Trip Report
multipitch monday-NEW LIFE INTO PARALLEL PASSAGES (TR)
Wednesday July 10, 2013 6:24am
The mighty north walls
The mighty north walls
Credit: RyanD


We've all been having a pretty good time out in the backyard here lately & it's safe to say that Squamish climbing season is prime for the longer stuff right now. It's actually prime for everything! Bouldering, sport weenyisms & of course plugging gear into the monolith are all quite good to go. The weather has been great if you avoid the sun & the stone is dry as a bone! Yeaahooo!!! Brownie & i have been trying to do multipitch mondays lately & seeing as i'm usually off & he is always off it works out well, we had a great adventure Kieran wrote about here a few mondays ago & were psyched again to have another case of the mondays.

We wanted to up the difficulty & angle this monday & had been itching to go do a climb on the north walls of the Chief as neither of us had ever ventured up to the somewhat via this wall. Since we are still a little too lite to do the "rite of passage" Alaska highway to access Astro ledge we decided to check out New Life, a fairly new route put up a few years ago by some local beasts. It features 4/5 pitches of steep physical climbing with a little bit of everything. Our plan was to then head up to astro ledge & do another newer 5 pitch line called Parallel Passages which finishes on the Zodiac summit of the Chief. We have been getting psyched about this one for some time now & it felt great to wake up & know we were heading up there for a good challenge on new terrain.

The first pitch has some nice facey, vertical corner climbing up to a ledge where u traverse left to another left facing corner. Brownie styled us up this one, carrying most of the gear all the way up to the belay with him. A Fine pitch indeed that ends on a fine ledge, the first of many excellent belay stances we were about to find ourselves on.

pitch 1 new life
pitch 1 new life
Credit: RyanD

New life pitch 1
New life pitch 1
Credit: RyanD

The next pitch was going to be the crux of the day & it was my time to grab the sharp end & get tested. It climbs an amazing, steep, white, left facing corner system up towards some huge roofs.

pitch 2 new life, Yikes!!!
pitch 2 new life, Yikes!!!
Credit: RyanD

It starts with good locks & high smeary feet for about 50' until you get into a weird chimney where you can depump a bit before extricating yourself via hard moves until you're standing on a slab. I royally f*#ked up here as i chilled forever & was feeling pretty damn good. I pulled up around the corner & fired in a baby blue camalot to protect the move.

New life pitch 2, the burl begins.
New life pitch 2, the burl begins.
Credit: RyanD

I then committed to the move, which involves getting your feet super high & yarding yourself out of the slot & up around the corner with a big reach(pretty sure my beta was wack here). I managed to grunt out the move then looked down in horror to see that i had Z clipped myself when i placed the high piece & pulled rope from my waist!! Idiot!! I downclimbed a bit & tried for a bit to reach down & unclip the bottom cam but eventually failed & had to grab the camalot & figure out the mess. I pulled back on the smeary ramp & did a few moves up to to this wild roof feature that you have to do some burly traversing out left under. I placed a cam & hung for a minute to recover from my mini epic & gave it a go.

new life p2
new life p2
Credit: RyanD

Unusual moves led me out to where i ended up reaching blindly around the corner off a little slot, pawing at useless slopers & nothingness. I tried to get myself a little taller & popped around the corner to what i thought may be a hold, but wasn't, then i was in the air. When i got back up i found a way to transfer a little more weight & fully max reach to a jug & a few steep moves & a lunge for a sawed off Squamish tufa & i was at the belay! Yay jugs!

Brownie did great & was able to style this pitch on TR with some funky gumbie beta including an alleged head jam @ the final reach! Very cool. I did manage to screw him a bit as he had to clip into a cam to remove the piece i fell on, sorry bud!!

Next up brownie took us up a overhanging groove with a steep handy fist crack that rattled a few times & was quite physical. Champion he is, Kieran linked it with the next short traverse crux pitch which turned out to be not too bad compared with the first crux pitch, some delicate moves with bolts & a few more reaches. One more fun pitch up an arete & cracks took us to the woods where we proceeded to haul our asses up a bunch of boat ropes & old mank to the north end of zodiac ledge.

angels crest
angels crest
Credit: RyanD

We chilled for a bit once we got to the ledge & sussed the plan, by brownie being the trooper that he is & linking pitches he ended up turning the leads around. Well, the course of action that his previous decisions terminated upon landed him in front of this.


