Classic Squamish Chief Commentary Robin Barley 1978

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Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 9, 2008 - 12:56pm PT
They graded it 5.9, too.

Used to hear "There's no move on it harder than 5.9" all the time. Sure doesn't feel that way when you're a quivering mess of lactic acid and there's still another ten feet of "5.9" offwidth to go before you hit the first rest.

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Jan 9, 2008 - 01:50pm PT
How do you grade something when every move is 5.8-5.9?
Just like Butterballs has no move over 5.11a yet is a 5.11c lead.
Split Pillar is kind of like a continuous steep ice climb in that any 10 foot section is easy but putting the whole thing together is another deal altogether. 10b for the Split seems about right though technically easier than Caboose or Apron Strings.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
There certainly is no crux which puts the sand in the bag.....Anyone have a shot of the boatrope climb once above the Sword? Is that thing still fixed through the bolt ladders?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 9, 2008 - 07:46pm PT
Eric said that if there was any 5.10 on the Pillar, it was in the first move or two. It's not much different from many Valley 5.9s, often from the 1960s, that are also burly and sustained, but don't really have a crux.

Don't get me started on grade inflation.

The rope on the Sword was removed years ago, and I believe it now lives in a bucket in my brother's basement. He probably isn't planning to start a museum, though.
Strongerdog

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 9, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
I use to go up to Squamish every so often back when the town was still backwards and unique. Now, as has been stated, they have a Starbucks - what more can you say.

I did the Grand years ago with Hummerchine from a crack of noon start. We finished off with the Roman Chimney finish (highly recommended) just as it got dark.

After drinking some beers in town we were walking downtown when some of the loggers yelled "faggots" to us from across the street. We were each wearing Hind running tights which of course meant we were gay (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Squamish should be on every climbers list, along with an umbrella and pair of Hind tights.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 9, 2008 - 08:31pm PT
An old guidebook to Vantage (central Washington) said "Ellensburg also features a large selection of redneck bars, where the patrons would be happy to take umbrage at your Verve tights."
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2008 - 11:54pm PT
Absolutely priceless Anders! I used to ponder the same sort or worlds colliding in Almo, Idaho back when the first Sport Touros began to flood into The City of Rocks lycra and all. LOL
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 10, 2008 - 01:20am PT
The redneck bars in Squamish had their terrors as well, and long before anyone ever heard of lycra. I've heard stories of Steve Sutton battling loggers in the Chieftan back in the day...
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 10, 2008 - 01:36am PT
The rednecks, and hooligan teens, were chasing climbers out of Squamish bars and such well into the 1970s. Their driving was sometimes a little anti-social, too.

Not all climbers were angelic, either.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2008 - 10:55am PT
Awww, say it ain't so!!! Peter Croft easily makes up for all the jerks in town.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2008 - 12:28pm PT
Has Cruel Shoes been rebolted any time recently? Best way to reach the Split Pillar for sure . The original aluminum hangers were still there the last time that I passed through.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2008 - 11:13pm PT
Quality bump!
Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
Aug 18, 2008 - 11:41am PT
Funny, I visited Squamish for the first time a couple of weeks ago. On our second day we did the Grand Wall via Apron Strings and then finished on the Dyke route. Good fun though I did have to wimp and hang in the split pillar and once on Perry's. So thirty years later ....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
So Anders.....what is the story with Bricks Shannon soloing the upper pitches on the Black Dike on "motor responses!"
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 18, 2008 - 11:22pm PT
Greg did solo the first ascent of the upper five pitches of the Dyke, in around 1974. Mixed aid and free. I don't know much more, but could ask him about it.

ps It's Shannan, not Shannon.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2008 - 01:23am PT
Greg and "Bricks" Shannan are one and the same then?
Keeper of Australia Mt

Trad climber
Whitehorse, Yukon , Canada
Aug 19, 2008 - 11:36pm PT
Ah, all this talk Squamish gets me antsy - will have to tag some days on a southbound trip in early October and have at it some more.

Diedre is definitely a delight - the most travelled route in Canada as Marc Bourdon notes. But there are many delights on the Apron including Banana Peel and Sickle. I hope to tick Snake on one of my next trips. But a real gem is Starchek - bit up the road - a nice little rap to the bottom of the canyon - waves dancing all round, the roar of white water, snow capped mountains ringing your view almost 360 - and away you go. Definitely one of the embedded Squamish gems - 5.9 but with some harder stuff adjacent.

As with most things, timing is everything and there is good weather to be had for sure a little nippy early spring and fall but with a few double shots at the Starbucks launchpad and the post-mortem suds at the Brew Pub - how can life be better.
If you are lucky you can tie in with some seriously amazing climbers - Bourdon, Morehead and others. Ah, to be young and talented! Or you can hook up with Anders (well seasoned, wise and talented!) And you have both talent and local color in the Hanzels, biker George - running up Diedre in some outrageously ridiculous minimal amount of time sans rope. His Climb On store is one grand belay for the whole operation - good place to hang out for a few minutes and pick up the hot beta on new routes and his incisive data on the whole scene. And if you want to get your ya yas out (or something else!) how about a 30 ft whipper on Freeway. Or replicate a local lad's ropeless solo of the Grand Wall - check the DVD for the white knuckles.

But in Nirvanna there can always be some disaster zones and leaving your vehicle in the Chief parking lot with climbing gear exposed is gauranteed to lead to some personal misery. There are some dudes who only recently oozed out ot the adjacent Howe Sound in the evolutionary sense. And they seem to have acquired the ability to use screwdrivers on vehicle locks with nasty effect. If you catch them, you can do us all a favour of setting them as a permanent chockstone on the grand wall or clipped into a single bolt on the Sheriff's Badge for a few days, or weeks or months.

In any case, all climbers owe Anders many free beers, a maybe a free massage or two, for his relentless work with the BC Access group in sustaining open access to the climbing areas. The depth and richness of the Squamish experience would be lesser had it not been for his superlative efforts over many years.

And if you do get the big dump whilst in Squamish, the fallback position is to jump in the humvee, or vw beetle and make a hasty insurgent foray east to Skaha in the dry interior. Near desert conditions, cactus, snakes - you will feel like you never left the southern 48 - except the beer is better and there is lots of water. The ice is even in at the Memorial Arena so life is and would be good. And chances are you will still run into Anders because the dude is omnipresent and omni-potent with his passion for the game.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 20, 2008 - 12:49am PT
For this I pay him?! Few if any of the things Jeff says about me are true, and the remainder exaggerated.

Yes, Greg Shannan is none other than Bricks. So nicknamed, I believe, because of an incident involving imitation bricks in a wall outside the Jolly Alderman, a then less than stellar bar across from Vancouver city hall.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 3, 2009 - 11:16am PT
Bump in the rain.....
Cloudraker

Big Wall climber
BC
Apr 3, 2009 - 11:56am PT
bump in the sun!!!
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