University Wall, second free ascent

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Chief

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 3, 2010 - 11:07am PT
This is the only thing I ever wrote about my thirty years of climbing. I've done enough ranting about nonclimbing subjects on the forum and, with Ghost's blessing and encouragement, thought I'd share this climbing story printed in the 87 CAJ. I've resisted editing some of the bad grammar that goes with an eighth grade diploma and a head full of hootch. (Remember, this was before PCs were common and handwritten under great duress from my good friend John Howe). I found my original hand drawn topo and with some help, will scan it and some pictures to include a bit later. When it was originally printed, I hated the title Ghost gave it, but over the years have become OK with it.

"The Wall of The Way Honed"

The crux looms above me like an impending thunderstorm and I realize I'm not going to shake this pump. I reset my feet in the wide stem and chalk up again, calves burning from the strain. Forty feet of full on, great guns liebacking has brought me to this miserable excuse for a rest and I'm flaming out already. More of a pause in transition than a real rest. "Watch me good Phillip, here goes" I croak, and launch left out of the corner, underclinging and scuttling like a demented crab. I reach blindly up under the flake and grope for the chockstone, "Got it", hang in there, clip the pin, more chalk and now the crucial move. Pull the feet up high and reach out left for a funky fist jam, "Stick baby, stick" I moan and crank up, cross over with the right hand and grab the flake edge just as I'm about to barndoor off into space. I match hands on the flake, lieback into a standing position, pivot wildly 180 degrees into the flared chimney and press myself back into it's secure depths. I close my eyes and let my breath come in deep, lung rasping gasps. When my breathing finally slows, I open my eyes to see the morning sun on the peaks above Squamish through a snowy veil of chalk dust. Looking down I see the haul line hanging crazily out in space and arcing back into the corner where Phillip is huddled at his hanging belay. Truly a spectacular predicament. My mind drifts and I think back to all it's taken to get here once again.

The 600 meter Grand Wall of the Squamish Chief hangs over Hwy. 99, an immense tapestry of discontinuous flake systems and weird dykes in somber hues of grey and white. Most of it's vast expanse is characterized by a lack of obvious weakness and would appear to be the sole domain of the aid climber. But near it's left edge a phenomenal dihedral rises out of the rainforest and soars to within 50 meters of Dance Platform, a large tree ledge some 400 meters above the ground. Above Dance another left facing corner system wanders another 125 meters to broad tree ledges below the South Summit, the Roman Chimneys of the original Baldwin Cooper route. These two corner systems combine to form the most simple and direct line on the Grand.

In 1966, five years after Baldwin and Cooper's epic first ascent of the Grand; Tim Auger, Hamish Mutch, Dan Tate and Glen Woodsworth nailed that amazing corner to produce one of Squamish's most classic aid routes. Not only did they climb the most obvious line on the Grand, but they placed a mere 11 bolts, a far cry from Baldwin and Coopers 136 bolt drillfest. Being students at the University of BC, they elected to call their route University Wall. For most aspiring Squamish aid climbers "U Wall" was the next step after the Baldwin Cooper in the progression to harder wall routes. Steep but technically easy aid and an obligatory hammock bivy combined to give that "big wall" experience essential for the Chief's harder nail ups and the big El Cap routes.

In the summer of 82 Peter Croft, Hamish Fraser and Greg Foweraker set to work attempting to free U Wall. Their enthusiasm was greeted with skepticism for the most part. The first pitch was guarded by a perennially gruesome slime streak and the second pitch featured Leeper stacks in a doubly overhanging dihedral. Undaunted by our pessimism, the team hiked up and across Bellygood and cleaned and freed the last two pitches to Dance. The last pitch was a particularly gnarly finger traverse on a thin flake. Satisfied with their progress they then laid siege to the initial pitches.

The first pitch sported arts and crafts through the slime streak, a burly barndoor lieback and a flying armbar into a shallow bomb bay chimney. The blank dihedral on the second pitch was cleverly bypassed via an undercling to an overhanging flared chimney to the left. Hamish and Greg tried that thing to no avail so Peter, who had by now transformed himself into a apelike creature from years of training, subdued the beastly undercling and gained a stance in the flared chimney. A short, desperate pitch up the remainder of the chimney found the first real ledge and access back to the original aid line.

Confident that the way to Dance was now possible, they fixed ropes and called it a day. The following morning they jumarred their lines and continued to Dance taking some fine whippers along the way. Deteriorating weather and flaming forearms made the Bellygood escape more palatable than continuing up the already freed Roman Chimneys so the team headed down, exuberant at their success. It was an outstanding achievement that left everyone amazed but Peter knew there was a final step to be taken, a continuous free ascent of the entire U Wall-Roman Chimneys combination. He returned later with Hamish and they swung leads to the summit for the first free ascent of the Grand Wall of the Squamish Chief. It was a landmark in Squamish climbing history and U Wall now ranked as one of the most difficult long free routes in North America.

For three years U Wall remained unrepeated and there was much speculation as to who would or could repeat it. We all swore we were going to train ourselves into killer shape and crank the thing off but alas, no amount of drinking or reefing could produce the necessary courage or strength. Still, there it was, tantalizing and so seemingly unattainable. Finally for lack of anything better, I went up there and flung myself at the first pitch and it flung me back. But I persisted and with the help of a variety of partners, was eventually able to lead the first three pitches without leaping off. So, confident of the possibility of success, I enlisted the illustrious Melvin Fish for the "Big Assault". We agreed that I would lead the first three pitches and he would jumar to save strength for the rest of the route. The plan worked and I led the second and third as one, trashing myself in the process and gladly leaving Fish to lead the roof pitch. We persevered through the day and late afternoon found us supine at the base of the gnarly finger traverse. And gnarly it was as several tries later, I dragged my scrawny frame across on melting fingers and collapsed on Dance utterly spent. Any thought of finishing up the Roman Chimneys vanished with my strength on that traverse, so Fish and I fled across Bellygood and down to Squamish for beers and pizza. I was incredibly happy with our success, after all, it was the first "human ascent" of the "Wall of the Way Honed". But it became more apparent that it was only a partial success that indicated a greater possibility. Like Peter and Hamish I knew I'd have to return and climb the entire route to the summit.

The summer passed and the drudgery of logging became my daily reality once again. As the new year approached a resolve grew within me to return to that school of higher learning and attempt to graduate with my degree in crankeneering. So I drove myself to train through the late winter and spring.

I had been climbing hard, or at least finding the climbing hard since February so by the time the heat of the Squamish summer arrived I felt ready to attempt U Wall once more. Then came an unseen hurdle; finding a partner. The few capable people were either off in the mountains or too put off by last years shenanigans to go up there again. Dave Lane was keen, but that funky fist jam just wouldn't stick for him. We went up a couple times, Dave's left hand sporting exotic tape jobs, but all for nought. We had previously agreed that failure on either of the first two pitches would preclude continuing so, despondent, we slithered back down through space and hiked down to Psyche Ledge where we glowered at the route and drank warm beer with a vengeance. Dave went home and I hung out at the Ledge with Big Jim and Phillip van Wassenaer. As we smoked and slandered the afternoon away a grandiose plan emerged from the murky depths of my cerebrum. I turned to Phillip with a big stony grin and queried "Done much jumarring?". My drift wasn't lost on him and to my astonishment, he immediately agreed to come along for the ride. He explained he was off with a sore shoulder and hard free climbing was out of the question anyway. I was ecstatic and told him we would rendezvous at 04:30 the next morning. The early start would allow for generous rests between pitches and ample daylight for the Roman Chimneys finish.

