Hey Coastal, that "10b" is Desperado and it goes at 10c in the Mclane book.
Your one in the south gully looks to be close to Rock On but i don't remember those moves so it must be bad pants or something else in that area.
Tami you are right, at 6'7 my wingspan is quite large, which is probably why i prefer trad and not so much short boulder moves. It gets tough when your butt starts hanging way out there.
What did you guys rate Kangaroo? 11a? probably not. Dunno about Sentry Box.. Mclane guide is where i get my beta and he's had it that way since the 2001 guide at least.. I haven't led it yet so can't comment.
You'll be glad to hear that the lettuce hasn't fallen out of style at the crag :)
50 footer at Nightmare eh? That woulda been a big whip, especially for that area!
Thanks for the stories! They are always better from the "horse's mouth"
(NOT calling you a horse!) :)
Edit: Shame about the zip.. Took my first upside down lead fall there after I stupidly hooked my foot... Shook me up a bit but taught me a valuable lesson. Hopefully the muni can figure out some kinda compromise.
50 footer at Nightmare eh? That woulda been a big whip, especially for that area!
Just imagine yourself as a non-climbing cinematographer. You're lying on your back on top of a big boulder, planning to shoot straight up, waiting for some idiot to fall from directly above you. You've been told nothing can go wrong because the badass climbers (who all seem to be about nineteen years old) have rigged it so the guy falling will stop after about 25 or 30 feet. Since you're almost 60 feet below him, you convince yourself that it's going to be okay.
Then he's airborne and falling. And falling. And falling. Coming to a stop just a few feet above the spot where you've just sh#t your pants.
He (the camera dude) wasn't real happy when the director said they'd have to do another take.
thanks for the photos. Haven't thought about Center Street forever. It looks a bit grassy in your second photo. I don't remember why, but I took a pretty good fall on that route one day a long time ago.
The Zip is a beautiful crack. I remember my partner Steve taking me down there and I was thinking "all these beautiful walls why are we groveling around in this shady swamp?". But it was worth it. Climbed it many times and it might be my hardest free solo (after having wired it).
I led the pillar for my first time ever on the Summer Solstice this year. It was after work and still early season for me so it totally drained me. I had to rest on just about every piece on the way up.. At the top i had to transfer all the gear off my harness to get into the squeeze.. just barely!
When i got to the top and clipped the anchors, i looked up and understood immediately why they call it the "Sword of Damocles"! It looks like a giant guillotine just waiting to slice your melon!
Tami- I have read the Climbing at Squamish in the 1970's thread in it's entirety! In fact it's what brought me to the taco stand in the first place! I tried to encourage Anders to continue but i think he's been too busy lately..
You might find it interesting to know that i do find the lower moves on kangaroo quite tough especially with my large fingers... You are right tho.. Once i get to the decent holds, it's all over.
I started posting these photos on Squamishclimbing.com but no one took any interest, so i thought maybe here they might spark some more tales of yore from the Squamish vets that hang out on the taco.
Thanks Jim i will.. don't worry Tami i got lots of short friends to lead that chimney pitch ;)
My buddy luke wants to do The Nose. He went to Yosemite this spring for a couple weeks and got inspired to do it.
He came back trying to convince me to go clean aid u-wall. I'm a freeclimbing addict and the weather was good so that never materialized this summer.. I'm game tho.. Verticle camping looks like fun :)
I've been following Tom's El Cap Reports to check on Ammon and Pete's ( Busted!) ;-) progress and of course view his awesome photos.
Bruce- You guys inspire me. I hope i'm still climbing hard and contributing in my later years.
Luke- You're on supertopo now? :) shoulda known that link would bring you over here :) That's the best photo of my ass that i have ever seen :)
Funny thing about that pitch.... Luke decided that we should make it interesting when we went up Milk Road. He decided that if either one of us should decide to give up a lead he would owe the other a sixer. I agreed and proceeded to lose the rochambo. Luke chose to lead the first pitch meaning i would have the sharp end for all the hard pitches :) Dammit!
After I led the 10c a0 second pitch i was done. I managed to get through the first Milk Run corner clean on top rope but that second pitch was ROUGH! I worked my way up to about where you see me in that photo and
got the piece in and tried to run it out to the better holds but was unsucessful getting gear in and took a decent size whip..
After that I was done and so last weekend I bought Luke a case of Steam Whistle :)
Tami I thought about that but I haven't tried it yet. I'll be sure to give it a go next time. I "Tron"ed that thing so i should really sack up and lead it next time too.. I was in photo mode that day..
Hey Tami, I have a question for you regarding one(of the many)the FFAs, the route in particular "Overlyhanging out" @ the malamute sent by you and Peter C. in 1980. The current route according to my trusty ol' K.M. 'A Climbers Guide To Squamish' 2001 Edition the main overlap sections are accessed via 'Meares Island', but It notes that You and Peter are believed to have started on 'Cling Peaches' and accessed the overhanging dihedral from the lowest possible point. Which IMO is more appealing line as it maintains the same natural line through out.
If you have any recollection of the particular route it would be super rad to hear what you remember. I was in the area today takin some photos of new lines I would like to climb and what not, and this line really appealed to me, albeit the access to the corner needing some vegetation removal.
I would have some photos to perhaps refresh your memory and provide eye candy for those who have not yet seen all the amazing cracks in the area. However I decided I'd rap in to check out the route and apon pussiking out of there I managed to trundle my (girlfriends) digi cam in to the abiss, along with all the rock porn I was going to drool over until it dry outside... oops.
Thanks for the reply Tami, I enjoy reading your recollections of the golden era! I'm about to head back to the area and try to find said camera, and clean the access to lowest, most northern entrance into the feature. Hopefully the memory card or perhaps(extremely unlikely) even the camera is still intact...
Yes Tami you are right the name is Acadian, I grew up in Prince Edward Island, how ever my father father was never close to my family, having kicked my dad out of the house when he was 14, so I never really got to find out where the name came from or any of my ancestry.
Hopefully the memory card or perhaps(extremely unlikely) even the camera is still intact...
You never know. I dropped a camera (Nikon, in the film era) from the start of the fourth pitch of Rock On many years ago. Watched it plummet straight onto the rocks in the gully. I didn't think there'd be any point in looking for it, but decided that maybe the insurance company would believe me about needing a replacement if I could actually show them a shattered piece.
So when we got down I trudged around to the south side and back up the gully to look for whatever was left. What I found was a completely intact and usable camera. A filter I'd had on the lens was shattered and there was a dent in the lens barrel. That was it. I took some pictures to test it, and they were fine. (I did replace the lens barrel, but could have chosen not to.)
So go look. You'll probably find wreckage, but you never know.
50m+ of air time, unnoticed. I didn't realise it was gone until I went to take a picture... When I went back today and rappeled in, this time all the way to "Meares Island" and spent a while sawing back the alder bushs that have overrun the area. Then I decided, what the hell, I'd scope the Island as I thrashed my way down the sloppy, berry bush covered terrace, I notice glint of pink, and there it way perched mid berry bush as If it had a soft landing, was Aislinns Hot Pink digi cam... and yep still works, although the screen is slightly more dinged it still tkaes a might fine picture.
Also tami here's pictures of the crack I inquired about:
-The start would need a clean up, but it IS illegal to BE on the ground there. Possible solution; put a bolted anchor at the start of the crack. Thoughts?
Then in thru this:
And then the Icing on the metaphorical cake:
-2 Nice undercling section and 2 technical looking slab sections inthe the ultra goods!
If indeed you and peter did FFA this section of the route then It would ultimately be your guys call whether or not I can add an anchor for rappel access into this delightful looking traverse, as it is trespassing on B.C. rail property to access via that grungy looking corner .
Tami- Awesome story. It musta been cold hanging there holding the rope for so long. Did you guys ever clean stuff before the fa? Or was that strictly frowned upon?
I'm always amazed at the stuff you guys did on hip belays back then.
I toprope hip belayed my parner on the crux pitch of sparrow this year.
I think she would rather not ever repeat the experience and will never let me forget my atc at the belay again! :)
Your beautiful story deserves another picture. Seeing as That Kid Cormier inspired said
story, it seems fitting that it should be of him.
On the Roo
Luke, If you look at your book again you will notice that the FA is the one that started on Cling Peaches on aid.
This gets me to thinking about Grub Street. Me and a buddy did it this summer and it was super fun.
I led Cider crack and found it very sustained! Not your typical Squamish 9! We did the Knuckleduster variation to finish and it was excelent.
I was wondering what line you guys did on the FA. From the 01' book it looks like you stayed right for the first two pitches and then deeked
left for the last one. Did you do the left pitch or stay right on the Knuckleduster variation? It also says you can finish up right on Stooges.
Allright all this talk.. how bout another picture..
Anyone ever climb this one?
Ghost- Funny story. Ever tell Nikon that one? Looks like your camera isn't the only one to suffer a large fall and survive :)
Luke- You should post that question on squamishclimbing.com too.
Mike: I took your advice and posted my question on squamish climbing, maybe i can spark some conversation on there. I'm going to head back to the malamute to attempt an onsite on clean crack you should come and send caboose! I'll be heading down around 4:30, gimme a call.
And since you have read the squamish 70s thread you should know that tami noted the would aid and clean line on the rain days and then free them when the weather was fit.
Bruce, I reckon the Natives and the good folks of BC won that battle. The war still rages.
Ya, the environmentalists (hippies?) looked good in the news, as did the Raging Grannies, but most of them were from the universities in the city. Same with Carmannah, Tsitika, etc.
Two Alaskans I met (Todd & Dustin) were racking up for the Grand Wall. Figured I'd help them finish their coffee, and wander out to take a shot or two by headlamp for poops and giggles since my partner wouldn't be out of his tent for another 3 hours. They ended up on Bellygood by noon. Here's a couple more,
Ha ha Tami. You're right that this is a great thread. But that ghastly poo-filled thing that keeps floating to the top is one of the funniest threads in a long time. (And yes, I'm guilty guilty guilty of bumping it.)
Mmm, one of the best 5.10's in Squamish. Nice photo.
Speaking of the Badge, wasn't that buldging bicep photo of the undercling on the Planet framed up on the wall of the olde Mountain Burger? I seem to recall being inspired to do it every can visit of every breakfast special I scoffed down there. Rappelling off the Planet after that undercling pitch was fun stuff, a memorable dangle indeed.
Prepping for a 1993 November attempt on U Wall. Guy on the left is eating a mcdonald's big breakfast with a LA piton. Guy on the right is reading Deuce's how to book. Note pink lawn flamingo rigged with duct tape in the gear pile.
M. shows the damage from a 20 meter slab fall while attempting & failing to clip the bolt after the big runout on White Lightning
Spelunking in the depths of Sunshine Chimney
I remember the first time I did this (92) there was a campfire complete with 70s-era stubby beer bottles on top of the chockstone.
Bullethead East Direct p2 this summer
P1 of the Planet
Climber on Calculus, from Powaqqatsi
The increasingly innapropriately named Clean Boulders
A few weeks ago I was down at Seasoned in the Sun and ended up 1/2 leading, and 1/2 watching some Brit on the .12d portion of The Shadow... It's that dihedral in the back of the shot for anyone that doesn't know. Anyways, for about half the climbing he sounded like he was trying to squeeze out the most persistent, combative turd he'd ever had, though finally did manage to pinch it off clean. When he let out a whoop at the top of the pitch his buddies, our party of three, and a few others lord knows where started cheering at full volume. There were probably 7 or 8 monkeys screeching away for a while in some sort of group high.
How did you know it was some token brit on The Shadow from way down there? Did he yell out a few "bloody hell" screams in between the turd squeezing?
That is a pretty proud pitch. After Croft onsighted it in on the FFA in 1988, it didn't get repeated until over a decade later. My friend in the U-Wall picture, he made the second free ascent of The Shadow. He downgraded it to 12d from Croft's original 13b grade. Subsequently, The Shadow started seeing more and more ascents.
He started talking at the ledge up top... before that it was just REALLY loud pushing in the thin stemming stuff. I was happy to watch because that is one seriously PROUD pitch. Looked super sustained, and the sounds of struggle were enough to get me more focused on his climb than mine. I was curious about the gear, too... What's the pro like in the business?
As to Dreamcatcher/Rurp Riot, Sean McColl was the last guy I heard of sending it. Video!!!
Bruce- Thanks for the inspiration.. Something to do while Luke is scrubbing OHO. Loggers sounds like its right up my alley.
Unfortunately logging seemed to go the way of the dodo bird all round BC. My home town of Campbell River was similarly affected growing up. One day everyone was flush and had new clothes and cars and houses and the next all the “good jobs” at the plants were gone and everyone was looking for work, selling everything and moving away.
I remember taking the Stoker chair up as a kid to get back to the bottom of Solar chair after coming from the Blackcomb Glacier. Stoker run is still there and is a favourite of mine on a day where solar still isn’t open yet.
NigelSSI- Sick photos. I love the Pitch In Time one, I was at the bulletheads 5 or 6 times this summer.. Bullethead East was a blast! There has been a lot of good work there lately.. Still quite a few routes there could use some love too.
Ahh yes the other reason they call it the Sword. Can't wait to get on that pitch. Got a look at it this summer up close, but had to bail cause it was dark :)
Tami- like Luke said you are right it is the table from Brohm. Take the drill.. Gotcha :) If i ever make it over there :)
Ya the Malamute closure sucks bigtime. I went in there with a partner 8 or 9 years ago now and he led Caboose and we top roped Clean Crack. I was barely up to the challenge of Caboose and was completely lost on Clean Crack. I would love a chance to do those routes again and would do so in a heartbeat, were it not Illegal. You think they could put up a fence or something... CN .....
“But we all have lost that war what with the Wall St banksters and their Ponzi scheme economics.”
You are so on the money with this..
Is pollution from yuppie whistler-goers better than pollution from redneck mill workers?
Looks like we traded one evil for another... I think logging paid better than tourism.
Nice photo of Blazing Saddles. I did that one for my first time this year , had to take a break just under the roof then when I got up over the roof I was so gripped on the shitty slab foot and couldn’t get a good jam lost the foot and couldn’t hold it, whipped over the roof.. pretty fun actually.
All right all this talk.. Where’s the photos? Here’s one.. Not mine though Jamie Chong’s. Came up when I looked up Sean McColl. Nice work on the SA btw Sean! You made it look easy! So casual and collected.. Sharma had to fight for that FA! This pic is from an early 2009 practice Run..
Jim you must have missed the link to the Dreamcatcher FA that Dr. Sprock put up? Sean McColl - DreamCatcher - Squamish, BC by jamiechong, on Flickr
Tami- “Certainly cleaning has been taken to some wildass extremes now. I'm not fond of what was done to the Cling Peaches wall ( someone used a power sprayer pumping water from the slough below - or so I was told ). But then again hard for me to judge what with some of the unearthing I did BITD.”
