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Sherri

[TR] Squamish, BC - Europa 7/25/2009

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Trip: Squamish, BC - Europa

 

Date: 7/25/2009

 

Trip Report:

Looking for something in the shade to escape July's sultry heatwave, we decided to check out the "new" Europa route and see for ourselves if it was worth the $14,000 spent to clean it last year.

 

 

The first pitch is a 5.7 blocky corner system with some exciting layback moves.

P1011566.JPG

 

 

The second(crux)pitch, 5.8, starts with a short but pumpy handcrack/lieback. Fun!

P1011568.JPG

 

 

Looking down at P2 from the comfy tree belay:

P1011571.JPG

 

Another 5.7 pitch begins with pulling around some overhanging blocks which eventually get you to a couple finger crack/face moves. No picture of this section as I was enjoying the lovely view from the belay:

P1011569.JPG

 

 

The start of the fourth pitch(5.5) is a surreal tree ladder that looks like a scene prop from a Hobbit movie. My lucky partner got this lead:

P1011544.JPG

 

 

This is followed by a dirty chimney/gully that brings you to the base of P5, which is a 5.6 45m pitch of similar character(except without the fun Hobbit tree :( )

P1011546.JPG

 

 

Things change dramatically at the base of P6, 5.7, which kicks off with a 9-bolt ladder.

P1011551.JPG

 

My partner led the ladder, with some considerable effort, and set up belay at the top of it so that I could top-rope the enticing looking line to the left of the bolt ladder. We wondered if this went at a reasonable grade.(Answer: No!) Some sketchy, strenuous face moves past one bolt delivered me at the bottom of an shallow handcrack in an awkward corner. I struggled and sweated my way up it, wishing I had tried the bolt ladder after all. Found out later that this line was part of a route called The Gauntlet, 10d, I think.

 

After that off-route grovel, I was glad to finish our 5.7 pitch on the nice steep hand/fist crack section which landed us in the base of a neat chimney.

P1011552.JPG

 

 

Pitch 7, 5.6, climbs this chimney, which you can do in various ways if chimneys are not your game. Go around the outside of it on the left, stem up the middle, or go deep inside and do a combo of squeeze chimney/face moves. There were three of us in our party and we each did it differently.

 

A nice bit of scenery as you exit the chimney:

P1011553.JPG

 

 

 

My partner enjoying the "alpine" ambience of the belay station at the top:

P1011554.JPG

 

 

Me, dirty, happy, and bit bedraggled after hauling the gear and pack up the last chimney:

P1011557.JPG

 

 

We gave the route three :tup: :tup: :tup:. It took the better part of a day(we had shade until about 3pm) and proved more interesting and challenging than we initially expected, given the moderate/easy ratings of the pitches. (I wouldn't send newbies up this, as there is still plenty of loose stuff waiting to work its way out and gear placements are not trivial.) While it doesn't hold a candle to the classics, Europa was fun in it's own way, giving us something of a different, faux-alpine, character to do in lieu of joining the cattle lines snaking up the routes of comparable grades on the Apron.

 

 

 

Thanks to those who put the vision, hard work and money into it.

 

P1011513.JPG

 

 

Gear Notes:

60m rope.Standard rack, though doubles of #2 come in handy for the 5.8 crux crack and a couple extra slings might be helpful for the bolt ladder, especially if you keep going to finish the pitch. Mosquito repellant for the start is a good idea. Option for rappelling the route w/one 60m from 1st rap station atop P4.

 

Approach Notes:

Europa is in the Dihedrals. Park in the climbers lot on the left side of the roundabout before the Chief Campground. Hike through the boulders, up and leftward along the base toward Millenium Falcon.(15mins?) The start is to the left of Arrowroot. The descent trail is well marked with reflectors and eventually joins the main Chief trail.

 

Europa topo:

http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Europa

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you had me all confused there until I checked the trip dates. We ran into you on the same route last weekend but with a different partner. we were the ones rapping rutabaga in parallel to you :wave: ... sorry we didn't make the cc.com connection :nurd:

Edited by fern

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We ran into you on the same route last weekend but with a different partner.

 

Yeah...I get around. :laf:

 

My partner last weekend had driven up that morning; we figured the route was a good one to warm up on(and a chance for me to take pics of the bottom pitches that I had missed the first time around).

 

You guys looked great on Rutabaga. :tup:

 

Thanks for making the cc.com connection here. Love meeting folks face-to-face. :wave:

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Good thing you guys stayed up there, it was a god-awful inferno down here that whole stretch. Glad to see you all had such a good time.

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Thanks, Joseph--that week was a cooker. We found that doing the multi's in the morning was a good way to beat the heat. More air moving around up high than down in the Bluffs.

 

They loved Squamish--I'm sure they'll be back.

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We ran into you on the same route last weekend but with a different partner.

 

Yeah...I get around. :laf:

 

My partner last weekend had driven up that morning; we figured the route was a good one to warm up on(and a chance for me to take pics of the bottom pitches that I had missed the first time around).

 

You guys looked great on Rutabaga. :tup:

 

Thanks for making the cc.com connection here. Love meeting folks face-to-face. :wave:

yep...no doubt! By the way, Drew wound up linking that rig at index with no falls later in the day yesterday...

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Yeah...I get around. :laf:

 

...Thanks for making the cc.com connection here. Love meeting folks face-to-face. :wave:

yep...no doubt! By the way, Drew wound up linking that rig at index with no falls later in the day yesterday...

 

That's awesome, RumR! :tup: :tup: :tup: (I think I was falling enough for all of us yesterday, and that was on climbs about 10 grades easier than Drew's!)

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i put a pic in bill's climbing pics thread... :tup:

 

Rattletale is good, eh?

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Unless you're really excited about climbing a bolt ladder (and it's too hot to climb the Monkey Face), you should try the 5.8 free variation to the first half of that pitch:

 

From the bolted anchor, stem wildly to a knob on the left, past dike features and a cedar to the base of a chimney. More stemming leads to an old piton on the right wall, clip it and traverse right, past the arete to the top of the bolt ladder to rejoin the route ( 5.8 ).

 

I have done this variation twice and think it's a much more natural line for Europa (and I also think that in light of it the bolt ladder should probably be removed... but that's not for me to decide...)

 

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Thanks for that suggestion and beta, Crackaddict. We felt like the bolt ladder detracted from the route's character; it was the only part we didn't really like.

 

I'll check out that 5.8 variation next time. I pondered that big stemming move as I was waiting at the belay...looks like it favors folks with long arms/legs, but if it's a way to avoid the bolt ladder I'm all for it.

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No one has ever accused me of that before :)

 

I have to admit though, that it does differ in character from the rest of the climb in the sense that the rock is solid :)

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I have to admit though, that it does differ in character from the rest of the climb in the sense that the rock is solid

 

:lmao:

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Cool! We did this route and had lots of fun on it. Great pictures and trip report. (BTW: We met you as you and team were heading up Calculus and we were heading up Vector)

 

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Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed the climb and the TR. :)

 

I remember crossing paths with you that day on Calculus...you were taking the .10a variation to St. Vitus while I was grudgingly grovelling up the 2nd pitch of Calculus. (Not my favorite pitch on that route :noway: )

I was eyeing your #5 cam wishing I could check out Vector too! Hope you guys had a great time on it. :wave:

 

 

 

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