Hey Big Mike - You look like you have the wingspan of an albatross :-) .
When did the first part of Sentry Box rate 5.10???HAHAHAHAHAHA We usedta call it 5.8. C'os it IS ! Grade-creep!!!!
Yes I was in on the FA of Kangaroo Corner. I named it that. Don't recall why. I wanna say Rolf R was with us too. He posts here as well. Maybe he remembers better then I do. It was - and is - a pretty short route but with some long reaches IIRC. I also think some of it fell down or it was modified and it got harder. But I might be wrong. 30 years have passed more or less since we did it !
We used to hang out at Nightmare Rock on rainy days too. Weed play (pun intended ) on BDO and GDO and what you call "barn door flake" - it wasn't named back then . Rainy day topropin' or aid climbing fun.
BDO was where we rigged a massive fall for David H ( posts here as Ghost ) for a telly commercial the summer of '80. Perry B, Peder O , Peter C all were in on it. David was spozed to fall about 25' and wound up going 50'.
IN a Whillan's.
Or should I say <affected little girl high pitch squeal> snicker!
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.
When, not if you get to Yosemite, do the Steck Salathe. It will burl you out like a salmon spawning up the Fraser River.
Do you have a problem with standing around in etriers ? 'Cause if you don't there are lots of BIG climbs that can be tamed down to 5.9...5.10 with ledge party overnight opportunities.
The Nose, done in acceptable style is mostly one big 5.10 hand crack with some pendulums, easy aid and hauling thrown in. Wall climbing is fantastic and helps anyone to get all the skills for a good time no matter what you do.
Go to Reed's, The Cookie, Arch Rock and have a ball.
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 :)
Any one for another photo?
Kyle leading Finger Fist and Hand at One Toque Wall, Smoke Bluffs
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.
kidcormier - I'm pretty sure Peter & I started up what used to be called "3 Night Route on the Malemute" noted in Smaill's guide as having been first done in '71.
I have no memory of the right facing lower part of OHO. That doesn't mean we didn't do it; I simply don't recall following it. But nor did I follow the final pitch..........which I'll explain.
I don't know who named "Meare's Island" ; I suspect it was Kevin. Lots of climbers at Squish, however, did work as loggers and so it could well have been someone else.
THe upper pitch of OHO we did in the winter. It was cold and the day was short. We got to the base of the final pitch & Peter went up to free it. Pro was sketchy - this was before any cam-type stuff or RP's. He worked his way up the thing and put in some final piece of pro and set off for the tree at the top. And disappeared out of my sight.
Later he told me what had happened ( and also later on I saw the upper part of the route )The route was not clean & there was a lot of lichen. He ventured out from the last piece he put in and encountered some hard climbing. He was gripped and it took what seemed like forever to gather the courage to make those sketchy dirty final moves well above his pro towards the tree.
For my part, I was on a hip belay , down below and slowly congealing as the sun drifted towards then behind the mountains to the west and the rope didn't move but I didn't hear anything. I assumed Peter was still on lead. The temp dropped and I was underdressed for the effort. The rope would move a little and then go slack. After what seemed like hours, the rope shifted out from me and I heard a little 'off-belay' and then Peter lowered back into view.
We rapped from there as darkness fell.
I don't recall how hard he said it was. It was certainly hard. And epic! I simply froze my ass off.
Afterword - kidcormier - are you Acadian? Cormier is an Acadian name :-)
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.
The Rocky mountain Express.
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:
Overly Hanging Out
-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.
how deliciously appropriate that meares island is now thick with alder!
Meares island was a reference to the battle for Clayquot sound between Loggers, Mac blo and the Government on one side and Greenpeace, hippies and grandmothers on the other. The malamute Meares Island held mature timber at one time. Chief could shed more light on this as wel as straw line and Loggers are people too.
