Trip Report
She kicked me out (TR w/too many pics)
Thursday June 5, 2008 2:34pm
…and sent me to Squamish.

She insisted I go: “You ogle Supertopo every morning, but haven’t been on a climbing trip in a year. Email Jeremy, find out where he is climbing next week, and buy a plane ticket.”

With Jeremy home in Vancouver, I was soon flying over the land of the Kingsburys' lonely dental floss and headed to Squamish for the first time.


After driving to Squamish, we “basecamped” with Jer’s close friends, Kelly and Katy (thanks so much guys! you were wonderfully gracious hosts! can’t wait to hear the paddle-cirque TR)

Now a conspirator in the plan to help me climb away the residual stress from the last year, “What grade do you want to climb, and for how many pitches?” Jeremy asked. Not sure I’ve heard sweeter words than that.

For starters, the answer was the Ultimate Everything Linkup of the Apron and second summit of the Chief. We did the route as 18 pitches, linking 3 different slab climbs up the Apron and then up the UE. Most of the climbing was in the 5.8 to 5.9 range, with a couple harder moves on the last pitch – a perfect introduction to the Chief. The “official” linkup discussed in the guide combines things a bit differently, but climbing around crowds gave us a variant of similar difficulty and 5-star quality.

The rough location of the line we took:


Jeremy – on the 1st and then 2nd pitches – arguing that fingers are superfluous when paddling up slab:



Being a Saturday with beautiful weather, the Chief was busy. One of the many other parties on the Apron that day:


Some views from belays on the Apron.



Jeremy on the short walk to hook up with the 10-pitch Ultimate Everything proper.


Nearly every pitch on the UE ends at a large tree ledge, giving the route a discontinuous, but laid back feel.



View from one of the belays of the queue on Squamish Buttress:


same feature...zoomed out a bit:


And, Jeremy topping out.


After the first day, things got wetter.


Making time for early morning (I was still on Boston time) walks in the rainforest,


Each day, the cliffs dried up late enough to chase away the crowds, but early enough for lots more climbing. The classic finger crack Exasperator was one of the trip highlights for me.

It was a bit moist at the start, but all clear from there. Some folks combine these two pitches, but even with perfect beta (thanks, Jer!) I got my money’s worth breaking it up into two leads.


Frantically slotting a nut on pitch 2:


A rest...


and racing for the handjams above…notice the blur from my lightning-fast speed-climbing technique (inspired by numb fingers).


Jer at the base of another gem, Arrowroot.


And, climbing.


Jer also took me on a tour of Smoke Bluffs. A great collection of cliffs in Kelly’s and Katy’s neighborhood (literally), with dozens of outstanding 1-pitch routes.

A shot that gives you a sense of their neighborhood.


Here is a shot of part of Penny Lane cliff. On the left, is a Peter Croft – Tami Knight masterpiece and on the right is Penny Lane, a super-fun 5.9.


And, Jer on a sweet flake climb (forget the name, sorry!).


Not surprisingly, I came home with this smile still plastered on my face,


and she let me back in the house…for now. Thanks for the splendid time, Jer.

  Trip Report Views: 5,515
cowpoke
About the Author
cowpoke is a climber from .

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Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
Yow! I could do with a good booting!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
Lovely.
Just freakin lovely.
Those are some nice looking climbs up there.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:44pm PT
Second-to-last shot is of Quarryman, a 5.8 in the Bluffs.

D
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:45pm PT
wow, those are some sweet looking climbs!

Getting me laughing over here with the Kingsbury comment...pretty nice view flying over the Big Sky though

Thanks for posting up!

Cheers
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:47pm PT
Quarryman! That's it! Thanks, Ghost...and the 10+ slab on the left is sweet (and tricky) too. a suprisingly rich concentration of high-quality routes packed into those bluffs, with cute trails taking you everywhere with ease.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
  Jun 5, 2008 - 02:49pm PT
Sweat TR, thanks!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jun 5, 2008 - 03:14pm PT
SKOOKUM PIX!!! Cowpoke many many thanks. A story about the Arrowroot pic -
You are in the exact spot that I was once when I thought I was gonna die. It was January ( around 30 yrs ago ) & I was hangin' in slings from a number 7 stopper. We were there cleaning the route with wire brush and old ice axe. Peter was below on a hip belay, bored, when there was an almighty crrraaaaack and boom from above. I looked up to see Volkswagon sized ice hunks amidst the thousands of tons of ice hurtling my way. The frozen plastered weepage of the upper wall had warmed just enough entirely cut loose. I looked down at Peter to see him sprint behind a huge cedar ( at least he kept me on belay !!!) and then I flattened myself into a pancake and shoved my nose into the crack above the stopper and exhaled hoping for the best...
But most of the ice was absorbed above by the brush & tree ledges of Crap Crags. Just a few ice bombs made it to the ground. I recall well the taste afterwards I had in my mouth; it felt like I'd been suckin' pennies.

And your pic of Penny Lane- Anders did the FA of that . He posts here as Mighty Hiker. He also cleaned and put an anchor at the top of the "route to the left" , called "Crime of the Century". Peter and I poached the FFA from him ;-D

Cheers, Tami
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2008 - 03:18pm PT
yeehah!! I was hoping I might pull out a story from you with that pic, Tami -- thanks!!! You guys did an amazing job developing the area...it was a dream come true to walk in those woods for few days.
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
  Jun 5, 2008 - 03:23pm PT
Looks like you had a great time. Squamish is a fun place to go for a get-away--glad to hear that you got away.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
  Jun 5, 2008 - 03:37pm PT
I forgot to say that this TR does not have 'too many pics'...