Well, 4:30 had come and gone three hours ago and there we were, perched on a ledge atop the second pitch, howling a the exposure. The chimney after the crux had left me soaked in sweat and nauseous from the exertion, but I was keen. Once again I had fired those two big, burly pitches and now it was merely a question of finding the right pace to survive the rest of the route. Above us the wall kicked back to vertical and appeared inviting compared to the overhanging terrain below. Quaffing one last drink of water I started up the corner, smearing chalk in perfect fingerlocks, clipping fixed pins and enjoying great position. All too soon the cruising was over and I was hunched under the roof trying to remember the sequence. I finally committed myself and thrashed out around the lip and clambered over mossy flakes to the lone cedar belay. As I arranged the anchors with twitching arms, the doubts began to assail me. The supposedly easier roof pitch had seemed desperate and the cumulative effect of all that hard climbing was beginning to make itself apparent. My arms felt stretched and leaden and I was woozy and light headed from all the effort. Soon Phillip was at the belay in a tangle of aiders and jumars and as we lap coiled our ropes and organized the rack, I spoke of my uncertainty. "Don't sweat it man, it's in the bag" he explained. "We'll just rest here a while and you'll be alright, besides, the next pitch is only 10c, it'll be casual." So we rested and ate and rested some more and I tried to regain my psyche. Knowing we couldn't hang out forever, I tightened my shoes and started up out of the tree; chimney into offwidth, offwidth into lieback. I just couldn't repress that funk and found myself grabbing the wrong gear off the rack and thrutching badly. Suddenly I was off the rock and on the rope. Anger and self reproach welled up inside me and I leapt back into the lieback in a rage and muscled up into the lower angled corner. "Get it together dude you can do this thing" I told myself. "Just quit wanking and start cranking!" As I jammed and bridged up the laid back corner, my confidence returned and I felt as though I had crossed a psychological threshold, ironically on one of the easiest pitches on the route. Somehow I knew we'd be alright and nothing would stop us now.

"Off belay, rope's fixed Phil", I yelled down, and commenced to dragging our pack up. Until now it had behaved rather well and floated along behind us, but it became reluctant and slithered into a chimney and refused to move. I sympathized with it and, rather than tearing it's haul loop off, waited till Phil could clear it. At last we were all happily reunited at the belay where we ate and drank and gazed at the trees on Dance Platform only a 100 meters above. The first vestiges of excitement could be felt now and I racked up for my favorite kind of climbing, pure bridging off RPs. I smeared as many palm prints on the rock as I could and festooned the corner with tiny wires, grinning down at Phillip all the while. A manly finger traverse led left to a mantle off a wobbly guillotine of a flake and a footsy traverse back right ensured maximum rope drag for the final moves to the belay. As I lounged on the ledge, the sun broke over the rim and the Royal Hudson clattered out from behind the Malemute, shrieking and trailing a plume of steam and smoke. Simply Grand!

A fun hand traverse angled up and right past a wealth of fixed gear to an even bigger ledge at the base of the gnarly finger traverse. I wasn't even going to give myself a chance to get psyched out, so no sooner did Phillip arrive at the belay than I was off in a flurry of chalk dust and quickdraws. The training must have paid off because I flew across that thing like a man possessed and scrambled onto the broad expanse of the Dance Platform. Whooping and hollering like an inebriated Indian I lashed the rope to a sturdy hemlock, dragged up our pack and commenced to preparing lunch. Phillip wasted little time in cleaning the pitch and we took off our shoes and enjoyed the mutilated remains of our lunch in the heat of the afternoon sun. "Only four more pitches and this hound is in the bag Phillip" I exclaimed and we we grinned, belched and waxed expansive.

Eventually we pried ourselves from the comfort of Dance and ambled up some mellow fourth. Then a full 50 meters of all that is great about Squamish climbing established us on the chockstone in the Roman Chimneys and the excitement kept building. As the summit grew nearer, I slowed to savour the last of the climbing; wide bridging, a run out mantle and a belly crawl to the base of the final corner. As I climbed those last forty feet, I felt a mixture of emotions. Mostly there was the deep satisfaction of finally achieving a long sought after dream, but there was also a sense of sadness at the passing of a great adventure. As Phillip and I hiked down the summit slabs admiring the view down Howe Sound, I realized that for me, this had been in many ways, the ultimate climb.

Thank you Phillip!

Postscript;

Peter returned with Geoff Weigand and led the main corner free, first try (not onsight as previously reported) and took a big zoomer freeing the upper arch at 12c. He named the free version of the original aid line, "The Shadow". I'm not sure if anyone's repeated the whole original aid line free in Peter's style.

I think Coz got the first no falls on sight of the easier line when we did what I regarded as the Triple Crown back then. (U Wall, Northern Lights, Daily Planet, not on the same day!). Coz on sighted all three, no falls. What a stonemaster!

Peter returned a couple times and linked all three of the first pitches with a 55m rope I think. Both the easier variation and the Shadow line.

U Wall has been linked free in a day with various combinations of The Northern Lights, The Grand, Freeway and the Daily Planet by Sig Isaac, Matt Maddaloni and Sonni Trotter among others.


IMHO, U Wall is the finest route in Squamish no matter how you climb it.
dirtbag

climber
May 3, 2010 - 11:36am PT
bump--let's get the spammer off page 1
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 3, 2010 - 11:53am PT
hey there say, cheif.... this was very nice and very well done... thanks for the write up....

have a great day, too...
and more write ups...

:)
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 3, 2010 - 12:48pm PT
Good stuff! I started copying little phrases that were my favorite, but I gave up after a while because there were too many. Here are the first ones I cherished:

return to that school of higher learning and attempt to graduate with my degree in crankeneering
I had been climbing hard, or at least finding the climbing hard...
we glowered at the route and drank warm beer with a vengeance
hafilax

Trad climber
East Van
May 3, 2010 - 01:15pm PT
This is why I keep coming back to ST!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 3, 2010 - 01:37pm PT
Wow, Bruce Hawkins and I did a fairly early ascent (and 2nd wall for both of us) and if you had told me then it would be freed I'd have spit on you. Very impressive and well written.
Slabby D

Trad climber
B'ham WA
May 3, 2010 - 01:39pm PT
Good story.

I climbed it (standing in aiders) about a month ago. It's hard to believe those first couple overhanging pitches are "only" 12a. Beautiful line.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 3, 2010 - 01:58pm PT
Thanks, Perry! Some fine memories. I remember happily nailing University Wall in 1976, never imagining that some let alone all of it would be freed. Maybe the fixed pins and pin scars we left helped a bit. Then staying at the house on No Name Road when Peter, Greg and Hamish were working on the climb in 1982, and hearing their stories.

I believe that Glenn (Tricouni), Hamish (Hamie), Tim and Dan used only seven bolts when they did U Wall in 1966. Those who scoff at Baldwin and Cooper's 136 bolt ascent of the Grand Wall in 1961 forget that in context of the times, and their equipment and skills, probably no one could have done better at climbing the main wall. There simply aren't that many features. U Wall is well to the left edge of the Grand Wall, and is a much more natural line, but off to the side. (Which is to say, it's easy for tourists to spot climbers on the Grand, but not quite so easy on U Wall.)

