Squamish Photos and Stories


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Mar 25, 2012 - 01:59pm PT
Bruce, Buns up & squealing is the name of a roof crack boulder problem on the side of the old highway bed, in the bouldering guide it says that it was put up by Randy atkinson in 78' -2nd oldest problem recorded in there so pretty relevant to Squamish i would think. The oldest recorded problem is the baldwin problem up by the base done in 61', he knew what was up.

Hey Chief what is weasels rip my flesh?

Saw you guys up on the grand yesterday Kris, looked real nice for sure, I was t shirt in the sun @ pet wall getting bouted on animal, that thing is tricky!

So nobody knows the first 5.11 or the first 5.13 in Squam? Was perspective maybe the first 5.11?

goddamn grunting boulderers! Jim Carrey v10
goddamn grunting boulderers! Jim Carrey v10
Credit: RyanD
hamish f

Social climber
Mar 25, 2012 - 03:59pm PT
Seems the more I embarass myself, the more people get a good laugh out of my stories. And if you can't laugh, what's the point?
Summer of 78 or 79 and I've somehow talked my buddy, Ian, into coming with me to Squamish for some adventures in rock climbing. Or at least trying to rock climb. We were coming from Victoria, and when you're 13 or 14, that was a journey.
I think we'd climbed Banana Peel and Diedre and we felt ready for the next level. Oh yah, we were rolling. We chose Snake as the next obvious challenge and somehow we both made it through the unprotected traverse without a major catastrophe. I do recall being pretty scared out there. We made it up another pitch or so and then either the climbing got too tough for us or it started to rain. I can't remember which.
We had to rapell off with one rope and hardly any gear. Ian didn't own any gear whatsoever and I had spent a couple of years building up my meager collection... a biner at a time. In fact, years later I learned I was the brunt of many jokes at the outdoor store in downtown Victoria. The staff would chuckle when this little kid would come in and buy one carabiner. They were around three bucks at the time.
We start rapelling down Snake and we're using the biner-brake system. I made it down to some tree-covered ledge and managed not to lose my biners when I pulled the ropes through them. I had spoken to Ian about not letting the biners drop when getting the rapell rope separated from them but I guess he had a lot on his mind, what with starting grade 8 or 9 the following month. He gets down to the ledge, beside me, pulls the rope through, and clank-clank-clink, there go two of my prize biners. As I only had 15 or 20, this was a noticeable percentage of my collection. We were a little bummed out, backing off, losing gear.
Tails between our legs, we hike back to the cave (grand-wall trailhead) because that's home for a week or two. The day isn't done yet, however, and I'm psyched for a mid-air rapell. Out in our front yard stood a massive steel tower just asking to be climbed and rapelled off.
That's me, smart as a whip. I'll lead up to the top, bring up Ian, and we can both do an awesome mid-air rapell back down to the ground. Hmmm, there are some power lines up there, we better make sure not to touch those, wouldn't want to get a shock.
We uncoil our rope, I take some slings and my recently wounded biner supply and start climbing the galvanized steel monolith. This things a piece of cake compared to Snake so I'm cruising right up there. Then at about half height the angle got a lot steeper but it still wasn't too tough. Wow, look at me, I'll be at the top in no time flat.
Suddenly I start feeling strangely attached to the steel structure. The electricity is coming in through my hands and leaving out my feet! Oh My God, this feels horrendous. I'm freaking out up there, stuck to the steel, my hands aren't working all that well, and I've got to get out of there, now. Somehow I managed to tie a sling around the steel and I had my rope passing through it, ready for the speed lower.
Used up a couple of lives there, one because I was too cheap to leave a carabiner and risked the rope burning through the webbing. And the other for somehow escaping being electrocuted.

That sling was visible for about thirty years. Every year I'd hike up onto that little hill to watch the climbers on the chief, look up at my sling, and shake my head. B.C. Hydro replaced that tower with a wood pole a few years ago and I imagine some riggers got a good laugh when they saw my ancient sling way up there, next to the 500,000 mega-watt hi-voltage lines. I tried to stick to rocks after that. Well, maybe a few trees along the way.

Social climber
Mar 25, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
The above story is God's honest truth. I know c'os I watched Hamish do it. And wondered if he was gonna die. HIs squeals of pain I can remember still. Peter and I both wondered why an eight year old would be climbing on the power towers. Alas for we were wrong. Hamish was about 12 yrs old.

He and Ian were camped in what can only be described as the squalid conditions pre-teens who have escaped the parental nest will put up with.

