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I like being outside if it's nice out. This includes mountain biking, trail running, sailing, climbing, skiing and much more. If you're going on a fun adventure, let me know!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fun Times in Squamish

I broke my Voile Switchback bindings on my last ski trip to Frosty Mountain, so I had to go climbing instead of skiing last weekend. It turned out to be an action-packed weekend of off the couch climbing. It started off on Friday evening, when Ned and I left Vancouver after work and climbed the South Arete on the Apron, a nice easy crack between Calculus Crack, and St. Vitus Dance.

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Ned enjoying the evening sun and granite on Pitch 3.

Ned and I didn't know what to climb on Saturday, but we ended up with Sarah and followed Jeremy and friends on the first ascent of his new route, The Milk Road which is a combination of old and new pitches up the Tantalus Wall. Unlike the others (Jeremy and Kelly, Nick and Sarah) who were all great trad climbers, our slow trio consisted of Ned who hates placing gear but rather aid climb, Sarah who doesn't like chimneys but boulders V10s, and me who is scared of falling and a wimp in general. The climbing ended up being more varied and demanding than I was hoping for but it was still a great day to be outside! It was a good way to remind myself on how to climb. See Jeremy's writeup here and the topo for more details on the route. Go and climb it!

It must be the north facing aspect and maybe since it's still May, but there was some serious seepage at the start of the route. We still followed the others up regardless, even though we could see a large streak coming down the crux corner pitch on Milk Run.

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The slimey streak wasn't much fun to climb though. There was a little bit of suffering here. It reminded me of this pitch and this pitch. The crux on the pitch was keeping your feet dry, but since my were covered in slime by the time I made it to the slab, I decided to just pull on the bolts instead of working out the slabby sequence.

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I ended up leading the crux corner pitch since it was my idea to climb the route without a ropegun, instead of doing something more reasonable like Angel's Crest. There was a long wet streak on the 2nd corner pitch, so I had to aid through most of the lower half. The upper half was dry, but still quite sustained and hard for somebody who hasn't climbed much all winter.

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Sarah nearing the top out of this unrelenting 45m pitch.

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Ned and his granite coloured outfit in the Changing Corner pitch.

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Sarah following the ramp pitch. The second half of the pitch was pretty cool since it was mostly rambling easy terrain, but lots of exposure. Jeremy did a great job of cleaning this pitch, which is no longer vegetated.

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Happy to be outside and only a pitch and a half from the top.

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Evening light over Howe Sound. Ned, Sarah and I have never climbed in a trio together.

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Ned belaying Sarah up Pitch 7, which goes the Crescent tower, first climbing a bolted chimney, and then a splitter finger crack with lots of air below you.

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Sarah topping out on the spacious ledge on Pitch 7. Lots of exposure below! The lighting was quite fantastic at this point in the evening.

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Ned and Sarah at the belay. I ended up leading most of the last couple pitches since it was my idea to keep going past the top of Milk Run, instead of rapping home and going bouldering in the forest.

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Looking back at the belay while on the final delicate 5.10c traverse pitch (The Crescent Dyke) of the Milk Road. The pitch is quite sustained, with tricky moves after each bolt, and you have to commit to slabby feet and some crimps. I was quite happy with myself when I made it to the anchor without falling.

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Sarah following the Crescent Dyke.

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Tenuous moves after each bolt. Jeremy's advice for somebody following, was to climb past the bolt, do the hard move, and then unclip from the bolt to save yourself from a big pendulum.

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Hardmen drink root beers. We were alot slower than the other two parties (Jer and Kelly, Nick and Sarah) ahead of us, who were already in Squamish drinking margaritas at this point. Jeremy left behind some root beers and chips at the top of the route to celebrate the completion of his big project.

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After over eight hours on the route, averaging an hour a pitch, we joined our friends back in Squamish. We made it back just in time for some pinata fun.

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The next day, after enjoying a lazy morning, Craig and I went off to the Papoose to climb Harpin and some routes in the Bluffs.


2 comments:

  1. Wow it makes my knees hurt when I look at your photos – I love being in nature and looking at these pictures makes me want to try other things but hiking! Maybe it's time I'll try some rock climbing. Thanks!

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  2. Thanks! You should definitely give climbing a try, it's a ton of fun, and it's way easier on the knees than hiking! Well most types of climbing anyways...

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