It's great! More pics the better, plus you had alot of ground you needed to show off. Right on!


Awesome story too Tami! Hair raising for sure!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jun 5, 2008 - 03:47pm PT
Cowpoke, very good stuff. My wife is kinda the same way, she knows when I'm jonesin' to climb and insists I go out.

Those routes look kick ass! I gotta get there sometime. Glad you had a good time.
piquaclimber

Trad climber
SEKI
  Jun 5, 2008 - 04:11pm PT
Very fun!
I need to get up there one of these years.
quartziteflight

climber
Who knows?
  Jun 5, 2008 - 04:38pm PT
bad arse!!!
Matt

Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
  Jun 5, 2008 - 05:29pm PT
nice!
(watch out for that foot behind the rope stuff)



who wants to have some vegan bbq's up there in september?
divad

Trad climber
wmass
  Jun 5, 2008 - 05:34pm PT
Some nice cracks there.
Thanks
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
  Jun 5, 2008 - 05:39pm PT
Very Cool!!!
Mike.

climber
  Jun 5, 2008 - 05:49pm PT
That's cool!
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 5, 2008 - 05:59pm PT
Terrific TR! I love the ones where I can feel the stoke, and see it in the faces of the climbers!

thanks for posting!
Zander

climber
  Jun 5, 2008 - 07:27pm PT
Great rip report and pics,
Thanks,
Glad you got kicked out onto the rock!
Zander
Ezra

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
  Jun 5, 2008 - 07:50pm PT
Thank you for sharing the
Beautiful rock!
Shaft

Boulder climber
SL,UT
  Jun 5, 2008 - 08:34pm PT
Leaving tomorrow to visit Squamish the first time...can't wait. (Despite the fact the car we were going to drive up was stolen last night.)

Good to hear about possibility of late afternoon climbing when it rains - is that typical?

Nice TR....
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 5, 2008 - 08:45pm PT
And here's a picture from the first ascent of the route for people who like piccolo trumpets, in 1978.


I cleaned all three routes in the area one weekend that spring. On rappel, of course - mea culpa. A few weeks later, John and I returned and did Penny Lane - I believe that in the photo I'd just finished whacking in a piton at the 'crux'. Pre-friends days. Then a few weeks later Randy and I did Partners in Crime, which is rather harder. I never did get up Crime of the Century, even with the two fixed pins I put in at key locations. But it wasn't a lot of work, and seemed a useful thing to have.

My mother was a keen fan of mystery novels, hence the names of the two crime routes. She'd lent me her car for the weekend.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2008 - 08:49pm PT
thanks for the kind words everyone!

point well-taken, Matt.

Shaft, I was told that the weather is a bit wetter this time of year than July and August (not sure whether the afternoon thing is typical or not...there were always clouds hanging low, but they only broke at night). Hope you get plenty of dry time and enjoy the place as much as I did.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2008 - 08:55pm PT
Mighty Hiker -- I think we posted at the same time, so I missed the fabulous pic (and background) of the FA. I loved the route: tricky bouldery start, followed by jamming, jamming, and jamming -- perfect! But, from your perspective, only one in many -- I enjoyed your legacy, thanks!

Edit: oh yeah, and Jeremy pointed out the neighborhood street now named after your cliff/climb.
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Anywhere I like
  Jun 5, 2008 - 09:02pm PT
that whitish granite has me jonesing...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 5, 2008 - 09:41pm PT
Thank you - but what's his name, that guy from Liverpool, first came up with the name. Somehow route and name went together well.

Squamish rock is by nature fairly white - underneath the lichens, moss and discolouration, that is. Lots of quartz and such in the mix. Many routes are now much cleaner than they were, due to climbing and rope action.

Sometime soon I must visit Penny Lane for my annual ascent and inspection. Like many jewels of life, I prefer to ration them out. Once or twice a year is usually enough. I've never understood the "run some laps" mentality when it comes to climbing. A little toproping is fine, but if I want to do laps I go to the pool.

I am perennially pestered by poltroons pleading to place bolts at the top of Penny Lane, and greatly enjoy debating with them. Their essential argument is that many other routes in the Little Smoke Bluffs at Squamish have bolt anchors at the top, and so should PL. (If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would YOU jump off a cliff?) Essentially, people who see bolts as the answer to all problems. There may be a few too many "convenience" bolts at Squamish (e.g. the Ultimate Everything) already, often placed with commercial climbing in mind. A steep and slippery slope. Edit: and, at the top of PL, there are good natural anchors - crack, trees.

The would-be bolters' understanding of physics and geometry seems marginal, for climbers. PL diagonals a lot - plum pendulum possibilities. The crux is about 3 m off the ground - if the route was being toproped, 6 - 7% rope stretch on a 60+ m rope, plus possible pendulum, is a sure crater. (Even on a belay from above, with directionals and half the stretch, it's close.) You can't climb the route safely without being able to place anchors at the top, if nothing else using the trees. It's not a rappel route, and it wouldn't make sense if it was one. And lastly, there's no clear trail to the top, it's a bit loose there, and slopes off into space. Not a place for toprope seeking novices - not that there seems any shortage of people wanting to lead it.

