American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Newfoundland, Jabo, Weightin' for That Train and Other New Routes

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Jabo, Weightin' For That Train and Other New Routes. Expedition members Eric Baldwin, Jeff Butterfield, Craig Comstock, Chris Kane, Karen Rogers, Paul Ryan and Joe Terravecchia arrived in Francois, Newfoundland on September 7. Over a 19-day period, the four climbing teams managed to establish a total of 11 new routes on Jabo and nearby cliffs. Before arriving in Newfoundland, there was a logistical division between the Missoula contingent and the climbers from New England, but we started functioning as a group of eight upon our arrival in activities such as meals and fixing the traverse over the best of the main wall named Jabo. Most of our time was spent, however, as climbing teams of two. Each pair had its own tent and food and was fairly self-contained. My climbing partner, Paul Ryan, and I established four new routes in the area, ranging from two to eight pitches long. Our routes followed natural lines on quality granite. Three of the routes were all-free Grade IIs up to 5.10 and required no fixed protection. The fourth route, Weightin’for the Train, was a Grade V that climbed a superb natural line on the main face of Jabo and included quality aid as well as free climbing. This route required some bolts at anchors, two rivets, and several drilled hooks all placed with a hand drill using stainless steel hardware. Our equipment included a full aid rack including hooks, copperheads, thin pitons, and bolting/riveting hardware.

Weather was a major factor during the expedition. Base Camp and the walls we were climbing on were very exposed to harsh Atlantic storms. Devil's Bay is known by locals for generating strong circulating winds which have lifted boats off the water and thrown them into the rocks. Although we experienced some severe weather during our stay, it was nothing outrageous. The most stable and dry months for climbing in Newfoundland are July and August. Depending on the year, however, the area is climbable from early May through September.

Ben Gilmore, anaffiliated

(Recipient of an American Alpine Club Mountaineering Fellowship Grant)

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