While you guys are there, see what you can do with a wire brush and saw - those routes are worth bringing back to life!
edit: loggers are people too was long forgotten Tim Auger Aid route (hot Licks) that was revealed through some selective foliage thinning. Its now a really fun 10c but probably needs a little scrub
That big flat lump looks like The Table but I can't figger out from which angle. SO I suspect it ISNT the Table. :-)
If it is, not many ascents c'os the descent is totally dodgy. Total fckin choss ; one report said they rapped from a rock bollard on top. Yikes.
As for the Cling PEaches wall - that was Robin Barley who started the excavation of it. Peter and I came along as he was getting into it and scored a couple of the routes. "Agonal" came much later on & we had no part in it.
We used to cross the pond on some logs which had been slung there I think by Robin. There was a ladder attached to the wall - I think from when they were building the railway. That gave the best access to the wall. I named Cider Crack 'cos I like cider ( still do ).
It was 32 years ago we did those routes so my memories of them are foggy. I do remember Peter leading Old Style with sox over his EB's c'os the route was wet & he'd heard that Joe Brown - the British climber - donned sox to climb wet routes. haha.
As for adding bolts to stations ? It's always controversial to add bolts to anything for any reason. But this seems - SEEMS - to me to be a good reason. The access to the crag from the tracks is verboten........and I suggest climbers honour that or risk losing all access to the crag. DOn't f u k k it up for others. Rapping in to a stance seems like a good idea but only if there IS NO NATURAL PRO.
Too often bolts go next to cracks for convenience. Better to put in gear.
Just my 2c.
You guys can PM me through my ST acc't if you wish.
And Luke ? The history of the Acadians is very well documented and you, as a Cormier, prolly can find a ton by checking out some of the genealogy sites. I know the PEI Acadians got there after the deportations in 1755 but they were further deported around 1780( Doing this from memory here so not sure of the date ). 700 were lost at sea when 2 ships sank enroute to France. Look up Acadiens & Ile St-Jean and you'll find a ton of really interesting - and often sad - stories about your ancestors. You are, by the way, prolly a distant cousin of my own kids . My ex was Quebecker of Acadian descent. Different name then yers.....
The hippies won the War in Clayquot and if you are a recent transplant you may not be aware that exactly the same war and result occurred here in squamish, in the upper Elaho. This was a mere 15 years or so ago and the beginning of the end for squamish as a full tilt boogie red neck blue collar town. Now all the big logging shows, saw mills, pulp mills, bc rail ops, etc have left town with the resulting cataclysmic demographic change you see today.
I say cataclysmic as an entire long lasting and proud bunch of people got the shitty end of the stick, as so often happens under such rapid change. I generaly think change has been largely for the best but you may notice that some locals disagree, judging by some letter to the editor in the local rag! To a degree you can hardly blame them as thier sweet big bucks jobs have gone the way of the dodo, replaced with Walmart and Home depot. Anyway, logging pretty much built this place and this history can be seen in the nomenclature of some routes here, like Astro logger or Strawline.... funny how they're all Beckham routes!
Interestingly enough, Blackcomb mountain at one time had most of its ski runs named with various logging terms, then the bloody marketing freaks decided to disneyfy the place and started renaming everything with more palatable language that city folk can groove on. Apparently "Hooker" was just a little too racy for them. Thats what you get when a bunch of money crunchers with no history run the show.
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.
Tim, i totaly agree. those were mere battles really and it remains to be seen who wins the war.
I'm not being derogatory in my use of hippies, quite the contrary. In fact I suggest that if the blue collar community had actually joined forces with the greenies things may have turned out more favorably for them. Its all about power and maybe winning those battles was nothing but a divide and conquer loss.
Bruce beat me to it ; I was gonna post that the hippies won the battle but lost the war. But we all have lost that war what with the Wall St banksters and their Ponzi scheme economics.
It's funny to read Bruce's note and consider that some folks don't know about Meares Island. Recently I was talking at work - I teach kids - about 911 and one of the kids said "what's that?" and I gave a brief explanation of airplanes and buildings and the child had never heard of the event. The kid was about 10 or 11 years old. Not old enough to remember but.......you know.....figger someone would have told the creature....
