Trip Report
Squamish: Pies, Crimes and #3 Lies
Thursday September 5, 2013 12:57pm
Picked up H from the airport, departed from Lodi for Seattle, then drove to Squamish for a few days of climbing. I climbed with H for one day before he left for Peru with V when they let me tag along on a Tuolumne weekend of theirs. For some reason he decided I would be a decent enough climbing partner for Squamish, and that is the story of how I found a partner for this adventure.

Credit: chick_on_ice

Day one we managed to lock the keys in my mom's Audi. After intrepidly crawling (we were going full on Rambo-style) through some blackberry thickets to get to an Automotive store, it was closed. I walked up to some Canadian guy in a giant SUV on his cellphone wearing carhartts that looked like a native Squamishite (Squamishian? Squamivian? Squamovite?), and he looked my mud-covered, bloody-legged self up and down and called his friend "Bill", who broke into our car for a flat $40.

Lesson learned: don't trust H with the car keys. Ever.

Credit: chick_on_ice

We made blackberry pie. Well, H made blackberry pie because I'm hopeless at baking. I helped gather the 10 lbs of blackberries.

Credit: chick_on_ice

The highlights of our climbing included climbing the Grand Wall, which we led in block-pitches. I have a certain Middlebury friend that said "I will poop in your bed if you don't climb it", so we had to do it.

I got the easy first four pitches (5.9-10b) and somehow (with a minute-long crash course taught by H at our belay ledge) managed to climb my first A0 bolt ladder. Wooh! I'm an aid climber now right?

Credit: chick_on_ice

On a 10b pitch before going around the corner for my first A0 climb
I climbed the aid bolt ladder using slings as makeshift ertiers as three climbers watched me flounder at the belay. It was not pretty, or elegant or anything I'd care to reenact, but I finally got into the flow and got up onto that belay ledge.

Credit: chick_on_ice

The 4th pitch I got to lead was the 'Split Pillar' pitch which was glorious. I haven't climbed a lot of splitter cracks yet (I'm coming up on my 2 year walked-into-a-gym-for-the-first-time anniversary in several months, so a lot of climbing is still new for me), so this was definitely a bit more challenging.

Also I don't know why the description said "rattly fingers up to wide fists", because in my small-handed-girly opinion, the crack started with perfect hand jams and ended with heinous #3-sized OW that I had to layback the whole way up. I'm sorry, but #3's are NOT fists.

Credit: chick_on_ice

H polished off the last 4 leads. Including the T4 pitch (tree 4).

Credit: chick_on_ice

Post Grand Wall, my bestie C came up with her bf, so I got to hang out with the most wonderful friend anyone could ever ask for and annoy both H and C's significant other with our girly excitement.

Credit: chick_on_ice

More highlights included leading some more 10's (wow the Squamish grades are soft) and my first 11c trad lead ever called Crime of the Century, which H convinced me I could do and I climbed with a few hangs. I somehow levitated up the 'crux section' at the top through shear willpower and the smearing magic of my shoes, because I really, really wasn't interested in taking my first trad gear fall (still haven't taken a fall yet....that should probably happen at some point).

Credit: chick_on_ice

Unfortunately, I had to go back to Seattle to head out to the Bugs the next day, so I never got to try Crime of the Century again to see how I would do a second time around. Oh well, next time! Bugaboos TR coming soon! (and here's a link to my actual blog where the formatting looks prettier:

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About the Author
chick_on_ice is a trad climber from too many places to name.

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Social climber
  Sep 5, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Nice TR. If ya think the 5.10s are soft you might wanna hop on routes like Grim Reaper :-)

Gotta get back to lead CotC in redpointy style ! :-D

  Sep 5, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
Nice one!

As Tami alludes to- You will find that not all 5.10s in Squamish are created equal outside of the smoke bluffs.

I think I saw u guys as I was bouldering at neat & cool a few weeks back, I thought to myself- is that that famous dude from the Internet?! Then I looked around & saw that we were only 200' above sea level & there was no ice, glaciers, alpine routes, or grade v walls anywhere in the vicinity & I thought, naaaaaaa that can't be Hamik. Guess I was wrong! Glad u guys had a good trip.

Next time if u want to try some real Squamish 5.10's

-even steven
-who's your daddy
-local boys do good
-Canadian compromise Into quagmire crack
-the great game
-milk run
-right wing
-hand jive
-squeamishness (1- 11a move at a bolt)
-borderline into angels crest

The list could go on.

Thanks for a nice TR & taking advantage of berry season!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 7, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Very very good tr icy!!!!!

Mountain climber
San Francisco, CA
  Sep 9, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Speaking of "famous" Internet people, a bunch of climbers who I stayed with in Squamish saw Tami perform her winning (two minute?!) handstand and were totally flabbergasted. Ryan, it would have been great to have met you! I see you on these forums all the time.

It was easy to decide to climb with you in Squamish. 1. you offered me a ride from Seattle, which was awesome and 2. we all coo over Vittles here for his blistering climbing progression, but juxtaposed with you he appears to have a learning disability. Sorry V, but both you and I would never have tried some heinous 11c in our second year of climbing! Nat, your motivation is infectious and it's great to climb with someone with so much psych and skill. I can't wait to rope up with you on alpine adventures. On that note, look out for an email...

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
  Apr 22, 2016 - 03:07am PT
As always, excellent!
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