I have occasionally played a prank at PL, when there are people waiting to climb it. I eventually introduce myself, and explain the long-established Squamish custom that those who make the first ascent of a route are allowed to go to the front of the line. (Based on a long-established Yosemite custom, of course.) Surprising how many fall for it, so to speak.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2008 - 09:52pm PT
That's great...Jeremy said that from his pals' house in the neighborhood you can frequently hear people yelling from the top of Penny Lane, "Where are the bolts!"
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
  Jun 5, 2008 - 10:11pm PT
BA...

If you don't know what that means....


I ain't tellin'!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 5, 2008 - 10:45pm PT
Someone placed belay/rappel/toprope bolts in Penny Lane, about 20 years ago. The station was placed just BELOW the top of the route, so it could be toproped with one rope. Standard ropes then were 50 m, and it's nearly 30 m to the spot where people usually build a belay, so this was deemed "convenient".

Still the same problems with a diagonal route, rope stretch, and a low crux. Adding to that neophytes attempting to locate and use the anchors from above.

So I removed the bolts, quite publicly. No need to be shy about removing bolts - if it's that important, tell people why.

Bolts aren't always the answer, and can make climbs less safe.
rhyang

climber
SJC
  Jun 5, 2008 - 11:35pm PT
Beautiful Squamish granite .. been too long for me. Thanks for the stoke !
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
  Jun 6, 2008 - 01:35am PT
Squamish rules! Great Climbing, Camping and chainsaws.




Token Exasperator shot!

Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jun 6, 2008 - 02:26am PT
Weather at Squamish for you Yanx?
It can rain at any time and there isn't much of a pattern to it other then there is less rain in the summertime and more in winter. Fools don't carry raingear. The smart money bring a big fekkin' tarp to put over the tent set up. There's always the Howe Sound Brew Pub.
Two words: Rail Ale.
Best time of the year fer summer rock climbin'is mid-July to end-of-September. Global warmin' hasn't changed that.
We often getta weather-window in May which is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet espeshilly if you like to take ski days between climbin' days. Try the Garibaldi Nevé traverse. I once crossed Garibaldi Lake on skis on 12 June. More typically at this time o' the year tho' you'd need a wet suit & water-wings then skis.
Cheers,Tami

Matt

Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
  Jun 6, 2008 - 03:42am PT
quick penny lane story:

we climbed at the bluffs one hot and windy day, so windy in fact that after leading the pitch i stood there on a slightly sloping stance (not a platform but what feels like 3rd class terrain) and as i prepared to build an anchor, i was literally almost blown off of the rock by a gust of wind! like many climbs you don't need any gear to finish it up, so i'd have taken a 40 footer or so onto a relaxing belayer. let's just say i lost a week or two of of the end of my life with the scare that gave me.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 6, 2008 - 09:12am PT
Just pulled out a '98 Climbing (178) with a nice article on Squamish history by Richard Wheater. Its focus on folks like Croft, Dean Hart, Robin Barley, Tami Knight, etc is great. In addition, one of the photos reminded me of a rumor regarding the closure and possible re-opening of the crag across the highway from the Chief (is it called the Malamute?)...intrigue regarding a drunken teenager killed by a train, illegal tree cutting, and lawsuits. Anybody know the end of the story? Is it true that the crag is soon to be re-opened to climbing? I heard (and from the looks of the photo it is true) the lines on the crag are very nice.
pc

climber
  Jun 6, 2008 - 10:05am PT
Great TR. Thanks Cowpoke. Not too many pics!
Cheers,
pc
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 6, 2008 - 12:21pm PT
Hey Cowpoke

Next time you visit Squamish, go around to the north side of the Chief. Quieter (as in less highway noise), less crowded, and some incredible climbing.

Shot below is from the second pitch of Blazing Saddles.

Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
  Jun 6, 2008 - 12:31pm PT
those cracks...
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 6, 2008 - 01:57pm PT
thanks for the tip, Ghost! Blazing Saddles looks freakin' sweet! Squamish has such a high concentrationn of mid-range 4- to 5-star crack pitches and several crags I didn't visit (e.g., the Squaw)...can't wait to get back. Might be as soon as August -- this time WITH the woman I love.

F10 Climber F11 Drinker

Trad climber
e350
  Jun 6, 2008 - 02:02pm PT

Those cracks look sweet
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 6, 2008 - 02:32pm PT
a suprisingly rich concentration of high-quality routes packed into those bluffs, with cute trails taking you everywhere with ease.

The Little Smoke Bluffs have an interesting history. As you say, there is a rich concentration of high-quality routes. Several hundred now, I think. Given the easy access, you'd think that area would have been developed early, but it was actually ignored in the early decades of Squamish climbing. Got its name because it was a place where the hardguys of the late 60s/early 70s would sneak off for a "little smoke". (Carlos Castenada reference). Even in the mid 70s there weren't very many routes there. And no houses, either.

Despite its location on the edge of town, it was heavily forested and had few trails. All the rock was buried under a thick layer of moss, and all the cracks were filled with tree roots and dirt. And the prevailing attitude had always been one of "Who wants to climb some scruffy litte 80-foot p.o.s. anyway?"