Sometimes in summer now there is a fixed "seat" at the start of the second pitch, the big corner. A piece of plywood that climbers stand or sit on - it's an airy spot. They siege away at the pitch (now 5.12d), perhaps forgetting how Peter first freed it in 1988. Whether the entire route, via the original line, has been cleanly repeated - maybe not on sight, but no falls, rests, rehearsal, or other trickery - is unclear. I believe that the early repeats of the second pitch, in the mid 1990s, were clean.

The complicated toponymy has always been a bit confusing to me. In English, Peter, Greg and Hamish freed University Wall in 1982, via variations on the second and sixth (fifth) pitches, maybe 50 m of variations in a total of 500 m. Which is what Perry and Philip stoutly repeated. Then in 1988 Peter and Geoff freed the original aid line, the bits on the second and sixth pitches, which for some reason they called the Shadow.

And about that Mel Fish character...
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2010 - 02:13pm PT
Those who scoff at Baldwin and Cooper's 136 bolt ascent of the Grand Wall in 1961 forget that in context of the times, and their equipment and skills, probably no one could have done better at climbing the main wall. There simply aren't that many features.

Anders, I respectfully disagree with this statement.

The 100 meter plus bolt ladder from the Flake to the base of the pillar has been completely bypassed at 11a from Merci Me and 10d from Cruel Shoes respectively a long time ago by yours truly. You can get to the last six bolts of the BC ladders via Merci Me at 5.8 A0 with a total of about eight protection bolts and a few points of aid. We know Les MacDonald and others made forays out this way in the early days and much of the criticism Ed Cooper received was because this standard was already well established on El Cap by Robbins and Pratt. It's my understanding that a number of people saw Merci Me as the obvious weakness and a lot of the inspiration for the route "Ten Years After" and it's moniker was rooted in this paradigm. Having said all that, hats off to Ed and the late great Jim Baldwin for an amazing effort.

Cheers!
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
Coz,

Nice to hear from you. Howzit?

One of the most impressive things I ever saw was you NOT getting the fist jam and then committing to the most horrendous feat of underclinging I've EVER seen. It was a 12d effort, you should have just blew right off and it would have been a HUGE whipper! And that's if the pin held.

I think I also referred to the ramp as "a featureless wasteland."

Chief
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
May 3, 2010 - 03:22pm PT
Great story Perry.

R Vogel
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2010 - 03:29pm PT
Hi Randy, good to hear from you and glad to connect you to your forum handle.
All the best!

Perry
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 3, 2010 - 03:32pm PT
Beautiful - thanks for sharing.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 3, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
Hi Perry

This brings back so many memories. When the ACC asked if I'd take over editing the Canadian Alpine Journal I was only partially psyched because by that time (mid-1980s) the CAJ had more or less become the Coast Rambling Journal. So I said I'd take it over only if the club was willing to have me turn it back into a real climbing journal.

They said okay, and then I was stuck with the problem of "Uh... where am I going to get some good climbing stories." Which was about the time you gave me the U Wall piece and I felt that I now had an anchor for the whole thing.

Of course I put that stupid title on it, and when it was published you said "That's a stupid title" but the story was plenty good enough to survive the title. And it still sings today.

You never wrote anything more, but that story, and a couple of other things I got into that issue convinced climbers that the CAJ was worth writing for, and it really took off after that.

David Harris
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
May 3, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
Hi Perry,

Great story, and thanks for posting it. Brings back some good memories for me. I still don't understand how the 2nd pitch goes free, but obviously it does. You have my greatest respect.

Glenn
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 3, 2010 - 04:34pm PT
Haha !!! Great piece & I remember readin' it the first time around. Oh but did David ever get into a shitstorm shitticane over dumpin' those stupid glaciology articles. Yikes ! Oy ! Eeek !

Aw, I'm sure Karl's forgiven you 'specially now as he basks in the glow of his daughter's Olympic gold :-D

Replacin' The Rambles with stories written by ( egads ! ) ROCK CLIMBERS from the COAST !!!! Yep, Davie, you showed those ol' goats in Can'tmore that we also have writers out here ....

Thanks for postin' that Perry. Cheers !
sac

Trad climber
spuzzum
May 3, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
Aww man, thanks!! Great reading!
Great thread!
Great forum!!
Great.
A.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 3, 2010 - 04:55pm PT
Photos would certainly help - it's a wild place.

I wonder if anyone has ever repeated the bottom pitches of U Wall, those leading up the corner from the Flake ledges to the start of the steep part? Someone did an ice climb somewhere there, as a big streak forms to its left. Those lower pitches might make a fairly decent free route, in and of themselves. And if no one has repeated them, then the pedantic might argue that no one has yet truly freed all of U Wall. But not me - perish the thought! :-)

Not to indulge in dread thrift, but it's difficult even with 20:20 hindsight to put yourselves in the shoes of those who were on the spot and made the decisions. Given that Baldwin and Cooper had decided they wanted to do a route on what became the Grand Wall, the challenge then became somehow linking up the top of the Flake (or the Peasant's Route - although it's lower and to the side) with the bottom of the Pillar. Interestingly, the big bolt ladder started about 15 m below the top of the Flake, for unknown reasons I hope to learn about. Perhaps they saw more features en route that might be used, or it just seemed less diagonal, even though (probably) more bolts were needed. Presumably they visited the top of the Flake. Did they see the possibility of climbing what later became Mercy Me, which would have been within their abilities? Perhaps they did, but decided it led in the wrong direction, with no apparent way to get back to the Pillar. I look forward to talking with Ed about their decision making process.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 3, 2010 - 05:41pm PT
Perry thanks for the great read. Perhaps during your shoulder rehab you will be inspired to write up many more accounts of your memorable ascents. I would like to hear the tale about your first ascent of the East Face of Mt. Slesse.

Here is a shot of that 2nd pitch on University Wall of yourself and Hamish climbing.

Perry Beckham and Hamish Fraser on U-wall.  Squamish Chief, BC
Perry Beckham and Hamish Fraser on U-wall. Squamish Chief, BC
Credit: bmacd
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2010 - 06:41pm PT
Thanks for the photo Bruce.
You've given me the perfect opportunity to mention that day.
I had the privilege of hooking up with Hamish for a trip up the U Wall and we pretty much hiked to the "mantle off the wobbly guillotine of a flake" at the top of the fifth. Got there, no pin, no gear, no cajones, no go, so we bailed. Hamish and Greg gave their blessing to replacing the missing shite lost arrow with a stainless bolt and Peter didn't kick up a ruckus. I think Hamish pulled off a full one arm a move higher in that photo. Somewhere there's a photo of Hamish, barely fifteen, backwards EBs (cause the regular side was worn out), SENDING the first big pitch! Child prodigy!

ps. Honors on the Slesse East Face proper go to Sean Easton and Dave Edgar. I think you're referring to the East Pillar which I did with Java Man. He wrote about it in his treatise, "The Diadactics of Bivouacism."
MH2

climber
May 4, 2010 - 04:11am PT
U Wall is THE LINE on the Chief, standing out as Perry says from the discontinuous features that compose most other routes*.

That story has the gut-level feel that good writing should have. Another vote of thanks for putting it here.

