Trip Report
First ascent of Polaris, Squamish BC
Friday October 28, 2011 2:25am
This happened a few years ago, but I've been encouraged to post a TR of it here for posterity, and so it can be linked to a couple of other ongoing Squamish threads.

My friend Reuben S. and I had been working on this project off and on for three years. We completed the first ascent in August 2007. Polaris ascends the Zodiac wall of the Chief on the opposite side of the North Gully from Angel's Crest. Here are some photos from bottom to top on the FA, enjoy!

Kris Wild following the first pitch, 5.10c. You can see the recently rock-scoured North Gully below. This pitch was originally (still is) Nostromo 5.2, A2, 2p.
Top of pitch one. My grinning mug.
Top of pitch one. My grinning mug.
Credit: Scrubber

Reuben starting the steep second pitch, a 55m marathon. 5.11c (5.11a, A0)
Taking a deep breath before the real business starts.
Taking a deep breath before the real business starts.
Credit: Scrubber

Here's Reuben beginning the fourth pitch. Don't worry, it's only 5.10c (tee-hee)and you don't need anything bigger than a #5 camalot. After that it's bolted.... Sorry to the purists, but there's probably only a handful of people in the country with a rack big enough for this pitch. I've seen the grumbling on several other threads about bolted wide cracks. No b!tching allowed until you've climbed the pitch. where it's wide there are four bolts in about 30m of climbing. That'll keep you honest.
here we go!
here we go!
Credit: Scrubber

This is how big the crack starts out as at the belay:
You know this is gonna' hurt...
You know this is gonna' hurt...
Credit: Scrubber

And here's how big it is 40m later at the top:
Gasping and wheezing at the top
Gasping and wheezing at the top
Credit: Scrubber

Reuben chillin' out on turtle ledge before pitch five. So named for his uncanny ability to always have to take a crap when he got here...
Credit: Scrubber

Reuben staying serious and getting in touch with his inner Ninja after the crux of pitch six, 5.10c. Visualize if you will a no-hands dynamic stem into a corner before you can actually reach the crack. Very ninja. If you don't make ninja sound effects it doesn't count, and your partner is allowed to pull you off.
Hy-ya!
Hy-ya!
Credit: Scrubber

Here I am following the same pitch. I think this is some of the steepest perfect 5.9 hands in Squamish. (But I'm probably biased...)
Wheeee!!!
Wheeee!!!
Credit: Scrubber

The seventh pitch bears a striking resemblance to Astro-logger, but I think it's easier. 5.11b It's one of those frustrating tight corners that you can only get one hand into at a time because your shoulders don't fit.
P7
P7
Credit: Scrubber

Pitch eight is is a sport route. 45m of bolted face climbing. 5.11b The roof looks a little daunting from this vantage point!
Credit: Scrubber

Here's the business: If you weren't tired already, pitch nine is the crux. Here I am stepping into the crack that begins the pitch. It quickly shrinks from hands to a knifeblade seam, which leaves you bear-hugging an arete as you battle up to the rest below the final roof. The Acrophobes of Angel's crest are visible in the background. 5.12a (5.11a, A0)
I'm really hoping I don't blow this, because I don't have enough juice...
I'm really hoping I don't blow this, because I don't have enough juice for another round...
Credit: Scrubber

The cherry on top, although easier, is the roof just before the belay. That tree I'm standing on has now fallen over, so it's either a tricky boulder problem, or a all points huck to the jug above the lip of the roof.
Next is the heel hooking along the lip of the roof, to the mantle!
Next is the heel hooking along the lip of the roof, to the mantle!
Credit: Scrubber

Here's Reuben following the crux pitch. Taken from the belay above the roof.
Steep and exposed!
Steep and exposed!
Credit: Scrubber

Reuben following the last (tenth) pitch. 5.10c
Way up there, p. 10
Way up there, p. 10
Credit: Scrubber
only 30' to go!
only 30' to go!
Credit: Scrubber

