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G-spotter

[TR] Yak Peak- Speedway (11 pitches, Grade II 5.8) 10/9/2006

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Climb: Yak Peak-Speedway (11 pitches, Grade II 5.8)

 

Date of Climb: 10/9/2006

 

Trip Report:

Climbed this one on Monday with my friend Annie. I have been eying this side of Yak for a while, it was nice to get over there and check it out.

 

The start of the route is not well described in the guidebook. And you cannot see the first pitch anchor from the ground. When you get over to the general area you might find a faded blue sling tied around a dead tree. Start right here and go up. If not, look for a white streak that is visible from the highway. White streak is just left of a shallow corner/scoop thing. Climb the white streak and a bolt anchor will magically appear 50m up as you reach the first ledge. If you walk along the base of the wall until you reach a pond, you have gone 70m or so too far west.

 

First 5 pitches are 5.0 to 5.3. You get no protection bolts on the first two 5.0 pitches, one on the third (5.2), a possible TCU placement 5m below the anchor on the fourth (5.3) and a nice flake on the 5th (5.3).

 

The wall steepens above. 6th pitch has a short step to pull over (5.6 with bolt) then a 30m runout to the anchor. 7th pitch is 5.7 with two bolts. First one is about 25m up.

 

8th pitch is a 4th class scramble between two ledges. There is some loose rock here.

 

9th pitch is the crux (5.8). A flake at the start gives you some gear placements, then run it out 10m to a bolt, then run it out 25m to another bolt, then easy to the anchor.

 

10th pitch is 5.easy for 20m to a bolt, then 5.5 for 25m to the anchor.

 

Last pitch is 5.4 ish for 35m to trees.

 

From trees there is supposedly a sketchy scramble up to summit but with all the nice Metolius Rap Hangers, rapping back down seems more enjoyable. The slabs are pretty low-angle so's your ropes will want to form piles below you instead of cleanly sliding down the slab when you toss'em.

 

This is a really good one to do some simulclimbing or simulsoloing on. Providing you don't mind having nothing but the anchor clipped between you if simulclimbing. The first 5 pitches are basically walking or smearing up the slab, handsfree. The 5.6 and 5.7 are pure friction with few holds. The 5.8 is up edges in glacier polish and has real actual handholds and footholds.

 

Simulrapping will get you down very fast. Longest pitch and longest rap is 50m so you do not need 60m ropes.

 

Overall impressions, Pro: very good rock - better than on Yak Check. Nice bolting job, minimalist but just enough. Not as well known or as busy as other routes on peak. Bomber rap stations. Great day out. The 5.8 pitch and 5.7 pitch are three star.

 

Even though this is 11 pitches, since the pitches are so runout you won't be stopping to fiddle in gear. Simulclimbing party can probably crank it off it 2 hours so it gets Grade II in my opinion. Climbing pretty slowly it only took us about 4 hours.

 

Con: doesn't go to top. Lots of slab hiking with four "real" pitches. A 5.8 route that budding 5.8 leaders might have a real hard time with due to the length of the runouts (but if you can lead Pig Dogs on Parade it shouldn't be a big deal).

 

This route and a Fred Beckey/Max deJong/Joanne Svensson line from the 1980s are very close to each other. Speedway may have been put up partially over top of the older route. But the places where the older line would have gear belays are off to the side of where the Speedway bolts are and I think Speedway takes a more direct line up blanker rock for the most part. However the two routes are probably no more than 30m apart at most for most of the climb. Arguable whether this is considered a retrobolt or not. I wouldn't worry too much about it cause Fred said that the line he climbed wasn't very good.

 

Gear Notes:

No more than 4 pts of pro per pitch - four shoulder slings plus a cordelette each for anchors.

 

Gear used - #3 and 4 TCU, #1 Camalot, #11 Rock. Probably could have used a #2 instead of #1.

 

Double 50m ropes or rope and tagline.

 

Approach Notes:

Hike trail to base of Yak Crack. Cut left along slabs (scrambling up and down and across) for ~500m and 15-20 minutes to base of route.

 

105666.jpg

 

105712.jpg

 

105711.jpg

 

265769705_2f45ac5471.jpg

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I saw these on the way out highlighted by the sunset light

 

105721.jpg

 

They look like they would be fun to climb on... located in "the desert" left of Yak Check.

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When I climbed that route I remember rappelling back down until about two pitches off the ground. At that point, after getting tired of rappelling the 30 degree slab we decided to walk down, which is about the same as walking off the Apron....plus, I really needed to take a shit! shocked.gif

 

But I remember the 5.8 pitch got your attention if you place your foot on a bit of glacial polish by mistake...

pitty.gif You would probably leave a pound of skin on the slab before skidding to a hault.

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Gear Notes:

No more than 4 pts of pro per pitch - four shoulder slings plus a cordelette each for anchors.

 

Gear used - #3 and 4 TCU, #1 Camalot, #11 Rock. Probably could have used a #2 instead of #1.

 

Double 50m ropes or rope and tagline.

 

shocked.gifshocked.gif What no bolt kit, no community service bolts placed, long run-out, damn do you got a deathwish? Purty place though.

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Spent a couple of days in the Anderson River group this weekend.

 

Saturday E. and I went in to do the scramble up Steinbok. Spent three hours wandering around on alder-choked logging roads getting soaked in frequent rain showers. South side is definitely a better approach to the Ibex-Steinbok col.

 

Ran into Blake and avitripp back at the parking also getting skunked by the rain, no Voodoo Chile for them.

