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Bloody Hands and Threading the Needle

On Top of the Needle

It’s been about 9 or 10 years since I chalked up my hands and laced up the old Boreale booties and tried to haul my aging butt up anything steeper than than a 5.4. Yet the harness is still in great shape and the booties still fit, and as chalk is already about 1000 years old, applying it lavishly to my sweaty palm felt as fresh as I when broke in the ball all those years ago on Poke-O-Moonshine.


My old climbing partner and the only guy I’ve ever felt comfortable seconding on a outdoor climb was back in town for a wedding and had organised our day out to Val David. We met up at La Porte du Nord with his current climbing partner Justin and made our way to the same cliff and rock face where Brian and Nancy got married all those years ago. The day was a little fresh and the rock face had mostly dried off well, by the time we had picked out the routes and set up the top ropes, we each got int about 3 to 4 climbs including a nervous abseil with Kata bag full of expensive glass to take all these shots.

I’m not going to lay any claims of prowess or spider like agility, but I think I did a pretty good job of getting Bloody Hands - 5.7 my old arse up the cliff. Blood Hands earned its name well, opening up my knuckles and and my thumb pretty well as I tried to jam my fist in crack that was definitely never intended to be assaulted by 16 stone, 6 foot 4 inch father of four. The guys faired a lot better than I did and managed to get over this ledge on Bloody Hands and we all managed to walk up the corner next to L’Aiguille (The Needle). All in all a great day out and the pint of Keith’s at the Manoir was very well deserved. The climbing bug has bitten me again and I’ve speant a good part of the weekend scouring the MEC site for beeners, slings and a new chalk bag.

I can promise you one thing though I will NOT be borrowing Denise’s leggings anytime soon.
Careful Hands

Life Line

Over Hang

Eye of the Needle

  • http://cameron-schultz.ca Schultzter

    Where's the spandex?! No wonder you had trouble on that 5.4!!!

  • http://www.2fatdads.com JohnnyLeCanuck

    Here we go… All the old climbing jabs can begin now.

    For your penance Mr. Schultzter, I will belay you on AN actual 5.4 at the local wall of your choice. Does Abbott still have a wall. I know for a fact that I am still accredited at Andre Larendeau.

  • Marjo

    Hi J.F.!!

    It's Marjo from San Francisco! You may remember me as the one that asked you how your “woman” was!! Denise gave us your website this summer as my boys Matthew and Ryan were so in love with the twins that Denise thought this would be a great way for Matthew an Ryan to watch them grow. Unfortunately, my boys are disappointed by your lack of baby photos!! In the meantime, I'm enjoying reading your blog here and there. Are you on Facebook? Is Denise?

    Take care,
    Marjo :)

  • Marjo

    Hi J.F.!!

    It's Marjo from San Francisco! You may remember me as the one that asked you how your “woman” was!! Denise gave us your website this summer as my boys Matthew and Ryan were so in love with the twins that Denise thought this would be a great way for Matthew an Ryan to watch them grow. Unfortunately, my boys are disappointed by your lack of baby photos!! In the meantime, I'm enjoying reading your blog here and there. Are you on Facebook? Is Denise?

    Take care,
    Marjo :)