Parallel passages takes the steep corner & eventually traverses right ...
Parallel passages takes the steep corner & eventually traverses right up the chimney/OW in the left side of the massive pillar high on the face.
Credit: RyanD

Well, when we heard about a 5 pitch,5.10 route with a small A0 or 12a slab bolt ladder up the north walls we both found out later that the other was expecting this low angle hike up a grotty weakness to the summit. Not 40m vertical 2-9" white granite splitters stacked up for 3 pitches straight! WOW!

*hey does anyone know what route climbs the overhanging golden finger crack just up and left of the first main corner in the above pic?? Is it Ron Zalko?*

So Brownie casts off up the 4" splitter in another left facing corner.



At one point he gets himself into some cruxy flare & has to do a bunch of wiggling, since our only #4 was well below him the ever resourceful Brownie used the questionable tactic of tying a draw into a clove hitch for pro with his teeth & a fixed line that was hanging near the route, presumably for cleaning or ushba'ing. After that he navigates the short bolt ladder & a fine steep fingery flake. I cruised up via a few face moves i uncovered on my free ride & managed to avoid the thrutchfest, or so i thought.

Parallel passages P1
Parallel passages P1
Credit: RyanD

When i got to the ledge i looked up at this gradually steepening ramp which lead into a vertical 20M OW to Squeeze chimney corner. It looked like a mini pipeline for weenies like us. I got the sharp end for this one & it was a fun, challenging lead. Luckily, in true Squamish fashion, the wide has a few bolts on it about 20' apart, the first one about 20' up off the ramp. It actually turned out to be not too bad due to lots of footholds & secure jams. This led to my favorite part of the day which was settling in On this wonderful diving board ledge which had just the best view, sunshine, & a nice cool rock i could use as a backrest. Just an incredible place to reflect.


put your feet up, stay awhile.
put your feet up, stay awhile.
Credit: RyanD





I gave Kieran a loungey belay & thought about what different things we were going through at that exact moment as he scraped up the wide in a pair of shorts & i softened my gaze & floated in the small, puffy cumulus clouds that danced around the summit of Atwell peak across the way while sprawling across this awesome perch. When he got there we kicked it for awhile, again thinking we were thru the business & thinking things would ease off, it kind of looked like it would from where we were sitting at least.

yep
yep
Credit: RyanD

Eventually Brownie walked over to the start of the next pitch which is another 4" splitter crack which overhangs a few degrees & slowly tapers in to continuous hand sizes for about 45M, never getting less than vertical for almost the entire way. I guess it's not over??

Credit: RyanD

Parallel passages Pitch 3
Parallel passages Pitch 3
Credit: RyanD

This pitch was magnificent, way harder & more sustained than you think it's gonna be & a proud onsight by Kieran. Relentless for the grade i thought it was much tougher than Quagmire with multiple cruxes, strenuous jamming & a great exposed position.

$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$
Credit: RyanD

He stretched the rope & managed to climb up through some wonderful stairs & gardening the developers did to another massive vegetated ledge.




I took us up through some interesting terrain with a few steep sections before i ended up inside the mountain in this neat cave that is about 60' high & a green camalot splitter that runs straight up into a chockstone riddled ceiling. I looked down at my one red & one green i had left and said uh uh. It didn't occur to me to stem for some reason so instead i went up a blocky unprotectable corner & found my self up stemming wide on some chockstones about 50' up & right next to the splitter. I managed to reach way out over the void i hadn't protected & managed to fandangle some gear in before pulling into the crack for a second & manteling up on a cool chockstone with a nice belay & view. Brownie figured out to stem across & climb straight up the splitter with what looked like very minimal difficulty.