Another way to appreciate the route is to see the picture of Greg F on it that was a cover page of an MEC catalog. His eyes have a certain look.




* then there's the Black Dyke
gf

climber
May 4, 2010 - 04:48am PT
Chief,

That was a good article then and its stood the test of time. Speaking of ACC journal articles, be thankful that all David did was tweak the title.

Ghost-so let me get this straight -those articles by burton, sutton and gordy didn't count as being written by real climbers?

gf
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 4, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
Ghost-so let me get this straight -those articles by burton, sutton and gordy didn't count as being written by real climbers?

Of course they did.

And there were others. But they were becoming increasingly rare by the mid-80s, and the guys doing hard things in the Rockies and the interior ranges were hardly submitting at all. In fact, when I went out to Canmore and Calgary to talk to the Rockies crew and ask them to send stories to the CAJ their response was "Huh?" I can't now remember who it was -- Blanchard? or Jeff Marshall, maybe? -- who looked at me in confusion and said "Why would the Alpine Club want stories from us?" They'd pretty much given up on the CAJ as a place to record their stories.

I was hardly a climber on their level -- or yours or Perry's -- but at least I was a climber, and kind of a dirtbag, and cared about the same things they did. A major change from the previous fifteen years or so.

Cheers

D
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 4, 2010 - 01:26pm PT
great piece-- that 2nd pitch on u wall looks absolutely amazing-- like the 2nd pitch of good book, but bigger and left-facing.


never went up there, maybe my only regret from squamish days. i was actually in town and crashing at tim's place when he told me perry was looking for a partner. but i was up to my elbows in some stupid project.

you'd have to line up six deep to get on that rig if it was in the valley. it'd be worth doing even if you had to yard a bit of a0.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
"Why would the Alpine Club want stories from us?" They'd pretty much given up on the CAJ as a place to record their stories.

Good point Dave.
There was a period where the CAJ's relevance to what we were doing or more importantly, our relevance to the CAJ was questionable. Periodicals like Mountain, Summit, North American Climber, Climbing and Rock and Ice became the natural venue for much of the writing at the time.
I can say that the CAJ was a formative publication for me as a young aspiring rock climber and mountaineer. That photo of the late great Lloyd McKay (on Les Courtes I think), Chick Scott's moody piece on Daulaghiri, Burton's account of Warrior, shaped my view and inspired me deeply.
Under your tenure the CAJ did undergo a "refreshing" of it's format and content and it remains as relevant and vital today as it ever was.
Thanks for a great effort on your part.

Perry

ps) probably some misspelled names, will correct.

you'd have to line up six deep to get on that rig if it was in the valley. it'd be worth doing even if you had to yard a bit of a0.


Couldn't agree more.
It's hard to imagine ever freeing it again in this lifetime.
I've been up a couple times as a one day fun aid route and plan to do that a few more times before I get the hook. How about the old light bulb in the bivi cedar? I have no idea who put it there but it was there when I first did it with Steve Loomer in 76 and still there a couple years ago.
Kind of like the old Uncle Ben's beer can skewered on a limb at the top of the route that bears it's name.

bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 4, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
I dont remember any Light bulb .... ???

Seems like there is a lot of unwritten accounts of great adventures by a couple people on this thread, particularly GF and Chief. I'm pretty curious about what went down in the 90's while I was smoking pot, shredding powder, and drinking cappuccinos in Whistler for a decade and a half.

It seems the current generation of west coast climbers ala Stanhope, Kruk, Madolonini, et. al. - their adventures are putting everyone to shame, so modesty is no excuse to remain silent.

In other words pictures, stories and tall tales of adventure from the 80's and 90's crowd are long overdue from a few of you ....

Ross Nichol and Kevin Duck, 2nd pitch University Wall, Squamish Chief
Ross Nichol and Kevin Duck, 2nd pitch University Wall, Squamish Chief
Credit: bmacd

University Wall
University Wall
Credit: bmacd

Last Pitch of Univerity Wall.  Crazy Californian Kevin Duck
Last Pitch of Univerity Wall. Crazy Californian Kevin Duck
Credit: bmacd


Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
Great photos Bruce!

It seems the current generation of west coast climbers ala Stanhope, Kruk, Madolonini, et. al. - their adventures are putting everyone to shame, so modesty is no excuse to remain silent.

I'd like to think that rather than putting us to shame, Sonnie, Will, Jason and the new generation are just stepping off our shoulders and pushing the standards the way we stepped off the shoulders of Burton, Sutton, Smaill, Piro, Weinstein and those who preceded us. I never intended for my efforts to put anybody to shame, don't feel the least bit diminished by what Will's doing and would be horrified if that's how someone felt about my climbing. Will, Jason, Sonnie and others are boldly pushing on into terrain we could imagine but not grasp and they couldn't have a bigger fan than me.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 4, 2010 - 02:26pm PT
I didnt word that correctly and you beat me to an edit ...

My apologies, yes you laid the foundations
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
May 4, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
Just a small correction to the caption on Bruce's last photo above, which he describes as "the last pitch of University Wall". In fact the route continues for another 4 or 5 pitches up the Roman Chimneys, to the top of the Chief. As I was recently quoted in Gripped magazine, "If you bale at Dance, you have not done the U Wall. Rather, you have done the High School Wall". And that is the lesson for today!
Cheers H.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2010 - 03:06pm PT
Hamie,

Exactly!
If you haven't climbed the "Foamin Rimneys" you haven't climbed the Grand or U Wall. Nuff said!
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 4, 2010 - 03:10pm PT
Roman Chimneys- Squamish Chief
Roman Chimneys- Squamish Chief
Credit: bmacd

Okay let me dig up the Roman Chimney photos now Hamish. Seems Uwall got separated from Roman chimneys a while back as a distinct route.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2010 - 03:14pm PT
Kudos to Don McPherson for nabbing the "boot flake" Chimneys direct at 10d.
Insecure wriggle up bombay/pinch to steep thin hands and jugs.
The only way to do the Chimneys. And if that doesn't satisfy how about the direct finish, originally graded 11a by Peter and Hamish but now regarded by many as pushing 5.12 if your vertically challenged?
Splingus pitch!
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 4, 2010 - 03:22pm PT
Here is one shot of Dean Hart on the Boot Flake of the Roman Chimmenys. I beleive Scott Young was the 3rd man on this trip up the Foamin Romans. We were under the impression at the time the next pitch was .11c. Did we or did we not free it ? I do not recall glory here. I do recall trying to follow Deans lead of the crux pitch free and being absolutely terrified and pumped. As I recall Dean had to aid in slings on the lead. It was a serious spanking all round for all of us. If it is 5.12 then I must have hung and wimpered also which seems to be the accurate recollection.

Dean Hart - Roman Chimmenys - Squamish BC
Dean Hart - Roman Chimmenys - Squamish BC
Credit: bmacd

Note Whillans harness and EB's !!

I have more pictures somewhere ....
MMCC

climber
New Zealand
May 6, 2010 - 06:33pm PT
Another kick-ass thread getting lost in the static. Come back!
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 6, 2010 - 08:37pm PT
Bump for Foammin Rimeneys !
gf

climber
May 6, 2010 - 10:00pm PT
Bump for the foaming rimmnies is right -i belayed will stanhope when he fired that last steep pitch and bumped through that wet lock with nary a backward glance and his last piece oh, 20 odd feet below him. A nice piece of work.
gf
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 7, 2010 - 02:22am PT
Stanhope is da man ....