In retrospect, of course, it amazes me that Hamish & Ian's folks had the guts to let the boys do this hilariously out-there trip. Hamish had only just finished gr 7 and Ian was one year older.

But Hamish'n'Ian also tried to climb Clean Crack (5.11b and sustained for the grade ). I think it was Hamish on the sharp end. He may even have been wearing tennis shoes. He was, as I said, 12 years old.

When we arrived trackside, we found the boys lookin' pretty sheepish and both standing at the base of the route. A series of stoppers in the crack indicated clearly one of them had climbed ( and the distance of the stoppers from one another clearly indicated they were freeclimbing the thing ) over the technical crux of the route. The real crux, of course, was having steam to make it to the stump mid-height ( later on removed ).

Hamish had indeed done the crux and was goin' fer the stump. And going fer it he did.........but that steam ran out just before the stump ...or so....and he lobbed.

His heels had touched the limestone hunklets on the sides of the tracks. I think Ian had crapped his drawers Hamish would crater but held that fall.

Yep. Hamish didn't have parents holding his hands to climb very hard very young.

Some very strong climbers came from Vic. Greg F, Hamish of course, Mike B and his sister Jacqui, and Jim S. Daryl also called Victoria home and no discussion of Victoria is complete without a mention of Stu W.

Sorry if I missed anybody.

Straight outta Squampton
Mar 25, 2012 - 10:59pm PT
More great tales! I love it! Isn't it amazing some of the things we get away with when we're young and ignorant? I'm often surprised I lived past my teenage years...

Back to Hanging Gardens. I finished it today and installed the anchors. All the fixed lines are down and it's ready for your enjoyment. Remember if you're looking at the McLane guide, the route is reversed with it's neighbor Overhanging Gardens.

The first pitch is completely new. It just looked alot better and more direct than the original start which diagonaled in from 30m to the right. It's very easy to find. As you walk across the base of the Papoose, It's the first clean line you get to on the left. The detritus of route excavation will be quite visable on the ground. The route is comprised of predominantly 5.8 to 5.9 crack climbing, interspersed with short, technical face climbing cruxes.

p1. Follow diagonal finger cracks left across the wall until you can step to a higher ledge system, then exit right on thin face moves past a bolt. Belay on the right end of the large ledge below the corner. 30m, 5.10b

p2. Up the left facing corner, stepping left past a bolt into another shallow corner. Belay at the base of a V groove that angles to the right. 28m, 5.10c

p3. Up the groove, then back left in an awkward corner protected by a single bolt at the beginning. Above this the angle and difficulty ease considerably. Trend generally straight up past enjoyable face climbing to the top. 30m, 5.10b

To decend, either walk into the forest on the left and down the trail, or do three raps with a single 60m rope. There are slings/ cords on the anchors right now. They'll be replaced with chains next week sometime.


Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 25, 2012 - 11:04pm PT
scruber, you'll be happy to know me and jay got our asses whupped on the grand today!

About those power lines, some linemen I worked with a while ago had a great deal of respect for the voltage going through those lines. they had something like a 40 foot no go zone if you were grounded. If you weren't offering a path to ground, no problem. They use a little cable car to ride the power lines while their live!

Boulder climber
100% Canadian
Mar 26, 2012 - 12:21am PT
A good friend of mine from childhood times, Barry Cox, on Saltspring island, died when he was about grade 5 or 6, climbing on steel hydro power pylons. Horrific stuff ...
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Mar 26, 2012 - 12:34am PT
Bruce, I can't find your truck phone # in my emails. Please PM me the digits, I'm interested in how your trip South is going.

Social climber
Mar 26, 2012 - 12:46am PT
JIm check yer email. I fwded Bruce's number to ya.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 26, 2012 - 01:08am PT
Hmm, Hamish's story is uncannily parallel to one that I could tell, from six or seven years earlier.

Lovely day at Squamish today, eh?

This may be the unfortunately-named and therefore perhaps unlamented "Buns Up" climb. Randy figuring it out. 1978.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#242312

I need to think about the first 'real' 5.11 at Squamish - either by standards then, or now. The first 5.10d 'climb' was probably Bob Woodsworth's Slab Alley variation, in 1964 or 1965. Although it's only a few m of slab. I'm not sure when the earlier version of Clean Crack was first done - 1973, maybe. (Climb to the pod, then a few m, then grab a nice cedar.) It was hard 5.10, anyway. Brunser Overhang and Perspective, both in 1975, were also hard 5.10. Then Nic Taylor did the left side of the Pillar in September 1975, and it's given 'easy' 5.12.

