Squamish Photos and Stories


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 1, 2014 - 12:16pm PT
As RushMaster Yabo once said "I get really strong when I start to shake."

How do you spell ADRENALINE!?!

Hard to have fun in a five alarm fire! LOL

A long way from where I started
Sep 1, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
A wave of fear washed over me and I climbed those last few moves in a substantially less than controlled manner and wobbled on to the top having more survived the route than climbed it.

What's always seemed weird to me is the difference in mental/physical response depending on whether things go to sh#t while soloing (as Perry just described), or whether it happens on a roped climb where there was no intent to put oneself in danger.

You solo something and wind up almost losing it, and the response is what Perry describes -- nauseous at almost dying so stupidly.

But think about the times when you've climbed into a situation where you realize you've suddenly entered the solo zone and find yourself in the same pickle. Maybe you can't get pro where you thought you could, and the climb gets too hard for you, and you've just messed up an irreversible sequence, and you'll hit the ground or a ledge if you blow it... but somehow you go way inside yourself and find the strength to pull through.

And the response? I don't know about anyone else, but for me it's always been kind of a feeling of being proud of myself for holding it together and finding mental or physical strength I didn't know I had. Instead of the shame felt when the same thing happens during an intentional solo.


Social climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
Perry I resemble that remark !!! :-D

One time - I must have been about 14 or so when this happened - I was by the train tracks near Lions Bay and I wanted to see the Royal Hudson steam train which was coming onto the siding. A freight train was stopped on the mainline waiting for the Hudson to pass. As I was on the wrong side of the freight, it blocked my view . So I decided to go underneath the train to get to the other side.

I went up close between two box cars and ducked under the coupling. Half way across the train settled onto the track with a big crack and sigh and I nearly crapped myself because I thought the train was moving forward once again.

I dove for the other side and rolled onto the gravel. Some people were there and the woman chastised me for being such an idiot. I slunk away nearly sick to my stomach about the feeling that I was about to be run over by a train.

Even now when I think of that I get queasy.

So yep, David, I agree with you about the solo experience. Doesn't have to be on the rocks but when it goes pear shaped........it's horrible.


The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Sep 1, 2014 - 01:47pm PT

I've had a few less than edifying experiences with a rope on too.
Some day I'll share the story about Henley Quits in 76.
Now that was stupid!

Sep 1, 2014 - 01:55pm PT
I had the same experience as Perry on Washington Bullets. With the difference that I was roped. For me a good lesson for my older self to not trust my younger self.

Sep 1, 2014 - 04:44pm PT
What a stellar round of posts on this thread lately!
The AH solo is a great state of the art snapshot, the fact that its taken this long to happen is testimony in itself.
Turning to Van Isle Alpine ;) I wonder if anyone has some shots of the limestone cap they could post up -this is visible when linking from marble meadows on the way to the Hinde. I am sure that if Big Mike can arrange to get some slides from Stewart, there might be some good images?

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 07:00pm PT
I had to look up Edify. It is the shizzle of the errant solo!

[ed-uh-fahy] Spell Syllables
Examples Word Origin
verb (used with object), edified, edifying.
to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift:
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2014 - 07:12pm PT
Very nice posts indeed. Thanks for the stories Perry and Tami!

I was totally wrong the other day about Glenn's photo... Shows u how much time i've spent at the bulletheads lately. I was up there today.

Phil on Slot Machine

Social climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 09:15pm PT
"2 hrs ish car to car." I think that it took us 2 hrs ish summit to car! UWall now seems to have also [with Serra V] reached Mummery's stage three, "An easy day for a lady".
Has anyone done a sit-start yet? Maybe leave that crumb for the next generation.

Chief. Is Henley Quits the same as Stichter Quits [aka Black Tide] at J Tree?

Social climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
One day I was foolishly run-out on Tryfan. As I reached the crux, with no pro for miles, the rain and hail began to pound down. I tried the crux several times, with no luck. The rock was turning to snot, my fingers to ice and my arms to jello. I looked down, and wondered if it would be better to jump off, or to try again and fall off. I tried again, and finally found something for my tips. Lesson learned? It ain't over 'til it's over.