As for rapping into a gear anchor - if there is gear then do it ! It's easy. Put in the station and clip on in. Good quality commitment in a rap-in ! :-D
IT's really too bad the train authorities had to shut down all climbing on the lower Malemute. I mean, it's understandable really - lots of folks wandering around on the tracks would make me nervous if I was drivin' one of them big engines. Gnarly. Remember the great pic Kevin McLane took of the Fish on Clean Crack with the Royal Hudson going by? Both those things are gone now, eh?
I think you mean the pic of Hamish taken by The Bear. Is there one of Fish as well?
Also, the problem with logging in Squamish is.....They cut down ALL the f*#king trees ! Remember the year after year constant train of logging trucks heading to the mills and Woodfibre belching out the lucsious brown cloud ? Climbing in the summer used to be just one big brown fog out with the delicious smell.
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,
History is a fantastic tool, but is often co-opted and corrupted into propaganda. As far as logging goes, Its was an incredible economic engine in this province. But the fact is that it was also the architect of its own demise, just like the colapse of the cod fishery back east. Such fantastic potential squandered. You can either learn from the facts or keep believing the liars.
Luke - there's a really really really really stupid thread that keeps getting bumped to the top of the forum list. There are a couple other really stupid threads that also float up to the top........like ghastly poo loaves that just won't flush.
This is a great thread about climbing and many of us who have chimed in on it - Ghost, Jim B, Bruce K - have known one another for over 30 years. And it looks like Bruce might be out climbing with your bud Big Mike as I type these words. Now THATS what the StuporTorpid SHOULD be for instead of that other [DELETED AS UNMENTIONABLE] stuff . :-)
Indeed Bruce Kay's mum was friends with my mum back in the 40's when they were at UBC. Or something like that.
And Jim yer rite about the shot of the Fish. It was on the underfling of that climb :-) also rife with controversy hahahahahaha. Oh, the drama of it all.
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.
The treeplanters adopted the word hi-baller & used it the same as logging ops. Any of you in addition to the new relic remember gyppo logging operations?
For my opinion, it is really too bad that John Clarke passed away prematurely. It wasn't just that he was a great climber - the work he was doing towards bringing together loggers and enviros was seminal. Nobody else had drawn together the loggers, FN & the protectionists. His slideshows and camps on Sims Ck were very homespun and grassroots.
But to get this thread back to the climbing :-) someone upthread asked if we cleaned routes out. Damn straight we did. Did some major logging on the crags. And digging out rocks, dirt and scraping off moss. I have a Chouinard hammer the pick of which has gotta be an inch shorter then when it started. And it wasn't busted off either - ground down on granite it was.
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.
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?
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.
My buddy Will on some bolder problem i can't remember. The Infamous lurker Kyle spots.
Credit: Big Mike
Relic- Super sick pic of U-wall!
Jesse tries to pull the lip while Jay spots
Credit: Big Mike
Oplopanax- Sick road rash! Good work, very nice photos!
heh.... nice spotting guys. reminds me of a friend showing us the bouldering circuit in Icicle creek back before bouldering pads. We all had beers and cigarettes but usually put them down to try the problems. Our guide was also our spotter, but the reality was that when ever we fell off, he never once spilt his beer or dropped his butt
I think we should take up a collection for Sprock and see if we can find him some help or maybe a publisher
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.
considering the ah, mandatory altered state of consciousness required for those initial north wall sessions, the blurry photos are appropriate and representative. In fact, I think Sonnie Trotters recent north walls article in Alpinist alluded to it ever so subtly. It sure explains the tights anyway.
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
Tami performing circus tricks while on our August 2011 fishing trip @Pitt Lake
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.
Hahahhaaha......Bruce posted that pic. Damn but he did smash his camera.
That was a fun trip!!!
Back to rock - what route is the pic that saugy (sp?) posted on the previous page. It looks fabulous. Most of the recent pix are of routes I don't recognize !!!! :-)
Dave the Old Cow on Caboose? Now that would'a been fun to see. I have to post, however, it seems odd to me he'd have any trouble on Caboose c'os it frankly isn't that hard :-) . And Dave has climbed MUCH harder and WEIRDER.