Exhausted celebration as we put our three year project to rest!
on top
on top
Credit: Scrubber
happy and exhausted!
happy and exhausted!
Credit: Scrubber

We hope you've enjoyed the pics. Here's a copy of the topo for ya' too. Make lots of copies and hand them around!
The 9th pitch should say 12a, but it got missed.
The 9th pitch should say 12a, but it got missed.
Credit: Scrubber

Approach Notes:
POLARIS
5.12a (5.11b, A0) 10p
FA Kris Wild, Reuben Shelton, August 6, 2007

Approach: As for Angelís Crest. 200m up from the entrance to the North Gully. (100m uphill from the ďtree startĒ to Angelís Crest) Itís on the left and itís the only corner.

Gear: One set nuts, double set cams up to #2 camalot size, one #3, 4 and 5

P1. Up right facing corner, past ledge (old belay) up the next corner through roof and out right to belay. 5.10b, 50m (This pitch was originally Nostromo, 5.6, A2, John Manuel, Bruce Fairley, 1982.)
P2. Start left of station and climb into the steep open corner, (pulling on the bolt at the top of the corner will drop the grade to 5.11a) then face climbing and cracks to a large ledge. Watch your rope drag! 5.11c, 55m
P3. Out left past flakes and up a widening crack to the base of THE corner. 5.9, 20m
P4. Up! Exit via the chimney and use the right-hand station to belay. 5.10c, 40m
P5. Scramble up the chimney on the right behind the large pillar, then on top of it and across the balanced boulder. Discontinuous cracks and face climbing lead up and left to a belay beside the main corner. 5.10a, 30m
P6. Tune in to your inner ninja for the puzzling crux entering the corner (or pull on the bolt and skip it, you sissy), up the corner to belay at the cedar tree. 5.10c, 30m
P7. Up the corner passing 2 trees. At the roof, head left past 2 bolts to belay on a ledge. 5.11b, 55m
P8. Face climbing up the white wall, out right to belay. (One #3 camalot optional.) 5.11b, 50m
P9. Step right into the crack. Follow it with increasing difficulty until it is possible to clip a bolt and step left to a ledge. (Pulling on a couple of pieces of gear and the bolt make this about 5.11a.) Traverse up right to a perch below the roof, then pull wild moves through the roof and left to the belay. 5.12a, 30m
P10. Up nice cracks to the final belay. 5.10c, 30m

Descent: Either rap the route with 2 ropes or walk up and right the same as for Northern Lights.

  Trip Report Views: 3,344
Scrubber
About the Author
Scrubber is a climber from Straight outta Squampton.

Comments
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Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
  Oct 28, 2011 - 02:44am PT
Top of the page !
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 28, 2011 - 02:54am PT
thot all that stuff was climbed out. Wicked long! nice
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Oct 28, 2011 - 03:27am PT
Nice photos Kris! Excellent TR!
gf

climber
  Oct 28, 2011 - 09:10am PT
Thanks for the report -had heard of this so great to get the scoop
Hoots

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
  Oct 28, 2011 - 09:45am PT
Awesome looking route. THanks for sharing.
MH2

climber
  Oct 28, 2011 - 11:29am PT
Polaris tends to catch the eye as you make your way up Angel's Crest, especially the long wide corner. Robert H tells me that the wide pitch ended his first trip but he's been back and finished the climb and it's good.