Kieran then grabbed the sharpie & stormed up the final pitch which was also probably the easiest pitch of the day & the first at a lesser angle, we were cool with that. A few tricky moves up some fingers & a little back & foot took us to the woods where we happily took our shoes off.


glory sunset finish, P5 Parallel passages
glory sunset finish, P5 Parallel passages
Credit: RyanD

good way to end the climbing day :-)
good way to end the climbing day :-)
Credit: RyanD

After a summit J & high fives we decided to stagger down by taking the main trail down then hanging a Louie under Cirque of uncrackables over towards the squaw before dropping down to the barley trail below Pox wall which rapidly descends to the logging road & car. It was a pretty long day at 12hrs car to car. We then grabbed eh and dubs & beer & had a good session in my backyard till about 2am. We were so psyched on the route & it was probably one of the best i have done at Squamish. Big thanks to the developers for having a keen eye & bloodying their knuckles. This thing is classic & needs traffic, if the grand wall is easy go get on it!!




Can't wait until next monday.





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RyanD
About the Author
RyanD is a climber from Squamish.

Comments
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johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jul 10, 2013 - 07:49am PT
So, are you up early or up late?

Cool burly TR!
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Marcus McCoy from Nevada City
  Jul 10, 2013 - 09:37am PT
sounds like someones got a case of the mondays ! guuuuud stuff. what a perch at that one spot eh? awesome bivi/party ledge too i bet.
Relic

Social climber
Weenie
  Jul 10, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Yuhhhhhhhh!

I think that might be Visionquest Ryan, the corner fingercrack thing.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jul 10, 2013 - 10:06am PT
Good link! The other start to Parallel Passages has a bit of wasteland vibe. I am guessing that the thin crack in golden rock above the first corner has not been done. Not Ron Zalko.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 10, 2013 - 10:12am PT
Nice! New stuff....I need to get back to Squamish!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jul 10, 2013 - 10:33am PT
A Grand Day Out.

Way to go, keeping the magic alive.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
  Jul 10, 2013 - 11:15am PT
Nice job you guys - I'd forgotten about that one! It is now totally clean I take it? Whats the recommended rack?

I am guessing that the thin crack in golden rock above the first corner has not been done. Not Ron Zalko.

The face crack way up there? Yeah whats the story with that? I'm sure its been checked out on rappel so there must be some legit reason its still unclimbed
Fish Finder

Social climber
  Jul 10, 2013 - 12:26pm PT


Nice Monday rock RyanD,

but its hardly a real TR without mention of your Dog.


harryhotdog

Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
  Jul 10, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
Mult- pitch Monday followed by Taco trip report Tuesday. Another great outing by you guys and you are so ready for the Alaska Highway-Northern lights.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Jul 10, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Nice work boys! Jealous!! Youz guyz is having all the fun lately!!
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jul 10, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
I like your "back yard"

Watch the z-clipping, it will fuk you every time, lol!!!!

Nice pitches! Good work!
Relic

Social climber
Weenie
  Jul 10, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
What's up for Weenie Wednesday?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Jul 10, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Lol! ;)
TheSoloClimber

Trad climber
Vancouver
  Jul 10, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
Pretty sure I threw some sort of head jam in there too.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Author's Reply  Jul 10, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Thanks for the comments everyone! We had a really awesome day & I was stoked to write this up for a share in my continued goal to put more info on lesser known Squamish classics out there in hopes ppl will get out of the lineups & go check em' out.

John- up late. I wish I could get up that early, hope ur doin good!

BK, we had double camalots from grey to blue, 1-#4, green & yellow alien, red & green C3, baby blue C4 & a few nuts. It worked pretty good & everything was useful, especially the golds & blues for parallel passages, we probably could have ditched a red, green, & yellow alien (though I would never leave home without my yellow alien). Route was clean enough although, as mentioned there was some fixed ropes around the parallel passages pitches, easy enough to deal with though, get up there if u haven't!

Harry, I appreciate your sandy encouragement. Maybe by summers end :-)

Relic of the 90's, I thought maybe visionquest as well for that beautiful overhanging finger crack too but Brownie sez "no". My guidebook is buried somewhere so I have nothin to reference. I'd be super surprised if it was unclimbed as it is way too obvious & awesome looking. Weenie Wednesday consisted of getting bouted like a couple of weenies on what me & Kieran thought were gonna be a couple of easy 5.10 crack FA's.