Social climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
^^^ Tryfan in Wales ? Or have you got something in the Koootz named that?

And if it was in Wales ??? DUDE !!! It's ALWAYS RAINING THERE.




Social climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 10:04pm PT
That's true Tami, but it didn't usually hail in July. It's not Alberta.

Here's a pic of my friend Tom, taken on the way down.

Summer in Wales.
Summer in Wales.
Credit: hamie

Yes, that's rain pouring down the rock behind him. Next stop--hitch hike to the PYG in the Pass.

Tom and another old climbing partner Dave joined me on the Camino in Spain earlier this year. A reunion of sorts.

Sep 1, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
Great shot Hamie
Somehow I think the reunion in Spain was likely more pleasant for climbing, food and drink compared to rain, chips and warm beer

Mountain climber
Sep 1, 2014 - 11:20pm PT
Hamie, do you have a photo of you from that era?
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2014 - 11:26pm PT
Classic pic Hamie!!

Gf- Stewarts computer is fighting him! Anyone know any computer wiz's in Courtnay?

Social climber
Sep 2, 2014 - 01:36pm PT
Great pic & I too would love to see one of you Hamish :-) Wales in the rain; I have a few memories of that too :-D

Hey did you guys see the interview Gwen Cameron did with Alex Honnold about his solo of UWall? Good stuff. Nice questions, good answers.

A long way from where I started
Sep 2, 2014 - 02:24pm PT
Wales in the rain; I have a few memories of that too :-D

Likewise. First time there was the day after a howling storm. Trees down on the roads and everything soaked. No problem according to my host, who said "Well it's not actually raining now, just a bit of breeze, so we'll be fine. Maybe just climb the normal descent route. It'll be a bit wet, but no problem."

Bit of a breeze, my ass!

A bit wet, my ass!

About a hundred feet up the descent route (which was a fairly stout 4th class chimney), even my friend had to admit defeat. The chimney was a waterfall, and not only that, but the wind was so strong that the water was flowing upward. No sh#t. The only time I've ever seen rain falling up.

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Sep 2, 2014 - 02:39pm PT
I looked down, and wondered if it would be better to jump off, or to try again and fall off.

I was larking about on some rocks at Lighthouse Park once, not at Juniper Point but closer to the lighthouse, just east of Jackpine. I climbed up a cracked dyke that ran for 50 feet or so off the beach. About 40 feet up I found myself in a situation with wasps in the crack above me and, when I tried to downclimb, also wasps in the crack below me.

I tried to psych up for the 40 foot jump off into shallow water and thought getting stung would be the better choice. Then I thought that getting stung and pitching off for a 40 footer onto barnacles would also be pretty bad. Fortunately there was a small tree on the other side of the gully about 4 feet lower than me and seven or 8 feet away and a foothold on the dyke nearby in the right direction so after weighing the options I switched feet on the dyke and made the orangutan leap sideways and down across the gully and latched the tree at full extension as I fell by it.


In hindsight you can carefully slot your fingers in next to wasps and as long as you don't pinch them they don't really seem to get too worked about it.

Canary at Castle Rock and the 10d next to 13 Shutouts at Skaha are both climbs that seem to have wasps or yellowjackets fixed permanently in place thru September and October. Later on in fact I got zapped by a yellowjacket in the soft fleshy part right between the middle and ring fingers on my right hand while backing down from a buzzing crack on Canary.

Social climber
Sep 2, 2014 - 02:45pm PT
I just read the Honnold interview Tami. http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web14x/newswire-alex-honnold-university-wall-squamish

He says theres rests and stems all over Uwall. No big deal right? Hehe. I don't remember pitch one as being very restful, more like im gonna hurl all over you belayer, lets get the fuk off this thing now! I still think its the best quality pitch in the Universe.

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Sep 2, 2014 - 02:51pm PT

It's like the hardman version of Astroman.

Best line ever.
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