Its been so long since I have been there but I remember that climb as one fun climb.
Just a question for you locals is that camp ground still there on top of the hill as you drop into town? It was on the right side of the road.
The first time I went we stayed there. I just remember loosing all sense of time in that camp. We would sleep till noon and climb till 10pm. Just a great place, you all are very lucky to have such a gem. I always wished Donner was bigger more of a Squamish. Dreams we all have em eh!.
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
Thanks that trip changed my life. I spent three days at the Dead in Eugene, Oregon then hit Smith for a week then Squamish for a week and then Index and then Levenworth then Grand Teton then City of Rocks and then home.
That campground was as crazy as the parking lot of a Dead show. I loved it there. Regrete I never got to climb the Grand Wall on that trip due to the rain.
Had it not rained I would have stayed for at least another week.
We had 7 days of great weather then one night it started raining and well you know what happens when it rains there. For a desert rat like me I had not seen that much rain in two years let alone one night.
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"
Anders did the FA of Seasoned in the Sun. Some of the more nefarious elements among us , ahhhh, renamed it "Anders Bum". :-) Tee hee. It wasn't me.
Astronomy was Kevin Mclanes name for the route. Someone else did the FFA which may have pissed him off. :-). I have no idea who those people might have been. :-) . Kevin, who hails from Newcastle, UK, owned a dog at the time.
:-) But what would I know ?
Mike - there was no reason to it other then being naughty. Mischief. Of the playground beast type. Anders was fun to terrorize then - as he is now. Although he had built fewer toilets in 1978. Kevin M ? Well.........that guy din't build many toilets but I daresay he's slung a lotta sh1t.
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!
Relic - get thee south!!! Yer brain's turnin' to puddin'.
Luke - the "ask Tami" thread? Giggle , snicker. Better to just PM me. :-)
Or post it here and PM me if I don't respond. You know? Something like that. Then the Mighty Mutch can chime in too. HI HAMISH!!!!
I still remember receiving a lovely letter from Hamish, ohhh, 20-ish yrs ago, when we still used stuff like "pens & paper" to communicate. It was nice c'os you could read ( or not :-D ) the handwritten words someone had put time into producing. ANYWAY........he asked for me to send along a copy of one of my silly comic books. It was lovely to hear from one of Squamish's pioneers. Yey for those upon who's shoulders we stand.
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 from Tami Knight.
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.
Speaking of remembering...if i recall correctly I owe you 15 1979 dollars. You sent a cheque for a subscription to a climbing news rag that a few of us put out for about 12 issues titled "The R and R News", short for "Rock and Reefer"; god knows what we were thinking as our adventures in herb culture were pretty damm tame. At any rate being a bunch of self professed teenage hell raisers, of course safely coddled in suburban bliss, we figured it would be a hoot to cash your cheque, spend the money on beer or possibly "leafer" and no-one would be the wiser. Except for the fine gentleman whose money we took and received no issues in return. Ah youth. If I am lucky I may be able to persuade an old friend, Stewart Wozny, to see if he has any surviving copies I can scan and post. Should our paths cross, I do believe dinner in inflation adjusted dollars is on me.
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.
Cobra crack is on the backside trail izzin't it ?????
I wrote about this crack in my journal - the Red Book - as a day in early December, 1981. I noted the wx had been ghastly in Nov. A bridge had been washed off the Squamish hwy and 10 had died as a result. The story further says we carried big packs up the trail to the crag - mine filled with warm things and Peter's with the big rack. I made a nice nest at the base of the route and he nailed the thing. There used to be a tree growing right where the where the drip-line of the wall was. It was chopped ages ago. I sat down and belayed him and drew pictures of trees ( art school homework). He got to where the tree was and rapped off. He was really enthusiastic about the climb and hoped to free it and call it "great white north" after the Mackenzie Brothers stuff that was popular at the time.
