0908Banks Lake DWS and Climbing

Banks Lake deep water soloing trip

August 14-15, 2009Banks Lake DWS

 For some, this might come as a complete shock to see me out on
a Deep Water Soloing weekend.   For others, you'll just have
to trust me that water and I don't get along. I panick, freak out and
generally embarass myself when out with others on a water event. I used
a commitment to do at least 1 triathlon with my friend as a reason to
learn how to swim and have swum a mile in open ocean. I've even gone out
surfing and can ride the white wash. Still, there is a strong sense of
unease and I am very cautious and tentative at the onset. The good news
is, I've forced myself out into the water enough that I can eventually
(albeit gradually) begin to relax and even enjoy myself in the water!Audrey Sniezek on Dr. Ceuse Banks Lake

This particular weekend was an annual event some friends were
hosting. I'd never committed in the past, but I thought this year that I
would give it a shot. I wasn't sure I'd get in the water, but figured
the company and the climbing (on land) would make it all even out.

First, the land climbing was super fun! There's this 5-star arete

Audrey on The Marriage of Figaro at Banks Lake
is just beautiful and stands out from the other climbs in the area. I
believe the name is 'Dr. Ceuse' and goes at 6a+.

Down and around the corner from this is a stellar 7b called TheKristian in the crux on the unknown 7b
'Marriage of Figaro.'  This one is just off vertical so can give
you a little pump near the top. And, behind and down a few steps is this
amasing granite line we have no idea what it was called or rated, but we
guess it goes at about 7b…I think it's harder than 'The Marriage of
Figaro.' After a day of land climbing, everyone boarded our rental boats
and set out on Banks Lake looking for boulders to scale.

Banks Lake
weather was warm but not too hot, the water was cool, but not too cold.
It was a perfect day to be out!

We set about warming up on a lovely traverse, then some easier
boulders before hitting the big stuff!  By big, I meanAudrey Sniezek Deep Water Soloing
30 to 35 feet tall boulders! I managed to step in after soloing and
downclimbing the traverse. It was embarassing as I figured it would be
but I did it. I even managed to get up the nerve to try one other
boulder problem. I believe when BenO said this was the smallest we'd see
for the rest of the day, I kind of figured I should give it a shot.
Afterall, it's nearly irresistable to be around climbing and not climb.
Thanks to Winslow for this amazing picture!

Sunil Deep Water Soloing Banks Lake
were some really, really bold people on this trip. Patrick was a diver
and hence could not resist climbing to heights and then jumping off,
sometimes doing a trick or two in the air on the way down.  Sunil,
pictured left, was the first to summit this highball and then attempt a
harder variation that cuts right under a scoop. BenO went about setting
a line to clean the right hand variation, which looked really cool. Had
not been soloing over water, I probably would have tried it. šŸ™‚ 
For more amazing photos from a variety of sources from the trip, check
out my
webshots photo site

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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