Keep Summer Safe | 12b

White Bluffs, ON

  • 1 - 2 pitches
  • lower-offs available after 1st pitch (11a)
  • 5 quickdraws (6 fixed draws on 2nd pitch)
  • 60m rope will get you down with both pitches linked
Located on the 2nd prow left of The Monument.

The 1st pitch begins on blocky ledges, to a techy headwall, and eventually to a large ledge with lower-offs (11b).

Take in the view and begin traversing out into space for the 2nd pitch (12b).

FA | Peter Hoang & Matthew Sapiecha (June 2016)

Tear down, Brush down

Like most sections of White Bluffs, the bottom part of the line was a pile of choss, preventing any safe options to reach better rock above.

Matty volunteered in this case to pull off as much choss as humanly possible to reach the good stuff underneath. The result was hours of blue-collar labour and one almost broken finger, but alas, the first bolt became safer to approach!

Photo: Anna Pirko

Once past the start and first bolt, you'll go through a series of techy moves that provide an adequate warm-up for the second pitch. Though nothing special, the first pitch is enjoyable by its own right if you're looking to climb an easy 11.

Lead Bolting -101

Photo: Matthew Sapiecha

Because the second pitch is a traverse, with a sloping top off sensitive soil, it really only made sense to bolt this one on lead (compared to the rap-bolting tactics of the first).

This was my first lead bolting experience, so that was a bit of an adventure in and of itself. A few manky cams, thin hooks, and a very long belay later, the anchors were installed.

Photo: Matthew Sapiecha

Photo: Matthew Sapiecha

High or low?

Attempting to free the 2nd pitch definitely took up most of the route's timeline, and saw several efforts by various parties.

As it turns out, there's two ways to climb the line (beta spoilers):

  1. Follow the obvious jug line that takes you low and along the bottom of the roof, eventually leading out to the crux at the arete. 12c/d (More suitable for shorter climbers who like power moves on big holds)
  2. Stay on the face and traverse on thin holds that seem too far apart to grab, keeping constant tension. 12b (More suitable for high ape-indexes)

The FA was done with the 2nd beta variation.

Photo: Anna Pirko

Photo: Anna Pirko

Big Stoke

The route was an idea that started when a friend pointed out the prow and said something to the extent of "Wouldn't it be cool if you could traverse that face?" It only seemed natural.

Thanks to those who provided the following:

  • equipment
  • time spent driving and bush-whacking
  • free-climbers who spent (very) cold days up at Whites attempting to free the line
  • overall stoke givers