posted by dpm on 09/20/2012

It's been a relatively chill summer for Joe, who's usually jetting around the globe visiting exotic locations. This past season he kept it close to home and went on a good old-fashioned road trip on his home turf. Traveling in a van with his girlfriend Colette, they focused on the Northwestern US where Joe was able to complete a few hard routes like: Power Tube (5.14b) at Riggins, Idaho; Freeky Deeky, a hard new 5.14b linkup in Portland, Oregon's Rat Cave; and the FA of Staring without Caring (5.14a) on Washington's Fire Wall.

Despite the expected hardships of a road trip, like buying two new transmissions and watching the funds dwindle, the duo eventually made it across the border to Canada and headed for the pristine limestone crag of Acephale in Alberta's Bow Valley. Joe's goal was a rare repeat of Bunda de Fora, a 5.14d route established by Lev Pinter and then repeated by Dave Graham in 2007.

Joe on Bunda de Fora (5.14d). Photo:

Since Dave's repeat of the route a key hold broke in the crux section creating an entirely new, and harder, sequence. This was the first ascent of the route in its current state which now sits solidly in, if not near the top of, the 5.14d spectrum. Joe describes the crux as "18 moves of squeezing the sh*t outta sh*t, followed by an 8a+ (5.13c) route to the top. It requires complete perfection in executing the moves and there is no room for error or anything to go wrong." According to Joe, those 18 moves equate roughly to a long V13 boulder problem, followed by the 5.13c section to the chains.

Always the professional, Joe's done an excellent job of documenting his month-long battle with the route on his blog. Check it out for some pictures and tales of a great summer-long road trip. 

Click the image below for footage of Joe on a working burn of Bunda de Fora.

Click the image for video.