 

My friend Chris came out on Sunday from Squampton and we headed for Yak. Two parties already on Yak Check so we did Speedway. Great day but cold and windy up there, two jackets on all day long.

 

2838888522_acbf8968da_b.jpg

 

Wet Steinbok on Saturday

 

2840228772_4cf8d31088_b.jpg

 

Climbing Speedway on Sunday

 

2838052259_db6bd65d79_b.jpg

 

Simulrapping back down.

 

 

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Nice moody picture of Steinbok.

 

Speedway looks fun, was that a two hour outing this time around? I love that foonting stuff.

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We took two separate lunch breaks this time (it was Chris' first multipitch climb this year and all the lowangle slab was working his calves) so probably 3 hrs up and 1.5 down.

 

We also spent over an hour picking raspberries and huckleberries on the way down :chebit:

 

I took advantage of Tyler's advice and walked down the last 2 pitches instead of rapping them. Top of the 2nd is a little steeper than the Apron descent slab, don't slip.

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Hello - thanks for all the beta about this climb.

 

We were up on speedway a few weeks ago. From what we saw the climbing was great, but definitly heady considering the huge run outs. Even the easiest pitches required very careful attention to foot and hand placement as the rock has the odd crumbling crystal, and arresting a fall might prove difficult and messy! :) As others have mentioned, make sure you're confident on slab before getting on this climb.

 

Unfortunately our climb was cut short because we found that the reported "Metolius Rap Hangers" have been replaced with some sort of low profile hangers. This complicated our ascent as pulling the rope through these hangers would be pretty much impossible, and we didn't want to leave a ton of slings in the event that we needed to retreat from higher up. In the end we decided to bail after 5 pitches of enjoyable climbing.

 

 

Does anyone have any information on why the rap rings were replaced with simple hangers? Does anyone happen to know Roland Mooney who was the route developer? It would be great to ask him if contributing new rap rings would be acceptable, as I think they would improve this climb.

 

On a side note, on our approach hike we left the forest and immediately saw a wolverine about 100 metres up the slab. It saw us right away and and started to run off traversing the slab, showing it's unmistakable running style and size. Super cool!

 

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Wow - that's odd about the hangers.

FWIW you could likely do a one-pitch traverse or double-rope diagonal rappel from the belay below the crux pitch of speedway in order to gain the belay near the UFO pitch of the adjacent route SOMWOW, then rappel SOMWOW.

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Just to be clear, this is a Metolius rap hanger:

 

met_rap_hanger_gry.jpg

 

Its an extra thick hanger with eased edges, and you rap by just running your rope through the hangers. Its not a super easy pull, but it doesn't damage your rope.

 

You mention rap rings, and these hangers don't use them. Are you thinking of the Fixe hangers with rings:

 

fixe_ring_anchor_ss.jpg

 

That's not what Gspotter was describing as being on the route, he means the first hangers I've shown.

 

Bonus points for the wolverine. I've always wanted to see one of those in the wild, preferably running away as it was for you.

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Good tip G-spotter. Thanks

 

OffWhite - no, I'm pretty sure it wasn't those metolius hangers. Those are the large ones that are often placed with a vertical offset and with one on an angle to make it easier to pull through - right?

 

The hangers that are now on the first 5 pitches appear to be brand-new, and are a type I've never seen before. They were mostly facing downwards and had a bent profile just like the hanger attached to the ring that you've posted a picture of. I think it might be these:

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Climbing/RockHardware/FixedProtection/PRD~5015-981/edelrid-draco-38-or-10mm-bolt-hanger.jsp

 

 

With 50 metres of rope stretch and multiple raps below, threading through these small hangers seemed like a terrible idea. Also, multiple layers of old webbing at each anchor was a clear indication that I'm wasn't the first person to decide not to thread.

 

It would be great to track down the person who changed the anchors to see what their intention was.... any idea of other online forums that might be frequented by coastal climbers?

 

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I climbed Speedway back in July and can confirm that none of the stations all the way to the top had Metolius rap hangers. On one, you couldn't clip a carabiner through it.

 

Cormac

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So admittedly I haven't been up Speedway since 08 but I did climb SOMWOW in 2010 and didn't see anything like huge chunks of visible webbing over on Speedway then.

 

Also I linked this post to Kris Wild (one of the Speedway FA team) and he's not aware of anyone from the FA team or guiding community changing the anchors.

 

Off the top of my head I can guess that either

 

1) somebody changed the anchors without telling anyone sometime between 2010 and 2012

 

or

 

2) there's a new route being developed in the area and you accidentally got on that instead of on Speedway.

 

Not sure which is correct.

 

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I was definitely on speedway. Everything about it matched the descriptions and topos that I've seen for this route.

 

G-spotter, in case Kris doesn't see this post, could you please ask him/her if it's OK to add rap hangers back to the route. Also, ask what would be the most ideal type of hanger?

 

 

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He said the only reason they used the Metolius rap hangers is because they were the lightest. Using rap rings or any other fully metal, no tat solution to rebuild it is fine.

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9th pitch is the crux (5.8). A flake at the start gives you some gear placements, then run it out 10m to a bolt, then run it out 25m to another bolt, then easy to the anchor. [\quote]

 

is the crux bolted and the rest is easy? 25m of runout sounds rough, even on 5.8....

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the climbing is pretty sustained at 5.7 on that pitch. the 5.8 involves some slippery glacial polish near the gear-eating flake

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