A common converstation bitd was:

"Ohhhhh, man, I'm way too stoned to climb."
"Yeah, me too."
"So, you wanna go into the bluffs and nail something."
"Why not? Like you said, we're too stoned to climb."

Anders may have a better grasp of the dates, but I think the real heyday for development in the bluffs was mid-70s to mid-80s. Someone would bushwhack a little further back into the forest and come stumbling out to tell a couple of friends about the new crag he'd discovered. A few weeks of secret work would get half a dozen lines more or less clean, then the cat would be let out of the bag, and the search would start for the next buried gem.

Fun times.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 6, 2008 - 09:17pm PT
Back in the good old days (bitgod), when p'terodactyls still nested on the Chief, we had an idea that there might be some climbing at the Bluffs. They may still have been MAGMA then, of course. There was much less forest cover, as the area had burnt over in the early 1960s. The front side cliffs - Penny Lane, Neat & Cool etc - have always been exposed, as they border on the Hydro right of way and are regularly cleared. Those further back were much more visible in the 1970s.

As I was never much for mind-altering substances, my memory of these things may even be somewhat reliable.

There were few climbers around Squamish then, and we had lots of challenges just figuring out what was already there. The earlier group, the hard core, had pretty much gone, and we had to make it up as we went along. The original 1967 Woodsworth guide gave us lots to figure out.

People did a few climbs at the Bluffs in the early to mid 1970s, and there were probably some things that weren't recorded. I remember bushwhacking around on several occasions, usually in winter or spring, seeing the sights and doing some scruffy stuff that we didn't bother recording. Things really took off in 1977, and especially 1978. Suddenly there were enough climbers, a few good climbs established, some improvement of equipment and technique and knowledge, and overall a sort of critical mass. Over the next decade, a lot of good climbs got put up, and people gradually explored further back. There had always been a network of trails on the frontside, and it got extended to suit.

It was pretty simple. They offer a nice klettergarten - sunny, with lots of well protected, modest, short climbs. Something that Squamish simply hadn't had before.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 7, 2008 - 11:07am PT
From Wheater's 98 article (p. 85-86):

"Throughout the mid-1980's, the low-angle sweeps on the Apron (300 feet north of the Grand Wall) often lured soloists. Croft and [Hamish] Fraser had routinely soloed moderate to stiff climbs on the smaller crags. Strenuous stuff like Hot Cherry Bendover (5.11b), Crime of the Century (5.11c), and the Horrors of Ivan (5.11c) became components in the regular solo-circuits. The Apron, however, offered multi-pitch terrain. One day as Croft and Fraser both soloed St. Vitus' Dance (a three-pitch 5.9 fist crack), Croft unknowingly stirred up a nest of wasps. Moments later, a cacophony erupted. He glanced down to see Fraser dancing amidst a swarming frenzy. Croft escaped in a fit of hysterics as Fraser scrambled on through the tumult, getting stung a dozen times. His face was so swollen one eye welded shut. Still a few hundred feet off the ground, they had to continue climbing, Fraser with one hand holding his eyelid open."
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jun 7, 2008 - 06:43pm PT
Eric, most excellent TR, looks like a brilliant trip -- K did well to kick you out!

Looks like I might be in CO the weekend after the 4th, we should plan something cozmic.
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Jun 7, 2008 - 08:46pm PT
Cowpoke,

I tried to read this at work, but the photos weren't visible, which is as annoying as listening to a movie without the picture.

Now I got the whole enchilada, and this TR rocks! Beautiful photos, and Anders and Tami adding their history bits in there really makes the magic happen.

Thanks for sharing your great adventure.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 7, 2008 - 11:48pm PT
DUDE, I wanna go now! Thanks for posting up.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 8, 2008 - 12:23am PT
An early ascent of Penny Lane - June 1978.

The climber appears not to have heard of the dictum "Never lieback when you can bridge".

The rock then was rather more covered in lichen, and there were even a few shrubs left in the crack.

Here is the attentive, hard-working support team.

Including some fairly well known climbers, one of whom posted upthread.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 8, 2008 - 12:40am PT
As both Lynne and Ron have been posting like mad, with only a little help and encouragement, I guess I should add to it.

Second free ascent of the second pitch of Exasperator, April 1976.

Note stylish patched EBs, patched painter's pants, Whillans harness, and (egad!) tube socks.

Note also the many shrubs, including some cedars that are sadly now gone.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 8, 2008 - 05:42am PT
very cool, Anders! as L notes, you and Tami are making magic out of this little report.

Can I take a wild guess on the climber on the far left? Robin Barley? I've only seen later photos of him, but sure looks like the same smile.

What a coincidence: you were on the 2nd ascent and I was on the 100,002nd ascent of Exasperator.

Hey there, Chiloe! Postin' from Sweden?! I like cozmic...it's a date.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 8, 2008 - 10:21am PT
Can I take a wild guess on the climber on the far left? Robin Barley?

No, it's Simon Tooley. Well enough known to those of us who hung around Squamish then. Don't know who has his back to the camera, but the guy on the right was Ms. Knight's BF, who subsequently moved to the US. I've heard he kept climbing.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 8, 2008 - 07:19pm PT
The climber with the red shirt, leading PL (four posts back), was probably Richard Suddaby. I'm not sure who the climber with his back to the camera in the group photo below was. Craig, perhaps? Perhaps Tami can elucidate these mysteries?