This is what I heard too, and it was very clean when I was down there this summer. If we left it alone and didn’t climb there it would all grow back within 5-10 years anyways..
I wasn’t out with Bruce today I was at work in the rain. That was Luke who offered him a belay, but I would not be averse to giving him one either...
Thank you for contributing to this thread all!! The taco has had a significant lack of Squamish content since Ander’s thread died off and Patrick Oliver inspired me to share my pictures more on his Old Photos Just for Fun Thread.
And just for Nature another photo. This is one of the few times I ever went bouldering outside.
Relic- Super sick pic of U-wall!
Oplopanax- Sick road rash! Good work, very nice photos!
Jim I saw Sprock reply to something with more than three lines the other day and I was shocked! :)
Bruce- Nice story about spotting.. I thought someone might say something when i was going through the photos... :)
Spotting is important though. I had a buddy spot me on Charlotte's Web this year at Chek, and I said "Oh no don't worry i've climbed this a million times" but he spotted me anyways and I slipped on a wet patch and peeled before the first bolt and landed on his foot. He kept me from falling down the slope there and I was fine... So was his foot but it hurt for awhile! Thanks Rick!
This is my buddy Josh working Gom Jabbar 13b at Chek. Lurker Kyle belays.
Has anyone repeated Peter's onsight of what for most is the second pitch of University Wall, also sometimes called (rather confusingly) part of "The Shadow"? Did Devin, when he did the first repeat?
Noting that University Wall starts from the ground, below the Flake ledge, and climbs big bushy corners to where people usually start the climb now, perhaps 200 m off the ground. Possibly no one has ever truly repeated all of U Wall.
I wonder how many bolts are now in the route? IIRC, Glenn, Tim, Dan and Hamie (two post here) used only about ten in 1966.
(Peter and Greg freed U Wall, with variations on two pitches. Then Peter returned and freed the original line - two pitches out of fifteen - and wants to call it the Shadow? Am I the only one who finds that confusing?)
Anders, I'm no expert on route history, but what I understand the original line(or original free line)deeks out left from the main corner right before what P.C. named the shadow. If you take a close look at the picture I posted on Seasoned in the Sun(thanks for the sweet line BTW) there is a wooden belay seat out left of the main dihedral, under 'the wide flake', being the way that most free climb it, from what I gather.
@SAC, what is the deal with reposting my pic of the flex capacitor, 'HMMMMMM??' whats your beef?
NigelSSI and Relic. Thanks for the info! Pic was taken circa 2009. I have very little beta about bouldering. I really should do more.
Does anyone else think McLane's guidebooks are getting worse and worse? His pictures with line drawings of routes are horrible IMO.
Ya. His new Western Select has good pictures but suffers from a lack of descriptions for the climbs. I understand it is a select and he is trying to pack alot of climbs in, but his earlier books usually had very good descriptions.
I think I might know who you are.. does this climb look familiar?
Marc Leclerc on a 11+ 12 slab route by a renowned local slab developer. :)
Anders! I have been hoping you would see my humble thread.. How is your history project coming along? I have video cameras and the experience to operate them, plus some time coming up this winter. PM me and maybe we can figure something out.
How did you like Astro Ledge? That thing scared the crap outta me the first time going across. I remember this old, weathered fixed rope that was rigged up at one of the more exposed sections of the crumbly ledge. The wall kinda buldged out there, threatening to turf you off hundreds of feet to the base of the North Walls. Looking at this crap rope that dangled over the void, I was wondering, "is this thing supposed to save me?"
I'm glad the North Walls are having new routes put up on it. So many sick lines on it, and lots of potential for more.
I'd love to see some old pictures of Atkinson, Hart, Beckham, etc. up there in the eighties.
Thanks Tami, ya I've seen Perry post quite a lot. He has an amazing thread on the second free ascent of University Wall on taco somewhere.
We were heading to the North Walls today but got blocked at the start of the forest service road. There was a police barricade up, and a cop yelling at us to "get the hell out of here". Found out later someone got murdered and they dumped the body on the forest service road that heads past the North Walls, Squaw, and all that stuff. Spooky.
I bet Sonnie is likely a choir boy relative to what used to go down while getting things done in the North Walls. Great article in Aplinist on Squamish, but the wide angle picture used for Public Image was absolutely terrible
I dropped my cell phone and smashed it badly because I was laughing so hard for this photo with Tami !
Chortling on the brink of madness, young Tami sniffs and searches for her lost life jacket. "It must have fallen behind the outboard motor!" squeals Tami, as she breakdances on the edge of the boat to get a closer look.
Many thanks to Big Mike for bringing us pictures and stories of Squamish.
There is an outside chance that Luke's picture of a climber on Eurasian Eyes could be Alex H. He was due for a photo shoot on it this Aug 28th and was asking climbers starting Bullethead East how to get there.
Here is Simon I. scraping up the left finish to Bullethead East.
And here is a climber (I don't know who) on Genius Loci.
Caboose was my nemesis. Never could do it clean. I could lead Clean Crack (a few feet to the left) with no problem, but Caboose, a full number grade easier was never anything more than a hangdog flailfest.
I remember running into gf, Jim Brennan, and someone else in the parking lot late one afternoon, and going over to the Lower Malemute to hang out and do some climbing (and burn some pipeloads if I remember correctly). One of them, I think it was Jim, had Caboose so dialed he used it as a stage for party tricks. Heel hooking the arete for a few moves is the one I remember. While I struggled like a old cow just to get up it on TR.
Hey Tami. MH2 guessed that one, its called Supervalue, and it is super value.. close to the lower parking lot at the Bluffs. You gotta run it out off the deck to avoid some later rope drag, pic's tilted a bit making it look a little extra spooky
Nice Photos! I got up Bullethead East twice this summer, but only got up the final pitch once. That pitch looked fun! We did the center handcrack which was stellar! Can't wait to go back and try the other pitches!
Saugy- Thanks. Nice belay photo of Supervalue! Ya run out. I will probably lead that one with my half ropes when i get around to it. Run-outs so close to the ground make me nervous All them are nice! I'll have to remember that trick for Caboose.. I mean.... Nevermind :)
Ghost- Did you ever get the no hands rest demonstrated by Danger Dan? Luke said he found it rather difficult also.
Tami- Maybe they were especially potent "Pipeloads"
Tami - "there was no reason to it other then being naughty. Mischief." I can identify with that... I'm sure my mother would tell you i was not a perfect child, much less teenager :) I guess ultimately the responsibilty lies with KM for choosing to print the new names.
Interesting that KM would choose to keep the name Astronomy and put MDE in Quotes, but then change Artificial Land to Sentry Box and drop the reference entirely for AL.
I guess it's like they say "History is written by the victor", or in this case whomever chooses to record it.
NWO - nice Corn Flakes photo. Who's the soloist?
Edit- Retract my statement about KM being responsible for AL name change.
The inadvertent name change from Artificial Land to Sentry Box occurred in the 1960s. The latter name was used in the 1967 guide, and became the established usage. The 1980 guide used Sentry Box, but noted the discrepancy.
Tami- I geuss we strive to be different from our parents eh?
I visited Kyle last night and got some photos from him. Here is one of me on the Buttress 10c pitch this spring. I lead it but whipped before the piton. The last 10 feet was a stuggle. I was definetly not in good climbing shape after the winter. I had another shot at it later in the summer on tr and fell at the crux. Need to train this winter! Swear that pitch is harder than 10c!
Photo Nina Hagen
I was supposed to go to Skaha this weekend but both my girlfriend and I got sick. Weather kinda sucked anyways.. So here's a little eye candy till next weekend hopefully.
Bones sets up the anchor on The Dream, Skaha Bluffs
Tami do you mind if I start an `ask tami` thread. It seems as tho everyone, myself included, is always wondering about routes you and peter did and what not and they`re spread out all over this cyber-cesspool we call supertaco. I think questions directed at you need a little place to call home.
No fixed pins on the second ascent of the Upper Angel's Crest in 1962, 49 years ago! No such thing as 'fixed pins' then, just booty.
This reminds me of the small cliff near the old climbers' camp at Jenny Lake in the Tetons, mid 60s. The local climbing school/guides used it for teaching, and had several places for fixed pins. We would wander over every week or so, and help ourselves. They must have been important, cos they kept replacing them!
NWO that reminds me of the time me and Kyle soloed the next pitch after Acrophobes. We did it to pass a slower party after the rap. The Upper Acrophobe tower is so exposed there it gave us quite the thrill.
I think the best way to deal with that pitch and the next would be simul both together and avoid some of the rope drag. My first time up there I could barely get to the belay the drag was so bad. Bringing my partner up was a mission!
No, he can't be down here. They have pretty strict immigration laws, and with all that photographic evidence that he paraded up and down rock faces wearing the dorkiest lycra tights imaginable, there's no way they'd have let him in.
I only ever wore solid black lycra tights and I had to lie even about that to get in.
I am amazed that you remember my letter. You may be equally surprised to hear that I kept your reply, which shows two of your charachters, the neanderthal Mr. Ice and the super-honed Mr. Rock. It's framed, and shares space with my climbing books. My very own TK original. Special, very special. All your books were/are great. Hoping that this note still "makes your day"!
I also hope you don't mind me sharing the letter with the great unwashed of the taco. They know who they are, ha ha!
PS. Nice writing.
EDIT Somehow the original uncropped, untweeked version of the pic was selected. Very odd. A little hard to read. Sorry about that..... H.
Tami, do you have any recolection of the FA of cobra crack? was there much hooking involved? I've seen in movies it looks slabby @ the bottom.. From what thinkin of giving it a go tomorrow, but I only have 1 hook... but i got lots of nuts!
Well, nail the crap out of that one, too. We used to all the time. Though I think someone did it clean, that was via the original Rurp Riot start, to the right - someone removed the bolts linking across to the main crack.
If you don't nail them, how can anyone ever free them?
Does any one know what the C grade of king of the rock is? The hook placement @ the top was rather exciting!Just getting into aiding & I cant find anyone who wants to aid climb with me so I had to bribe big mike with some weed to lend me his grigri...
EDIT: anders sounds like you got an itchy hammer hand
I had hoped to see some more stories about fixed pins, but none so far. They were probably few and far between, and now long snagged as souvenirs. The thread title says 'Squamish Photos and Stories', which by my interpretation would limit the photos to Squamish, but not the stories. So here's one from further afield. At the time we thought it was hilarious, and we laughed all day. I still smile at the thought of it, but some readers will go "tsk, tsk", I can hear them already.
Chamonix. July 1961. Aiguille Mummery 12,136', SW Face. V Superior [5+]. 14 or so pitches. Two teenagers.
This was a fairly sustained rockclimb, and our guidebook, Mont Blanc Select went into some detail. It indicated the number of fixed pins on each pitch, and even described some, such as "a U-section piton" [angle]. We thought it would be funny if we removed this U-section, and replaced it on the next pitch, thereby spreading doubt and confusion. Which we did. We then did our best to mix up the number of fixed pins on all of the remaining pitches, by adding or removing pins as required. Funnneee! The two parties below us both bailed by noon. Coincidence of course. On the last pitch I found a cord etrier, with 4 metal rungs, and an aluminum Simond biner. Score! Someone had obviously been desperate, so we left that pin alone, but took the gear.
To get down, we still had to traverse the Aiguille Ravanel, 12,123' and then do a bunch of raps. Part way down the rope jammed. Since it was getting late, we had to cut it. My beautiful new red rope! Payback of course!!
Big grins, as Tami would say.
Here are a few (very lo-res) shots of the first ascent of p2 of Borderline. We finally finished cleaning that pitch at about 2 o'clock one summer afternoon and when we got together at the belay we drew straws (twigs, actually) to see who would get the first shot at leading it. I won, and started to rack up, but Eric and Susan just looked at me like I was an idiot.
"You're going to lead it now?"
"Well, I won the draw, didn't I?"
"Uh, yeah, but it's in full sun now. You'll slide all over it."
"Nah, no worries, I can do it."
Should have listened to them, cuz the rock was about 100 degrees and of course my shoe rubber melted on the crux and I greased off. They gave me another shot, but the result was the same, and I handed it off to Eric who had drawn the next-shortest twig. He wisely said something like "Right. Down we go then, and I'll give it a shot in the morning."
Which he did. Got it clean on his first try. (Of course we'd all TRed it a bunch, but that was his first shot at leading it.)
Hamie? fraser? If so, would you like to tell us the tale of your bold solo mission up the Uwall before you were old enough to apply for your drivers license...
p.s. you sound like a trouble maker, my mom warned me about people like you... haha, jokes
I had been in awe of the line for quite some time now, and as I just bought my first etrier yesterday I figured today was a great day to start working towards a 'Higher education'. So with the grigri I rented from big mike (note I say rented, as the giant cheapo wouldnt straight up lend it :P) I set out to my first day of university! I was the only student to show up today, and even tho I only went up the first pitch I learned alot. I need to get some jumars now so I can keep going up!!
Nice pics and story ghosts! this thread is bumpin'! What year was that, and was that Eric W.??
I made it out to the cirque of the uncrackables and I didnt find any slab just as you promised... is it considered an aid onsite seeing as none of my gear blew out...?
Thanks for the reply Tami, do you know it is know the hardest traditionally protected climb in canada and posibly N.A.
BmacD or jim b. care to elaborate on the horrendous accident noted in your guide book?
Ghost- Awesome. Great photos, great story. Did you come in from the top to take those pics?
Yeah, I hiked to the summit in the dark, then down-soloed High Plains Drifter and Angels Crest to about the midpoint, then traversed across the blank face (free solo of course) to where Eric was about to start the struggle.
We still had a rope fixed to the top of the second pitch, so I just jugged up and down that while he did his thing and Susan belayed.
Some time later, while we were cleaning the pitches above, gf and Jim Brennan came up and climbed the first two. I remember watching Greg cruise through the hard stuff (11c was right at the limit of what any of us three could climb back then, but no big deal for him), and then falling just past where Eric is in the last picture. If he'd been a less gifted climber (like us) he'd have got that move easily, cuz you can kind of step down onto a good hold, and go a bit more to the right, but being the way-hone that he was, he was totally focused on "up".
@ newworldorder: I'm not sure who carved it, but I'm pretty sure matt madaloni(spelling) and some one else hiked it up the backside trail and then rappelled it into place and free solod out! pretty freakin righteous.
you can look it up on the archives of his blog http://climblife.blogspot.com
The first clean ascent of U Wall was probably by Len Soet and Phil Kubik, in 1977 or so. Need to check on details.
