Squamish mystery crack

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MH2

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 6, 2009 - 02:10pm PT
The picture below shows part of The Apron at Squamish. The climbers are on Memorial Crack. In the lower right a ramp curves up to meet a treed ledge. This is the walk-off for climbs at the north end of the Apron. A one-pitch crack line, shown by the two white dots, runs from this ledge to the next tier.





Hundreds of climbers coming down from Snake, St. Vitus' Dance, and Calculus Crack walk along the ledge and directly under the white-dot crack. From underneath the climb it looks like this:





Years ago I started up this climb but flamed out just past the bulge where the whiter rock starts. A garrison of salal or other shrub was defending important finger and gear placements. A few years after that a friend and I top-roped the line after rapping down it. If it were in the Smoke Bluffs it would be hugely popular.


When I first tried leading this climb I didn't check the guidebook beforehand. After burnout I looked it up: Afterthought, 10c, 2pa. My brain slipped a gear and I wondered why the shoes used were listed and whether anyone would climb in less or more than 2 pa, but fortunately my partner from Earth was able to correct me.

From the 1992 guide:





I started asking around about Afterthought but never came across anyone who knew anything about it. Eventually a new edition of the guide came out. The scenery had shifted under my feet.

Afterthought was now 10d, believed to have been climbed on aid in 1959 with no further recorded ascent until Peter Charak, H. Bauer, and Jack Bryant in 1980. The obvious thin handcrack 4m left of Boomerang.

Now, using Boomerang to locate a handcrack is like using mist to locate a flashing neon sign. There is no question that the crack now known as Afterthought is obvious:






With faith in the guidebook now wavering we go on to read; The crackline north of Afterthought just right of Memorial Ledge is believed to have been climbed free, but little information is known. It was top-roped in 1992 (Andy Cairns), and is perhaps 5.11 or so, with 2pa, but appeared to have been climbed previously.



So in the current guide the mystery crack is nameless and has no climber associated with it other than me, but I did not place the bolt and whoever did, if they were able to free climb past it, should have been able to free the rest, too. There is a long history, of course, of no history: climbs being climbed but not reported. Usually, though, when a bolt is placed in a well-used climbing area the perp owns up.

This crack is a good climb and I'd have been happy to leave it at that if my name had not got tangled up with it. Now my hope is that the route was done in the 70s so that it will fall under Mighty Hiker's scope, in the sweeping historical saga he is busy at.

If no other candidate steps forward I will call the route The Andy Cairns Rock Climb with Immaculate Bolt




Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 6, 2009 - 02:28pm PT
We've all walked by it, and rapped down beside it, a thousand times. You're the first person I've ever heard of actually getting on it.

But Tami might be able to add some historical info.
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 6, 2009 - 02:47pm PT
I don't remember that thing at all despite walking by it a lot too. I gotta head out the door to work now so will take a better look at Andy's screed & pix above later tonight to see if my memory gets tweaked by anything :-D
S1W

climber
Nov 6, 2009 - 04:28pm PT
Usually a HUGE puddle at the base of this thing, right? Since that puddle is almost always there, I understand why it doesn't get much action.
hafilax

Trad climber
East Van
Nov 6, 2009 - 05:22pm PT
I've got nothing to add really other than to say I've rappelled it after climbing Memorial.

Maybe someone on squamishclimbing.com might know something.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 6, 2009 - 08:20pm PT
I've walked below that crack, and many times stopped to wonder about what sort of climb it was. I have doubts that it was aided in 1959, but the early history of this, Plaque Crack and others in the area is murky. For example, how did Fred et al get to the upper Squamish Buttress around then? From what became the Baldwin Ledge, via Plaque Crack? Or something else? Hopefully the history project will demurkify the situation.

Vaguely on topic, the original route of Slab Alley included what is now called Boomstick Crack - it didn't end at Broadway. Presumably the right (south) end of the Apron descent was discovered in 1961, when Slab Alley was first done - I wonder when the left (north) half was? 1962, or later?

"2 pa" - An obscure Anglicism. I've never seen the notation "2 eb".

Even less on topic, the first known technical climb at Squamish was South Gully, done by Hank Mather and Jim Archer in 1957. It's not sustained, but has a modern grade of 5.8, with bits of aid, and involved use of a rope and pitons. It was recorded as having been done in 1957 in all Squamish guidebooks until the most recent, when the date was incorrectly given as 1958 - a year when several technical routes were climbed.