I have photos of Robin Barley, but am not sure I'd dare post them. He doesn't look at all like Simon, though.

ps Glad you had fun climbing with Jeremy, Katy, and Kelly. I'm surprised he didn't try to get you up Right Wing, though I suppose it's still pretty wet.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 8, 2008 - 08:00pm PT
They graciously provided a couple spots to sleep in their house, but I didn't get to climb with Kelly and Katy -- they were busy planning a paddling trip into the cirque (and unicycling with Kris...speaking of which, my girls and I just finished watching Kris in a couple you tube videos -- dude!!!). But, yeah, Jeremy said Rightwing stays wet into mid-season. Hopefully, I'll be back in August to give it a go, although it sounds like a pretty continuous line for 5.10. Either way, I'm sure Jeremy will brew up a fun adventure for us.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jun 8, 2008 - 09:40pm PT
The climber on Penny Lane does resemble Richard S. The climber with his back to us in the other foto could be Michael Down - he had a fluffy '70's 'do and occasionally did show up at the Bluffs for some craggin'. It could also be a fella Simon did a lotta climbin' with named Jorge ( the German pronounciation of that - not Mexican )It could be Craig Thompson too. He also had major amounts of '70s big hair.

I'm glad Cowpoke posted the story about Hamish and The Bees. I was in the parkin' lot when the boys - I believe there was more then just Peter and Hamish - were bored c'os there was , you know, still time to be juiced outta the day's climbin'. They decided on a quickie mutual solo of St Vitus' or that other route over there I ferget the name of. It was Peter that stirred the wasps and Hamish , bringin' up the rear, got the worst of it. It was more then 15 stings ; more like 20+. Peter screamed with laffter as Hamish scrabbled and flapped up the trail. Peter didn't realize that Hamish wasn't just doing some eccentric warmup for the climb - he truely was fleeing Armageddon. Having disturbed a couple of these wasp nests myself, I can assure you the burning hot needles piercin' flesh are beyond describin'. Of course when they looked back at the angry swarm, they realized they could not go down.
When Hamish arrived back in the parkin' lot some half hour later, his eye looked like the ass-end of a peach. You couldn't even see eyelashes.

But an even more hilarious Squamish story then Hamish & the Bees involves the very Ghost who posts here & I feel compelled to tell it now c'os it seems a few folks are jonesin' on the stories us Canucks are tellin'. So here goes.
Anders missed out on this but his brother Peder was involved and even implicated.

The summer of 1980 a half dozen of us got hired to work on a t.v. commercial about Canadian "unity". Now you Yanx might wonder wtf but suffice to say Canada's had a problem with Quebec since those goofs lost the battle for the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
Some yob at an agency in Toronto figgered "mountain climbers" wasza good metaphor for "working together" and, of course, we didn't mind c'os we were hired and paid a king's ransom for the project.
The idea was that four climbers were goin' fer the summit when one of 'em takes a monumental near-death plunge of horror. The herculean efforts of his ( his - co's the sucker to take the plunge was David ) three partners gets him to the top of the mountain. Peder O and Peter C were hired as "technical assistants". Basically they got to hold the bong.
The first couple of days we spent on Mt Rexford ( just east of Slesse ) doing the mountain shots. One memorable occasion recalled is the cameraman from the helicopter asking the bong to be put out while they filmed " The goddamn mountain is smokin' like a chimney........"
We then moved venues to Squamish for pickup shots & close ups. Painted styrofoam was used for rocks and the top of the rented truck was used as "a summit". But the best part was the Great Mother Of All Falls that David was to take.
We had no idea it would be that big.
The rigging, five pegs & a mess of nuts, was backed up and the back up was backed up. It was not like David's 145lbs would be rockettin' earthwards at 9.8 m/sec squared. It was like a White Western Star would be takin' the plunge.
Picture this : Big Daddy Overhang at Nightmare Rock is formidable in size but a massive splitter erratic remains at the base jutting upwards. The cameraman lay atop this rock with the Arriflex pointed to Dave's ass.....which was , ohhhh, about 100 feet above him. David was above BDO standing in etriers waiting for his cue to fall over backwards and hurtle towards the cameraman.
"We want him to go about thirty feet" they had asked. This would take David below the lip of BDO and into space. A safe fall.
"Think there's enough slack for him to go thirty feet???" we considered and put more slack into the system.
"Sure there's enough slack???whattdaya figger???" and a bit more was put into the lines ( two brand new spanky nine mils )
"Roll camera................and...............action........" And down David fell. Down, down, down further. The pull of gravity worked him a long time as the great arcin' loops of rope went taut and David's body plummetted towards us. Cheers and howls erupted as David's plummet was stopped by the great chain of climbing equipment. He looked up fifty plus feet to his etriers blowing in the light summer breeze.
"Thatsnot thirty feet you dicks.........." he said. We all cheered.
"Got another one in ya?" the director asked. Film makers, eh?
In a resigned manner, Dave jugged up the lines and settled himself in for round two. The second fall,as long as the first, was ghastly. He landed with the ropes looped between his legs, flipping him end to end. The film makers really loved this one. Meanwhile, all the climbers were cringing and groaning.
"Okay Dave, that's great !" the director called. Good thing it was great. Doubtful David's testicles could'a withstood much more rippers.
It's important to note he did go on to father two fine sons only a few short years after we did this work. So even if he was knackered, things did get around to healin'.