We had a total epic after that - instead of going down ( we were early ) , we decided to head over to (thecragformerlyknownas) the Squaw. But we sorta screwed up and , in a headlamp-free zone, wound up crawling our way back down the backside trail and making it home just as my parents were considering their options.
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".
Bruce and I were near Dance Platform on Uncle Ben's. It was my lead so I set off with wall loads on and Vasque Ascenders for shoes. They were kinda like cowboy boots for climbers, great for standing around in stirrups, not so great for free climbing.
So I slithered off head first with a diver's belt of iron on, snapped my wrist into a zig zag shape on the way down and landed in Bruce's lap.
The rest they say, is history:
(blunders while climbing can hurt you!)
@ 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.
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...
Good job on ten years after -i was a bit surprised to see so many fixed pieces on the expanding pitch-times change i guess.
In regard to the NL -that is a good one although some of the rivets may need replacing, a lot of the later were "carrot heads", filed down machine bolts. Don't forget mustard for the wennie roast on lesbian ledge.
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?
^^^^^^^^^^^ No, we didn't hang out with RB ^^^^^^^^^^^
He was married then and had kids who were school age & he was also busy working at the hospital. He did , however, log plenty of time at Squamish ( wonder how he fit it all in, eh? ) Hmmmm............. :-D
I spent a lot of time at Squamish in those days too and most of it with Peter.
So occasionally we connected with RB to climb but I can't say it was often nor did we ever "hang out" with him.
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 disagree with you about mentors and history. You know who you climb with and near to at Squamish now. You know what they're doing, what they're climbing, and other OT stuff about that which makes it all the more interesting. As time passes, "stuff" remains behind which becomes "history".
When we were all climbing at Squish 30 yrs ago we were not making history. We were out for a good time with friends . We were trying on our lives. We were figuring out our future. We went climbing because we loved to do that. Eventually we scattered to the winds. SOme of the stories stayed behind.........and now those are what they are.
IN 30 years things will have changed another thirty years. Y'know?
Don't worry about what you may or may not have missed out on.
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.
Craig T, Peter & I ice-climbed Diedre BITD. The story I wrote was published in Bruce Fairley's anthology of Cdn climbing stories "Canadian Mountaineering Anthology" ( highly original name, wot ! )
We sure weren't the first to do it. I doubt we were the last. It's a bit sketchy & there were several pitches I was sure glad the boys led. The first, led by Criag, which was a spatch of ice about 2 m out of the corner on the W/Lightening slab so he had no protection for quite some time. Craig finessed the pitch as I recall.
Peter also told me of rope-soloing W/Lightening and this would have been around '77 or '78. He had no problems with the first three pitches but on the long run-out of the fourth pitch he got only so far and found his solo-system (knots and whatnot ) wasn't really working well because, well, there is no protection at all on that fourth pitch.
So he was somewhere out there on that slab and he let go of his solo-system so the rope hung in a long loop down the slab and back up to the treed ledge ( at the end of the 3rd pitch ) and he just kept heading up hoping that he wouldn't fall c'os it would'a been a loooooooooooooong one.
'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.
There used to be a stout angle driven up into the crux of Neat and Cool. Many fell on it and by some miracle of physics it held tight.
Then it was removed. By a falling leader or the hand of purity, I don't know.
A bolt was placed where traditionally a fixed piece (the pin) used to be. This was just wrong! it seems, so the bolt was yanked. Now there is a Tuolumne style serious climb in the middle of a novice klettergarten.
I think this situation deserves a hard look at the fatuous nature of ethics in climbing and the real results of bone and tissue connecting with a granite landing.
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...
Precisely. Saved by the swamp. She was slung out based on mechanism but walked out of the clinic.
Julia Taffe, Still doing the vertical dancing stuff I believe and recently married to Colin Z.
