This is my first TRIAD, it has been quite a challenge. Both mentally & physically i am exhausted at this point. If i didn't find those 2 cans of gross big surf lager in my fridge an hour ago i don't know if i would have been able to pull this off.
Is that Diedre??
So, after all these weird days of this bright thing thing in the sky here in Squamish, that bright thing that dried out all the rock & made it extremely enticing to go clip bolts & hang out in the boulders, or session the kids zone at the bluffs- instead of going multi pitch climbing- the weather finally became more predictable & usual. Enough of this wierdness-Rain was in the forecast & was expected to commence around 11am today.
Yesterday after clipping said bolts with the warm, bright thing looking at us Kieran texted me & asked what i thought about today. Even knowing the forecast, for some reason, like a genius or an idiot i texted him back & said "we should wake up early & go do Unfinished symphony", i'm not sure why exactly i said this but of course he said yes & again i surprised myself by saying i'd be at his place at 8am. After many snooze buttons & looks out into the gray oblivion which the sky had become i called Kieran around 7:37, he didn't answer. I immediately started to fall backwards towards the pillow with a gigantic smile on my face, thinking of the sweet dreams i would have! Even though he immediately called back, since my head had touched the pillow again it was to be that by the time i said hello i had instantly become super lite, coors lite even. I suggested the papoose & some other dumb things & possible lesser routes while pleading that my lite-ness was only due to the weather & that we couldn't bail without 2 ropes & other lame lite statements.
Ahh, the comfort of the usual.
This was the Squamish climbing i've grown to know & love & was happy to be doing again: making excuses, Being lite & trying to stay in bed as long as possible. I've learned these very real, essential techniques that come with the territory here from some of the best. Executing these techniques at 745 is way better than waking up at 10 & going to pet wall or hanging out in the boulders for a few hrs before the night shift. Luckily for me Kieran had done the research on the weather & knew way more than i did & dismantled all of my attempts at infecting him with my Liteitis. So, i was forced to spring out of bed, my attitude improved exponentially once i actaully got out of bed & went directly to two birds eatery for a bit of food. I got to Kieran's place around 815 & we were headed over to the apron parking shortly after. By the time we got there we were stoked & stormed up the approach pitch to the good ledge below the first "real" pitch of Snake/Unfinished.
I'm not sure exactly but i think we tied in around 9 & with my trusty but outlandishly long & heavy & impractical 70m rope i was able to climb a 72 M pitch right up to the ledge at the base of the main corner
the start of the route, snake dekes left. Unfinished takes the massive corner all the way to the top.
It seemed like nobody had visited this climb for a bit as there were quite a few needles & debris, we chalked it up & had a good time, really fun thin corner climbing & a great warmup. One of the reason this climb is so good, it progresses from easy jugs to thinner & steeper & more technical corner climbing.
Kieran on the first needly pitch.
From the ledge Kieran took us up the fun 10a corner which is a little bit steeper & quite a bit cleaner with great rock.
Hey does anyone know what the black coating is on some of the granite near snake & unfinished? It's the kind of shiny stuff?? We were wondering about it up there.
It starts to get good.
Off the next little tree ledge i took the sharp end & went up what i think may be one of the coolest pitches on the apron. Technical gear protected climbing takes you up to and over an overlap with some steeper moves to a good ledge & rest, after this you continue up the thin corner with a runout feel to another rest, clip a bolt & when ready you get 20m or so of awesome sustained technical laybacking in the slammed shut corner with perfect 1 pad 2 finger pockets every 4 feet & bolts every 15, i managed to get excited & peel about 3 feet from the station which was fun, Kieran styled it out on TR. We were having a good time with the grey skies.
ohh real good!
The reason we came, in our pants.
Just joking, kind of.
Kieran took off up the next pitch which features decent spacing between the anchor & the first bolt, when he got to the first bolt something interesting happened. I think in some sort of denial from being coerced into going sport climbing yesterday Kieran grabbed a green alien off his harness to place at the bolt, after some more internal dialogue he succumbed to the quickdraw & clipped his way up for a nice onsight!
Thanks for the 2 finger pockets Hamie! You da man!!
We were starting to notice the weather building a bit but through our state of childlike wonder we managed to ignore those types of things as we only had one real pitch left, which was right in front of our faces.
Thar's something brewing up there.
I cast off & managed to find a way over the funky overlap, after clipping the bolt above i made a few moves & crumbled some crusty feet around before peeling off the blank slab. I went back up & realized i was blowing it before & padded up to the station where i started to feel the first drops.
What Apron route wouldn't be complete without a little pure slab!?
Kieran made it over the bulge & i thought he might just go all the way but managed to pop off in the same spot as i did. We cruised up the last bit of slime & kicked it on top of Diedre for a bit & shot the breeze with a few other dudes who had just topped out banana peel.
Kieran was on point with the TRIAD as well & with his lightning quick & creative media skills has been able to grab the feel of the day with some video here:
We headed down around 12 & after we were presented with an award in the parking lot i dropped brownie off & bid him adieu & to enjoy the rest of his day. Pretty much exactly then i turned on my windshield wipers. Next, i headed downtown & met the wife at Kozo Sushi for lunch which is really a must do for anyone, by far the best sushi in the corridor. After an awesome lunch wifey had to go back to work & the pooch needed to lap out too so i took her for a burn around nexen beach.
So nice in Squamish, even when it's raining.
Sometimes the rain really puts things in perspective.