Jim's "rescue" from the top of Uncle Ben's was one of the first major rescues at the Chief, in 1983. (Steve and Hugh were lowered a rope to finish the third ascent of the Black Dyke, in 1970, when bad weather moved in, but that isn't quite the same thing.) Anyway, it was Monday of the BC day long weekend, and someone heard Jim and Bruce calling from the wall. So we told the RCMP, and they called out a rescue. Most of us hiked to and across Bellygood and Dance Platform, and someone organized a pulley system to get the guys to the ledge, and across to a flat area above the Bulletheads, where Jim was picked up.
Earlier rescue training, about 1967:
Some well known climbers in that photo.
Tony Cousins third from left. Gordie Smaill in middle, with helmet on. Big Jim with stubby. Colin and Mab Oloman also in photo.
I'm reasonably sure that Len and Phil used only fixed pitons on their climb, but they're sensible fellows, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had a hammer and pins in their bag, just in case. It's still a clean ascent, IMHO - no pins placed. The real issue, after all, is damage to the rock. Having but not using a hammer and pins is a mere stylistic matter.
When you ask about the origin of the well-known euphemism fustercluck, I wonder if there's a troll around.
Anders I'm very familiar with the term clusterf*#k but fustercluck was a term I'd never heard of and thank you for introducing it too me. Also you might be the man to ask about the origin on cam hooks, do you know how long they've been around? They freaking kick ASS!
Ghost-thanks for the beta on borderline-something about a bull and a red flag?
It was really funny. You could climb about nine number grades harder than any of us, and had no trouble with the business of that second pitch -- which was right at the limit of what any of us could climb. And then you fell right where it drops from 11c to about 5.4. Well, okay, it would be 5.4 if you stepped down and right. But if you try to go up from that point, it's probably hard 5.19 or something.
And if I remember, when JB followed you up the thing he didn't enjoy it at all. In fact I think there was cussing. And weighting of the rope.
The whole Borderline experience was interesting. When we scoped it out, and started working the first pitch, we thought we'd found a 5.9/easy 5.10 climb that would soar up the left side of the Badge for pitch after pitch of moderate wonderfulness. When it became clear that the second pitch was going to be hard 11, Susan got pretty discouraged. Not because the route wouldn't be a good one, but because she thought no one would ever climb it.
My view at that time (late 1990s) was that 5.11 would soon be the new 5.9 -- a grade that most competent climbers were comfortable with. Maybe challenged a bit, but still comfortable. There was some argument about this, mostly to do with the fact that I was clearly insane. But history has proven me right, and Borderline has become a deservedly popular climb.
There was a lot of other interesting sh#t associated with that climb. Gear thievery. Almost-slanderous bullshit from a guidebook writer. Relationship dissolution. Squamish climbing at its finest.
Maybe if I get up to Squamish next year you can tow me up it. For old time's sake.
Fish Boy, are you the same person who soloed much of Ten Years After during the summer of 2010, up to about the top of the Sword? The one I sent a photo to? Either way, did you go all the way to Dance Platform?
Three days for soloing TYA in mid-October seems reasonable to me.
SAC: Yeah top of the left side...maybe Grinning Weasel?
Tami, you can just click the link and look at the photos, you don't need to be my friend!
Jim, yup, that's me.
Kid, cheers for the holler!
MH2, 2nd time aid soloing, first wall at Squish and I have no job so no need to hurry. Carting ledges and bags off Bellygood takes more than a few minutes. Since moving here a couple of months ago I've enjoyed 25 pitch days and 2 pitch days....
Nope MH, not me...yes, all the way....
While you're all here, anyone know much about Negro Lesbian? Don't want a beta run down, just haven't heard much about it...
Looks like Mike B. and I cut over to Grand for the 5th belay, which likely now doesn't exist on account of I am sure the entire bolt ladder being replaced on that section of grandwall. So that explains the lack of fixed belay at the end of the 5th on 10yrs after during your ascent Fish Boy .... sketchy ...
Mike Beaubien, John Simpson and I freed the Philistine Groove as the approach to The Daily Planet.
Whether Kevin nailed it before us or not is unknown to me.
Free or aid, it's an aptly named black hole of a pitch that sucks stars off nearby classic routes.
..........black hole of a pitch that sucks stars off nearby classic routes
I went up and down that thing far too many times when we were cleaning the first two pitches of Borderline. At that time it had two ancient ropes fixed on it. Knotted together every three meters or so. Soon joined by our static.
I never tried to free it, just jugged up on my way to work, but I often wondered what it would be like as a climb. What makes it so horrible?
Skywalker is by no means anything special. It has one pitch that is pseudo-interesting and the rest are a waste of time. The real only worth of that "climb" is that it keeps people off of the truly worthy and interesting climbs.
It's a very good starting point for fledgling trad climbers to do their first multi. It takes pressure of Diedre and the rest of the apron, has some very nice views and some fun moves, and is a great place to take your girlfriend. :)
Yeah it's short and sometimes wet at the bottom.. But really it was designed with NOOB trad leaders in mind.. It's popularity says it all.
Like you said keep em there till they figure things out.. Kalhanie and all the other cracks there as well as Local Boys are the cleanest they have ever been. Lots of other cool routes around there might see more traffic now too.
Not speaking for anyone else, but I was a little bothered by aspects of Skywalker. In years past I had done several of the routes that get to the top of that formation. It was cool up there: the moss, the trees, the salal, everything seemed to fit with everything else. Now, at the top of Skywalker you find a path and other landscaping and a trail of orange flagging. The disturbance is temporary and in a year or two everything may look good again to us sensitive types, and in the meantime the descent is safer for those who need help getting down.
It's an old story. To get something, a new safe moderate route, you have to give up something else, the feeling that you have got away from the human influence.
As Neil and Gordie did Grim Reaper in 1969, and placed bolts at the few places they could, probably not. Those of us who tried and eventually did it a decade later couldn't have imagined adding bolts to it. The climb is now considerably cleaner than it was then, and I believe that its few bolts have been replaced by modern ones.
IIRC, The Crossing is close to Grim Reaper. Those who did The Crossing's first ascent made some effort to ensure that its bolts did not impinge on the Reaper, although one of the bolts is reachable from the second pitch of Snake, and alters it.
Like Andy, I have rather mixed feelings about routes at Squamish with what can be argued are convenience bolts. We don't have an unlimited amount of rock, particularly rock suitable for moderate climbs, and need to be careful about how we use it. Convenience bolts may allow more climbers to experience a given bit of rock, but may also cause the innocent, the ignorant, the insecure and the unprepared onto climbs, which as is evident from Diedre isn't always a good idea. Also, of course, it encourages people to think that all routes should have bolt belays - even if natural anchors are available, and it's not a usual rappel line.
Likewise I have concerns about where the right balance is in terms of vegetation removal and the like.
Somewhat related, there are several areas at Squamish where we might consider a "new bolt" and "new route" ban. Anywhere on the Apron to the right of Diedre, in most areas to the left of Diedre, and on the upper Apron, most new climbs would have little character, and would often detract from existing routes. Likewise several cliffs in the Little Smoke Bluffs. Very little of that rock hasn't already been climbed or explored, at least on toprope.
MH2, I bet you wouldn't have so sanguine an outlook if they built a gazebo above a certain traverse eh?
Why refer to the Errol Pardoe hut?
You trying to give me a heart attack?
Such a thing would require Direct Action.
Or it could be a sign to move to Bella Coola or some such.
I see that a Best Practices Guide for route development is posted on BC Parks, and there will be a meeting to discuss it on 5 November. It reads as even-handed and tolerant of route cleaning as long as no one is maimed or killed, and as long as no falcons are disturbed. But it also says that vegetation within a provincial park is protected under the Park Act. Hope that you don't run afoul of Vegetation Enforcement.
Now, at the top of Skywalker you find a path and other landscaping and a trail of orange flagging. The disturbance is temporary and in a year or two everything may look good again to us sensitive types,
I would like to add, that the level of trail marking in Squamish has gone beyond ridiculous. Of particular note is the well worn trail along the base of my favorite crag the Papoose. 2" fluorescent markers every 75 feet.
Bear in mind, immediately to the right is the large granite wall of the Papoose, immediately left is the highway. Directly infront of you is one of the most well worn, oldest trails in Squamish.
I took appropriate action and removed 50% of the markers, the next time I visit the crag I will remove all of them. This is a form of visual pollution, totally asinine whoever installed them.
That's the problem Jim. Climbing Gym's. They teach us how to climb, but nothing of the history, tradition or ethics of climbing.
You guys seemed to have more access to your elders bitd because it was a tighter community, so those values were passed on as they are here in your stories.
I was introduced to climbing by my girlfriend who had been into it for a couple of years. I learned a bit from her, but when she had a rock fall accident that ended up with her sipping her meals through a straw for six weeks it messed with her psyche a bit.
So suddenly I was the leader. Then we broke up and I started going to the gym where I met other gym climbers.
I have climbed with many more experienced partners in the years since but have never really had a mentor.
Today's climbers typically have no access to their elders, which leads to a lack of understanding as we don't really know why you guys did things the way you did.
Vendetta?? Just calling a spade a spade. The thought of spending months to remove all forms of vegetation to create something marginally mediocre is just something I find offensive.....I'd call this form of route creation a "Vendetta" against nature.
I think it's ok to be critical of massively popular new routes like Skywalker. I have mixed feelings about it as well. While I do appreciate all the work JF put into cleaning it up, I do think he was a bit over zealous with making it "user friendly" for the up and coming "5.8" climber. The bolted short slab on the last pitch has way too many bolts on it. I mean, you can walk up most of it with no hands... So much for the Squamish slab experience.
Overall, I do like Skywalker and think it is a worthy outing.
Speaking of slab, which I do have a morbid fascination for, does anyone have a story of the Grim Reaper, White Lightning, Dream on, Magic Carpet Ride, Dancing in the Light, etc... they care to share?
Speaking of slab, which I do have a morbid fascination for, does anyone have a story of the Grim Reaper, White Lightning, Dream on, Magic Carpet Ride, Dancing in the Light, etc... they care to share?
Sure. Here's a story from Dancing in the Light. That is, it's not a story about DitL, but rather a story about something that happened while we were on DitL. I think I posted this on rec.climbing some time in the last century, but you reminded me of it, so here it is...
Does the Guiness Book of Records have a category for "Stupidest thing ever done on a rockface"? If they do, I'll phone them and report what I saw last weekend.
Here's the scene: A friend and I were halfway up Dancing in the Light, a hard 7-pitch slab route on the Apron of the Squamish Chief. To our right, over an edge, were the usual multitudes on Diedre, the most popular (it's only 5.7) multi-pitch route in the known universe; and to the right of that was open slab. That slab is a fairly blank piece of rock, and other than the lower part where White Lightning traverses, rising from left to right, there were no routes on it back then.
Whooosssshhhhh! Down the slab came a rope. A single climbing rope, hanging from somewhere up out of my sight and ending in the middle of the slab to the right. And then down the rope came... what? I guess it must have been a climber, because he certainly was equipped for climbing. He was carrying a well-stuffed expedition pack and over his shoulder was a rack with enough gear to start a store. (Peder, who had just completed the White Lightning pitch and had a better view than I did, later told me it looked like the guy had a triple set of Friends through #4.)
He clipped himself to a bolt on the White Lightning traverse and waited while he was followed, hesitantly, down the rope by a somewhat overweight young woman who appeared to be rapping on a Grigri. My friend on White Lightning, guessing that it was her first rappel, and worried that she might lose control going over a small overlap, called down to her partner to tie the rope off to the bolt, but got no response.
By this time everybody on the adjacent routes had stopped climbing and was watching to see what would happen next. The pair had rappelled the full length of their rope from the station at the top of the 5.7 pitch on Diedre, and were now clipped to a bolt in the middle of nowhere. What were they doing? Was it part of a plan to try toproping a hard slab? Were they going to get some Jumar practice? Were they going to set up camp?
What they did was to call up to somebody at the station from which they had descended to untie the rope and toss it down.
And we all watched in fascination as the rope slid down to them, and then kept on sliding down, eventually piling up on a small ledge about 25 meters below the bolt they were now marooned on.
One of the many parties on Diedre was preparing to start the third pitch of that route from a station not far from where the rope was now sitting, and the leader went over, picked up an end, and took it up to the helpless ones (20 meters, 5.9, no pro) then traversed back into his own route and carried on up to his next belay station (about 3 meters from where I was hanging), and began bringing up his partner.
Meanwhile our heroes had managed to double their rope, thread it, and were now rapping (from that single bolt) down to the station just vacated by their rescuer. But what would they do next? It was a full 50m to the ground from there. Would they rap out and leave their rope? Would they try another 25m rappel and be left in the middle of nowhere (no bolts between them and the ground this time)?
Once again they fooled us. The guy started rapping _sideways_ across the ledge -- hoping, I suppose, that he could reach a station at its far end. But that ledge gradually fades out into the slab, and he decided that retreat was better than the monster pendulum he was sure to take if he carried on, and traversed back to his partner.
So there they sat. Hugging each other and not doing anything at all. I called down to ask if they needed help and they said they were fine, but since they were obviously lying, the guy who had saved their asses once already lowered down, tied off their rope, hung it over the edge, supervised them into a rappel, then untied it and tossed it to them once they were safe on the ground. (Although I should add that "the ground" in this case was about 200 meters of steep trail above the real ground, but with that triple set of Friends and all the gear in the pack I'm sure they made it down before thay ran out of food.)
That night I called Peder to ask if he had any idea what had started the whole adventure, since I hadn't been able to see from where I was. He told me that the pair had finished the 5.7 pitch (the crux) of Diedre, but that the woman had been too frightened to go on, so they had decided to rap out, asking somebody who was at the station to toss their rope once they finished the first rap.
Why they went straight down into the middle of the slab instead of tensioning slightly leftwards to stay in the corner they had just climbed, I don't know. Why they chose to rappel with one rope, I don't know. And why they chose to rappel at all when they had already finished the hardest pitches of their climb, I don't know either.
The moral? The only conclusion I can draw is that the gods must love idiots, or else the two idiots in this story would be on a different kind of slab right now.
Haha, nice story of epic silliness. I recall it being pretty hard to rappel off Diedre with a single rope. I had to do it once with a girl and a single 50m rope in a sudden epic rainstorm from the top of the first dihedral pitch. I had to down climb quite a bit of it while holding onto the end of my rope after coming up short on the rappel. Pretty fun stuff while gallons of rain is drenching you.
We got down safely, thru all our soaking wet clothes but our skivies in the driers at the laundry-mat beside Mountain Burger, and hitchhiked back to Whistler.