Cheers, Tami
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jun 8, 2008 - 09:42pm PT
..oh, and, Kris Holm is well liked by my family. Both my kids unicycle.
And Katy H is adorable. Used to live in the basement suite across from our place here. She might be sad to hear the house burned down this past winter ( no injuries )
CheersxTami
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 8, 2008 - 09:48pm PT
To add to Tami's story, the film of David's dive wasn't used in the TV commercial, which was supposed to be promoting national unity. (Beats having a civil war, I suppose.) It was in summer 1980, just after Quebec had a referendum on whether or not it wanted divorce with bed privileges, or whatever it was. The referendum got defeated, but the federal government decided it had to do something.

Bummer, eh? You take a death-defying plunge for your country (and $1,000?), and then they don't show it.

The ad did include aerial footage of the team on top of Mt. Rexford, panning on inspiring mountainous metaphors in the background. They were waving their arms and looking triumphant - I'm not sure what they had in their hands, though.

I was asked to help with the filming, my one chance for immortality as a rigger. But was already busy with other work.
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Jun 8, 2008 - 09:56pm PT
Tami,

That story about David is hysterical!

Glad there was no permanent whipperation.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 8, 2008 - 10:22pm PT
Glad there was no permanent whipperation.

Serious whiplash of the stomach muscles, but no testicular damage from the falls. The testicular damage came later. They wanted some different angles to intercut with the long fall so they put me on a trampoline and said "Bounce up and down really high. We'll shoot you silhouetted against the sky and it'll be really amazing."

Now, I don't have problems bouncing on trampolines, cuz I did that a lot back in my youth. (Although unlike certain female Canadian cartoonists, I generally keep my clothes on when I trampoline.) Anyway, I draped a bunch of slings and gear over my shoulders and on my harness and started bouncing. I've seen the film, and it's pretty cool. It works well with the fall shot, and the gear flying around my head is just like a real fall. The gear whipping back down and into my crotch -- which they didn't put into the final cut -- was not just like a real fall. It was more like a real kick in the balls.

Oh, and it was on that job that I almost fell out of a helicopter. But I've already told that story somewhere on ST.

D

Edit: Tami got most of the story right, except for missing the part that although I might have been 100 feet above the ground for my 30-foot fall that she and Peder turned into a 50-foot fall, I was only about 55 feet above the cameraman, who was lying on his back on top of a big boulder below the overhang and shooting straight up. He was directly in the fall line, and just about had a heart attack.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 8, 2008 - 10:24pm PT
It's all coming back to me now. The horror! The horror!

I took a similar fall to Dave's, but unintentionally, and in 1973. Eric and I did Big Daddy in a spring rainstorm, of course nailing it. The idea was that being a one+ pitch climb with a big overhang, we'd stay a bit drier. We didn't have jumars, so the second (me) got to follow in etriers, removing nuts and pins. As usual, Eric had welded some in, and some were awkward as hell to get out. He belayed in a little cave, just below the top. Pretty much at the same point as where Ghost went flying. When the rock is dry, I believe you just make a few moves off to the left, and you're at the top. The rock was wet.

So I said to Eric that I'd just nail to the right - the top of Sentry Box is a few metres to the side, and I thought that with one or two pins I could get there, and we could walk down. So I put in a pin (a 2" bong) and weighted it. Held me, reached to the side, and it pulled. I went flying, and ended up about 10 m lower down, level with the lip of the overhang. Sitting hip belay, eh? I think Eric somehow anchored the rope, or maybe I put something in temporarily to get my weight off. Anyway, I ended up prussiking back up, and we then rappelled off. To add insult to injury, there was a bit of tape at the mid-point of my fine yellow MSR rope, which just about prevented us from getting the wet, high friction rope down.

That may have been my first lead fall, too. Sort of.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jun 8, 2008 - 10:44pm PT
Now, getting this thing back on topic, which was climbing at Squamish, not drug-numbed memories of the good ol' days at Squamish, here's a shot of a climb that Cowpoke should put on his list for August

Sunblessed, high up on the back side of the Chief.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
  Jun 9, 2008 - 12:22am PT
Man, this girl is a keeper. Marry her if you have not already! Sounds like my wife, who RULES!!!
Dogtown Climber

Trad climber
The Idyllwild City dump
  Jun 9, 2008 - 12:28am PT
I'm getting kicked out,this week I hope !! Sweet
blacksun

Sport climber
Bend, OR
  Jun 9, 2008 - 12:32am PT
Very immersive. Never can have too many pics.
Thanks for sharing!

cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 9, 2008 - 08:47am PT
Now, we are getting somewhere! Love it -- friends helping friends take whippers in the name of Canadian unity! And, Ghost, I can't stop laughing about your trampoline-bouncing torture. That is just too much, hah!

So, what is that beauty of a line?!? That's not Sunblessed is it (as bad as I failed at guessing people, you'd think I'd just keep my keyboard quite)? Either way, it looks amazing (hands and fingers?); keep the pics and stories coming, please.