I dropped the dog back at Jess' office just after 2 and headed home to get my sh#t together for work. After a 20 min nap & a shower i left the house at 3 & did the 40 min haul up to a compound deep inside the innukshuk boundary & hung out with the crew at work & a boatload of British people & other various vacationers for 7hours which was decently entertaining to say the least!
the innukshuk boundary
Unfinished Symphony is a Squamish classic & should be on the list of any climber who visits Squamish & enjoys technical granite climbing. Another cool factoid is that members of the FA & FFA team are both notorious tacostanders who really had some great vision & probably a kick ass time on this thing as well once upon a time, maybe they will chime in with some info.
Was a pretty awesome day, i hope yours is as well!
Hi Ryan. Yes, I was in on the FFA. We had sunshine , albeit fog in Vancouver; it was a lovely late autumn day.
The thing that stands out in my mind is the tiny pro that Peter finagled into the cracks. They were a new type of nut called "RP" that we had purchased in YOsemite from the guy who made them - Roland Paulig.
So we had perfect conditions the day we did it. I remember the climbing being really quite hard. Not sure if I followed the moves that Peter mapped out. Many times I didn't.......either too tinky to reach the holds to just otherwise unable. :-)
Haha hail sellase! Gud one! Once he gets a little more sun on his hide the resemblance will be uncanny.
Thanks for the comments everyone!
Tami, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Sounds like it was a little more dicey when u climbed it! I placed one tiny nut but didn't bother dicking around with any gear between those shiny bolts! Did you guys place any bolts? Kieran told me there used to be fixed pins at one point. I'd love to hear Hamies story of their time up there, really cool the contrast in experience different generations of climbers can have on the same route.
I usually only feel like writing a TR if I actually go on a trip but have been finding myself having a hard time not slumming it up on the taco these days, hanging out in North Korea or any of the other redundant circle jerks that seem to be prevalent, that's all good & fine but I really think that climbing & sharing the stoke is how this place works best for me.
I figure that in Canadia, & Squamish in particular we are so fortunate to live & climb in such a great place every day, & to be able to do climbs on a workday that are of a calibre that lots of climbers out there would have to travel many, many miles to even see or consider. In the future im going to try & focus some energy in sharing those experiences with others. That & there is a major lack of Squamish TRs on the web that don't include all the usual classics, it would be great to shed some light on more of these local favorites. Thanks to Big Mikes thread there is now an awesome archive of great Squamish related photos & info & other such jibber jabber but to sift thru it in search of info on a particular route or for a scrap of beta could be a daunting task. Hopefully in the future I'll have the chance to do this more often although the IAD factor is a big challenge, after re reading this i see that i really should have bivied last night & wrote the report today instead of staying up till 430 & sleeping till noon! That's the one bonus of night shift I guess :-)
I thought that TRIAD meant Three Routes IAD, so I was looking for the other two!
There's not a lot to say about the FA of the first 3 pitches. It was Jim Baldwin's idea, and it went smoothly. I think that we used 2 or 3 points of aid. Standard practice if things looked hard!
At the top of the third pitch the climbing changed dramatically. It was obvious that the next few pitches were far too hard for us, and they are now rated 10d. We could have nailed the corner, but immediately dismissed that idea.
.......we thought that better climbers like Sacherer or Pratt would be able to climb this section free.
.......the idea of nailing a moderate angled slab went against all of our ethics or values. How dumb would that look?
.......like most local climbers we believed in "giving the rock a chance."
So we rapped off.
A year or two later I returned with Bob Woodsworth, for a second look. On the first attempt I had noticed an interesting crack on the lefthand rib of the third pitch. Bob and I climbed this variation, and it was a little easier than the corner. Back at our previous high-point I climbed a few feet higher, but reached the same conclusion. It was too hard for us to climb free, so we left it alone. I placed a bolt to mark our highpoint, and we rapped off. The three pitches which Jim and I had climbed, and later Bob and I, were initially called Cacademon Crack, a nice 8/9 route.
Sadly not everyone shared our ethics. Several years later, Big Jim and Uncle Fred nailed the crap out of every inch of the upper slabs, and called it Unfinished Symphony. It was unfinished for a good reason. Nobody wanted to nail the crap out of a moderately angled slab!!
I have a pic of Bob on the P3 variation, but can't get it to load. I'll try again later.
Andy! Great back to the future TR there, thanks man! Really cool photos too! Was there fixed pins or bolts on the upper corner pitches on that ascent?
Hamie, thanks for chiming in. I guess u aren't responsible for all those little pockets up there after all :-) Really cool how you guys didn't find it ethically viable to smash your way to the top, I didn't know the history there at all. Im sure the route would be 11+ these days without those pin scars in the upper 10+ pitches.
I didn't even know you had a hand in the FA until Kieran told me somewhere around the top of cacademon crack. I'd love to see your photo some time, cheers!
Yes,I think that we did indeed live in a "black and white world", with fewer grey areas. Life was a lot simpler, and less nuanced than it is today. That's one of the reasons we call it The Good Old Days. :) But of course, that's not what your daughter meant!
No, not as far left as TotB. The variation is between the two lines. It is easy to see on P163 of the new Bourdon. It is in the area of white rock, half-way up on the left side of the page, above the words '10a'.
Thanks for the bumps, you're the man! I hadn't checked on this one for awhile.
I hadn't seen the awesome photo that Hamie posted above! That's such a great shot Hamie! With a much more quiet Squamish than that of present dayt lurking quietly in the background. I appreciate you taking the time to scan & post it here.
Thanks everyone who posted on here some historical notes or photos. Kind of a same climb/different time/different climbers kind of thing going on. Cool to look back while moving forward.
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