Tami- Too true. I guess what I was getting at was because of the way most climbers these days, typically their first climb will be a sport climb, so automatically they associate bolts with protection. Typically they eventually get into crack climbing but aren't familar with gear anchors and too scared to screw it up.
Bitd bolts were all drilled by hand so there had better be reason to drill them. Slinging a tree or building a gear anchor was much easier. So you did it alot, became proficient at it. That knowledge would have been passed on to beginners of that age as it was common practice.
Beginners who climb crack exclusively with seasoned crack climbers can often have difficultly with face or sport climbs. My lovely girlfriend is case in point.. I sick her on cracks all summer and then one day we go for a few clip ups and she gets all frustrated and flustered on an easy climb. She hates the gym, but she's all good at a hanging gear anchor.
So i see value in putting anchors every 30m until the traverse so someone that gets in over thier head a bit can bail if they need too... I do agree with Relic about his point on the last pitch and I handled that one quite easily by only clipping 2 of the bolts. Once again as a beginner leader I remember wishing there were a few moderate slab routes that I could learn on.
I see MH and MH2's point also and agree.. I too felt the same way when the signs started going up at Chek, I don't really see the need for them.. That is always the most fun part of climbing figuring out where you are and where the route is? Beginner Routefinding.
I would be concerned if this were becoming the norm but it's not. There are runout routes, why can there not be easier better protected routes for those who wish to climb them as well? JF got permission from the FA's?
As far as the enviromental issue goes just about every pitch in Squamish has had a massive excavation at some point.. Nobody ever bags on Sonnie for digging out the Buttface!
Those markers up there are also very handy when it's your first time up there, it's dark because it was busy and you have headlamps but your girlfriend hates approaches during the daytime much less at night!
Re The Ivanhoe- It would be fun to do a pub night again once in awhile.. I know the Howe Sound hosts climbers on a regular basis but maybe a organized night would be interesting?
Ghost awesome story.. can't say i've ever seen anything quite that stupid :)
Although Skywalker is not the perfect climb for me I've done it 3 times and seen partners and other climbers have a great time on it. The route author knows what he's doing. Yes, the flagging off the top is going to help in the dark. However, the bolts on the last low-angle slab are probably more of a danger to trip over than a safety feature.
Although I've done most of the routes Relic mentions, and pitch 1 of Not Your Normal Nightmare, the most memorable time concerns the one I haven't done. Just a few years ago, Gordie Smaill and I climbed Teetering on the Brink. I looked up as he was right where the Reaper branches out left. He was on steep friction. He lifted each foot in turn and rotated the ankle. It was a glimpse into the past. There are times in climbing when the answer isn't more effort but rather less tension. Gord is good at staying calm.
'Bout 10-12 years ago now I climbed Snake under typical wet conditions. At the top we went to walk off as per usual and changed into walkoff footwear which for me was a pair of Tevas or something.
The walkoff was wet too and on that little polished slab that leads up and left to the zig-zag up to the base of Dessert Dyke and Form I managed to squeak off the wet slab in my slippery sandals and go for a ride.
I was headfirst down the slab on my belly like an otter thinking "well, f*#k."
The top of Voodoo Amour was coming up fast and I saw a little angled bonsai growing out of the rock off to one side and managed to latch it with one hand as I went by and my body swung around it like a pole-dancer showing off her cootch to a roomful of drunken loggers and I grabbed with my other hand and my legs went over the f*#king lip, but I stopped moving.
So I'm hanging there halfway over the lip of a quick fall all the way to the bottom of the Apron, where I'd probably make a nice red stain on Evergreen Street.
I mantled up on the little tree and Eric threw me a rope and I batmanned up it back to the ledge, and nearly threw up. Then I said something about "the horse what threw ya" and we hiked up to the base of Form and I roped up and tried to lead it and ended up hanging multiple times on every bolt because I was shaking so bad I kept slipping on the slab. But I got up it.
Then I didn't climb for about 4 months after that.
That's how I remember it, anyways. It may have happened differently.
I have, since then, roped up to go across that walkoff slab on occasion. Mostly when it's wet.
^^^^Wow....just.....WOW! I know the spot of which you speak, Oplopanax.
I too would have taken 4 months off had it happened to me.
I once tried leading up Neat and Cool as a first climb of the day. I had been climbing well (at least I thought I was) all summer long and figured, why bother with a warm-up!? I'm solid! Well, I got to the (edit: 2nd) crux, and was full-on spent. I hung on for the life of me, trying to bust the move, but the lactic acid in my forearms was simply too much. All I can remember was a flash of sky as I fell. The rope was behind my leg, it flipped me up side down and my first point of contact was my (thankfully) helmeted head.
I was seeing stars, but was so adrenalated, I scampered up the back-side, cleaned the route, including the Metolius 2 that saved my adze, and called it a day...for a week.
To this day, I haven't even a desire to top-rope Neat and Cool, let alone lead it. Get back on the horse that bucked me off? Nope. Not that bronco.
Moral of the story? Allllways do your warm-up climbs.
And note where the rope is.
One person (at least) has died from a fall at the first crux of Neat & Cool, and others have been injured. Although it can be well-protected, it's a fairly high fall factor fall, it's easy to get flipped by the rope, and if even one piece pulls...
I was headfirst down the slab on my belly like an otter thinking "well, f*#k."
The top of Voodoo Amour was coming up fast and I saw a little angled bonsai growing out of the rock off to one side and managed to latch it with one hand as I went by and my body swung around it like a pole-dancer showing off her cootch to a roomful of drunken loggers and I grabbed with my other hand and my legs went over the f*#king lip, but I stopped moving.
...jeeeee-zuzzzz!! Epic Oplo! It's amazing what a person can do when forced into survival mode.
Not Your Normal Nightmare is an amazing sister climb to Magic Carpet Ride MH2, and well worth doing. I've watched a couple of different leaders fall to the ground on the first pitch of MCR before reaching the first bolt way up there. Lucky for them the landing is kind of forgiving.
My partner and I had our own little mini epic on Dream On once. The first pitch, which I had led a few times before, gave me a good ride. Not being fully awake yet, I had a right foot slide off while about to clip one of the few bolts that exist on the 10c first pitch, the one up past the scoop. The ensuing fall gave me plenty of time to teach myself various ways to slide, run, and scrape down slab. I highly recommend it to anyone provided you are wearing proper skin saving attire, it's a good laugh. Luckily the pitch was nice and long, with nothing to ledge out on.
The second pitch of Dream On did not make us laugh as hard, actually we never even made it there. Instead, my partner got lost and started his way up some dirty-long-forgotten-slab-corner-from-hell otherwise known as Firewalk. He made it about 15 feet up before the dirt got the best of him, sending him failing onto the ledge below, breaking his ankle.
Oh ya that's right MH. There's a good pool of Apron slab stories there. I especially like the Grim Reaper story. That massive pendulum fall on the Reaper was the wildest lead fall I have ever witnessed. My slab partner from the Dream On disaster took that one while I was belaying him. We quickly ran away after... Also to make the outing even more spooky, there was a heli-extraction of a fatality going on above us while we were busy falling off the Reaper. It was a guide, her name escapes me, that I believe fell while teaching clients how to rappel. Very sad and tragic...
I had the honor (?) of holding the Grigri for Julia's "vertical dance" at a VIMFF opening gala. If I recall right she came whipping out over the stage on a rope swing, scattering feathers, while bird calls played on the soundtrack.
Grace died in spring 1992, I believe April. (I'd have to find the clippings.) She was exploring Pangranitic Wall from above, and IIRC was swinging from side to side. Her rope abraded over an edge, or maybe just a rough area.
She had climbed Cannabis Wall solo, sometime within the preceding year.
As for Bruce's question, you'd have to direct it to the groups representing climbing guides. I don't know if those groups, in Canada or elsewhere, have ever revoked someone's membership for incompetent, unethical or unprofessional behaviour.
Ok yes, I have it straight in my brain now. I always walked by that swamp cursing it, but man what a life saver! I was mixing up Julia's accident with another one that happened when I was climbing close by -- The fellow that lowered off to his death on Exasperator.
The fellow that lowered off to his death on Exasperator.
Seattle climber. His nickname, in the Seattle community, was "Beta". Presumably because he could give you beta for just about any route in the PNW. But his beta very nearly killed my partner, which kind of upset me (and her) at the time.
We were climbing the Flake and Cleaning the Brain/Simian Response that afternoon. We had finished up and left the area at the time of the accident. What an ugly tragedy.
On a different note, what are some of your favorite obscure climbs in Squamish that deserve way more traffic. Got any mossed over gems that you think should be brought back to usage?
My vote is the above mentioned Cleaning the Brain(Jim Brennan FA in the 80's) and it's continuation second pitch, the Simian Response. In 2003, my friend Andreas and I scrubbed the crap out of the Brain to make it climbable. It was an awesome 10c splitter thin-hand crack that hardly anyone ever climbed. We put up a second pitch that went up the not very aesthetic looking but fun to climb corner system to the right, Andreas named it the Simian Response. It was a steep layback 10+ enduro pitch that featured a bomb-bay chimney which only long legged peeps like me could de-pump on. Both pitches were really good quality, but might very well be mossed over again.
Thanks for the suggestion of Cleaning the Brain/ Simian Response.
I've done Raindance a couple times and continued up the mossy corner to the cedar. That's 2 obscure pitches.
I am surprised by the relative popularity of Calculus Crack compared to its neighbor South Arete.
Once I was told that a few Squamish regulars have a list of obscure climbs on the fridge. I've never seen such a list.
I don't know how much traffic The Reacharound sees but it stays clean and it is pretty good. Judging by the vegetation on it, Mr. Picklebits is obscure. There are many climbs that don't get talked about much but are well worth doing.
A route I have tried to find out about lies directly under where Julia took her spectacular fall.
The fellow that lowered off to his death on Exasperator
Small world on ST. I was there when David Gunstone (beta) fell on Exasperator. It was my first time in Squamish and I was just finishing up the last part of Cruel Shoes. I had just reached the far right side of the ledge near the Split Pillar base. I heard scraping, a scream and looked down to see a man bouncing and tumbling to the ground. Saw the whole thing. Still can a bit... I brought my partner up and decided to bail having watched the activity on the ground the whole time my motivation for the rest of the Grand was quashed for the day. We rapped down right next to the ER team working on him. Not much to do at that point. I was new to the PNW and only learned later how much DG had done for Index, WA among other places.
After making sure we couldn't be of any help we retreated to the Pub for many beers...
"The Gong and Short of It" ( I think that's the name?) is pretty much right on the highway roadcut ( a non-blasted section) in an otherwise climbless section of highway south of the orange bridge on the Cheakamus South section of the 99. Great obscure 10b fingercrack.
Maybe it's just the Gong Show. I dunno. I think it's listed in McLane's Whistler guide, somewhere.
Yes, I've been to Fluffy Kitten and climbed Tiggers. Great feel to the place. Not sure why the rope bridge because we go in August to out-wait snow melting above and making the rock wet, and the water high.
Most of the lower malamute is relatively cleean and climbable although illegal, except the few that bruce mentioned along with the two access pitchs to quagmire; canadian compromise a 'wild' looking flaring flake, and a balancy looking barley route that had a fix line hanging near the start.
sick photos mh, you musta fixed your belay anchor super long.
I have some pics of my friends and I climbing Fluffy Kitten wall somewhere in the stash. We didn't know what we were climbing at the time, just started going up some multi-pitch route with shiny anchors. The climbing was great quality, nice and clean. We got to the last shiny anchor in the middle of the wall, looked up and said, "why not keep going?". So I started up some easy crack line, it was filthy dirty. I kept going till I set up a gear belay at a stance. I didn't clean any of it and neither did my friends. We kept forging up the wall, trying to find a path to reach the summit but we got to a bush ledge and decided to call it quits. Trying to clean out unclimbed dirt cracks, on lead with only a nut-tool was not as much fun as we hoped. We rappelled off a laughable bush "anchor". It looked like good bush, well good enough not to die on.
We later found out it was called Pussy Galore. Does that ring a bell Sac?
I've got a picture somewhere of Dick and Corina two or three pitches up on the first ascent of the first route on the Fluffy Kitten Wall. It wasn't called Fluffy Kitten then, and we only got about three pitches done, and never went back. I don't know why we didn't go back -- plenty of other climbs calling to us I guess.
If I can find the picture, I'll scan it and post it. Won't happen for a few weeks though, cuz everything we own is buried in the basement while we are ripping apart the upstairs and putting it back together.
My pal Brian came up w/ the name "Fluffy Kitten".
He was looking to downplay the big bold majestic name... or something.
Relic, good on ya! I recall that route being 1/2 pitches? I'd heard of someone continuing...anyway, prob. the one... as obvious dry crack to jump on...
Ghost, Wow, too cool... mystery solved? There is a route in the older KM guide, listed "unknown" that is... until now? I remember seeing the tat.
Good to hear of folks climbing up there... "Backcountry rockclimbing in SW B.C."
There is another, larger wall up, and right of the Kitten (seen from hwy!)
It got climbed once, as far as I know... very good quality climbing onsite, and we continued to summit Habrich. Some plumbs on that one fershur! I was always amazed that w' all the climbers around, very, few would seek adventures in this zone, amazing rock, way up there, viewed from hwy. 99, minimal approach "old growth" forests... aaaaaanyway... Obscure fer shur, eh. Now w/ road closed.
Mh2... what's the best way up that road these days... pieds?
Ya Sac, we added those two scruffy pitches I described above to the existing route. KMcL guidebook has some made up drawing of the path we took, which is totally wrong. Actually, the line went just left of some huge overhangs then directly up the wall. The description and dotted line drawing of the last pitch of Kitty Porn looks and sounds like where we finished up. I suspect we might have climbed the same finger crack but approached it from below.
Now that's an interesting subject all on its own. Most of us who have done "first ascents" at Squamish (and I imagine at most other places), have either discovered evidence that someone was there before us, or found out that someone was there even if they didn't leave any evidence.
Some of it can be mysterious indeed. As as been mentioned already on ST, a climb that Loomer and I did the first ascent of, and which later was extended and named Rock On, turns out to have been climbed may years earlier by Hamish. He even named it. Called it Bastille. But no one ever really knew where this mystery route was, and there was nothing to indicate that anyone had been on it before us when Loomer and I climbed it.
But here's another, even more mysterious sighting: Whereas I can see how Hamish and partner got on their climb -- just thrashed up the gully and started climbing -- I found a gear station on what is now the fourth pitch of Borderline when I was cleaning it, but haven't got a clue how it could have got there. The cleaning involved to get to that point was absolutely brutal, and I just don't believe anybody had gone up that way before us. And yet there was what appeared to be an old rap anchor about half way up the fourth pitch. And not from the dark ages, either, because there was a hex involved. So presumably from the 1970s.
