Trip Report
An adaptive ascent of the Chief
Tuesday July 22, 2014 10:29pm
Wayne W Killing it on Rock On
Wayne W Killing it on Rock On
Credit: Big Mike

As someone who contracted Paralytic Polio at nine months of age, has been dealing with Post Polio Syndrome since before I was a teenager, and has had decades of major additional physical challenges to contend with, life has been quite interesting. Had I listened to the Post Polio Specialist that I went to in ’91, I would have been riding around in a motorized scooter for the last quarter of a century.

The passing of the legendary Jazz bassist Charlie Haden on July 11th who struggled with Post Polio Syndrome was a reminder to me how very serious a condition this sequela is. In spite of that, the morning of July 12th found me meeting up in a parking lot just below The Chief, a 2,000 ft. tall granite monolith in British Columbia with two of the best partners anyone could hope to climb with: my friends Mike Cowper and Heather Fulcher, both from Whistler. Mike chose to link up the route Rock On with The Squamish Buttress, and we made our way up the trail to the start of Rock On with a huge amount of psych and enthusiasm.
Wayne Willoughby

Wayne, Heather and I went for a little climb a couple weeks ago. It was pretty darn hot that day. Wayne wrote that little ditty for Paradox Sports and I took some pics.

Wayne and Heather in the parking lot

Wayne jugging his first pitch of the day on Rock On, a 70m rope stretcher.

Heather leading the 10a pitch of Rock On

Wayne Topping out on rock on with the Bastille below.

Wayne and Mike on the Apron scramble to get to the Squamish Buttress

Heather Fulcher Photo

Wayne and Heather a little further up on the scramble.

Wayne getting ready for his whipper on p1 of the Squamish Buttress… Sorry Wayne!

The glory shot at the top of p1 of the Squamish Buttress.

Echelon Wall with Mt Garabaldi looming overhead.

Sunset was quickly approaching as Wayne struggled with the rope.

Sunset on the horizon as Wayne pulls on to the Heatwave Cracks ledge.

Light fading quickly as Wayne makes his way up the crux pitch.

Getting down proved to be the crux, but all's well that end well. ;)

  Trip Report Views: 2,897
Big Mike
About the Author
Big Mike is a trad climber/sci patient who is not used to these 24hr pushes!!! :)

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Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Jul 22, 2014 - 10:36pm PT
Great shot of Howe Sound!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jul 22, 2014 - 10:36pm PT
Sweet TR Mike!

  Jul 22, 2014 - 10:37pm PT
Nice one Mikey, Wayne & Sherpa Heather!!!!!!

Some great pics too!

Now you are only 6 trip reports behind Mike :-)
Big Mike

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Jul 22, 2014 - 10:42pm PT
lol... I always seem to have trouble with that one.. lol

I swapped pitches with Heather but she led all the hard stuff!

yes.. I'm behind.. lol this one wouldn't have happened unless Wayne did half the work.. lol

Thanks for the compliments!!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
  Jul 22, 2014 - 10:55pm PT
Thanks Mike for getting the story out as a trip report !

  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:03pm PT
So Wayne is like, some sort of animal I guess??
Big Mike

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:11pm PT
lol! yes! If you consider that walking is harder than climbing for him and the majority of the route is walking! His right leg is pretty emaciated and he doesn't get much use from it. So he jugged the whole Chief with his left leg!!

Thanks Jim!

Yay Susan!
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:08pm PT
Big Mike=big trip report.
Thanks Mike...that was a sweet read!


Social climber
  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:09pm PT
hey there, big mike, this is really neat, thanks so much!!
love the share, and all the pics...
god bless to you, this eve...

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:17pm PT
Some great shots. Everyone looked like they were having a good time. Interesting looking route.

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Jul 22, 2014 - 11:34pm PT
Inspiring read. Thanks for the TR.

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 01:02am PT
TFPU AC ! :)

Big Wall climber
Ogden, Utah
  Jul 23, 2014 - 03:09am PT
Thanks for posting. Wayne has always been a huge inspiration to me. I think of him often when I'm injured and frustrated. Nice work team!!!

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Jul 23, 2014 - 03:49am PT
Hey Mike, that was very, very cool!

Greetings from Poland!

this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
  Jul 23, 2014 - 06:29am PT
Sh#t yeah Mike. I thought I was going to be so clever and witty and say now you only have fifteen more trs to write. Thanks for ruining that Ryan.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  Jul 23, 2014 - 06:32am PT
Sweet tr! That's a cool ascent. I want to play.


Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jul 23, 2014 - 07:11am PT
Mike, and Wayne you are an inspiration!

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 07:30am PT
Freaken awesome!!!!!

