Local Motion - New Brunswick

Welcome to Local Motion where we celebrate hiking, biking, rock climbing, paddling, skiing, and exploring in Southern New Brunswick.

September 25, 2009

S.J. Council Approves Trails and Bikeway Strategy

In the Telegraph Journal this Morning...

"Bicycle user welcomes plan for trails

Cycling Consultant working with city to draft new strategy"

"Council recently approved the Terrain Group's bid to develop the new trails and bikeway strategy for about $61,600. The Saint John consulting firm is expected to meet with user groups and hold public meetings, with the work likely taking about three months." - Telegraph Journal

HURRAY! And they want to user input!!!! Woopwoop!

See the full Article here:

September 20, 2009

Walking Country

An old, but useful cattle fence in Corn Hill

I've visited lots of great places this summer and been on many great hikes but nothing beats an evening walk through the rolling farmlands of Corn Hill.

Growing up in Corn Hill, I at times thought that its open landscape would wear out my attention span. Yet in my adulthood I appreciate it more than ever. All my travels have only given me more perspective from which to say; Corn Hill is unique and wonderful. It's a geological anomaly in our region. Fertile hills boil up from the flat lands, breaking the 40 km long valley that stretches between Sussex and Petitcodiac. Whether you look East or West, tall ridges lumber into the distance framing Corn Hill's renowned sunrises and sunsets.

Since its establishment as a farming community almost 200 years, its roots are still firmly planted in agriculture. A mix of pasture, hay field, and grain crops cover much of its slopes. Woods are nestled in here and there and small creeks trickle through alder thickets.

Tonight I decided to head out into the west and enjoy the last warmth of sun. I followed tree-lines and fences, skirting corn fields and cow pastures. The lay of the land never ceases to amaze me. Around 10,000 years ago the receding glaciers shapedthis place into a rumpled tablecloth. Since then human settlements has provided the fabric's pattern so that now fields and woods blend together over beautifully rounded ripples. And at each hillcrest, the perspectives change thanks to the openness of this landscape.

In my 5 km walk around Corn Hill I came across beef cows casually grazing grass, big old apple trees loaded with fruit (I filled my pockets), and a sheep dog protecting its flock. From the top of the community, near the Country View Road, I sat on a big round haybale while the sun sent out its last hurray over the Giant's Step on Mount Pisgah.

This may be farming country but its also walking country.

Hopefully someday I can share a walk with you through Corn Hill.

The valley in the foreground was shaped by water rushing under glaciers a few thousand years ago.

Jackpot! I came across a tree loaded with big juicy apples.

Corn rows frame the Giant's Step on Mount Pisgah

Who doesn't love a good sunset?
graham waugh local motion corn hill walking new brunswick sussex petitcodiac walking

September 11, 2009

Welsford Cragging Weekend

The Golden Days...and Hays of Summer

Just wanted to tell you about the fantastic days of climbing I had in Welsford over the Labour Day weekend.

The Sun shined without skipping a beat all weekend. Saturating the pink rock and roasting sweet pine needles on the forest floor. The Fall feeling is in the air. Crisp mornings, lead to soft afternoons, and a glaring sunset that you don't get in the summer. I love this time of year. The temperature is just right for being active, the air is dry, and the black flies are long gone.

I drove out to Welsford on Saturday with Brin and Emma who were stopping over during their move to Halifax. We rolled up to the crag in their rented U-Haul which I think disappointed a few people who were hoping that a Gear Company representative would be inside passing out free gear demos.

I spent Saturday catching up on stories with Brin and Emma while showing them some of Welsford great granite lines such as Snake Peel and the Light Fandango. I had a blast climbing with them and can't say I've ever had such a relaxed guiding experience. Hanging out at the ledge for Upper Dawn Wall, thirsty and without water, we savoured the juicy black Huckleberries. I must have eaten a pound.

Brin enjoying some juicy Huckleberries at the Dawn Wall.

mmm...Huckleberries by the handful.

On Sunday, I said goodbye to my friends and spent the rest of the day floating around the crag. I took an unnecessary siesta around lunch time then headed off to find partners. At Minkey Wall I had fun leading a chossy arrete called Beastly 5.8 . Dirty cracks limited the protection mostly to Nuts and funky movement often left me twisted in knots while sensitively testing loose blocks. Type 2 Fun!

Later on Sunday I somehow lucked into getting to lead the freshly scrubbed Waterwalk 5.8 . This beautiful crack system had filled with dirt and bushes since the first ascension decades ago. Fred Berube spent the entire day scrubbing and digging to get it clean and came down from like some kind of boogey man covered from head to two in dirt and grime. Exhausted from the 8 hour effort he offered me the lead, which I insisted he have. After a short "nice - off" I accepted. The route follows a changing crack system that splits and mergers, gets wide, and narrow, all the while eating up protection.

I moved my tent down from the high camp to the horse pasture that night to stay with the other dozen climbers who were camping out. Huddled around a bright propane lantern, the circle of climbers talked... climbing. A support group for climbers.

On Monday, I headed to the Upper Tier with Cory from Saint John and Dominique from Dieppe, who is also a N.B. repatriate. Our goal was to tick off some classic sport and mixed routes. The air was nippy in the shade of the wall and the wind gave the sunny valley a eerie feeling. We warmed up on Talamasca and Witches, a 5.9 and a 5.10, which each required just a couple Cams to supplement the bolts.

The author climbing Witches(?) 5.10 in the Upper Tier (Cory Goodman Photo).

With our appetite whetted for trad climbing, we shuffled down the wall to Hole in My Pocket 5.10d which has only two bolts before getting into the 5.10 trad territory. It was a tricky lead for me but unbelievably fun; funky face climbing moves with just enough cracks to place Nuts and Cams and an off-width to top it off! Dom got on the next route over, Be Still My Bleeding Heart 5.11a and figured out all the highly technical beta, including at least three crucial under clings. I had a lot of fun talking with Dom about his travels and also our Minor Hockey rivalry from many years ago.

It was a great weekend of climbing, socializing, getting some much needed sun. It was the kind of weekend that reminds me why I love living in Southern New Brunswick. Good people, good rock, great weather, and all so close.
welsford rock climbing new brunswick saint john climbing, trad climbing graham waugh local motion