Will is gunning for freeing "Up from the Skies" this summer, but I wonder if the curtains pitch should be left alone, being it's likely the hardest aid pitch in Squamish.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 7, 2010 - 10:38am PT
gf mentioned on another thread that there's a pitch on Son of Pan where Daryl placed 22 rurps in a row, including some equalized. So that must be in the running for hardest aid pitch in Canada, not to take anything away from the very different expanding horrors of the Curtains pitch on UFTS.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 7, 2010 - 11:36am PT
University Wall might be said by many to be on the left side of the Grand Wall feature, and the routes of course intersect at the top. "Grand Wall" is often used to generally refer to the entire formation.

It's a bit like the Salathe Wall - there's both a feature (southwest face of El Capitan) and a route with that name. The meaning usually depends on the context.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 7, 2010 - 12:17pm PT
Nope, not at Perry's this morning, though I was in Squamish last night, "projecting" with my brother. And smoky hazes aren't my scene, or for that matter theological questions.

Baldwin and Cooper, in 1961, apparently called "it" the Grand Wall, because one remarked to the other that it was a grand wall. Whether they were referring just to their route, or to the wall as a whole, maybe they didn't really consider. Doesn't matter - it can have either meaning. It's kind of like being a dual citizen, eh?
bmacd

climber
Relic Hominid
May 7, 2010 - 12:22pm PT
Wow this a loaded question if I ever saw one .... There is one and only one Grandwall, which is likely the first grand experience on a wall for many Squamish climbers. I recently saw a photograph of someone following the 5.12 Underfling pitch, wearing a pack. That blew me away.

Here is another Question. Nothern Lights, U Wall, Freeway is the big enchainment in Squamish. Has anyone done Grand Wall free, Black Dyke free, Cannabis wall free, as an enchainment ?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 7, 2010 - 02:32pm PT
Nice, Perry!
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2010 - 03:48am PT
Coz,

It breaks down like this.
Both U Wall and The Baldwin Cooper with it's variants (aka The Grand) are on The Grand Wall of The Chief.
Generally speaking, anything from Drifter's Escape to The Negro Lesbian is on The Grand.
So Peter, Hamish and Greg did the first free ascent of the Grand Wall via U Wall.
You on the other hand, did the first free ascent of The Grand Wall route via it's free variants, with The Foamin Rimneys finish!

Howdy Greg!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 8, 2010 - 11:27am PT
What Perry said ^^^. Hilarious that coz thot Anders might be smokin' w/ Perry.

Oh, boy, now THAT would be in an alternate universe.


Whooooeeee!!!


Greg & I froze our buns on the Roman Chimneys when we did it w/ Peter. I jumared the last pitch in a state of near-hypothermia if I recall correctly.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2010 - 11:34am PT
Anders does NOT need to smoke anything to maintain his permanent and fixed orbital relationship with the rest of us! It'd be like offering fins to a fish.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2010 - 12:01pm PT
Cozzy,

Put the hootch pipe down!
Near as I can figure, YOU did the FFA of The Grand Wall Route on The Grand Wall of the Chief.
Don't try to make it any more complicated than that or I'm going to call you collect and we're gonna have words offline!

PB
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 8, 2010 - 12:05pm PT
Can we discuss now who did the first ascent of the Salathe Wall and of the Salathe Route, and whether they're the same thing? After that, perhaps you guys could let me know later the answer to that angle/angel question - you know, how many can dance on Zippy the Pinhead? While you're working on that, I'm going climbing. Restoring, anyway.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 8, 2010 - 12:14pm PT
I was in Squamish last night, "projecting" with my brother

Which reminds me of my U Wall experience with your brother...

Peder and I started up it one fine Squamish morning and had an enjoyable time right up until the rain started. Fortunately, we were both tucked under the roof at this point and not too worried. The rain was increasing but we figured with the overhang we wouldn't get too wet rapping to the base of the first pitch, and that from there we only had to scramble down to the trail and then run for the car. We'd brought a small haulbag and I figured it would slow us down on the scramble, but Peder said something like "No worries. We'll just toss it from the base of the first pitch -- it'll be waiting for us on the trail."

The long slab looked pretty smooth, and we'd be able to watch the bag the whole way so there'd be no problem finding it. And anyway, Peder was a big-time wall climber, so he must know what he was doing.

So we booted the bag. And our clever idea for saving five minutes and a bit of sweat caused us to spend the next two hours rapping down the stupid slabs freeing the bag from one sticking point after another. In pouring rain. Good times.

Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2010 - 12:46pm PT
Hey Ghost,

Should I tell the story about you "cutting the bags loose" on Uncle Benn's?
Now that's a Squamish Classic!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 8, 2010 - 12:56pm PT
I've told that one here already. But at least that was an accident. Stupid, maybe, but accidental. And it was the same bag. A little Forrest Grade IV which I've still got. And even used a couple of years ago during an epic cleaning session in the Jungles of Western Washington.

D

edit: story of dropping the haul bag on Uncle Ben's is at http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=331724&msg=999664#msg999664
bmacd

climber
Relic Hominid
May 8, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
I hammered a bong into the Split Pillar once, before friends were available. It really f*#ked up all the hex placements below it. That feature is destined for the ground ....

Coz when the Pillars drops off you will have to get you butt up here pretty quick to regain the the FFA of what will then be a new line
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 8, 2010 - 03:24pm PT
Great read Chief!
Z
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 9, 2010 - 02:00am PT
I used some bongs in the Pillar in 1974, and maybe other occasions around that time, but didn't experience the expansion which others have reported. But the thing, and the various attached flakes above it and to both sides, is clearly not long for this world.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 9, 2010 - 02:38am PT
David droppin' the haul bag on Ben's still cracks me up. 'Course I've done TEN TIMES STUPIDER but, hey, itsnot made it into print..........yet. Snicker.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 9, 2010 - 03:28am PT
Hammered on Bongs ?

At Squamish ?

This is unheard of.........
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 9, 2010 - 12:13pm PT
Yeah, maybe it's hard to believe that I would have hammered on bongs. Not at all my style. But it's all true.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2010 - 12:19pm PT
I've hammered on bongs and definitely been hammered on bongs.
One memorable occasion where both occurred was getting to and arriving on Bismarck ledge.
(I think the biggest cam in 77 was a #3 Friend and we had one, some Chounaird bongs and a couple exotic wide pieces apparently made in Thailand).
I was WELDED to the ledge for a while, BOMBER!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 9, 2010 - 01:56pm PT
The real Grand Wall is in the Chieftain Hotel. All others are pale imitations. Get through 40 glasses of draught beer at the Chieftain on a Saturday night, amidst the loggers, longshoremen and others, and you've got something to talk about. No need to solo, pinkpoint, or go onsight. But, like the sign on the door says, don't forget to leave your knife outside. And I'm guessing your evening would be enlivened if you wore spandex.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 9, 2010 - 11:29pm PT
Speaking of doing stupid things on the Split Pillar....to this day, Chief, one of my most embarrassing climbing remembrances, was dropping the (your) rack at the top of the Split Pillar after a little nap following a little hooch.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 10, 2010 - 12:07am PT
Perry, "Friends" were def post-1977. I think they first appeared in Squish about '80 .....perhaps '79 but they def weren't there when I started climbing there in '77, nor in '78 when I met PC . Poss the year after ..........