I assume that at some point, someone had rapped down the face from above, maybe scoping it out, maybe having some kind of epic retreat from the Angels Crest, but I really don't know. What I do know is that the cracks and corners on Bordeline were among the dirtiest I've cleaned, and I really doubt that anyone could have gone up there without leaving any trace.
Anybody out there have any knowledge or ideas?
Edit: Posted from as far away from climbing as you can get in North America. The airport in the hellhole known as Miami.
According to Bruce Kay above, the road to Fluffy Kitten is again open. Good for 2WD but may have a few uneven spots that it might be wise not to go too fast over. You don't want to come back down this way:
A friend worked on a trail to get to Habrich from Fluffy Kitten. I heard it may be hard to follow, though.
When I was cleaning the Beefwhale in Cheakamus Canyon there was a webbing station on top. I figured somebody had rapped down to take a look and decided it was too dirty to bother with. But I later found out that John Chilton had climbed it ground-up a few years earlier.
I put about 50 hours into scrubbing that pitch. 15 years later, except for my rap chains on top, you ca nnot tell it was ever climbed. From experience, some things in wetter areas (like, say, the Bulletheads, or the mossy hole in the forest by Digital Dexterity) take about 4 years to go from fully clean to mossed over so badly you cannot see that they were ever cleaned.
Yeah, Amazing how "quality" can justify "means". eh? Love it!
Anyway, think we chatted about all this yrs ago on a lift ride in Whistler... going down.
... talked of hitting Spanky's Wall?... maybe...
Which reminds me... Rob Richards headed up there once... miffed by the route names, it seemed... not impressed... apon his return he left a message: "pure Yosemite delight" he said... that description always stuck w/ me, and strive to find reasons to use it.
Obscure but good, this pic was taken on the FA of The Simian Response. It's a 10d to the right of Millennium Falcon in the Dihedrals. Climb Cleaning the Brain, a 10c thin hand splitter crack, to start the thin enduro layback corner of Simian.
Partners in CRIME is to the right, the 11a straight up thin weirdo sized crack. Looking at the first picture I thought someone might have bolted Climb and Punishment. I think those bolts are on Sunny Days in November right?
That's great Tami. There may be combinations u know. History-books that also contain photos and descriptions of classical routes. That may just add to the thrill if done properly. Heard of Hinterstoisser Quergang, Todesbiwak and Die Weisse Spinne? ;o)
The south coast has been suffering from a high pressure spell as of late.
As a snowboarder at heart this can be somewhat troubling, but the climber in me embraced Kyle's bold idea of hiking up to Spanky's wall last week before the chair opened to take advantage of these inversion conditions in the high alpine.
The groomers had laid a fine carpet so the hiking was rather easy. When I arrived, Kyle was rigging a convenient rappel.
We top roped a 5.9 warm up as my late arrival had left us with a very small window before darkness would descend.
It was a beautiful day and the cloud which had been shrouding the wall in shade all day conveniently left and the sun basked us in it's warmth.
Going back a few posts, Bill Morris and I once put up a route called "Partners in Grime", but not at Squamish. The moss and dirt came off in sheets.
Kid, as I understand it there are three, yes three, Squamish books on the way.
Marc Bourdon is planning a comprehensive, as noted above.
Kevin McLane and Andrew Boyd are working on both a Squamish Comprehensive, and a Squamish Classics--Select.
It's going to be duelling guidebooks, and then some! Too late for Santa, so save your allowances, boys and girls.
Hamie- Looking forward to a new good comprehensive up-to-date guide book.. No more printed topos in my ruck sack?
Last friday was Kyle's birthday, and the weather was nice so we headed up to the wall again with a few more people in tow.. It got pretty warm in the afternoon sun, i swear it was almost 20C at one point.
When we got there I hung a rope to jumar on the aret and Kyle got ready to lead Blister in the Sun 5.9
Kyle reaches for the roof clip on Blister in the Sun.
Getting into the layback.
Blister in the Sun goes left at the roof, Ski Bum Come 5.10a goes right up the crack feature.
Kyle with the head jam gaining the roof feature, as Nina belays
just jibbin dude, but it would make more sence if you got alot of photos of one zone to just make a TR...
but then again this thead was created out of your willingness to do so, so doo what ever you please!
It was certainly in my best interest to onsight it as a fall from there with rope running behind my leg as it is would not have been a pleasent experience...
-FB thanks for the pics! Nice work. You rope soloed Angel's Crest? How long did that take you? What did you have for pro on that offwidth? We usually skip the big stuff for weight so we go the traditional way, but it would be fun to hit that.
La Coalition looks sick! thekidcormier wanted to get on it one day last year but we decided to go do Milk Road instead.
I met up with Kyle and Nina this afternoon in the Smoke Bluff parking lot to take advantage of some positive temps and excellent friction. We headed up to Penny Lane where we met up with thekidcormier.
Kyle wanted to lead Clandestine Affair so I suggested that Nina put up Quarryman so I could take pictures of someone different for a change. She politely declined, and thekidcormier wanted to lead it, but none of us really wanted to see him whip on his rope and draw harness setup :)
Not that he would have...
After a pretty smooth transfer from the Quarryman anchor to the Yorkshire Gripper, I had a bitch of a time figuring out my setup with my brand new jugs and trying to get over the roof.
After a little help for a passerby climber I hooked the Safety about neck height to my upper jug and sat on it while jugging my lower one with both ladders attached.
It was 340 by the time I started taking pics and the sun was setting fast. The lighting was amazing.
Hey mike...Angels took about 2 and a half hours climbing time, but 4 hours sitting around. I started around 2 and did the last pitch in the dark...free soloed a lot of the easier terrain. My biggest cam was a blue C4 and I broke the trigger wires after the first pitch so didn't use anything on the offwidth, just started up it for a look and came down and roped up.
My buddy and I had planned to do La Coalition into La Gota Fria, but spent a few hours trying to find it, wandering around on a cool ledge which had bear on it! Gave up eventually, tried again later and ended up doing upper echelon ...now I've worked out where it is from the road and it looks AMAZING! You'll want to be upper end .11 climber with strong forearms to get that 11+ pitch clean, but it isn't brainy, just run!
It's impossible to believe that anyone here would be dumb enough to smoke anything, to inhale smoke - apart from campfire smoke, that is. It's bad for you, and we don't do things that may be bad for us, do we?
Is Crime of the Century getting more polished? Certainly the start is about a metre lower than it originally was, and that is one of the hardest bits.
Now Tami has #420, FWIW. Considering she lives at the Weed Farm, possibly apropos.
To which I can bear witness - Tami has converted her front yard and her back yard entirely to garden (and weeds), except for maybe two square metres of grass for the BBQ. She's also making good use of nearby public land - the fanatic gardeners in Vancouver do that. Tami has fruits and vegetables which I've never heard of, growing in profusion. Plus some that I do know about, which are quite tastee.
CoC was good friction except for the first move with polished feet. Past that, you can just stick yer toes in thee crack so it doesn't really matter. I think the first finger lock got a little higher so Tami might need a trampoline or stepladder now.
The roof pitch at the bottom is prominently in view from the early pitches of Angel's Crest, making one wonder. Thanks for explaining what is going on with the gear there. Congratulations on getting out with Marc.
Mh2- Luke related a story that Mark told him about one of the upper pitches which goes on all hooks, so Mark decided to leave it that way, and run it out hard... Maybe Luke or Mark himself could elaborate..
Solo- Nice photos! Re: Your question about anyone wanting to climb with you on your thread... You seem like a talented and eager climber, and i'm pretty sure I could take some awesome photos of you soloing high up on the Chief... But, I question your risk assesment, based on some of your posts on SC and here, and some of my conversations with Eric.
I don't discourage people taking risks by any means... I take them myself all the time.. Every risk I take though is a calculated one.. I consider the outcomes of the situation before I put myself at risk. I am by no means perfect, and have made many mistakes in my life, which I try and learn from.
Anyways.. If we were to hang out, It would be nice to know that you were gonna be around for awhile.. I don't particularily like losing friends...
Luke- Sic pic! Nice to see you like that g12.
The gang got out to the Bluffs on sunday.. I got out late, because it was a rest day from my snow addiction and I was enjoying a peaceful morning.
I arrived just in time for Luke's Redpoint attempt on Jangling Balls Wall
He was looking pretty good at the crux..
But, Gravity is sometimes inevitable..
I hitched a ride on Health Hazard
Kyle Koroll Photo
It was a beautiful semi-sunny Feburary day... Amazing for Squamish :)
Eh, maybe I need to have more of a close call in order to actually figure out for myself where I stand. It can take me a lengthy bit of time to break out of my comfort zone in some sports, but with climbing, I never really had an issue with it. I feel fairly confident on the rock, which is probably why I don't consider risks as much as I maybe should. I just caught on really quickly, and then sort of ran with it.
Either way, I wouldn't mind climbing with you and Luke..... you can decide for yourself if I am an accident waiting to happen. I don't think I am, but then again, I'm biased ;)
Just don't judge me based on what Eric says.
I also haven't been climbing much recently. Taking advantage of the spring snow conditions...... been awesome up the North Shore Mountains.
Edit: Don't worry, I plan on being around for a while. Also, JBW looks like fun; what's it go at?
Nath's a good bloke, I'd give him a shot, even if he did wuss out on going aiding with me...there might be others like that too..;) I'd climb with him over that other chap who was mentioned :cough: :cough:!
Nath, where are you sliding on the North Shore? I do a fair bit of BC/night skinning...you?
BTW, I have hung with Nathan on the rocks a fair bit, never really tied in but been around him a lot. While many of the points raised may be factual, he is a perfectly decent human being. If he was around in the 60's he would be admired, however there are too many other climbers around today to behave how we want (damn it!). Just give him some guidance, he surely has the point now!
Haha, aiding scares the crap outa me still, but I'll give it a shot. We just never set a date or anything..... then the snow hit and climbing has kinda been off my radar since then.
Fish - I've been riding Grouse mostly, as I have a pass for there and their park set up is sick (I'm a park rat).
Also, thanks for the vote of confidence; I appreciate it.
Mike - Looking forward to getting out for a day with you at some point, but I'll probably be keeping it fairly low until the end of March - after Showdown. Gotta practice!
Edit: Fish, I'd love to do some BC riding, cept I don't have snowshoes or a split :(
The most spaz fall I have ever seen anyone take was by Bear Breeder. He was trying something too hard, wobbled for a while, then did the most awkward reverse dive ever. His feet stayed on the wall and his head skyrocketed downwards and ended up headfirst VERY close to the ground. Who saved him? Our man Nathan. Who cruised it smoothly afterwards? Nathan.
I'm not one to start taking sides, but some of the sh#t that came out of Bear Breeder's mouth was embarrassing. My wife and I were rolling our eyes at the comments he made regarding females, his jokes online also reflect this (like his post 2 above me). He also made comments about me running it out too much I believe (my mrs overheard him).
Point is, Nathan is harmless. He has pissed me off a few times soloing near me while leading, but I just said what I thought and he got the point without being taken back or upset. Yeah he is a little scary, but damn he is confident and strong, he just needs some direction, like most of us!
-Hey you, bear phucker... Enough with callin out natedogg on stupid sh#t, we dont want to hear it... if these so called newbs cant decide what is safe for them they shouldnt leave the house let alone learn to rock climb.
As for you fish man, I get the point, I've been called out.. I'm down to get on a wall with you the end of next week; thursday/ friday?
Edit: this is not a thread for accusation, this is a photo and stories thread, and as a self appointed moderator I hereby prohibit bearbreader and soloclimber from telling stories involving one and other.
a romantic valentine's getaway?
a frothing wide gash of rock that spits out pebbles onto belayers' unattentive noggins's?
the best climb in the bluffs next to the garden formerly known as Hot Cherry Bendover?
I love the Slit. I found it way more challenging climbing outside of the chockstones, close to the edge. It was way too gooey on the inside. MH2 has a good pic of it somewhere back in the 1970's forum. My unburly kneecaps took a mild beating on Tuesday.
Hey all, I never said anything about anyone in this thread. I got what I needed out of the other one and that was that. I put up some pictures here, thanked Fish for having my back, fini.
Eric - For making it sound like you are so eager to be done with me, you sure are making an effort in continuing to call me out.
Also, I would appreciate if you kept personal things about me to a minimum.
Not that I have anything to hide, but you've already posted my name and multiple pictures of me - I don't know where the line is drawn, but the phrase 'invasion of privacy' comes to mind.
Edit: I hadn't seen that picture before, but damn I look good ;)
At Relic, Tami and MH - I tried the Slit sometime last November I think, inside the chockstone. Made it up to the top of the chimney, couldn't figure out where to go from there, so climbed back down.....
I got on both of these chimneys pictured in the upper left the other afternoom, also very fun chim chims.
-the big one that starts at the bottom was fun stemming for the first half and bush wacky for the second half...
I then proceeded to Tr the left Chimney looking thing but it turns out its more of an offwidth, there aint no gettin in side that thing.. But the was a few rather enjoyable steep finger locks to get there!
And finally the most eastern of the pennylane chimney quartet:
Relic; I find the slit to be rather painful near the chock stone, but quite pleasant but exposed on the outside.
Any body know who bootied the BD #3 that was left there last summer, it disappeared over the winter..
On the topic of wideness and chockstones would any one have a pic of YPLS that they would like to share?
Edit; Ghost I think that photo of Blazing Saddles has already appeared in this thread..
Also that Bearphucker line was a quote from super troopers.. so dont get your panties twisted
And for any one who cares to watch a little video of yours truely along with my interior accomplice Sean Barrett shredding powder with out bindings and drinking excessively head over too http://vimeo.com/35877953
the funny thing is i was actually gonna restrict you from amswering BK, i know its an easy one for ya.. But are you sure thats joffre peak on the backround or is iit matier? Man i donr feel like such a loser no being the only one who checks the forum before 930
spent a great week in Whistler last week. sure it wasn't blower pow but great alpine skiing conditions. the aussie coolie had some wet slide action on Sunday. we toured out to Joffre lakes one day and out lazy boy area on Cayoosh on Monday.
driving past squamish on Tuesday got the climbing jones going again. gotta come back up for climbing and mountain biking. there were a few folks on the rock on that last sunny day.
Once again your every wish is my command.
I think that Bruce is trying to yank your chain [or more likely mine] when he says that YPLS has been fully bolted. No way. However he did add a single protection bolt and a bolted station last year, to this 46 year old trad/gear route, without asking permission from the FAists. After several requests by both FAists to remove the single bolt, he agreed to do so, but to my knowledge has not. If you head up there please take a wrench and a hammer, and chop the protection bolt. Also please review the bolted station, and chop that too if it is just there for convenience, not necessity. You can tell from the angle of her arm that Mave has finished the squeeze section, and is now cruising the phat. Today this [3rd]pitch is rated 10b, although we gave it a solid 5.8 Good times indeed.