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mar 26, 2012 - 01:30am PT
Thanks Kris! Can't wait to get on it!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Mar 26, 2012 - 01:31am PT
Buns Up has nothing to do with misfortune in either name or deed.

"She was buns up squealing".

In good stead, this is unfortunate for either party ?

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Mar 26, 2012 - 01:50am PT
I'm not convinced Randy did the FA on Buns Up.
There's nothing unfortunate about the name and it was inspired by the fact we inverted for a heel hook at the lip in order to reach past the flare for a funky hand jam and were listening to a lot of Zappa at the time, and I mean a lot.
Daryl and I could quote all of Dynamo Hum verbatim.
Ditto for Nanook Rubs It and Slime From the Video.
Buns Up started from the obvious hand jam in Mighty's awesome archival contribution (Randy's left foot is wedged in it).
Weasels Ripped My Flesh (an earlier Zappa effort) was the name we gave the extended sit start to Buns Up as the first couple jams were pretty raspy.
Just sayin'.

Social climber
Mar 26, 2012 - 02:21am PT
C'mon Perry, izzin't it wonderful how Anders has barely changed in the nearly forty years that you've known him :-D hahahahaha.

Bet ya still listen to Zappa.

While he's sportin' a Vivaldi.

On original instruments. :-D HAHAHAHAH!!!!!!

".......she was wheelin' and dealin'.............."

Snicker, guffaw. Any question why I got to drawing cartoons about this lot?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 26, 2012 - 07:51am PT

"and she surrendered to the feelin'...."

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Mar 26, 2012 - 11:54am PT
Another Great story Hamish, and a great sounding new route Mr Wild!

Trundle Babe dropped a big rock of the Malamute the other day;

More pics athttp://thekidcormier.blogspot.com

Does anyone wanna get on Kris new route with me right now?

Edit: I Was asking earlier about "The Unhappy Hooker" with no reply from anders, but after a closer inspection I see that you, Scrubber, had a hand in freeing the 2nd pitch, have you guys looked into freeing the first pitch? Is there any pro on the first pitch to protect to the hooking?

Straight outta Squampton
Mar 26, 2012 - 04:47pm PT
I never even looked at the first pitch. It seemed so blank that I dismissed it without giving it a chance at all. I was involved in the second pitch effort where it leaves Quagmire Crack. A friend of mine Mark, has tried to clean it and send it, but he didn't dig the crack out deeply enough. We went back together and dug it out to about 6" for lovely jamming.

After it cleaned up through a couple of rains, we went back with Andrew B. to send it. He had done the lower parallel crack several weeks earlier, and suggested to Mark that he clean up the higher one and free it. I led it first, but kept falling at the little two move face crux at the top. Eventually I got it from the no hands stance at the top of the crack, but never bothered to lower back to the station and do it in it's entirety. I think Andrew sent it a day or two later "by fair means" :)


Mar 27, 2012 - 02:21am PT
Awesome buns up photo! Thanks for the info on that one guys. As well the stories & historical info coming out here from everyone is pretty much the best thing ever & is keeping the psyche for climbing high, even with the random weather.

Was so fun to climb in Squamish the past few days, i am trashed.

Re: Malamute.

Most climbs at the Malamute may just have some of the best rock anywhere.

Overly hanging out is awesome, nice work Kidcormier.

I was wondering about another climb down there next to OHO called Strawline, anyone here done that one or happen to have a story about it??

Straight outta Squampton
Mar 27, 2012 - 02:32am PT
Never done Strawline, but Survival of the Flatus over there is fantastic.


Social climber
Mar 27, 2012 - 02:35am PT
"The oldest recorded problem is the Baldwin problem up by the base, done in '61"
Hey RyanD
I am puzzled by this claim.
.....Who recorded it?
.....Where was it recorded?
.....When was it recorded?
Just curious, H.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 27, 2012 - 03:14am PT
Awesome stories indeed everyone.. Too much going on lately to comment on everything... I got out with my buddy PY yesterday and we went for a jaunt on the Apron and today thanks to the energy, optimism and sheer pluck of "The Kid" we hit up the Papoose.

Luke at the top of what climb?

After things started to dry up a bit and we hit up Mushroom.

Kyle on Mushroom 5.9

Luke generously gave up his chance at a onsight so he could take this lovely photo of me.

Just noticed you can see Yula "The Kid's" dog in the upper right corner :)

Hamish F- Good thing you were strong enough to hold it together on that tower! Crazy.

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