With summer work coming to a close three weeks prior to the start of school, it was decided that we would finally be able to make an extended trip to Squamish.
We left Bozeman on Thursday morning, August 10th, and drove all day (with a few minor detours en route), arriving in Squamish late that night.
Day 1: After finding a site at the Chief campground, we headed for the Apron; climbed the first pitch of St. Vitus Dance, only to discover we had not brought bigger gear for the second pitch. We rapped off some nearby bolt anchors and scrambled over to Calculus Crack, which delivered us to the top of the Apron. Very cool first impression of Squamish- I liked what I had seen thus far. Of special interest to me were the three memorial plaques on the broad rock ledge overlooking Howe Sound- very cool.
Day 2: We headed to the Smoke Bluffs in hopes of finding some quality cragging, and were not disappointed. Super fun, especially getting used to the rock. Didn't feel like other granite I had climbed on. Favorites for the day were Flying Circus and Kangaroo Corner.
Day 3: Headed up the backside of the Chief, got dead lost looking for the right side of the Solarium, but eventually found our way to the base of Sunblessed. The route was different than I had expected (especially the 2nd pitch), but still fun. Found the crack on the 2nd pitch to be much more sustained than expected. Great reality check!
Day 4: Back to the Smoke Bluffs for some more cragging, this time at Penny Lane. Favorite of the day was Climb and Punishment.
Day 5: Typical rest day...slept in, ate a big breakfast, slept more, read.
Day 6: Up at 7 AM, ready to go by 8, and we were off to the Grand Wall. Not sure what to expect out of the route (neither of us had climbed something that big before), we bypassed Aprong Strings and started the climb from the top of Flake Ledge. From there, the route went suprisingly well, and thus, we had a blast. Most entertaining for me was the Split Pillar and the Sword- definitely the most fun I've had on rock in a long time. We topped out on Bellygood in late afternoon, and slowly traversed off towards the backside trail. Next stop was the brewpub, where we feasted on beer and burgers.
Day 7: Somewhat exhausted from the Grand Wall, we decided to take it easy and go bouldering. Fun problems, although some scary landings.
Day 8: Started our day by heading to the base of the Grand Wall and climbing the first pitch of the Peasant's Route (fun, yet slippery down low!) followed by the classic Exasperator. Super fun! From there, we headed to the Smoke Bluffs for some afternoon cragging, highlighted by Partners in Crime- very fun.
Day 9: Once again, back to the Smoke Bluffs, where we climbed 3 of the 4 pitches comprising the "Smoke Bluff Connection" (Mosquito, Phlegmish Dance, Jabberwocky), then headed to Penny Lane where climbed the crag's namesake route. We then topped the day off with Crime of the Century- definitely one of my favorite pitches of the entire trip.
Headed home on Sunday the 20th, and couldn't have been more satisfied with the trip. Those of you living in Washington and BC have it made- Squamish is the shit; I especially realize this now after returning to Montana and continuing with pointless endeavors on choss piles.
Can't wait to get back out to Squamish, hopefully next time for a more extended stay.