Hamish you have a serious archive of photos dont you! One a day please :D..
I'm still extremely intrigued in the other hamishs (HF) legendary solo of Uwall, allegedly he reached the dance platform in one day; did you guys leave a ladder of pins, or did he hammer his own? Any information on the logistics of the solo in question would be way cool..
Bruce you are most certainly a sh#t disturber.. On a serious note I'm keen to come remove your convenience bolt if you havent kept up your end of the bargain yet..
Heres a Kieran Brownie photo of me soloing;
This is Kierans first time rope access photoging, I love this photo so much!
I'm still extremely intrigued in the other hamishs (HF) legendary solo of Uwall, allegedly he reached the dance platform in one day; did you guys leave a ladder of pins, or did he hammer his own? Any information on the logistics of the solo in question would be way cool..
Yes, amazing solo. The first ascent party didn't leave a ladder of pins - they were cheap guys. The only pitons they left were a very few that they couldn't remove.
Triconi or hamie would any of you have any pictures of the FA of Uwall?
Nate dogg; unfortunately i have a dislocated rib right now and will not be making it to the grouse allnighter this year:(. I went the first year they held it and it was unprecedented. Wicked good time!
Aarrgghh me hearty. Layback? In your wildest fantasies..... But take heart, there's no need to grovel-IF IF IF you have good technique. Then it's a very sensual experience. That's not a compressor up there, it's a mini-fridge which we left for the convenience of others. Where's Jason Kruk when he's needed?
+3 in town, -3 at the hill. There's a good base, but unfortunately we have had a long dry spell. Not the world famous, knee-deep champagne face-shots-all-day pow which we're accustomed to.
Lots of pix of U Wall etc, but if I post them all here, then there will be no need to buy Anders' book later. Ha ha.
So you're telling me he led and cleaned AND HAULED everypitch on mainly hand placed gear, to the danceplatform, in a day. Extraordinarily Bold, not to mention efficient. The definition of hardman!
Was he born in the pardoe hut or something, where and how did such a young chap learn such rock craft skills...
Its hard to imagine (for me anyways) having such a large cliff to play on at such a young age. Having grown up in the only rockless province, PEI, and not being introduce to rockclimbing (by Big Mike) until I was 19 years old.
Hamie I'm gonna buy Anders' book regardless if its just word for word of his 70's thread.. I know you got some throwaway photos.. YPLS looks tight and thats not even the squeeze part you say! What kind of camera were you packing around in the 60s?
Sorry - I'll try to get back to the origins and development of climbing in the Little Smoke Bluffs later. The "other things" I'm apparently supposed to know something about. Not starting with Satan's Slit, as it happens.
There are many interesting boulder problems in Murrin Park as well as a 70 ft cliff on the NW shore of Browning Lake called the Sugar Loaf, which is a favorite practise area. There are also many good problems to be found among the boulders at the base of the W wall of the Chief massif. The cliffs on the E side of the town of Squamish also make excellent practise grounds.
Who said it, when?
What implications has it for later historiography?
(Sorry, tricouni and hamish not eligible to enter. And it's Mutch, not Multch. Sheesh! His photo of YPLS in 1965 is awesome!)
Eh sucks about the rib Luke..... I put my shoulder out halfway through the season two years ago and that ended the year for me..... not fun.
You didn't really miss anything though; the snow was nice and soft, but the weather left some to be desired. Snowing at the top of the run, raining halfway down, and clear at the bottom. Goggles couldn't be worn cause they were fogged to hell, but you got endless sh#t in the face riding without them.
Jim when you get further up the coast north of Powell River there's no real soil, just moss a couple of feet deep growing on the rock with trees growing out of it. When there's a landslide the whole thing rolls up like a magic carpet and exposes the bare granite. Talk about wax jobs, I've seen cleaned strips 100m wide and 800m high all starting from one little windthrown root wad. Scrubbing the f*ck out of Crap Crags had nothing on that.
We weren't THAT cheap. We DID leave the hangers.
Good luck. Nervous?
I had to smile at the Mr. part of your Mr. Multch. It's usually hard to get any respect around here.....
That reminded me of a day at the Banff Film Fest, a while ago. During one intermission someone approached me and asked, "Do you have the time please, sir?" Sir????? That really hurt. Later the same day they showed a short film about something in the Valley. During that intermission I overheard several people discussing whether Yosemite was in California, or in Colorado. That hurt too, but in a different way.
I've never messed around with writing in but always enjoy reading all the squamish stuff. Just to set the story straight, I did solo U wall; pretty junior-aged, 14 or 15. I didn't take a hammer or pins; to make sure I'd climb it clean. Seemed like a big deal then; chocks and friends were all the rage. Not wailing ever-larger holes in the rock was pretty hip too. I wish I'd made it to dance platform in a day but not so much. I bivied on the ledge (and in a crummy hammock) at the base of the second to last pitch. Thanks to everyone that writes in friendly stories which I was a part of. That was, and still is, a great group of people; and all that granite made for some meaningful friendships all around.
O.k., had another beer so I'll fill in some of the blanks of that day on U-wall. Just a quick (funny) story regarding the approach. I was staying at Joe's house on no-name rd. so figured I'd better get up pretty early as I was walking to the chief. What with being completely broke and a year or two off a driver's license, walking was the mode. So I head out at around 3 a.m. to allow lots of time to walk to the chief. I'm out there, walking down the very quiet hwy., holding my thumb up to any car that happenned to pass. No one ever stopped. Finally a car pulled over but it was an rcmp. I had all my gear in a canvas mail bag, slung over my shoulder, so the cop figured I was running away from home. I had to open up my bag and show him the gear to get him to believe me. He did, and promptly drove me right to the base. I didn't own a headlight or anything remotely connected to dark trail-hiking, so I had to sit on the old road for a long time to wait for light to arrive. Never-a-dull-moment.
Wow, I'm extremely honoured read your response Mr. Fraser! Your boldness and determination is certainly admirable, to this day and beyond. I got on the first pitch of Uwall the day after I got my first etrier and it took 4 hours to lead and clean the first pitch... 1 day or 2 you still must have been charging that shit!
Its pretty amazing how gnarly you guys(and gals) got back in the day, many climbers are still striving to ascend lines you pioneers were doing 30+ years ago.
Compared to say skateboarding where the average skateboarder today is significantly better than the average of 30-40 years ago.
Welcome, Hamish! (How are we going to tell them apart?)
Maybe we should have a HH (Happy Hour) before, during or after Tami's performance on Thursday. The Eldo prancers will be very jealous.
The quote about 20 posts back is from Jim Baldwin's guide to the Chief and area, written IIRC in 1963. The first guide to the Chief.
- There are also many good problems to be found among the boulders at the base of the W wall of the Chief massif.
The start of bouldering at Squamish, in 1962 or so. Including what later got called the Black Dyke boulder.
- The cliffs on the E side of the town of Squamish also make excellent practise grounds.
Sounds an awful lot like the Little Smoke Bluffs, doesn't it? But climbing wasn't supposed to have started there until 1973, on Alexis. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser - perhaps hamie or tricouni could comment.
And then there's the mystery of when rock climbing as such, on the cliffs we now think of as Squamish, actually started. The official date of the first technical route was South Gully, in 1957. But there is more than a little circumstantial evidence suggesting an earlier date, even if it led to no conclusive result, and wasn't recorded or remembered.
Hamish F- Welcome indeed! Thank you for expanding on the U-Wall legend, as always the real tale is much more interesting than the fable. I hope to hear more tales of your adventures if you are interested to share them.
Bmacd- Thanks for the heads up, I look forward to hearing Tami speak and meeting those in attendance on Thursday night. Sounds like it's gonna be fun.
kid- I wish I would have known climbers earlier in life myself, and I grew up in BC but didn't start climbing till I was 22..
Oplopanax- You are intriguing me with your pictures.. Would love to come check it out for myself one day..
Hamie- I would be interested in checking out the "Convenience bolt" with the kid when things dry up... Maybe I might even get a few photos of YPLS while i'm at it.
Tami- Just in case you missed it the first time, here is a pic of Relic for you.
See ya Thursday night!
I got a couple new shots last weekend when I went to Big White with my beautiful girlfriend and my sister. They have a 60 foot ice tower there designed and run by Jim Ongena.
Big White Ice Tower
Me low on the tower
Sandra Topolay photo.
My beautiful girlfriend swinging
I never expected this thing to top 500 posts. Nice work people!
my fave Hamish Fraser quote is the one from Gripped? some climbing mag, anyway... wherein he talks about the time (days) it takes to whore yourself out at a tradeshow to potential sponsors in hope of a free rope or pair of shoes vs. the time it takes (hours) to work at a good paying job to buy the same things :)
I never heard Jim B nor anyone else ever mention bouldering, let alone engage in anything remotely similar. It is perhaps significant that the paragraph on bouldering is the last one in his guide. He may have added it as an afterthought. Perhaps he meant "There are many 'potential' problems to be found...." He would have been well aware of the small amount of bouldering which was practiced in Camp 4 at that time.
Likewise I never heard anyone mention the possibility of climbing in the Bluffs. Less than a dozen climbers, including our American visitors, had the whole Chief to ourselves. We rarely ventured past the apron or the south gully. There was no incentive or necessity to seek out small crags and smaller boulders. I believe that it would be incorrect to say that bouldering, or interest in the Bluffs existed in 1962, or even in 1967.
Perhaps Jim B noticed that there were promising appearing bluffs across from what was then downtown Squamish, and noticed that there were boulders scattered around under the Grand Wall, and projected possibilities. Although Big Jim says he did scramble on (probably) the Black Dyke boulder. And it was somewhat prescient of Jim to think that way.
I'm not sure what development there was on Bughouse Heights/Hospital Hill/South Ridge, or indeed on the east side of the highway, in 1962. Not much, probably. (Valleycliffe apparently was originally Skunk Hollow.)
My guess is that the photo is from the new crags about 40 km up the Squamish Valley. Does look a bit like the top of the buttress, but seems too broken and featured.
I would think these guys are sitting on top of heatwave. Not wanting to beat my chest too hard but that is a great pitch. True story there is Chris Wild spent a long time scrubbing that pitch into perfection, but couldn't quite lead it. I ran into him one day in Sqaumish and he told me about his beautiful, clean, long, should be a classic, route. He said to have at er. We did, and it was stellar. But it was Chris who should get the credit as he probably got some tendonitis from doing such a great scrub job. It seems to me Squamish has done very well from Chris's hard labour over the years; with hard-fought routes everywhere. Everyone should buy that man some beer.
I have myself have experienced what a difference Kris has made to Squamish. I climbed Calculus crack sometime before he cleaned it, and remember there being *a lot* of dirt and moss back then.
Not to mention the new starts, which were still hidden in those days.
Kris, if I ever see you at the bar I will gladly buy you a pint or two...
What's your new 5.11 called again?
Ok.. I promised a story for that photo...
That was an early June day last year. The Canucks were still in the playoffs and me and Kyle and Nina thought we could do a three person ascent of the buttress with my half ropes, and still catch the game. On a weekend.
In truth, Aislinn should have been with us that day to make two parties, but I mistakenly thought she was going with Luke.
We got to the Apron parking lot late, and talked to big Jim for awhile before we got going.
We decided to Trimul Bananna Peel to save time, but stopped at the ledge above the crux to offer Nina a quick belay.
As we passed a party at the water solution pockets, the belayer asks me "What happens if you guys fall and you aren't connected to anything?". To which I replied "We allways try and make sure we have at least a couple pieces in between us". She looks up and says "Are you sure about that?".
I glanced up at Kyle, who was running it out to pass their leader, quickly slung a tree and called up, "Hey Kyle can you please put a piece in?".
After topping out the Apron things went pretty smooth until we hit a roadblock at the first pitch of the Buttress.. Three parties ahead of us with the roadblock being a party of three who were struggling with the one hard move on the first pitch.
I wish I had known about Relics variation that day! We decided to wait and one party in front of us bailed so things started moving along not bad. The party of three bailed left to the buttface at the boulder, and we were off to the base of the buttress pitch.
When I arrived to the base of the headwall, there was a girl flailing to make it to the piton on the 10c pitch. I set up anchor and brought everyone up. Nina and Kyle arrived just in time witness the leader take a 20 foot whipper at which point she decided to lower and have her partner finish the pitch.
We heard a yell emerge from above and looked up to see Luke and Aislinn sitting at the Heatwave anchor waiting for us.. Luke had climbed the Buttress with a different partner and Ais hiked up there to meet him. They must have sat up there for a couple hours at least.
Meanwhile the other team had made it back to their highpoint and this girl is flailing at the top too. She mentions something about "The guidebook says it's 5.9 if you aid the pin". "What guidebook have you been reading?" I replied?
Eventually she flails up it and Squamish cheered! It was as if they could see her, but we knew it meant that we had missed the hockey game.
When we finally got on the 10c pitch I managed to climb clean to just below the piton, but whipped as I lost my footing, and scrapped to the anchor in decent time. Kyle followed and then we threw his rope down to Nina so she could have both half's for her toprope.
We got to the top and had a quick saftey meeting with Luke and Ais, then headed down before things got dark.
BTW Thank you Sonnie for your Buttface variation. If not for your efforts that party of three would have been in front of us too!!
Luckily Jim Baldwin and I did not have to fight any crowds or line-ups on the 2nd ascent.
Here's today's quiz. Who wrote this, and what were he/she describing?
"The rock is often poor, the cliffs covered with bushes, and the cracks filled with dirt and moss; blank areas will require bolts."
MH and Nails are welcome to respond.
We want everyone to stay off it till we retro-bolt in stations and protection, it's presently extremely unsafe to go up there as we we forced to do a lot of simul-climbing once we committed to the face climbing on the pillar from the last natural belay stance. No protection, no belays.
"Do Not Attempt to Repeat this route until further notice"
When I first looked at your post, about 5 minutes ago, it was rated at 11b. It is now shown as 12b. That is a very rapid grade inflation--even for Squamish!! Remarkably reasonable indeed. The Pillar of Perfidy more likely.
Hamie, the bad news is we broke most of the major holds on the first ascent, due to the friable nature of the flakes which comprise the face climbing. It's likely the second ascent party will encounter 5.13 - 5.14 difficulties.
I didn't want to sandbag anyone too badly, hence the grade inflation.
Presently we are sponsored by
38921 Queens Way, Squamish, BC V8B 0K9
(604) 892-9006 or (604) 892-9004 (Fax)
to go back this summer in 2012, and with the use of one of their comprressor drills, to retro bolt the route, and in doing so, provide indisputable proof, to everyone, we did the first ascent in 2011.
