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sammy

Getting started in Squamish

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A buddy and I are hitting squamish for the first time next week. Any recommendations for mid-fifth multipitch routes and 5.8-ish sport?

 

Thanks!

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What is your definition of mid fifth class? If you're looking at 5.8ish sport, are you wanting 5.5 or 5.8-5.9 multipitch trad?

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I've always had a soft spot for Banana Peel on the Apron, it's like 5.6 or 5.7. It will probably give you an idea what the climbing is like.

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Honestly, I would not look for 5.8 sport climbs. The really good climbs are cracks. You might want to check out the smoke bluffs. It's the most popular spot and my first trad lead was Laughing Crack which is a great first lead! It's a 5.7. Good luck and have fun!

 

P.S. You might be tempted to drive up to Cheakamus Canyon for the sport climbs... but at your range they are not very good. Plus there are vicious black flies there right now. From personal experience, i would not recommend it. Was up there last weekend.

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I suggest you pick up a copy of Kevin Macleans guide. It lays all this out for you. Basically, there isn't much sport below 5.10 in Squamish, but you will find the few at:

Raven's Castle

Upper Malamute (now off limits due to logging dispute)

A few bolted lines in the Blind Channel area (Smoke Bluffs) e.g. Hamish's

 

Mid fifth mutipitch:

Diedre (get there earlier than all the people who are getting there early or be prepared for the gong show/clusterfuck of all the other n00b mid-fifth leaders on their first multi-pitch)

Banana Peel - good alternate if Diedre is clusterfucked by the time you get there.

 

That's aboot it.

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From what I recall it seems like most of the routes I've done in Squamish have involved trad climbing to some degree. Although that is what we were after so it's very possible that some sport routes were overlooked. I know there are some bolted lines on some interesting slab in Murrin Park ranging from 5.7 to something like 10b.

 

I agree that Diedre is worthwhile, but it defiantly gets a ton of traffic. Head up there at night and you'll probably have it to yourself. In fact the whole apron area has a number of moderate multi-pitch routes. Mostly trad as far as I know, but defiantly worth checking out.

 

 

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Diedre is good,

 

Don't go early!!!! all the slowest climbers in squamish attempt the "alpine start" creating a big dumb mess. Go enjoy the bluffs for the afternoon and hit diedre in the evening. An average/slow party takes about 2-3 hours I think(take a headlamp). Also St.Vitus dance is Good @5.9 Calculus Crack @5.8 and Banana peel@ 5.8 (easyest route up) and Snake 5.9 are good.

 

 

It sound like your some what new to this. So...

 

Keep in mind that on the apron long runouts are the norm. If the route is 5.8 expect unprotected 5.6ish climbing at times. Even Diedre and Banana peel (the two easyest route's) have some sections that falling would be a bad idea. So be solid at the grade!! Also the wind can make verbal communication impossable. Ask your self what you will do when you can't see or hear the leader?

Oh, if you climb diedre put a helmet on for sure! People drop stuff often

 

Enjoy,

Tanner

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Here is another vote for McKlanes' book. Grades, grades, grades, grades...what is in a grade. What is your limit for leading on trad gear, and whatever it is be cautious with choosing a route based on the numbers. Here are some of the areas and routes that jump to mind when reading your querry.

 

The Bluffs. Go to the Bluffs and you will be more than entertained. I love Butter Fingers Wall (oh, ok, it is really Burgers and Fries), and see that many folk enjoy it as a Squamish introduction. Many people enjoy Wisecrack 5.7,Burgers and Fries 5.7, and then Dusty Eyes 5.4. It appears that many people have a slower time on Dusty than Wise. You can drop a top rope on all these routes, but many classes do this so it is good to arrive early.

 

Directly above Butter Fingers is the Neat and Butterfingers Wall (Ok, Neat and Cool Wall). Again these routes can be top roped with walk up access via the Pixie Corner trail, just ask anyone. Corn Flakes is a wicked route at 5.6; Corner Crack 5.7 to the left just left of Flying Circus. On the terrace up and left of this are Cat Crack, a very must do butter fingers thing to tick, at 5.6; and Stump 5.8; Sally Five Fingers 5.8.

 

Ohhh, to the left is Mosquito just to the right of Zombie Roof. Mosquito whould be the one with line up. It goes at 5.8. Beware, especially if you are female, as many, many women climbers have been coaxed into leading this route by their boyfriends and have wound up with a bad labial wedgy by the rope as they fall at the crux. It is really busy, but a blast and if you have done it the umpteenth time try jamming it throughout!

 

So back to the next wall above Neat and Butterfingers Wall is Butter Fingers Wall (ok, Pixies Corner). It is well, again another fun wall. Ok, it is more like four walls all bent up like a trade show kiosk. Pixie Corner is an amazing twin finger to hand crack corner with a roof-let-lip to send; and the entire mass takes nuts like a bad late night movie at the Kitten theartre. Try Davie Jones Locker in the left overleaf of the kiosk at 5.7.

 

Keep going along the trail and you will eventually arrive at the Butterfingers wall and if you continue the trail goes either Butterfingers or Pink Butterfingers. Eventually you will make it to the Japanese Butter Fingers without the direction of a master. "Digoro, if you choose the ball you will join your mother; and if you choose the sword you will join me." (Ronins' Corner)...however, Digoro, if keep going looking for mid-fifth you shall pass the Butterfingers Lane wall and wind up back at Butter Fingers.

 

Murrin Park is a great place to play but really poor place to park after the crowds wake up. Try the power tower and the Butter Fingers Crag. (Sugar Loaf Wall.). Or Digoro, you can try the Worlds Toughest Butter Fingers. It is 5.8, and worth every centimeter of it, especially the end.

 

Try the longer routes on the Butterfingers Apron. Butter Finges Peel is a classic with varied climbing and changing and if you do it an deluge you will see what those rounded steps are all about. There are a few historic routes on the Apron. The North Apron boasts Vector, Calculus Crack, South Arete are very fun lines that fit that "mid fifth to 5.8" you are seeking.

 

How are your aid skills? If you are happy leading 5.8 on gear and can efficiently place gear as C1 you can send the Apron and do the Buttress. It may be easy to ask another person to set a top rope you on the crux; this section can be done on wires.

 

Just come up and get a copy of Mclanes' Guide to Butter Fingers.

 

Oh, for sport lines, Jumajumalungma suggests Mercy Me on the Grand.

 

 

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There's a multipitch (four pithces?) bolted arete route climbing out of the river just to the north of the Chief....I can't remember the exact location. It's called Star Trek, I think. It was pretty fantastic, with an exceptional setting (i.e. you can't see or hear the highway to the east). The grade is 5.9, I think, but most of the climb is 5.6 with just the one cruxy move on the final pitch. I really enjoyed it, though I would agree that the best climbing seems to be trad.

 

Cheers and have fun!

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in this case 'just to the north' means 45mins drive north. Star Chek. The cliffs and access here got harsh treatment during the blasting for highway expansion. Watch for loose rock.

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