OK enough slab stories.... One terribly busy sunday morning myself, Julia and KFR headed up to do the grand via left side. First thing we see is a guy rope soloing apron strings in a manner that set the tone for the day. He'd gun up 20 feet of shakey lie back, desperately struggle a cam into the crack and just in the nick of time slump onto it in a quivering sweaty hyperventilating mess. He'd hang there, recovering and psyching, then with steely eyed determination feed himself another loop of slack and launch out for another go.
We raised our eye brows and abandoned the scene for the Flake backside trail. Once there we proceeded uneventfully up to the left side belay. We never saw solo man again but he was replaced with the usual sunday swarms surging up the wall like an invading army via various routes all aiming for the same split pillar.
KFR fired the left side then Julia floated it plucking out all the gear. I braced myself for battle - then totally surprised myself by pissing up it with hardly a sweat. Emboldened, I assumed I was experiencing one of those ephemeral but glorious "honed" moments and claimed the lead. Up I go . After the first couple of jams my euphoria starts to fade under the onslaught of lactic acid in the forearms. I manage to scrape through the switch to the right side and quiver my way up and into the crux bulge. Clock ticking and no longer able to deny reality any longer I look at the piece at my waist and let go with resignation. Down I go.....and go.... soon I'm really sailing and brace myself for the approaching ledge, but ever so softly the rope slows me to an eventual perfect landing.
A little miffed, I lash myself to the Split pillar anchor, apologise to the suddenly retreating right side party and bring up Julia. She explains that a moment before my flight KFR advised her for some inexplicable reason that what I really needed was a whole pile of slack. 3 seconds later, Julia who weighs about 20 pounds, is mysteriously being lifted up off the stance like some stage stunt. All this and rope stretch seemed to adequately explain how a 2 footer turned into a twenty five footer.
The day was starting to feel a little wierd so I insist on down. By the time KFR shows up the ledge is a little crowded with another right side party and the rigging is a bit messy. Too many chefs in the kitchen, I stand off at the ledge edge in a dark funk with crossed arms while Julia organizes retreat. I'm not really paying much attention, thinking more about beer and a nice quiet place to drink it, but suddenly I find myself looking curiously at the cluster in front of me.
"Hey.... I don't think I'm clipped in any more"
There is a frozen moment where everything stops and all eyes zoom to the belay. My hand shoots forward and grabs some anchor. Julia is aghast, apologises profusely and clips me back in. The moment passes and with greater determination I lead the way to the ground, splitting the upward surge like Moses parting the Red sea
And thus ended another typical summer sunday on the grand
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.
Yes, Relic, as others above have testified, it was Julia Taffe. And she is the artistic director of Aeriosa Dance Company. They do vertical dance both on crags and buildings.
They do interesting work at times a little heavy on process but, for the most part progressive inasmuch as it's art. I personally like what they do but I have to admit I saw one show they did that left me cold.
Respectfully, as BK noted above and the accident ( she had tossed the rope over a boulder and it pinged off ) , Julia had a reputation for being a little cavalier at the crag.
Grace Wong, however, was 21 at the time of her death the summer of '91 ( It could have been '92). She was also really tinky although much shorter then Julia. Grace worked at MEC and I remember her being full of life and passion for climbing. She died jugging a line on the headwall of Pangranitic. She didn't have a backup and the rope was running over the edge. As I said - very ghastly.
We had a wake for her on Psyche Ledge. Big Jim Sinclair was quite broken up about her death. He always had a soft spot for us girl climbers. He wasn't a creepo - he just loved to see girls out pushin' the limits. And Grace was beginning to do that. Jim told me she reminded him of me.
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.
She wanted to be a wall climber. She tried very hard and wanted the knowledge others had. There were some awkward conversations about hauling, copperheads and tying off pins. This kind of communication wasn't so much about arcane knowledge as about mutual insecurity.
It was the early 90's, when cultural censure was strongly in favor of bolted face climbs and aid or gear climbing was seen as retrograde by the majority.
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.
A partner and myself were one of the first people on the scene after the Exasperator tragedy. We were having fun climbing Rutabaga when we heard a prolonged sliding noise followed by a horrible scream from a woman on the ground,
I asked, what was that ? "I think something bad just happened" said my partner. We rapped and tried to help but there was no good in it.