PS Tami, my girls watched some of Kris' videos and are now obsessed with getting unicycles. I tried once and it was an absolute failure, but (unlike me) they have balance so it might work out better for them. For those of you who are uniskeptics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uPznTbus3g


Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jun 9, 2008 - 04:11pm PT
I like cozmic...it's a date.

Ja, 5th/6th fer sure, made the rez.
damage

Social climber
olympia, wa
  Jun 2, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
Nice TR. Looks like an awesome trip.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 2, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
bump for the real deal!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jun 2, 2011 - 11:53pm PT
SUPERB looking stuff!!!!
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jun 3, 2011 - 03:28am PT
OK, gotta add this to the someday list. this report made it seem even better than I had thought it would be for moderate grade climbers.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 3, 2011 - 04:44am PT
I wish my wife would boot me out like that......
Lolli

Mountain climber
...silence, like a cancer grows
  Jun 3, 2011 - 08:41am PT
Nice story! :-)
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Jun 3, 2011 - 09:23am PT
Wow, looks good! How's the weather/crowd situation in Aug?
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2011 - 10:12am PT
what's with all this Canuck love?

GO BRUINS!!!


...heal up, Jer, I'm gonna need you climbing with both hands.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jun 3, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Tooo00000 much fun!

Thanks everyone for the great stories and photos of climbing in the frozen north.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 7, 2011 - 02:32am PT
Arrow Root looks wild and unique - thanks for the great photos.
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2012 - 10:32am PT
She didn't kick me out this time; she came along. A super-psyched bump for good memories that we can't top, but can add to. Yee-hah!

This one's for TKingsbury, if you're still out there, man (I sure miss those lonely dental floss Montana TR's).


Since the last time, some cool new inflight maps. Out running the darkness as it sweeps across the continent:

I've got a couple days of work in the city, before heading for the hills. This doesn't look like my usual city views.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 13, 2012 - 03:08pm PT
Nice work cowpoke! hope to see you in squish!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Apr 13, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Damm Nice Tr and Stories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Apr 13, 2012 - 03:31pm PT
I just got the word from my wife last night -- not that she's kicking me out, but that if I don't let her drag me to Squamish a lot this year, she will kick me out.

Sigh. I guess I'll just have to force myself to go to Squamish "a lot" this summer.

cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2012 - 05:24pm PT
Wish we could do Squamish a lot this summer, but that might get a wee bit expensive from our base camp in Boston.

Big Mike, love all your photos and stories of you and buds on the Squamish thread!

We're hoping for one or two good weather windows to put on the rock shoes for some rompin'. Cautiously optimistic about Sunday and Tuesday, but to tourists like us, these Squamish weather predictions seem like a flip of the coin. We're calling "Heads"...oh wait, I mean, "Tails"...I like that picture of the wistful bear on the two dollar piece!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 14, 2012 - 01:49am PT
Thanks Cowpoke!

Ya the weather around here seems a bit of a gamble sometimes. Looks like the heavy rains should hold off for a bit though so even if we get a few showers you should still be able to find something to climb!

Ghost- That's too bad :)
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Apr 14, 2012 - 02:09am PT
One of these days, if I'm lucky, I'll make it back up to Squamish again to do some climbing. The last time I was there was in 85.
I love the rock there!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 14, 2012 - 02:11am PT
Book it this summer Cosmic! Time's a wastin!! Get that shoulder going and we'll go climb something easy on it!
MH2

climber
  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:25pm PT
Welcome!

Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
Ahh the toonie. You ever freeze one then separate it?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:50pm PT
at the top of PL, there are good natural anchors - crack, trees.


No there isn't. There's a perfectly fine bolt station unfortunately placed about 40 feet to the left, which forces one to traverse a mine field of loose rock perched precariously on a sloped slab directly over the heads of the unsuspecting below. If the feet don't set it in motion, the rope dragging through it does. If you want to sling a tree the scenario gets worse.

The alternative is a gear station in a crack then traverse the mine field anyway to get to the rap anchors.

Another alternative is to go up there with a large spade, buckets, maybe a little concrete, something along those lines, the idea being to eliminate the hazard, something I swear i'll do then forget all about unti reminded, usually by walking through the mine field again.

Anyway, until that happens heads up below and i don't recommend having your kids hang out there while you climb.

I guess a bolt station might fix it too.

Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic, but you jogged my memory Anders.

Great thread - thanks!

Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
Anders is right there is a perfectly good gear anchor. Bruce is right too place is a damn mine field. I've sat on that bench and had rocks whiz by my head more than a few times.

Bearbreeder wanted to do something about it last year but was told it wasn't worth the effort unless he was willing to get out the concrete.
susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
Much like what Dave said, I like the TR's that you can "feel the stoke"! Great pictures, smiles and good times all around. Your TR was a big success........We're all jealous!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Apr 14, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Yes there are good natural anchors. You simply have to climb the route to its top, instead of stopping below the last 'step', as some do. There are trees at the top. Alternatively, build a belay below the little step. There are good natural anchors there. Belay up your second, walk across to the rappel anchors.

Given the terrain above it, the slabs at the top of that cliff will always have unstable pebbles, which dribble down with or without traffic. Walk around there and you'll see what I mean. You can build whatever barriers you like, or do a 'clean up', and soon enough there'll be a new accumulation. It's in its nature.