Yeah donini, you do need to get back up here. All the slabs sank into the sea, I promise.





Oh, & to complete the TR for Gregg.



Credit: RyanD

Have a good day!


Relic

Social climber
Weenie
  Jul 11, 2013 - 02:50am PT
It is not Visionquest cuz that is left of PUBLIC IMAGE.

From the guide it looks like it is nothing, but it sounds worthy.

PUBLIC IMAGE sounds worthy too.








...of course this is a shittalk coming from me, the weenie.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 13, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
Nice pics, you're a couple of lucky blokes!!!!
squamishmonkey

Trad climber
Squamish
  Jul 13, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
Hi Ryan,
Eric here, the finger crack has been climbed as part of one of the two routes that have been developed.
The two routes are
Inside Passages and Parallel universe.
Combine the easier pitches of the lower half and easier pitches on the top half and you get Parallel Passages.

We freed and Paul finished cleaning the lower half last summer and this spring. There are 4/5 amazing pitches from the ground to Astro ledge (start 50m left of Alaska highway on a bolted arete) that are ready for everyone 11c, 11a, 12a, mid 10, if you launch into the head-wall and free the bolt ladder at 5.12 then launch up left from the diving board into the splitter finger crack it is 11d/12a. The line then continues to the top. If you combine all the hard pitches of both lines it is very sustained and packs a huge amount of quality climbing (The first four pitches are as good as Alaska highway with a wild and over-hung crux)

So to answer you question the finger crack has been freed, has a name and is open for business... The grades are not set in stone so expect to find some of this to be hard for 12a

Thanks
Eric
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jul 13, 2013 - 10:18pm PT
kick a$$ and thanks for posting!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Author's Reply  Jul 14, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Hey Eric,
Thanks for chiming in, I knew that crack must've been climbed & am happy to hear it goes at an attainable grade (although knowing u I'm sure there is some seriously techy sequences). Very cool part of the chief up there. I'll have to check out those lower pitches near Alaska hwy u speak of sometime. Maybe we'll see u this week. Appreciate the work u guys did up there.

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jul 14, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Tremendous efforts by Paul and perhaps others in that section of the North Walls.

Fun collection of cleaning tools under it all last year from pick-axe to ice tool to much abused brooms.

The rock in and around the thin crack right of Public Image must not have been as flaky as it looked to me, or was cleaned up, or it was an exciting lead. Maybe all 3. Stunning position.
squamishmonkey

Trad climber
Squamish
  Jul 14, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
Hey Ryan and Squamish crew, I forgot to mention pitch one is currently r/x until we add a second bolt, if you fell before clipping the crux bolt your gear is a good 5m below you with a ledge at 12m below you. We will install the bolt soon. Just thought I'd mention it so if you go soon expect to have some spicy sauce!
Eric
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Author's Reply  Jul 16, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Fun collection of cleaning tools under it all last year from pick-axe to ice tool to much abused brooms.

Andy, it's funny you mention that. When we climbed this there was a bunch of tools stashed at the top & we had a laugh, saying that when you find a cleaning tool stash it's kinda like finding a teenagers porno stash in their messy bedroom.
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Jul 16, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
Good job lads and nice pics too.....Miss the old Squamish trips a lot..............

Stevo
Hoser

climber
vancouver
  Jul 16, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
The other start to Parallel Passages has a bit of wasteland vibe

I climbed this route on the weekend from the bottom as per the guide, we did it in 8 pitches. I thought the lower pitches were just fine, only one wet hold was found.

I also found the three off astro ledge to be awesome, but stout. Considerably harder than anything above or below.

If Sunset Strip is the bench mark for 5.10 as a recent poster suggested on squamishclimbing.com, then whats this route...soft....

I am thinking probably not :)

I also wanted to thank the route developers for an awesome line and what appears to be an amazing amount of work.

Probably one of the best lines I have done in Squamish for the grade, absolutely stunning overhanging golden granite way up the North Walls.

Cheers!!
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