Generosity is a really fun climb with 13 pitches up to 5.9.
Both routes require little more than a single rack to a #3 Camalot and a bunch of slings, and I didn't use a single nut on either climb.
Of course, as we were getting ready to climb Generosity in the parking lot, a red pick-up pulled in next to us and three dudes jumped out - harnesses already on.
"Where are you guys going?" they asked.
"EEOR," I said.
"What Route?"
"Us too!" they said and tore off up the trail.
Jim and I considered changing our plans but didn't. We sauntered up to the base and the trio was nowhere in sight. I thought that maybe they'd gotten lost on the approach, until they almost smoked me with rocks on the first real pitch of climbing. That's what you get for climbing under people in Rockies! I joined them at the belay and chatted as I belayed Jim up. Their leader was doing some interesting route finding above us and wasn't setting any speed records, and I told the two guys at the belay that I was going to keep climbing when Jim arrived.
"You mean you're going to try and pass us?" they asked.
"Well, I'm just going to keep climbing," I said.
"You're going to pass us?" they asked again, trying to decipher the cryptic code.
"Well, I'm just going to keep climbing," I said again.
Silence over took us until Jim arrived at the belay. Their leader had not progressed much up to this point, and Jim put me on belay and I started up. Passing the leader was not terribly difficult because he had gotten so far off route that we were hardly on the same pitch. I arrived at the belay first and brought Jim up. The other leader arrived shortly thereafter and was grateful that we would now be doing the route finding. "Climb slowly," he said to Jim as I was on the next pitch.
Just goes to show that passing on a route is not always a bad thing for anyone!
Higher up on EEOR.
Good views in to K Country!

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