:-D


To quote Daryl -
"Any kinds of loads at all"










Anders MUST be over 50 yrs old now. Get a LOAD of that post :-D !!!!!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 10, 2010 - 12:34am PT
Not to beat a dead beaver, but was the Angels Crest the FFA of the Grand Wall or even the U-Wall for that matter?????

No, but you could start a whole new argument about what was the first ascent of "The North Wall", or "The North Walls", or "The Sheriff's Badge" or...
bmacd

climber
Relic Hominid
May 10, 2010 - 12:40am PT
Who else has been "Hammered on Bongs" on Grandwall raise your hand - thats very funny for an abstainer Jim. We actually bivied on Dance platform during that "Trip" due to rain and being intimidated about the Bellygood being wet.

Note the snow at base .... thats really bad ass EH ??

Split Pillar - Grandwall - seconding Hamish on another runout lead
Split Pillar - Grandwall - seconding Hamish on another runout lead
Credit: Hamish Fraser

Split Pillar Wrestling - Grandwall
Split Pillar Wrestling - Grandwall
Credit: Hamish Fraser
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 10, 2010 - 12:44am PT
Split Pillar Wrestling - for girls its called "the BOOB JAM" - Grandwall

Depends on if yer an A-cup or a DDD. Either it's a wiggle or a thrutch. Whattabout Fat Boyz with MANBOOBS?????







GUFFAW.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 10, 2010 - 12:58am PT
Friends - that is, the camming gadgets - became available at MEC in Vancouver in spring 1979. Dave Lane had one from somewhere which he was showing off (to skepticism) in autumn 1978. Maybe he picked one up on a trip to the Valley?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 10, 2010 - 01:16am PT
Tami;

Are you taking a poke at our MOOBS ?
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Speaking of doing stupid things on the Split Pillar....to this day, Chief, one of my most embarrassing climbing remembrances, was dropping the (your) rack at the top of the Split Pillar after a little nap following a little hooch.


I was sure you threw the wide gear off on purpose so we wouldn't have to try that leaning offwidth into The Flats.

Re when Friends showed up.
I knew there was a reason I couldn't remember having any camming devices in 77.
bmacd

climber
Relic Hominid
May 10, 2010 - 01:50pm PT
Grand Wall with Hamish was always a blast. We did the route often in the 80's, got it wired pretty good.

Rack:

1 x 1.5 friend
1 x #4 RP
3 X wired stoppers
6 x 1" nylon slings
20 x Carabiners

As in photo below we start Apron Strings Hamish leading. Plug in 1.5 friend 15 feet above belay. Hamish runs it out to the Apron Strings crux where he places #4 RP. When rope pays out completely I put on the day pack and start climbing. By the time I am at the # 4 RP crux, we had figured Hamish was clipping the first bolt on Merci Me, so we were "safe". Simul climb to base of Spilt Pillar if traverse was dry, otherwise belay traverse.

Spilt Pillar - not enough gear on rack for me to lead this pitch - Hamish leads split pillar, 1.5 friend goes in at the bottom, clip two rusty bolts near the fist section. Then Stopper goes into the flake wedged 3/4 way up.

Sword pitch - not enough gear on rack for me to lead this pitch defer to Hamish.

Bolt ladder - my lead, combine slings into etriers type deal, use stoppers for looping over hangerless bolts. Hamish follows bolt ladder, batmans haul line & stepping on bolt hangers. No jumars

Flats to last pitch - simu-climb if dry.

Last pitch - not enough gear on rack for me to safely lead, defer to Hamish. 1.5 friend at start of undercling - run it out to Dance platform

approximate time to Dance - 75 to 95 minutes - Hamish would know our best time. But it was never about making the fastest time, more about having it go smoothly. Often this was a spontaneous decision to climb Grand after a day of cragging

Starting up Grand Wall - Hamish in the lead, 4th classing Apron String...
Starting up Grand Wall - Hamish in the lead, 4th classing Apron Strings to the base of the Split pillar. mid 80's
Credit: bmacd

I was just lucky to be along for the ride ....
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 10, 2010 - 02:42pm PT
Bruce's photo shows Hamish leading the first pitch of Apron Strings. It's often done as a start to the Grand Wall and other routes, but the proper start to the Grand is via the Flake Route, a bit to the right. About the same difficulty as Apron Strings, and a nice pitch.
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2010 - 02:45pm PT
About the same difficulty as Apron Strings, and a nice pitch.


I'd call it an unlikely looking mega classic.
You had to really bear down before small cams existed, Gordie Smaill broke his ankle flanging off above the chimney, but Gordie did have a thing for running it out.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 10, 2010 - 02:48pm PT
Gordie's accident may have been more related to not having placed protection in the Flake Route, rather than a lack of possibilities, even in context of the mid 1970s. He sometimes had a tendency to go for it, and had several other long falls, e.g. on Sacherer Cracker. Although the Flake is cleaner now, the fixed pins are also gone.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 11, 2010 - 09:25pm PT
Anders, when was the last time you were at the chieftan hotel? you do realize they finally changed the terry cloth table cloths to something a bit more modern eh? like maybe 15 years ago? Isn't it a disco or something? the loggers and longshoremen are a bit of a minority these days.

here's a funny one. i was at a squamish party the other night with the younger crowd. at about 9 or or so somebody goes to get the secret weapon which turns out to be, not some outrageous hookah, explosives or drinking aparratus but a capucinno maker. yup. coffee. at nine. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun party and all but holy cow i just don't think you could get away with that even ten years ago. especially at the chieftan! I had a great time mocking them ruthlessly (what else could i do as they can all climb circles arround me) and pointing out how times have changed. not a wood chip or gas fumes on any of that bunch. an extrodinary number of good looking women too (all climbing 5.12 or so). maybe they're onto something.
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
May 12, 2010 - 01:45am PT
The first time that I was in the Chieftain, they still had separate entrances, and separate rooms. One side was for grubs like us, and the other was for guys with women. Les McDonald and I had just made the second ascent of the upper Angel's Crest. I was battered and bloody [long story]. I was also in dire need of a brew, and a year or two under age. Unfortunately all the mud and blood did not fool the beer-slinger for more than two seconds. Fortunately Big Jim, Tony Cousins and Les argued hard on my behalf, and the waiter relented somewhat. He agreed to serve me, but only allowed me to have two!! A good compromise.
gf

climber
May 12, 2010 - 01:51am PT
hamie
So tell us the tale!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 12, 2010 - 01:52am PT
I was going to say I've got plenty of memories of The Chieftan, but on trying to dredge them up I mostly encounter fog. I wonder why? The beer was awful, but we sure did drink it.

One thing I do remember is a period in which Tuesdays (I think it was Tuesdays) were open mic nights. They weren't called "open mic night" back then, but anybody with a musical instrument and a desire to look and sound like a complete idiot was allowed on stage. Gaaaahhhhh! It was worse than the beer.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 12, 2010 - 02:09am PT
I can't remember when I was last in the Chieftain. The "please check knives at the door" sign was also at the Cliffside, despite our fond belief that it was a more upscale operation.