One day we did Astrologger, 2 pitches of Alaska Highway, and then the first of Polaris, which was dark and grainy(no problem with friction). Some boulders in the gully on the approach were unstable. I hope a few winters will have settled them better.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 28, 2011 - 11:37am PT
Super cool.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
  Oct 28, 2011 - 11:46am PT
That must have been an epic cleaning project Chris but nothing out of the ordinary for you.That new addition above belly good sounds great - good work

How's Polaris standing up to the elements these days.... anyone know?
Scrubber

climber
Straight outta Squampton
Author's Reply  Oct 28, 2011 - 12:18pm PT
Bruce, I did it last year with Kelly F. and it was still in quite good shape. The first pitch had some dirty ledges due to a nearby cleaning project of someone's. Above that, only the occasional finger lock/ nut placement had to be picked clean with the nut tool. Way less dusty and no more crunchy foot smears like on the first season, so it's getting some traffic.
Paulina

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Oct 28, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
Good work!
Another thing I'll never climb, sigh...
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Oct 28, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
Sweet TR mr. wild! Welcome to the taco stand!
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
  Oct 29, 2011 - 03:00am PT
wow !
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 29, 2011 - 10:07am PT
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Way to go Gents!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Nov 20, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
Very fine TR, Kris. Many, many thanks. Echoin' everyone's notes above.......woo woo woo!!!!
Impaler

Social climber
Oakland
  Nov 23, 2011 - 03:10pm PT
Saweet!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 23, 2011 - 03:26pm PT


What an awesome looking climb. It looks like it has everything on it from slab to wide to flares(distinct from wide!) to heel hook over a roof! Wish it were in my wheelhouse.


Thanks for posting.
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Nov 23, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Those stumps sticking outta the crack looks whack.
russellg

Sport climber
Malibu, CA
  Nov 23, 2011 - 04:59pm PT
Congratulations!!!

Clayton

Trad climber
  Nov 27, 2011 - 09:23am PT
Good work fellas! I will check this out next summer for sure! Thanks for doing the hard work already!
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Nov 27, 2011 - 11:05am PT
very nice
Tork

climber
Yosemite
  Nov 27, 2011 - 11:22am PT
Nicve!
Scrubber

climber
Straight outta Squampton
Author's Reply  Nov 29, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Those stumps sticking outta the crack looks whack.


Well, that was one of only two stumps left behind in ten pitches. The other one was the remains of a previously deceased Douglas Fir with a diameter of about 3 feet at the base. The one you mention was very tenacious, but it eventually succumbed to three seasons of stripping off any new sprouts that popped up. A couple of more years and it'll be rotten enough to remove. The fir might come out by the time your grand kids are soloing the route.
grover

climber
Northern Mexico
  Nov 6, 2012 - 11:35pm PT
'Reuben chillin' out on turtle ledge before pitch five. So named for his uncanny ability to always have to take a crap when he got here...'

turdle bump
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 6, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
Seriously awesome scrubber, got a chance to check out the first 5? Pitches this summer, just past the corner & yea that thing is a beast! Can't wait to go back. Thanks for all your scrubbing efforts!
Silver

Gym climber
  Nov 7, 2012 - 10:02am PT
Good stuff way to stick with it.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
  Nov 8, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
Well done boys, I heard this route was the recipient of the Squamish mini traxion Grade IV fixed lines for this summer .... wish I hada sacked up for that
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jul 29, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Went up there yesterday again & got to the top this time, what a fantastic route!

Strenuous, physical climbing for the most part with a bunch of devious, technical cruxes thrown in.


Great job again & big thanks on all the work that went into this climb. It deserves more traffic for sure.




Edit- yes I made a ninja noise
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jul 29, 2014 - 09:18am PT

right on!! excellent project with a fantastic finish!!


and a nicely drawn topo to boot!!


limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jul 29, 2014 - 03:51pm PT
Awesome stuff, a belated congrats and thank you for taking the time to share!
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Jul 29, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
A couple of more years and it'll be rotten enough to remove. The fir might come out by the time your grand kids are soloing the route.
Sorry if I misunderstood.
You guys get so much more rain and nutrients up there than us.
Nice line if ever there was.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
  Jul 29, 2014 - 09:53pm PT
You're not totally wrong Biotch, The trees and bushes play a hard game in competition for Squamish rock. A scrubbed route no one likes becomes forest fairly fast...
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