Trip ReportWritten in stone- 8p + 1 really long pitch (Squamish)
SO last week Josh & I heard about this new route on the Prow wall of the Chief, the Prow is generally a place for the modern #hard_man but, some local guides were nice enough to breach a previously unexplored wall & develop a route for the modern #boltclippingpoofter.
The route is called "Written in Stone" & we thought it was a great outing.
Here's some info on the climb.
The weather was kind of dodgy as usual so we had a mellow start as usual. Josh hitchhiked down from Whistler & showed up around noon, i picked him up & we grabbed a coffee & some chalk.
We saw some rain clouds on the other side of the valley & up north towards Whis so we decided to go for it. Luckily the weather wouldn't be an issue for the rest of the day except for the heat!
We started climbing just after 1:00 & ripped up the apron via rambles/banana peel/boomstick in a single pitch on half a rope which was a fun warmup!
The weather was still ominous at this point but the temps were great & we were having a blast.
We walked up towards the gulley.
And under the imposing Kashmir wall.
If you look close you can see somebody's gear on a project up the middle of the wall. Which looks insane.
A few minutes later we were at the freshly hacked base of the route.
The climb has quite a fresh feel & there was some chalk here & there, but mostly we had a great onsight experience on this route. The first 4 pitches of 5.10 are all varied from one another, slowly building in difficulty & exposure.
The first pitch climbed some left facing corner followed by a few sneaky mantels with a few bolts.
Next Josh lead up some blocks onto a nice buttress with thin flakes & discontinuous cracks. The climbing was not too difficult, but very technical. Requiring constant foot movement & fun, sport climbish moves.
Me following same pitch.
Next i led up a big wide flake, luckily i brought the #4 so after clipping another bristler i headed up a ways before sinking the #4 and doing a bunch of fun lay backing and a bit of hand jamming. There's some fixed tat on the flake where it leans against the wall that i clipped on the way by, it looks pretty new at this point.
After this Josh took us up more sporty moves with bolts right off the station before an airy traverse which is not too protected for leader or follower but very easy & eventually you get a bolt. This pitch & the flake previous were both super fun.
This marked the end of the "easy" climbing as the next 4 pitches would be much steeper & harder, making their way through the 5.11 grade. .
The next pitch & my lead was a wonderful pair of bolted dykes that headed up right towards the headwall & offered cryptic, well protected climbing on great stone. Much to my delight I managed to squeak through the moves & clip the chains with minimal concern.
As i finished this pitch the sun showed up & things got cooking. Josh said he thought he was going to fall off every move while seconding the dyke. Obviously he didn't though.
He then made a great lead of this sneaky corner with some wild moves & more insane technical footwork to be able to stand up into the underclings under the roof. This pitch was kind of like "Blazing saddles" for big kids. I took a hang here trying to figure out wtf to do with my feet for a minute. Such wild climbing. This pitch had an amazing finish once you pull the roof.
After this i took us up the 11c pitch which started with more technical face climbing. I stalled out on a crux forever before finally committing to the moves, after getting over to a vertical crack i placed a piece & started up. Way pumped i got to a decent stance & placed another cam. Looking over i saw a nice shiny bolt to my left & realized i was going to have to do yet another technical sequence to get over into some underclings to clip it. I took a hang to regroup then tried the move, i got my foot on & started rocking out left to a huge stretch for the undercling, pop! I whipped & hung out slightly baffled for a sec before finding a way to match & bust the move.
The rest of this pitch was glorious, Once you clip the shiny one you do a few more hard moves & end up on a sweet arete with 10a/b sport climbing up it followed by a nice hand/fist crack.
Josh cruised it on TR & met me @ a truly great stance where we chilled for a bit & he got psyched for the crux, just above.
The crux pitch started with a super tricky boulder problem right off the chains into you guessed it, more technical climbing! This time up a shallow right facing corner. Josh made a fine lead of this section as well, dispatching of it quickly. At this time he also had an onsight meltdown & traversed left to a tree after the tenuous corner where the route went right lol.
I was close to getting this pitch clean on TR but broke some feet off & peeled near the top of the corner. When i showed up at the belay I grabbed the sharp end & lead a scary scrappy pitch of 5.7 moss to the top & we chilled a bit on the summit before cruising down. Laughing about how we probably missed the last 20 most glorious feet of climbing by bailing into our weenie variation. We finished about 730 so had about 6.5 hrs on the climb.
All anchors are fixed, the rock is clean, most cruxes are bolted or near bolts & the climbing is super technical in a great position up high on the Chief.
Check it out!
After climbing we went to the only bar in town with permanent trolls for a burger & a cold one :-)
Thanks for reading.
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