RocTrip 2005 Update 5
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Said Belhaj giving it all for a proud attempt on Patience 5.14a on the Big Show at Cheakamus, Squamish, BC.Photo by Luke Laeser
We couldn’t get enough of DJ LaFouche’s music on Saturday night! With the help of Sahid Belhaj on Flute/Triangle/Bongos, Timmy O’Neill on Bongos and Guillaume Broust on the video deck, LaFouche kept people in rhythm and on the floor until we closed The Howe Sound Brewery & Inn down about 2AM. It wouldn’t have much of a negative affect on the climbers though… people we’re pumped to boulder the next day! While route climbing was the preferred element of Roc Trip for several competitors, most were here to boulder in the forest below the Chief. While we woke later than we wanted Sunday morning — it didn’t really matter, the weather was still splitter. Locals kept telling us that we had “lucked out”, as it had rained three weeks straight prior to our arrival. Steve McClure’s send of Patience 5.14a on his second try at Cheakamus on Saturday secured him the top position going into the bouldering element on Sunday. Sean McColl and Said Belhaj also performed well on routes, putting them far out in front of the pack. The women’s field remained more grouped as several women shared “sends” of the same routes. As a result, women’s overall point totals were generally lower than the mens, opening the possibility that a strong bouldering performance could win it for the women.Also, keep in mind that Sharma worked his new project TLC (5.14d?) on the Kakademon Boulder (which he bolted with Trotter and Jordan Wright last Tuesday), but as he was unable to complete it clean, (we assure you it wasn’t for lack of effort) he received no points. We’re guessing it won’t be long before you see a Hot Flash report in Climbing.com on his send? C’mon Chris! Another notable performance from Saturday was Dave Graham’s flash of Young Blood, a short and burly 5.13b on the Kakademon boulder, perhaps the proudest flash of the event. This is how we do it…On Sunday things started off a little slow since everyone was still recovering from DJ LaFouche’s rave the night before. Lisa Rands and Thomasina Pidgeon shared sends of several problems producing rival scores until the final problem on Sunday night. With the light fading Rands sent Ride the Lightning, which is only V8, but rather highball with a burly mantel topout, as a huge crowd supported her from below. Competition organizer Dale Bard extended the time limit of the event hoping that she would respond. And respond she did! She said that by the time she had reached the cruxy topout her hand strength had all but given out, forcing her to rely on her feet which were pasted to the moist, Squamish granite. Sharma, Wills Young and others also sent this highball classic just preceding Rand’s climactic send.The men had a very difficult format with only two established problems and five projects to choose from. No new projects were sent, so Steve McClure won by virtue of his 5.14a redpoint on Saturday. Sharma, Graham, Kinder and Woods spent hours working short V12 The Proposal on the Animal Magnetism Boulder, but unfortunately no sends to report of.The sports action was amazing as worldclass rock stars and local talent pulled down in the boulder fields below the Chief. Despite the lack of big point scores, they graced us with their efforts as they climbed on many of Squamish’s most impressive formations. Applause echoed throughout the forest after each send, keeping the energy positive throughout the day. Then as things closed down, the climbers folded their pads and packed it up. And then the rain returned, right on schedule.Final Results: Men 1-Steve McClure 2-Sean McColl 3-Chris Sharma 4-Said Belhaj 5-Harry Berger Women 1-Lisa Rands 2-Thomasina Pidgeon 3-Lynn Hill