Darn Canadians - cluttering up SuperTopo with talk about places other than Yosemite. Next thing you know they'll be discussing their politics here, or haw-kee.
cleggy

Trad climber
Derby, UK
Nov 6, 2009 - 09:08pm PT
"2 pa" - An obscure Anglicism. I've never seen the notation "2 eb".
Not so obscure. 2 pa = 2 points of aid.
English Steve
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:08pm PT
Post-work , pre-pizza I recall the bolt but , as already pointed out , the crack was usually wet. That screams "IGNORE ME !!!"

Hahaha Andy toproped it. Big Grin !!!

Boomstick crack is MUCH more obvious access above Broadway. Funny how Gordie Smaill's guide spelchek didn't work and had this as BROOMSTICK crack.

BITD when I was involved in some FA's on the Apron, we looked LESS above Broadway then BELOW it. We totally ignored the chronically wet stuff mostly c'os - back in those days - there were still quite a few low-hangin' fruit to pick on the Apron.

I say call it the ANDY CAIRNS NOT MEMORIAL CRACK and be done with it >

:-)
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:20pm PT
That screams "IGNORE ME !!!"

It's dry often enough that I figured you and Peter would have climbed it for sure.
MH2

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2009 - 12:02am PT
Thanks all! At least I am not alone in being mystified.

I would post on squamishclimbing.com if I thought there were enough drunks under that streetlight.

That pond makes pulling a rap problematic but it doesn't affect the climb. Here I am standing at the start of the route looking back at the water.

Credit: MH2


Goes beyond my photographic pay grade, but I tried to show the 'wrigglers' = mosquito larvae.

Credit: MH2


Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:12am PT
Isn't it traditional to pee in that puddle, either to discourage bug breeding or to fertilize the shrubs or something? I've noticed that there's usually less water in it than there once was - I wonder if someone built a modest drainage trench?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:13am PT
I think pretty much every Squamish climber has tried, and failed, to find a way to keep rappel ropes out of that little puddle. Maybe if you parapented...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:15am PT
that crack looks too wide to be a Squamish finger jobber...

...much more like a YV crack, so why not post it here? You'd have to go up and chop the bolt though, obviously not necessary for a crack like that.

But probably not though, you Canadians are socialists... so the state probably has something to say about it... if a fight breaks out and someone gets hurt, they'll be able to petition one of your death boards to see if they'll get treatment. Probably nothing a good coupla dozen beers wouldn't fix, or some 12 year old single malt.

(How's that Anders?)
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:30am PT
that crack looks too wide to be a Squamish finger jobber...

Wide it is not. Shallow it is.

However, now that it has been brought to public attention that it is too difficult for some people to climb the government will widen it and deepen it to perfect hand size, and install bolts every three feet so that all citizens have an equal opportunity to climb it. Of course this will bankrupt the country just like socialized death panelism did, and then fattrad will have the Iranians nuke Canada from over the horizon but Jesus will call upon the wolves and...
MH2

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2009 - 12:33am PT
Time to stock up on liquor, sounds like.
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:41am PT
No, Andy, it's time to NOT invite Dr. H back fer scotch :-D
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 7, 2009 - 12:46am PT
However, now that it has been brought to public attention that it is too difficult for some people to climb the government will widen it and deepen it to perfect hand size, and install bolts every three feet so that all citizens have an equal opportunity to climb it. Of course this will bankrupt the country just like socialized death panelism did, and then fattrad will have the Iranians nuke Canada from over the horizon but Jesus will call upon the wolves and...

Ghost betrays himself through use of the word "perfect" - a word that politically correct Canadians (is there any other kind) avoid using. And of course the bit about the imperialistic system of measurement is another giveaway.

Did I mention that he heads one of our sleeper cells in the US? Paul Anka, Wayne Gretzky, Celine Dion, Ken Galbraith... One of their first acts was to export some ferocious bloodthirsty personeating giant... to the US.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2009 - 01:10am PT
hey Tami! Anders was the one who started it, on a dare....

...ok, I'll go sit in the car and continuing reading the rather hilarious opus of a wonderful Canadian climber cartoonist...

As someone once afflicted by Ice Climbing I was unfortunate that nobody gave me an inflatable banana... seems I took up offwidths instead... "no one wants a fellow with a social disease"
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 7, 2009 - 01:11am PT
Better socialist than sociopath!
What do you think? Does it have that ring, that je ne sais quoi?
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 7, 2009 - 02:37am PT
Dr Eddy I once OWNED a SIX FOOT inflatable banana.

See if I threaten you with zero liquor here you acquiesce ?

BIG GRIN!!!


Meet ya in the car
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