Trip Report
Uncle Bens V 5.10 C2+; Hammock Bivy Style
Thursday May 17, 2012 11:45am
After employing siege tactics on Wrist Twister III 5.8 C2+, then bailing of a few other routes, I was once again hungry for uncertainty. Uncle Bens is one of few 'Trade ROutes' here in Squamish, the next logical step for an aspiring wall climber.

Finding a partner for this mission was not easy, in fact I couldn't get anyone to commit to the effort. First I was able to convince Rory to come for the first few pitches of free climbing and to help hump loads, then also manage to recruit Kieran to come hang out.

On the first day of climbing I did a 60m haul up to the 'Escape Flake', and started up first pitch of 'Mercy Me', I offered Kieran the lead and off he went.
The little bit of rain didn't slow him down and he brought Rory and I up to the anchor.

I started up the 2nd pitch but after free climbing the wet holds to the first bolt resorted to hooking, several hook placements and I made it to the second bolt. Intimidated by the wet sloping holds and lack of hook placements I decided to fix back the the 'escape flake'.

After some hammock doobies and relaxing the pitch appeared to have dried out and back up we went.

The pitch went quite easily dry and I was on to the next pitch a 5.10 down and leftward trending undercling, which I C1'd my way across.

Three quarters of the way across we decided Kieran and Rory would be better off learning to follow a traverse in day light, so I back aided to the anchor leaving all my pro in place, and we rappeled back to the beer and hammocks we had stashed on the escape flake.

Brownie PHOTO
Brownie PHOTO
Credit: thekidcormier
The next morning I finished the pitch and Kieran free climbed across it and I lowered him to the 'escape flake' so he could head to the city. His ride home was was EPIC, please entice him to tell the story, I'm super glad the meth heads were inexperienced kidnappers and were not able to keep Kieran restrained..

So I led the 'Golden Throat Charmer' and fixed my lines and cleaned the pitch on rappel and headed down for beers and the comfort of my hammock.

The Next morning Rory informed me he had no desire to continue, so I got him to stick around while I jugged the lines to release the bags and then hauled my kit under the intimidating roof.

At this point, I was too chicken sh#t to commit to a solo, and no idea who would finish the route with me, so I got everything neatly organised and head home to try and recruit a partner.

A week later I had a partner locked down Rupert Davies; strong, experienced and committed.

Pre acclimatization.
Pre acclimatization.
Credit: thekidcormier

On the lookers right of the photo above you right trending crack(The Golden Throat Charmer) that leads under the roof, once under the roof the route traverses left and pulls the lip on a bolt.

-Getting ready to pull the roof

-One of the first few hooks on the hooking pitch.

This is still one of the best pitches I've climbed so far!

-A bomber hook a ways from any kind of pro.

Rupert and I got a late start after a morning hike to 3rd peak, so after two short pitches I was tuckered out, Rupert didn't want to lead so we fixed lines back to under the roof to set up our bivy. The set up included the static line fixed to the anchors above the roof, then redirected of the bolt on the lip of the roof (to prevent abrasion) then and butterfly knot with a set of etriers attached which we attached our hammocks; THE HAMMOCK STACK!

-HP photo of the Hammock Stack

-Rupert "The Humble Belayer" Davies relaxing in his first ever hammock bivy!

Our bivy location worked really well since one of our anchor points was out in space we avoided sleeping against the wall. Since we decided to set up early we got camp established with lots of daylight to spare and had the evening to hang out(literally).

-Photo courtesy of Mike at Hurtin' Productions

-Leading the Black Sickle!

The top of the Black Sickle pitch involved an airy pendulum to hooks, then some outstanding freeclimbing way above my pro to the anchors, the climbing was only about 5.7ish but it was F*#KIN' EXCITING!
I also used my duct tape on this pitch to protect the rope from abrading on a sharp edge while Rupert jugged, it worked out great.

The next pitch was the White Sickle, according to the topo this pitch ended at Bird Sh#t Bivy. During the weeks I spent fantasising about this route I convinced myself Bird Sh#t Bivy was a ledge of some sort, with trees and somewhere flat to cook..

As I cruised through the C2+ section I spot some anchors at the end of the corner under the roofed section, I notice the sh#t smears and realise that Bird Sh#t Bivy is nothing more then 3 awfully spaced bolts in a north facing alcove and bunch of bird crap; Not very appealing.

I didn't feel like climbing any more as I had already jugged two pitches, led 3 pitches AND hauled 4 pitches, so I made the decision that we would sleep at the base of the White Sickle. So I fixed all 3 ropes to the Bird Sh#t bolts and made my way half way down the white sickle and built a gear anchor out of the lead line and redirected the tag line and the haul line and rappel down off the natural anchor back to our evenings bivy site!

-Andy Cairns Photo

Our second wall bivy wasn't quite as comfy as the first, but this one was way more airy and the view was killer. Rupert and the lookers right side of our hammocks was anchored to the bolted station, while me and the left side of our hammocks was suspended from a hand placed anchor, then, with a generous amount of slack backed up to a bolted anchor.

