Newfoundland. What else can I say. If I hear that one word my ears perk up and I listen. What are they saying? are they newfies? Do they have accents? Maybe I know them?! I grew up on that island. I thought it was horrible, desolate, lonely. I left for ‘bigger and better’ places. Yet I return. and return and return. They say you can take the newfie out of newfoundland but you can’t take newfoundland out of the Newfoundlander. It’s true. Its a place that is more dear to my heart then any other, yet a place where my wings won’t let me land. yet!

I returned home this spring for a short visit which i extended (as usual). In the past few years I have returned only in the winter when the land is covered a mile high with snow. This time however i made it there for the sun. New dry rocks awaited. The thought of bouldering along side the wild, dark atlantic ocean made me shiver.

The bouldering in Newfoundland is good. It’s not great, but its good. Maybe I am spoiled. Well, yes I am spoiled but I still appreciate what is there. The people are psyched. The rock dries faster then sandstone in font.   The atmosphere can not be found anywhere else. Sure that could be said of many places but where else could one boulder on the edge of the oldest city in north america and watch whales and seals bob up and down and have them watch you? It’s beautiful and makes the whole package one of its kind and a unique experience in its own right.

We bouldered in a few different areas, Flatrock, Marine Lab, Black head, the Barrens, Placenta Bay. The bouldering there is rather spread out with most areas being comparatively small so there usual is enough time to hit up a couple areas in one day. The locals don’t complain about this though, they are psyched to have the areas they do and are amongst the most psyched people I know to be seeking out new rocks.

My favorite areas were Flatrock, Marine Lab and Fort Amherst. Flatrock has bouldering and routes which is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean while Marine Lab is just 10 minutes south along the same coast line. Both offer an abundance of fresh air, ocean breeze and solid rock. There is everything from v0-v10’s at both areas and the routes entail a mix of sport and trad, 1-2 pitch going as hard as hard 12/ 13a. While at the Marine Lab you can also go to the Marine Lab itself and say hi to the seals and the touch tank which is full of ocean critters.

There is some potential for new problems and routes, the only constraint at this point is time and weather! Perhaps a full summer spent roaming the whole island would be good. There were areas left undiscovered for me which are meant to have some of the best boulders on the East Coast.  Gull Pond, Seal cove… But for someone who was meant to be visiting her family, a 8 hour drive to this area seemed a bit unreasonable. Then there is the exciting Blow me Down Cliff. The very remote setting entailing long multi-pitch routes don’t work just yet for Cedar and I but perhaps down the road.

Anyways…  Newfoundland. Worth the trip? yes by’. Giver. Its some good by’. Just be ready to explore more than climbing and don’t forget the bug spray. Oh yeah, the custard cones are to die for.

Marine Lab .  Greg Foote works “me ol’ cock”, a new line I put up while there. Me ol’ cock means sweetheart or dear in newfoundland. I called the problem this because I was inspired by the line when I first saw it and the movement was really unique and powerful. I quickly became attached to it (silly me. its just a rock!) and it was for the time being, my dear. Fun-ness!

Black head boulders. Dave Stack scoping out a new line

The view from the passport office

Cape St. Mary’s bird Sanctuary, 1000’s and 1000’s of birds. amazing.

Oh yeah, I did a slideshow and climbing clinic while there. Kind of awkward but the peeps were psyched with all the door prizes from Arcteryx, Vega, La Sportiva and Metolius. Yay!