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jul 23, 2014 - 09:53am PT
Amazing for real. We don't know what we CAN do until we've done it. It does help those of us with less obstacles in our way to see what Wayne can do. What a good team, too.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Jul 23, 2014 - 10:23am PT
Nice report Mike. Looks like a proud accomplishment.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jul 23, 2014 - 11:38am PT
It's wonderful to have friends of the caliber of Heather & Big Mike!

Good on you both and my total respect for Wayne's spirit.

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jul 23, 2014 - 11:39am PT
Fantastic adventure and awesome accomplishment, you guys! Thanks for writing this one up, Mike. Totally awesome!

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Big kudos for my namesake. You are a true inspiration to all. Mike, your light is a gift to the world. Keep it up, brother.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 12:57pm PT
Thank you for that excellent, inspiring trip report. Many of us born before the Salk vaccine grew up with friend who had polio as children, and post-polio syndromes of various sorts. This gives me tremendous respect for what Wayne (and Heather and you, too) accomplished.


Trad climber
Whistler BC
  Jul 23, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
An adventure for sure. Wayne is seriously one bad ass mother f*@! A true inspiration and one of a kind. Go Wayne!

I'm still covered in mosquito bites and bruises and Gatorade never tasted so good.

Thanks for the post Mike when's the next adventure??
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Jul 23, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
Thanks to everyone for your kind words. HUGE thanks to Mike and Heather for their selfless efforts in making this happen! A fun and memorable day!!

  Jul 23, 2014 - 03:00pm PT
Nice work!

Gym climber
Great White North
  Jul 23, 2014 - 03:10pm PT
Rock on, Wayne!

Trad climber
Whistler BC
  Jul 23, 2014 - 04:03pm PT
No, Thank you Wayne and Mike for being so awesome.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 23, 2014 - 06:09pm PT
The real deal, good on ya mike!!!

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Jul 23, 2014 - 06:12pm PT
an excellent report
of the execution of
an excellent sentiment.

Great Canadian Landscape,
i want to visit your

Oakland, CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 06:59pm PT
Yeah this is pretty f'ing sweet. Great pics, looks like a great route. Proud send.

Wayne man, you should offer a clinic on how to jug - something we all do, and most of us a pretty crappy, sloppy, inefficient job of it. Or at least, I do. No hone at all. I'm thinking you probably have a PhD in it.

Good stuff.

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
  Jul 23, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
I like this, a lot.

Social climber
  Jul 23, 2014 - 09:17pm PT
SKOOKUM !!!! :-) Thanks for the TR Mike. Next time bivi on top, eh?
Jebus H Bomz

Sacramento, CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Oh, good Gawd, I'm so happy you weren't talking about the username, Big Mike!

Propers, buddy! I mean, guy.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jul 23, 2014 - 10:26pm PT
You're a good man, Mike. But, flip flops, really?
Big Mike

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Jul 25, 2014 - 03:20pm PT
Jeebs!! Lol!

Reilly I just hate carrying my shoes... Chief backside trail is pretty mellow these days. Trust me,I wasn't wearing flip flops at cor when we went to Twin Cracks!! Lol that honor went to greg! ;) i actually did catch my left foot at one point and trip up a bit. I scratched my big toe and it actually hurt for a change!! So i induced sensation again!! With a little scratch! I'll pay that price... Lol!!

Wow!! Quite a response! Thanks everyone! I Wish i could respond to you all individually but i just don't have the time right now! I worked today and now i'm trying to get my brakes going again. Canadian winters and the salt chemicals they use here rusts the crap out of everything meaning i have to shave the excess rust off my calipers to fit the new pads in.. Which takes time.. Lol

Thanks to Heather! She was a workhorse that day! She took a bad pendulum fall while seconding the traverse pitch on rock on which left her quite bruised and battered both physically and emotionally.

She said "I'm done" to me after she got to the belay. By the time i had Wayne hooked up to jug she was already asking for the gear. I asked if she was sure and she said, "ya screw it. Let's do this.

Wayne is just inspirational. We both wanted to keep going and get him to the top.

I took a couple more pics which i posted to Squamish Photos and Stories along with a more detailed description of the descent.

Heather and Wayne in the parking lot. Note Wayne's protection on his emaciated right leg, and the braces on his wrists.

Wayne's static line just made it to the anchors in the 10a. He said it was the shortest tail he's ever started jugging on.

Wayne pulling onto the top of the Apron.

Wayne jugging the first pitch of the buttress.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Jul 25, 2014 - 03:20pm PT
Wayne jugging the headwall 10c pitch

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jul 25, 2014 - 10:17pm PT
Thanks for the extra pics mike! Cool stuff.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Jul 25, 2014 - 10:26pm PT
Cool pictures, inspiring TR, much respect to all of you.
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