-Roop Lounging at camp III

-Andy Cairns Photo

-Half way in my bivy sac while I enjoy a malty bevy.
The next morning we got right to it, I packed my stuff away and started jugging, and set up at Bird Sh#t Bivy for my second last haul, Rupert released the bag and cleaned the gear out of the White Sickle.
The Next pitch was completely horizontal, C2 with 5.10 moves, and started out with a manky old sling on a piton snapping under half my body weight.
Rupert Snapped this nice photo of me working my way out the traverse;

Once my haul system was set up, Rupert did his final lower out; the bag and all the junk tethered to it went for a nice pendulum across the rock face. We still had two more pitch to the dance platform but this station was in-line with the rap route so we left the bag here.
Another pitch of 5.10 climbing on bad rock brought me to the first mandatory natural anchor and the base of the 4" flaring roof.
I didnt have any 4" pro and we all know desperate times call for desperate measures so I had free climb around the corner until I could get inside the thing with a heinous heel toe jam that just kept slipping out of the flare while I desperately tried to find the right piece of gear to stick in... I manage to cram a cam in there and avoided an uncomfortable looking fall. Then Finished the pitch with an excessive amount of rope drag.

After a little jig on the 'dance platform' we rappelled the route and that was that.

Wooo whoo, GET SUM
Wooo whoo, GET SUM
Credit: thekidcormier

  Trip Report Views: 2,353
About the Author
thekidcormier is a trad climber from squamish, b.c, he is especially fond of his trusty tricams. When not free climbing or working he can be found aid climbing or playing in the mountains somewhere.

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Trad climber
part Texas, part Oman
  May 17, 2012 - 11:48am PT
Excellent - love the helmet cam stills of the hook placements... Great send!

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  May 17, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Thanks J.

Glad you enjoyed

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  May 17, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
Nice job Kid. Don;t hammocks suck? Try six nights in a row.

A long way from where I started
  May 17, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
On Uncle Bens, it doesn't count as a real old-school ascent unless you drop the haul bag.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  May 17, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
enjoyed the pics


Social climber
  May 18, 2012 - 12:55pm PT
That pic of you drinking the beer in the hammock is classic. Awesome TR Luke!

Trad climber
100% Canadian
  May 18, 2012 - 02:22pm PT
Site down. Just post the whole show to ST.

Congratulations on a drug free ascent in the future.

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  May 18, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
Haha, good one Bruce(Kay), but it saves havin to take out the camera to get pics of sketchy hook placements.

BMACD; you should take some tips from BK, and make your jokes, ummm, FUNNIER.

30 mins. from suicide USA
  May 18, 2012 - 03:07pm PT

Trad climber
ontario canada
  May 18, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
way to go Luke!great pics and report.-glad to see those gloves going places.

Social climber
  May 18, 2012 - 05:31pm PT
David dropped the haul sac on the traversing pitch. Dumbass :-) That thing came to ground like a freight train. Oy !

Daryl useta call Hugh B "Huge Spurtin'" which I think hilarious. But Daryl was hilarious.

Great pix. Airy scarey.

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  May 20, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
Wayno; I actually enjoyed the hammock, it was super comfy; But I gotta ask what wall did you do the 6 night push on!?!

Slodog; Stoked you like the report, probably wouldnt have gone up there if i still didnt have gloves, thanks again Doug.

Tami/Ghost; Does any one care to tell the tale of how exactly one drops the haul bag...

Huge Spurtin - ahahahaha

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  May 21, 2012 - 03:34am PT
Six nights wouldn't be so bad, it was the two whole days during a winter storm on top of that. I even had extra spreader bars. On the next wall I made my own portaledge, I wasn't going to do that again. Harding did how many nights in a hammock on the Dawn? No wonder he drank like he did.

Edit- Oh yeah, it was on the Trip.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 20, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
Nice Write-up kid!
Fish Boy

Social climber
  May 21, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
You're such a hardman Lucas, now you know what you're doing it'd be great to hit the wall with you again...;)

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  May 22, 2012 - 11:14am PT
Thanks for the beta Wayno. I kept tellin rupert in his hammock "dude, you totally look like Warren Harding right now" hahah

Any tips on how to build my own ledge?

Thanks Ezra, I'm stoked you liked it, quite possibly one of my best TRs to date. I totally left the marijuanna smoke to the readers' imagination.

Fish I'd be hella stoked to get on the wall with you again, I definitely learned a shitload from you last time.

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  Nov 30, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Bumping a Squamish classic.

The funniest part was that the only music we had cranking out of that stellar boom box was mountain of phlegm, and its song selection is terrible at best. Most of the time I couldn't here it when out on the sharp end, but apparently it was echoing into the boulders quite clearly.

After getting down I as spraying at the climbing shop about my first grade V and this chicks like that was you on uncle bens? YOUR MUSIC SUCKED!

this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
  Nov 30, 2012 - 10:45am PT
Thanks for the bump and for the TR. great write up and send. Even better boom box.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Nov 30, 2012 - 11:11am PT
Nice ghetto blaster!

What did you end up doing for a ledge?

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  Nov 30, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
Bought that ghetto blaster for ten bucks here in squamish thinking it felt pretty light. The I go to buy batteries for the damn thing, cost 22 bucks and weighted more the the stereo. BUT they lasted for 2 and a half months!,

After a couple hammock walls I bought an old A5 single.

Trad climber
100% Canadian
  Dec 1, 2012 - 02:54am PT
Nice work on the last pitch, my partner almost committed suicide during that lead, luckily I was uninjured even though he landed on me .... I hope the new drug counseling program works for you

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Author's Reply  Dec 1, 2012 - 10:51am PT
I can't believe no one is intersted that brownie was kierannapped by meth heads on his venture to Vancouver!!

In a stolen sedan!

dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
  Dec 1, 2012 - 11:42am PT
Oh yes, Hammock bivvys! That brought back some painful sleepless memories.
Oh the agony! Come on sunrise.
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