Kris, if I ever see you at the bar I will gladly buy you a pint or two...
What's your new 5.11 called again?
Hot damn!I like the sound of that!
Are you referring to the route to the left of the Upper Black Dyke? If so, it's called Grand Finale. 5p, 5.11a
Hamish, thanks for the kind words. Remember the alternate name, Uncle Hamish's Wild Ride , after I mistook you for Val's uncle at the rec center! Ha!!
For those of you who are keen, I'm looking to (possibly with help) re-buff those three routes again this spring, then stash a rope in a dry bag up there so we can charge up there after work and run laps with a soloist. I've got a long way to go before any laps will be charged, but if the rope is there... The routes are Heatwave, Gemini, and Progress Can't Wait for those unfamiliar with the spot.
This would be a good time to let you guys know gf and I scooped a new line last fall that joins U-Wall at the tree. It went at a remarkably reasonable 5.11b
WTF?!?!?! Seriously?!?!? Wow, talk about the unplucked gem. I haven't heard about that one.
EDIT Hmmmm.... United Rentals is out of business, and there is nothing but blankness over there. Not even April 1
Climb mossy cracks and slab with good pro at base of the pillar overlap. Follow slab/arch left to where weakness is breaking right to dyke. Now a Left facing groove allows movement back left to discontinuous face holds which gain arete at a large ledge with good natural gear for belay on the left side of the Pillar. Climb crack from ledge to undercling position and reach to high to gain face holds right of arete and using the very positive feeling arete edge on your left, establish one handed layback and then ascend this slightly off vertical feature to another very good stance at the base of a scoop, in the top left of the photo, which presents you with the crux pitch.
Pitches 3, 4 & 5:
From the base of the scoop, begins the hardest face climbing of the route, which is probably now, slightly harder than the face climbing on Grandwall. Stay on the right side of this highly featured groove which forms the pillars buttress. Climb under the mini humpty dumpty block on right before starting traverse to join the slabby crack protected catwalk. At the end of catwalk move left to surmount difficult face climbing which turns the corner into U-Wall at the tree.
Click to enlarge.
There are plenty of face holds on the pillar, you just can't see them when you are standing in the parking lot looking up. Take your bolt kit, as we left no traces of passage.
Well, if you like free beer, and you like scrubbing, just come down to Seattle for a visit. We'll provide the beer, and lead you to the scrubbing.
When I moved down here I was worried about how I'd feed the scrubbing jones I'd developed over twenty years at Squamish. Little did I realize the extent of moss and dirt and tree roots that would be available to me here.
HF is correct. Jim is starting the final headwall section. He is still below the little pedestal. This is where Big Mike got cluster-fooked on the w/e. Sorry I assumed, wrongly as usual, that everyone would recognize those twin cracks.
For those of you who are keen, I'm looking to (possibly with help) re-buff those three routes again this spring
I was planning on giving at least one of them a bit of a scrub at some point this spring for the point of top rope soloing it..... Nice to know I'm not the only one. Let me know when you plan on doing it, and I'll see if I can make it up and lend a hand.
Wall of Attrition is really good ...
Also the crack systems on the Drifters headwall are prime targets yet to bag the second ascent. I remember Robin working on Ghost Dancing. Symmetry Pillar does need a bolt ladder to be established. Still some fine pieces of art left on the Chief everywhere. Lots of potential in that U-Wall area for the current local talent.
I heard that Wall of Attrition was called Wall of Nutrition by some people due to the oatmeal like consistency of the rock...... That might have been posted on Squamish Climbing actually.
And Relic, the three routes being referred to are those .12- cracks up to the right of the Buttress crux pitch.
I have not done the upper pitches of Wall of Attrition, only the lower part including the long corner system. Back in around '96 I think, we did it pulling on the pins style. I don't think that lower pitch was freed back then. The memorable pitch for sure was that long corner with the undercling finish. I've read horror stories about the upper pitches, but maybe they just need some vigorous scouring?
I would like to type in a genus-loci story but that route is 5 pitches and we were (of course) bolting on lead. We did rap the majority of the pitches to scrub them but this seemed unavoidable. We wanted the big adventure, John Bachar-style. Needless to say, all those guys like Gordie Smail, Niel Bennet, etc. had put up the Squamish test pieces in ethical style; out there bolting on lead in their Robbins boots. There's no way we ever would have done anything to belittle their amazing efforts. Of course it felt a little like cheating to be hanging there scrubbing. Usually we'd be in our runners and we'd make an effort NOT to be working out the moves in any way. Unfortunately the moss and lichen weren't coming off on their own. In fact, on two of the pitches (that's 40%), we went a different way (than we had scrubbed), once we were actually out there, leading and being terrified. The final pitch was as good as it gets... no rapping, no scrubbing, first try; nice, clean granite. So that route took a lot of effort and I'd have a tough time keeping it short. I really don't want to bore anyone to death or make them wish I never wrote into supertopo. Maybe a compromise; I could write a little story about one of the pitches and see how that goes over. If everyone yawns and starts checking when the next Canucks game is, we'll call it good. How's that sound?
These kind of stories are what I enjoy most about this place!
The historical threads are great.
As for "Wall of Nutrition", I always called it that, didn't know why... thought I made it up! I have reccommended this route to many, minus the Upper Pitches. It's a great outing, in a cool place. The 11 + bit is short and well protected. Bet it's a candidate for a retro fit, that route. (B anchors).
I for one am super-interested in the story of Genius Loci. Catalan and I only knew it as a route in the guide and a picture of gf on p4 in Canadian Geographic back when it took the piss out of us. It was a very good feeling, though.
Go for it Hamish. Almost everyone here likes to hear FA stories like those.
As for the name Heatwave, It came from an uncharacteristically long bout of dry weather that summer. I was barely working and remember waking up to day after day of bluebird skies and 25-30 degree celcius temps. (that's hot for you yanks) I think there was about six and a half weeks without precip between mid July and the end of August. We don't usually have to take rest days because of being climbed out, the weather usually just supplies plenty of them. I have a funny note in an old logbook remarking on how after ten straight days of climbing I just had to take a break because strange things were beginning to hurt.
That's when I scrubbed that line, got my ass handed to me on it, then gave it to Hamish, who climbed it with GF and others the following week. The night after giving it my best shot, I awoke in agony to both forearms cramping simultaneously. Curl your fingertips down to your wrists until it cramps for a fun experiment. It was the only time I've ever had that happen.
They were so excited about it that Hamish went back with the Gambler (John Rosholt) and scrubbed the other two lines. I believe the attempted use of a wire wheel in a cordless drill led to the name Progress Can't Wait. Gemini was in remark to the beautiful twin cracks on the right which you had to switch between half way up.
Progress Can't Wait is the crack branching off from the Buttress crux pitch 15' up. It's the one just to the left of the dead tree in the photo. Heatwave is the next one to the right with the person sitting at the top. The thin crack in between would be VERY hard, if possible at all. The top of the two Gemini cracks are just visible to the right. It starts on the right one, and finishes on the left one.
Well, if you like free beer, and you like scrubbing, just come down to Seattle for a visit. We'll provide the beer, and lead you to the scrubbing.
Thanks for the offer, but I've got my hands full with the jungle up here!
Another story of Progress Can't Wait is that during the scrubbing the queue at the base of the 10c complained about bits of lichen and all coming down on their heads, and John Rosholt replied, "Progress can't wait."
A group of us went for a beer after Tami's presentation at VIMFF last night. Jim Brennan, gf, bmacd, MH, tami, Tami's husband and daughter, and Big Mike and wife. Big Mike is indeed big - as in, well over 2 m tall, or about 6'7" in American. The kid cormier was at the show, but couldn't go out afterward.
Photo later, perhaps.
And, speaking of new lines, not long ago we did the outside edge of the Split Pillar. An intriguing, balancy layaway climb. As with the gritstone edges, protected by gear in the cracks to each side, with double ropes. So there's no bolts or anything.
Also, wish I could have made it up the the party last night, but had to work fairly early this morning, and it just wouldn't have been reasonable. Was it good? I hope to make it out to the final night tomorrow.
Relic- Damn buddy I shoulda sent you a PM! Sorry guess I spaced that one. Although I did make mention that I would be attending well in advance :)
Last night was super fun indeed. The presentations were excellent with Tami's being extra funny.
Afterwards I attended the first Squamish Ethics and Morals committee to be held at the Sylvia Hotel. A wide variety of Ethical and Moral dilemmas were discussed over many pints. Then a mysterious philantropist covered the bill 7g8f?. (Many thanks BTW)
It was certainly nice to meet you guys!
I wish I could make it down for tomorrow nights show, but alas powder priorities prevail.
Hamish f- I bet you couldn't write any more boring stories then my mundane ones... In fact I'm pretty sure based on what you've written so far that they would be pretty epic and well worth the read.
O.k.,hope this isn't too long. Sorrry if that's the case. The first pitch of genus-loci took 7 bolts and 11 attempts. Some days were pretty disheartening as we couldn't make it to the bolt wed'd drilled the day before. It was Peder and I working on this pitch and the Bear was in his element; less than vertical and keep your weight on your feet. I think he took the first try and managed to fire in the first two bolts without too much hassle. His arms were bigger than the drill, so he didn't have too much trouble operating it above his head. I remember getting pretty flustered trying to gain some decent stance to drill the third or fourth bolt Nothing much for your feet there but a nice diagonal rail for your fingers. I got a hook to stick, but only for a pull at 4 or 5 o'clock. Pull straight down and the hook just falls off. I wrestled a couple slings onto the hook and put my foot in it. Out I'd stem, sort of, right foot in the sling, left foot on the face, hold on to that rail with the left hand, and start hauling/drilling that bolt with the right. Not too bad. Completely thrashed from that bolt placement, we left for the day. I'm pretty sure the next time we tried, neither of us could even get back to that bolt. Days later we were back for more thrills. Peder climbs right up there and is just cruising. We can both see an obvious ledge, of sorts, coming up and we've convinced ourselves we'll be standing on that perch drilling the next bolt. Unfortunately it's a ways up a faint corner to get there. The Bear starts making his way up, climbing as well as ever, pretty run out but he's holding it together like a champ. Oh yah, this is what we came for. Suddenly he stops and contempltes his position. "too runout, downclimbing!", he said, cool but concerned. Oh man, I'm thinking this is not looking very good at all. It's going to be Bears in space and it's looking like at least 30 or 40 feet. I'm looking at my belay and thinking how rough this could be and somehow he pulls it off. He downclimbed to the previous bolt and lowered off. I figure if he could downclimb that then I could. I went up, lucked out and got right up to Peder's spot. Then I got pretty scared and thought about downclimbing, but didn't think I could pull it off. I set my sights on that little perch and plowed up there. By the time I mantled up onto that hold, it was feeling quite runout. I hauled the drill and hammer up and managed to sink that lovely little 3/8 in there. Phew. The next bolt I got to hang off a nice size left hand hold and even have a couple of crappy cams or r.p.s in behind. If I'd actually weighted those pieces, I was pretty sure they'd just rip out. A little higher it blanked out except for one little nub coming out of the rock. I could see it but boy, was it up there a ways. Will Stanhope, where were you? I suppose 21 years ago Will wasn't very tall iether. I recall being on some fair holds and launching up the slab for that little nub. I missed it and took a lengthy fall. That was it for another day. I'm quite sure our next attempt ended poorly; couldn't even get to our high point. Oh well, good things take time and we were convinced this would be a classic. I guess it's not a classic (as it turns out) but we sure got our money's worth. Our next time hiking up I remember thinking it was a waste of time taking a haul line up with me on my first go. As if I was making it all the way back up to the sixth bolt. We talked and figured I may as well go prepared, just in case. I led on double ropes, both clipped through each draw. This way if I actually made it, I could potentially pull one of them through all the clips and drop it down for Peder to tie on the drill and hammer. Meanwhile, he has me on belay on the other rope, still through all the clips. Oh yah, we always had a plan. To both our surprise and shock, I made it, first try, right back up there. I couldn't believe it, here I was, back up at this massive reach, a little runout. Crazy, but typing this in, my hands are sweating, 21 years later. Things got a little tense for a bit. Anyway, I gave it everything I had and launched for that little nub. Got it! Damn, I got it! I quickly mantled up on it before soaking in the distance to the last bolt. Now I'm standing all on my right foot, because that's about it for holds, and my leg is shaking. Oh mumma, the thought of standing on the right toe and pulling one rope through all those clips, getting the Bear the end, hauling that crap all the way up there, then keeping it together to actually drill the bolt, was overwhelming. I'll see if I can make my sentences shorter on the next stream of consciousness. :) I only had 10 or 15 feet till the belay ledge but that last bolt was so far beneath me. I remember thinking if I didn't get a bolt in there, no one would ever do the route. Then I recall thinking what a massive fall it would be if I blew it. I'm just balanced there, on that right toe, and it's shaking; of course. Like our 8 yr old son said the other day...AWKWARD! I guess this was more of what we came for. The Bear took me off with the one rope, I pulled it all the way through those clips, he tied the drill and hammer on and away I hauled, teeth and hand. My poor leg just kept on shaking throughout the ordeal but somehow I managed to pull it off. Now that I clipped my good lead rope through the bolt, my leg mysteriously stopped shaking. Funny how that goes. I blasted the last 10 or 15 feet, which felt very easy, what with that bolt there. Huge relief for both of us. I really loved that about climbing, the mental burn combined with the physical challenge. I'm very sorry if that was too long; I'm completely new at this.
Best post I've read on supertaco Hamish! Wow, total epic adventure getting that pitch established. Involuntary leg shakes of fear, I can imagine how hard that would be to hold your sheet together. Man o' man. It's amazing how you've remembered all the details so well. You must have not taken the brown acid.
Yes Genus Loci is a classic. Not a well travelled classic, it's a well respected and feared classic. Only a handful of climbers have the nuts to go for it. You and Peder were the cream of that small crop.
Saugy, yes that was thekidcormier up on Wrist Twister. He got half of it fixed before it started raining rhinos and llamas. Love the wet coast.
Hamish, that was great. I love reading about the history of Squamish - I've gone through Anders' thread two or three times.
Looks like it was a fun time last night, again wish I could have made it out. Relic - were you planning on going tomorrow? I live downtown as well and might make the trip over..... Still playing it by ear.
Very intense, very interesting. Doesn't explain the missing hanger on the last bolt, except that maybe that one wasn't yours. I went a little too far left under the final small overlap before stepping up when leading and used the karma of a rap line from a party descending Merci Me p2 to haul my way up the last 10 feet. Much later when coming down from Merci Me p2 I top-roped the line and found a zig-zag in the overlap that made a good foothold and made the finish doable for me. The technical crux the second time seemed to be getting to and past the first bolt, maybe 'cuz lichen was coming back.