Please think through carefully what you wish for. Fixed anchors at the top of Penny Lane wouldn't solve any problems, and would likely create several:

 Climbers trying to get to the anchors from above, to set up topropes. The approach to the top isn't at all novice-comfortable, plus the increase in traffic, erosion, and rockfall would be significant.

 Mob/territorial toproping of a route that's already busy.

 A route that diagonals considerably in 30 m, so that a toprope without directionals would create a significant chance of pendulums, especially at the bottom/crux.

 Topropes where seconds would get dropped to the ground. Do the math. 60 m rope, 4% stretch = 2.4 m, plus whatever slack the belayer has allowed. The crux isn't even 2 m off the ground. Climber falls, and either hits the ground, pendulums, or both.

The "cure" would be worse than the supposed "disease".
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 14, 2012 - 01:31pm PT
one more day in the city with a walk through Stanley Park, see the aquarium, and over to the Native exhibit at UBC while Jer finishes up his own "work" this morning, then...

edit: that's it, MH2! very cool.
perswig

climber
  Apr 14, 2012 - 08:37pm PT
One of the few places I covet visiting - looks like our rock on steroids!
Have fun and remember the little people on Al's site when you put your next TR together.

What guidebook(s) does a NE boy use in the great wet Squish?
Dale
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Apr 14, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
Your best bets are either to find a friendly local who'll show you around, or get the new edition of Marc Bourdon's Squamish Select. It should be out by early summer, the last I heard.
http://www.quickdrawpublications.com/Squamish%20Select.html
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 15, 2012 - 12:20am PT
Dale, the granite is very similar to our stomping grounds -- you would love it.

I have a copy of Squamish Select for daydreaming at home in NE,


but a friend who is much better than a guide book while here.

Folks are exceptionally friendly round here...even giving tourists photo advice:


Some other shots from our day of tourism in Vancouver:






out to the hills, tomorrow.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 15, 2012 - 12:49pm PT
Looks like you got your weather Cowpoke! Even though they were threatening again :)
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 17, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
Yes, indeed, Big Mike! Weather cooperated perfectly on Sunday.

We started by rambling up Jeremy's new 5.8 at the base of the Apron, Rambles. Outstanding fun on a moderate route that saves the best for last.

Jeremy has some really nice shots of the route on squamish climbing: http://www.squamishclimbing.com/squamish_climbing_bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3798

From Sunday morning:

At the base of the route, Jeremy sharing the story of the work that went into the nice, clean line we were about to climb.


Pitch 1: up a short (clean!) corner to slab.


Pitch 2: an easy and lovely traversing crack to a couple moves of slab with super-sticky, brand new granite.


Didn't get any shots of pitch 3, but here is the top out on pitch 4, where the route steepens with beautiful jugs.


A quick rap.


And, to the coffee house before spending the afternoon at Smoke Bluffs.


We finished the evening with Jeremy's homemade pizzas and sharing kid stories with Jer's good friends Kelly, Katy, and Jeff.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 17, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
Awww!! I was trying to convince Sandra to go do rambles on sunday but had no luck. I think i even saw you guys climbing it as we were driving to Murrin!
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 17, 2012 - 06:33pm PT
Shoot, that would have been great to meet, Mike!

Went for a ride this afternoon on Half Nelson -- I am not a mountain biker and so it was waaay exciting for me!

We had hoped to get in a couple pitches at Smoke Bluffs this evening before going out for sushi, but looking out the window and looks like the rain is back = boo.

Yesterday, we made the most of early rain and a sunny eve with hikes around the bluffs and down on the shore...some pics from yesterday:


We don't have moss like this in New England!


Nor do we have kids' climbing zones!!


We've got some scenes a bit like this.


But, not this.


And, a big chunk of rock. Is it dry yet??
cowpoke

climber
Author's Reply  Apr 18, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
Crossing the bridge to fly home, today.


A million miles our vagabond heels
Clocked up beneath the clouds
They're counting down to show time
When we do it for real with the crowds
Air miles are owing
But they don't come for free
And they don't give you any for pain

But if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

The rimshots come down like cannon fire
And thunder off the wall
There's a man in every corner
And each one is giving his all

This is my fife
This is my drum
So you never will hear me complain

And if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

All the roadrunning
All the roadrunning

Well if you're inclined
To go up on the wall
It can only be fast and high
And those who don't like the danger
Soon find something different to try
When there's only a ringin' in your ears
And an echo down memory lane

But if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning
All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning

The show's packing up
I sit and watch the convoy
Leaving town
There's no pretending I'm not a fool,
For riding around and around
Like the pictures you keep of your old wall of death
You showed me one time on the plane

But if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

A million miles of vagabond sky
Clocked up above the clouds
I'm still your man for the roaming
For as long as there's roamin' allowed

There'll be a rider
And there'll be a wall
As long as the dreamer remains

And if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning
All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning
All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning
All the roadrunning, all the roadrunning
M Knopfler
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 18, 2012 - 01:48pm PT
Ya Cowpoke.. Woulda been good to meet for sure. To bad about the weather... maybe you're gonna have to come back for some nice summmer weather?? I was wondering if you meant Mr. Frimer when you said Jer, too bad he's "Moving to Manitoba!" :)
perswig

climber
  Apr 18, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
Boo rain, but as usual, nice job capturing the mood of your visit.

Dale
(That arching crack looks like Slow and Easy on Cannon!)
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