My drinking stories aren't much to boast about. However, in autumn 1972 I went on a Varsity Outdoor Club trip to climb in the Okanagan. We climbed something near MacIntyre Bluffs (Skaha hadn't been discovered then), and then the next day near Hedley. Anyway, Saturday night we went to a bar in Okanagan Falls or something. I skulked in behind everyone else. As I was 15 at the time, the waiter wasn't fooled for a moment, but all I ordered was a coke so he said I could stay. I'd like to say that I then just drank others' beer, but I didn't - Daryl rightly pegged me as a lightweight in the drinking department.

Considering that it was a VOC trip, and half the people were probably under 19, I may have been a good decoy.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
This is a bump for Relic.
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:52pm PT
Speaking of relics - hominoids - did you ever wonder about who the proginetor species were for Homo Sapiens Sapiens ?

http://rafonda.com/origin_of_humans.html

It gets disturbing if you are privy to the latest DNA studies as I am ....
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:53pm PT
As I was 15 at the time, the waiter wasn't fooled for a moment, but all I ordered was a coke so he said I could stay. I'd like to say that I then just drank others' beer, but I didn't - Daryl rightly pegged me as a lightweight in the drinking department.

And THATSA bump fer ANDERS !!!! :-)
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:57pm PT
Thanks for the bump Jim and Tami!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:01am PT
Question of the hour: Who is Relic? Is he a beachcomber?
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:55am PT
Grand Wall with Hamish was always a blast. We did the route often in the 80's, got it wired pretty good.

Rack:

1 x 1.5 friend
1 x #4 RP
3 X wired stoppers
6 x 1" nylon slings
20 x Carabiners

This is a freaking hilarious rack for the Grand Wall. Hamish has balls.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Oct 3, 2011 - 01:04am PT
going back to the original post:

Truly a spectacular predicament

is another great line.

"spectacular predicament" describes many a situation up on a wall.
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:08am PT
This is a freaking hilarious rack for the Grand Wall. Hamish has balls.

Hamish was on fire, for a long time ... he was Southern Bell material in '89 but never got on it, because I uhm err ... oh never mind
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:12am PT
Bruce - After 4th classing to the base of the pillar then what? 2 pitches to the Flats and then 4th cl. to Bellygood?

I know it's been done now in somthing silly like 15 mins. ( Joking ! )


But, you know.


Relic, who the heck are you anyway? I suspect you are "after my time" ( and therefore more of a recent relic :-D hahahaha then something dug from a midden )
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:19am PT
3 pitches to the flats Tami, then 4th class to belay the last pitch with only the 1.5 friend for pro.

4 x 5th class pitches in total

move fast, climb high ...

;)
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:31am PT
then 4th class to belay the last pitch with only the 1.5 friend for pro



Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:34am PT
Going to print this out and read it tomorrow. Looks to be a good read.
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 02:55am PT
You're right Tami, started climbing in the mid nineties in Squam. But I'm here for the legendary stories and awesome pictures, not to yak about myself. Keep 'em comin!

I think it should be called the Hamish Challenge. Take Hamish's rack as listed above and lead up the Grand Wall. Any takers?

eeeek is right!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 3, 2011 - 11:45am PT
Hamish was most certainly one of those under-sung climbers - he's not the only one from Squamish IMHO; guys like Scott & Dick, Perry too and who can forget Gordie S - he was really brilliant on the loooooooooooooon shakey runout horrorshows.

Peter recalls Hamish on the Beckey-Chouinard when they were doing it ropeless. BruceMac & Dave V were behind them , doing it roped.........a Plan B in case everything went totally pear shaped. They did have "an out".

Nevertheless they did free solo across some face climbing high on the route ( I've not done the BC so not able to exactly describe where ) but , lets just say it was fairly hard moves. Peter crossed first and then Hamish came across. Peter says he really felt sick to his stomach watching Hamish c'os his toes were stickin' out of the fronts of his EBs and Peter had found the moves sketchy with a full rand on his boots. But Hamish was fine & off they scampered.........
Timmc

climber
BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 11:59am PT

That's Hamish alright! That tiny rack looks like the one he took on the Rostrum when we climbed it in the late 80's. He also climbed it in Fire Fliers. Needless to say I don't think I led much if any on that day.I think gf and Jim B were right behind us.

I think we spent most of that trip chasing Hamish around in the crappy weather.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
The moves at the top of the B-C are perhaps easy 5.10, and only for a short bit. But they're fearsomely exposed, and on less than stellar rock.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2011 - 12:19pm PT
Is this thread drift?
Does it matter?
Cloudraker

Sport climber
San Diego, CA
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
Wasn't it Hamish who rope soloed U-Wall at the age of 15?
thekidcormier

Trad climber
squamish, b.c.
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:38pm PT
Peter says he really felt sick to his stomach watching Hamish c'os his toes were stickin' out of the fronts of his EBs and Peter had found the moves sketchy with a full rand on his boots. But Hamish was fine & off they scampered.........
Gnar Buckets
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:53pm PT
As I climbed those last forty feet, I felt a mixture of emotions. Mostly there was the deep satisfaction of finally achieving a long sought after dream, but there was also a sense of sadness at the passing of a great adventure. As Phillip and I hiked down the summit slabs admiring the view down Howe Sound, I realized that for me, this had been in many ways, the ultimate climb.

Amazing ending to a truly great adventure. Way to go Perry!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
I agree with Relic and Tami that rack is scary. Especially the one cam belay :) I know good climbers who pare down their racks and I think they're small but that's just rediculous! :)

Chief- Yes but no, no one cares. This is what we came for!

Cloudraker- Wasn't it 14 and he got picked up by the cops??

Thanks for the bump Jim!
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2011 - 03:14pm PT
There's probably more good stories out there about the perils of "Exacto Racks".
I certainly hornswoggled a few partners who placed gear out of prescribed sequence off the rack I provided.
I think it even became a precautionary standard to ignore my racking recommendation or bring gear to augment the rack I "took care of."
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 3, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
Hamishes logic for the minimal rack was sound, that's 5 pieces for protecting the Sword, and the Pillar hand crack was no problem for him, with Ed Coopers two original bolts. What was always questionable in my mind was if he had the first bolt clipped on Merci me, yet, while I was taking the RP out of the crux on Apron Strings. Sometimes the last pitch was not fun to follow, but we figured it out eventually.

One of the more memorable trips up Grandwall was with Randy joining us. Hamish dragged the three of us up the Daily Planet in the morning and then after lunch we 3 manned Grand wall. Randy was blown away with the runouts going on ... and how fast we got to bellygood

A big part of Hamishes regime was doing Perry's nefarious No Name Road at Pet wall, before it was retro bolted. Hamish perfected his runout head space on it every time we went to Pet Wall ...

Sorry for the thread Hi Jack Perry !

Good times in Squamish .... 25 years ago

Last pitch - Grandwall - Squamish Chief
Last pitch - Grandwall - Squamish Chief
Credit: Hamish Fraser
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 05:55pm PT
I still don't see how a couple more wires and cams could possibly slow you down so bad.
admit it guys. the appeal is the freaky runout and just how freaky you can push the boat out. I aint dissing it but we might as well admit its the dominant factor in answering the question why.

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 3, 2011 - 07:28pm PT
Bruce K , yeaaaahhhhhhhh, but when you have something wired, you know you really do have it wired. Then look what happened to Bachar........he was on one of his own 'trade routes' I think.

Perry, my fault for the thread drift to Hamish and his exploits.