A memorable pitch for me, too. It took a lot of attention. I really like the story of putting it up and the way you wrote it. Many thanks.
O.k.,hope this isn't too long. Sorry if that's the case.
The first pitch of genus-loci took 7 bolts and 11 attempts. Some days were pretty disheartening as we couldn't make it to the bolt we’d drilled the day before.
It was Peder and I working on this pitch and the Bear was in his element; less than vertical and keep your weight on your feet. I think he took the first try and managed to fire in the first two bolts without too much hassle. His arms were bigger than the drill, so he didn't have too much trouble operating it above his head.
I remember getting pretty flustered trying to gain some decent stance to drill the third or fourth bolt Nothing much for your feet there but a nice diagonal rail for your fingers. I got a hook to stick, but only for a pull at 4 or 5 o'clock. Pull straight down and the hook just falls off.
I wrestled a couple slings onto the hook and put my foot in it. Out I'd stem, sort of, right foot in the sling, left foot on the face, hold on to that rail with the left hand, and start hauling/drilling that bolt with the right. Not too bad. Completely thrashed from that bolt placement, we left for the day.
I'm pretty sure the next time we tried, neither of us could even get back to that bolt. Days later we were back for more thrills. Peder climbs right up there and is just cruising. We can both see an obvious ledge, of sorts, coming up and we've convinced ourselves we'll be standing on that perch drilling the next bolt. Unfortunately it's a ways up a faint corner to get there. The Bear starts making his way up, climbing as well as ever, pretty run out but he's holding it together like a champ. Oh yah, this is what we came for.
Suddenly he stops and contemplates his position. "too runout, downclimbing!", he said, cool but concerned. Oh man, I'm thinking this is not looking very good at all. It's going to be Bears in space and it's looking like at least 30 or 40 feet. I'm looking at my belay and thinking how rough this could be and somehow he pulls it off. He downclimbed to the previous bolt and lowered off.
I figure if he could downclimb that then I could. I went up, lucked out and got right up to Peder's spot. Then I got pretty scared and thought about downclimbing, but didn't think I could pull it off. I set my sights on that little perch and plowed up there. By the time I mantled up onto that hold, it was feeling quite runout. I hauled the drill and hammer up and managed to sink that lovely little 3/8 in there. Phew.
The next bolt I got to hang off a nice size left hand hold and even have a couple of crappy cams or r.p.s in behind. If I'd actually weighted those pieces, I was pretty sure they'd just rip out. A little higher it blanked out except for one little nub coming out of the rock. I could see it but boy, was it up there a ways. Will Stanhope, where were you? I suppose 21 years ago Will wasn't very tall either. I recall being on some fair holds and launching up the slab for that little nub. I missed it and took a lengthy fall. That was it for another day.
I'm quite sure our next attempt ended poorly; couldn't even get to our high point. Oh well, good things take time and we were convinced this would be a classic. I guess it's not a classic (as it turns out) but we sure got our money's worth.
Our next time hiking up I remember thinking it was a waste of time taking a haul line up with me on my first go. As if I was making it all the way back up to the sixth bolt. We talked and figured I may as well go prepared, just in case.
I led on double ropes, both clipped through each draw. This way if I actually made it, I could potentially pull one of them through all the clips and drop it down for Peder to tie on the drill and hammer.
Meanwhile, he has me on belay on the other rope, still through all the clips. Oh yah, we always had a plan. To both our surprise and shock, I made it, first try, right back up there. I couldn't believe it, here I was, back up at this massive reach, a little runout. Crazy, but typing this in, my hands are sweating, 21 years later. Things got a little tense for a bit.
Anyway, I gave it everything I had and launched for that little nub. Got it! Damn, I got it! I quickly mantled up on it before soaking in the distance to the last bolt. Now I'm standing all on my right foot, because that's about it for holds, and my leg is shaking.
Oh mumma, the thought of standing on the right toe and pulling one rope through all those clips, getting the Bear the end, hauling that crap all the way up there, then keeping it together to actually drill the bolt, was overwhelming. I'll see if I can make my sentences shorter on the next stream of consciousness. :)
I only had 10 or 15 feet till the belay ledge but that last bolt was so far beneath me. I remember thinking if I didn't get a bolt in there, no one would ever do the route. Then I recall thinking what a massive fall it would be if I blew it. I'm just balanced there, on that right toe, and it's shaking; of course. Like our 8 yr old son said the other day...AWKWARD! I guess this was more of what we came for.
The Bear took me off with the one rope, I pulled it all the way through those clips, he tied the drill and hammer on and away I hauled, teeth and hand. My poor leg just kept on shaking throughout the ordeal but somehow I managed to pull it off. Now that I clipped my good lead rope through the bolt, my leg mysteriously stopped shaking. Funny how that goes. I blasted the last 10 or 15 feet, which felt very easy, what with that bolt there. Huge relief for both of us. I really loved that about climbing, the mental burn combined with the physical challenge.
I'm very sorry if that was too long; I'm completely new at this.
now that I see pics. of dogs and some people are talking about those cracks to the right of the tough pitch on the buttress, I should inject a quick story which combines both. When my gorgeous wife, Val, the famous John Rosholt, and I were scrubbing the last one of those cracks (gemini), we spent quite a bit of time on that nice big ledge. We still had our little dog, Eddie, in those days and that little guy was always keen to come with. We'd hike up and rap in to that ledge for a few hours of scrubbing and lounging. Eddie joined us and was right at home up there. So one day we're hanging out on the ledge, we're messing with scrub brushes and gear and little Eddie is cruising around, probably looking for chipmunks. He's 18 lbs., jet-black, no collar, no leash. A couple is climbing the butress right underneath us and the girl is leading the little pitch that gets you onto the big ledge where we are. I'm right there, watching as she pulls up, ties into some manky tree, shouts off belay to her hubby, and settles in. Sudddenly Eddie walks out from under the salal and checks her out. Wow, did she ever yell. "What the hell is that?", she screamed. Oh, don't worry, I told her, that's just Eddie. God bless Eddie and God bless John Rosholt; both total stand up beings that are missed dearly. More on John later...
Really cool thread.....Wow, Genius Loci..... What a line, what a story!
Thanks for sharing. My fingertips were sweating after reading that.
What do people think about when comparing Genius to the
Bachar/Yerian? Could be the Squamish version for sure. Very cool that there are routes like
that around here put up in that same awesome adventurous style.
Bare with me, I'll get it. I thought these were just quick and silly stories; didn't realize we're actually writing. I promise to take more care with the next one.
Sometime I'll write (in actual paragraphs) the story of Eddie whimpering because I was so convinced my hook was about to fail.
I was drilling off a useless hook, convinced it was about to pull, at which point it was likely I'd hit the ground, and there's little Eddie whimpering away on the trail.
Great bond, that dog-human thing.
We named that route Everyone's a Guide. Couple of sh*t disturbers, the Bear and I.
Great story about Genus Loci. Man, more than any other, that was the route I wished I had been able to do before I left Canada. Don't worry about the length of the story - or rather do worry about the length - it needs to be longer. If your fingers are sweating at the key board you know you're on the right track. Such a cool thing about that level of intensity - it's just burned into your memory. Remember the U Wall flashbacks ? I know you do. How even years later we'd be at some noisy party, look at each other and laugh cause we'd both be thinking the same thing, both of us back up on the wall.
Such good memories of Eddie as well - more pluck than a dozen dobermans though I doubt he really thought of himself as a dog.
Look forward to seeing you guys next time I'm up there.
Oh yah, lots of important memories from climbing U wall with you. Thanks for the positive feedback on my little story. Haven't heard too many complaints so far so I'll make an effort to keep going.
Off the topic but Greg just recently told us about Pee Wee. I'm so sorry for you guys. Pee Wee was incredable and so loyal. It's been 5 or 6 years since Eddie died and I still miss the little scrapper. They really do turn into Family members...say hi to Karine for us.
While we're momentarily on the subject of freeclimbing U wall, 30 years ago, (gulp),it's funny to look back and remember how preoccupied and tunnel-visioned we were.
We were all, as usual, staying at Joe's place on No-Name rd. Joe was the only one really working, therefore the only one renting a house, and he had a lot of friends; like it or not.
That day we actually climbed all the way to the top of the chimneys, free, we probably got dropped off at the base by one of the very few climbers that owned a vehicle.
Later on I'll do my best to type a story about that day.
Funny thing was, we had no plan to get back to Joe's place. I remember sitting on that ledge, on top of the roman chimneys, eating oranges with Peter. We were just giggling away because we'd just free climbed the whole wall. We were looking out to the north, towards Joe's house, thinking, boy,that's going to take a long time to walk there.
That didn't matter in the slightest...nothing could blow our buzz at that point. We walked and walked, into the dark, and eventually got there. No cars, no bikes, no money; classic.
Now that I live in Squamish (and have forever, it seems), and rip around in my truck everywhere, that distance looks huge. 30 years...crazy.
Oh I'm actually doing very well, thanks Tami. As long as I get lots of sleep, keep moving, and ride the sh*t out of my mountain bike, the inflammation seems to keep at bay. Sorry to hear about your back. Lifting Dean and Els's girl while drinking red wine won't be doing those bulging discs any good. :)
O.K., cold stella in my hand; ready for pitch 2 memories.
There isn't too much to write about pitch 2 of genus-loci. It's a pretty short pitch; a little up, a little down, and some traversing thrown in. It only needed 3 bolts and I think the first one went in nicely off a good ledge.
Peder and I had our other partner in crime along, Mark Gandy. Three of us, lots of down jackets and touqes, and lots of laughs. I'm thinking Peder drilled that first bolt and then it was Mark's turn. Mark was a really good climber; a little more so when following. On the lead, he would get a little frightened sometimes.
So, off goes Mark, clips that first bolt, does a bunch of downclimbing and a little traversing and gets himself crouched on a ledge. He's looking very awkward and starts asking for the drill.
We ask if he plans on drilling a bolt there and he barks out YES! We suggested standing up (to maximize the bolt placement) and he'll have none of that. Looking increasingly tangled over there, Mark continues on to haul the drill over and somehow gets the bolt in.
Wow, he pulled it off. The Bear and I were pretty excited; looked hard over there. Mark lowered off and now it was my turn.
I climb over there and stand up on the little ledge. The bolt is somewhere at my knee or waist and I look over at Mark for an explanation. Poor guy, just too gripped. It actually worked out allright, the climber sure wasn't going to be getting any help from the rope being above them for a move or two.
I made my way up and drilled one more bolt off another one of those "hooks pulling sideways with my foot in a sling" stances. Then there were a few funky moves up to the station, but nothing like that first pitch.
We were pretty proud of ourselves; the whole mini-pitch went in one effort.
That wasn't the case with the third pitch; beautiful face climbing up to a tough finger crack. Free climbing right out there to the left of the left side of the pillar. Canucks game starts pretty soon so I'll bore you guys with pitch 3 details later.
I asked around after Catalan and I gave it our go and was told, "Most people just go for p3 without doing 1 or 2." Catalan was good for 5.13 and p2 gave him trouble. It gave me quite a shock seconding. It was our education in Hamish F.
Hamish himself is, of course, unable to give an objective opinion of the climb. Speaking as an objective type, I like Hamish's ratings acumen. It is unexpectedly old school for such a youngster.
Actually I am having fun writing these stories.
That third pitch was the big one and I got so pumped drilling most of those bolts that we came down after each one. Only once did I manage to drill 2 bolts on one push. Other than that, it was a bolt per day and, like the first pitch, some days we couldn't get past the previous day's bolt. Then we hit the finger crack and it got tougher. I'll try and squeeze that little story off tomorrow sometime.
Hi Tim :)
Wow. Loving the FA stories! This is why I started this thread...
I hope I did not offend you Hamish F by posting a punctuated version of your Genius Loci story, but I had to do it for myself simply so that I could read it anyways, (as I sometimes lose my place in such a large text) and thought that others might appreciate it as well.
Peter Croft- Welcome sir.
It would be very cool to hear the tale of U Wall from both your perspectives!
Because we were so concerned with ethics in those days, and I still have concerns in this area, we wanted our adventure to be as pure as possible.
My first attempt on that big pitch, #3, was with Bruce MacDonald. Bruce spent a lot of time in front of a computer so was easily talked into this outing. I was so full of myself and so impressed by the Californian climbers who established hard routes on the lead, I figured we’d just get up there and start freeing this great looking pitch.
I’d never actually done 10 years after but I knew there was an old bolt ladder leading up to a face crack. Anyone could see that. I remember Bruce asking me what the plan was and me answering how I’d scrub a bit, clip those bolts, scrub some more, and soon I’d be at that killer face crack.
We got ourselves positioned on the slab, right underneath that beautiful, steep wall and I racked up. I reached up from the gentle slab angle and found some old piton scar to lay away on. I pulled up and wow, this was steep stuff. I clipped a crummy fixed pin and posed there, in the layback position, looking up at this daunting pitch. Boy, this wasn’t soloing around the desert all day and then spending hours at the desert hot springs. This looked horrendous. All those bolts looked old and terrible, quarter-inchers with more rust than my worst vehicle. Furthermore it was dirty, really dirty, and that face crack was now looking a long ways up there. I think I stood in a sling, or etrier, for a while and realized I didn’t have a hope in hell of doing this. Unfortunately this wasn’t Tuolomne, or Yosemite, it was the northern rainforest and the moss and lichen was velcroed to the granite. That was it for the first attempt, totally humbled and rapping to the ground. Sorry Bruce.
A month later I teamed up with Peder and we were getting pretty psyched. The Bear was living in Whistler and was ski-patrolling there. It was nearing the end of the season so he was keen to skip a little work and hitch down to Squamish for new-routing. One day he got picked up by his boss, Brian. I’m not sure if they talked much but Peder had a rope over his shoulder. I’m pretty sure that was the year Peder received “employee of the year” award from Whistler Mountain. Classic.
We wanted to climb this thing so badly we were willing to compromise our ethics a little. We’d have to rap in, scrub it clean, and yank all those useless bolts. Then we’d go to the bottom, armed with drill and hooks, and see how it went.
We’d always known exactly where the belay at the top of the hard pitch would be. You could see it perfectly whenever it snowed. There was a choice ledge, partway out that dyke which connects ten years after with the left side of the pillar. It had to be eight inches thick and five feet long. Total no-hands-ledge, that spot had belay written all over it. We needed to put a station in there so we could rap down and scrub the hell out of that hundred feet of rock.
We had a definite ethical problem with this approach as we were about to spoil the whole “on-sight, solve-as-you-go” experience. We didn’t think we had much choice, no one else wa