Regardless of what a person is or isn't while alive, this was a scene where everything could be done by the deceased's friends and the rescuers from one human to another.
It was horrible and I wish the pig headedness that prevails about identity in climbing would take a back seat to people being able to get home after a day at the crags.
Technical knowledge is for sharing. So share it if you perceive something wrong is about to happen !
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.
Yes Fluffy Kitten is worth a visit and the road is now ungated and 2WD. Tiggers is good as is Cat O Nine tails. A bunch of other stuffs looks really good.
The ice climbing is superb ..... when you nail it right, which is tricky to say the least. Tiggers and Cat have so far been the most reliable lines but there are some serious other lines for those so inclined. Sledding up the road helps trim the approach.
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.
The Fluffy kitten in winter.... a love and hate relationship. My batting average is about .368 and its not for lack of planning. 30 years at this game and guessing conditions is still only a little better than spinning a bottle. Last year was classic. Everything lined up including massive waterice formation on the top tier but that bubble popped on the first swing of the tools straight into froth.
Still, like a curse, I know how good it can get so i'll keep scoping it this winter, out of habbit if nothing else
Credit: Bruce Kay
fluffy kitten wall on left, big buttress on right
Credit: Bruce Kay
its still a ways up to the summit
Credit: Bruce Kay
best method of approach. Dogs and little girls optional
Credit: Bruce Kay
the modern squamish climber. Selling stock, running the business, soothing the wifes ruffled feathers, assuring the kids he'll be home for lunch and all before the first pitch
alan, flattened hangers? it could have been ice fall I guess. Then again you never know.
You may have noticed some wierd bolt stations. Funny story there. I first went up there with Perry (Chief) and wound up stretching the second pitch in a search for ice thick enough for a belay. Even after perry pulled the belay I eventually gave up and had to down climb to my last nest of gear to bail. The route was so good however that I had to go back , drill in hand. The idea was that the belays had to be bomber if the climbing was going to be runout. For some reason I had it in mind that the route belonged to Don Serl and Greg F (GF) and I was pretty sure that being fellow ice hounds they'd be psyched for getting a new mega classic ice route up and going. More on that later....
Perry went off to a bluegrass fest so I enlisted Brian Finestone. Everything went nicely and it was nice to have real belays as I never really found good screwing until pitch four. Ice covered most cracks and any sign of the existing bolts at belays. This explains why some of my stations are way above the ledges - I was standing on a couple of meters of snow!
Anyway, when I finally got around to talking to Don he had no idea what I was talking about. I looked up Tiggers in the book and sure enough there's your friend Brian Pegg as the creator. Now I started feeling a bit sheepish but when I did eventually talk to Brian I was relieved that he was not at all upset at my crime - in fact i think he was just psyched that people were actually climbing up there, summer or winter.
It certainly looks a little wierd in the summer with each belay having 2 different sets of anchors, one either off to the side or way up above your reach! Maybe someone didn't like the looks so they flattened them?
Cat O nine tails was also really good but we didn't finish to the top. In my photo you'll see a finishing column that wasn't there for us. Thats all I've done there. There is some other very appealing and futuristic stuff there for the honed and ambitious
the gate is open 24/7 for the past couple of years now. Last winter we drove to the second bridge and sled or ski from there
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
Anders, pitch in time got extended with a bit of face climbing, so its not a case of some 5.6++ crack (easier with big boots) getting ingloriously inflated out of the murky depths of sandbag yore.
Hey that coalition looks outrageous! never even heard of it! so has anyone climbed the obvious roof crack? is it a bit wide?
Also - for you guys who like that Blackcomb climbing.... you absolutely must go do the Finestone cowboy on the Darn Gendarme, up at the blowhole. It faces south east, is almost always snow free and sits in a bit of a solar heat sink / wind shelter. Any blue high presure day with an inversion and its t shirt climbing. All clips. Its as good as any pet wall route
-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!