Does anybody remember Hamish rope-soloing UWall at 15 ? I don't. I don't doubt the rumour but don't remember it happening either. He was 15 the summer of '80 ( I believe ).
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
I feel guilty about thread drift. Hope this puts us back on course...
A. Taylor on University Wall, 2nd pitch
A. Taylor on University Wall, 2nd pitch
Credit: T. Crawshaw

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Oct 3, 2011 - 08:39pm PT
Hamish rope soloed Humpty Dumpty, 5.9 - A4.
gf

climber
Oct 3, 2011 - 09:10pm PT
arr matey prepare for the knee bar! great shot
gf

climber
Oct 3, 2011 - 09:21pm PT
gf mentioned on another thread that there's a pitch on Son of Pan where Daryl placed 22 rurps in a row, including some equalized. So that must be in the running for hardest aid pitch in Canada, not to take anything away from the very different expanding horrors of the Curtains pitch on UFTS.

Well thread drift or not, the above was posted upstream by MH and seeing as how i recently received this shot and a kind email from Nathan I thought it might be fun to post. The common theme being a second ascent

photo by nathan kukathas or matt madaloni on crux pitch of son of pan ...
photo by nathan kukathas or matt madaloni on crux pitch of son of pan during the 2nd ascent 2011
Credit: gf
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 3, 2011 - 10:08pm PT
arr matey prepare for the knee bar!

Holy flying armbars I want to get on this thing again!
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 3, 2011 - 10:48pm PT
Matt and Nathan really kicked ass in Squamish this year, also climbing Darryl's envisioned line left of the Negro Lesbian, a major first ascent on the main wall done in a single push

New Routing on the Chief this summer - night time action - Matt Maddol...
New Routing on the Chief this summer - night time action - Matt Maddoloni & Nathan Kukathas. August 2011
Credit: bmacd
Andreas Taylor

Trad climber
Squamish
Oct 4, 2011 - 12:09am PT
Thanks for the story, brings back a lot of memories of my own experience on this route, which I have to say I agree is probably one of the best routes anywhere. I climbed the lower "Shadow" pitch with Tim Crawshaw in late summer 1998, which we believe was the second ascent. I had climbed the variation pitches earlier in the summer and on our descent we decided we should check out the stem moves just for a look see, no serious intentions of course, as it was mostly considered another impossible to repeat Croft route. To our surprise, it was quite do-able. A ground up ascent would be quite a different story though. We returned in August for an attempt and manged to succeed on the main corner. I remember well the feeling of leaving the already difficult lower corner and moving into the main corner, like a different dimension, disorientingly steep by comparison and not too much gear.
Scott Tasaka on the Shadow. July 1998.
Scott Tasaka on the Shadow. July 1998.
Credit: Andreas Taylor
The upper pitches are also amazing, most of which I think would be five star in their own right, some of them quite scary. For me, the crux of this route was believing that it could be done. A
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 4, 2011 - 01:19am PT
Well done Andreas ... thats very cool "news", hot off of the press, 13 years later, major contribution to U wall's history, but I' thought some Americans got up there early on too ?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Oct 4, 2011 - 03:30am PT
Wow! Thanks again to Jim for the bump.

Perry, Amazing work! Very well written. You guys definetly paved the way for the next generation but your achievements far exceeded what most mortal climbers will ever crank.

Tell us more stories of exacto racks! I for one would be glad to hear them, if this is not the place then perhaps my Squamish Stories and Photos Thread.

Nice photos guys! Nice to see this stuff re-surface!
gf

climber
Oct 4, 2011 - 04:46am PT
Speaking of semi-exciting bits of climbing on U wall. Does anyone know if those manky bolts on the pitch before bellygood got replaced and if so were they left in the original aid position or moved over to where the face moves are located?
MH2

climber
Oct 5, 2011 - 02:17pm PT
^^^

What Sig Isaac called, "The sting in the tail?"



It is good to see Andreas Taylor post. And Relic.



Years ago I heard that a classmate of one of my kids had taken up climbing. In the gym.

That's nice, I thought. Maybe I'll offer to take him up to Squamish sometime.

Next I knew, he had repeated The Shadow.


Anders mentioned him in a related thread, and Chic Scott's Pushing the Limits has a picture of him labeled 3rd free ascent, the third picture down this blog page (photo by Rich Wheater).



http://blog.daum.net/leehvaro/19




So it was 13 years after Peter, and then 2 repeats the same summer, and now 13 years later it gets a fair amount of attention.


I remember hearing that U Wall was Devon's favorite route and he did it at least 5 times that 1998 summer.
gf

climber
Oct 5, 2011 - 03:04pm PT
Devon-now there was a talent fest! damm shame about his tendonitis
bmacd

Social climber
100% Canadian
Oct 5, 2011 - 04:33pm PT

- Devon Girard -
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 16, 2011 - 07:31pm PT
Bump for Luke. Great stories in here.
thekidcormier

Trad climber
squamish, b.c.
Oct 16, 2011 - 10:07pm PT
Thanks for the bump relic, but I had already read perry timeless trip report a few times now..

Andreas Taylor; Did you use work for Rommel Homes? My girlfriend says she knows you and told me you used to commute to work in whistler from squamish on your BICYCLE!

Now thats just ridiculous.. haha

BTW Aislinn says hello!

Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 18, 2011 - 11:28pm PT
Bumpin
bmacd

Mountain climber
100% Canadian
Nov 14, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
Add one hour to any times I have quoted in my above post's, regarding ascents of grandwall. My memory didn't serve me well, must be my age.
MH2

climber
Nov 14, 2011 - 11:29pm PT
If your memory knocked an hour off your times I'd say it served you well. It looks like your conscience might be your enemy, though.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Nov 15, 2011 - 12:02am PT
If I paid more attention to my conscience's ramblings, There could be a problem with resolve as it applies to reality.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Sep 14, 2012 - 12:04am PT
Hello Perry and all for that matter.

Luke here.

I post inquiring the date of the date of your ascent. I just met a fellow at the base of the wall who sent it free in august of 86...
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Luke,

As detailed in my posted account, I had previously climbed U Wall free to Dance in 85 making what many might agree, the second free ascent at that time.
However, like Peter and Hamish, I felt that climbing the whole route with the Roman Chimney finish was the real deal as this constituted a free ascent of the entire "Grand Wall" of the Chief.
I led all of U Wall and the Roman Chimneys free in early July of 86 taking one fall on the 10c lieback above the tree, ironically the easiest pitch on the route.
I don't know the details or chronology of subsequent ascents or whether people climbed the Chimneys finish.
U Wall with the Chimneys finish, climbed free or with aid is bar none, the finest route in Squamish.

PB
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Sep 15, 2012 - 03:23am PT
PB
Nice to read your last line. Thanks for that.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 5, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
Bump!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 5, 2012 - 10:28pm PT
This thread needs more photos! Thanks for the great stuff here.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:50am PT
Bump for Kieran, we made it to grade 2 today. Meaning we got up the first 2 pitches.


U wall
U wall
Credit: RyanD

what an awesome place.
what an awesome place.
Credit: RyanD


edit to add-

U Wall with the Chimneys finish, climbed free or with aid is bar none, the finest route in Squamish.

Perry you could very well be right about that, i learned a bunch up there today. Great story.
MH2

climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
A high value bump, that. Thanks.
fosburg

climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Very nice, Perry! You have a great way with words!
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