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jvila

[TR] Squamish - Cragging 3/18/2010

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Trip: Squamish - Cragging

 

Date: 3/18/2010

 

Trip Report:

Will D. and I decided to make a run out to Squamish to find out what Canadian Cragging is all about. What we found was a slough of classics amidst a sea of friendly top-ropers.

We stuck mostly to the moderates, and hung around The Smoke Bluffs both thursday and friday; we figured if we were gonna crag we might as well get as many quick, classic pitches in as possible, and that we did.

It was no alpine epic, but the rock quality and shear volume of routes make The Smoke Bluffs an ideal place to get a mess of practice pushing your grade on trad in a situation that won't leave you high and dry if you get in over your head.

 

We climbed a bunch of single-pitch routes, but I'll just mention the best ones.

 

Will on the bouldery opening moves of Quarryman (5.8). This has got to be the most fun trad line I've lead to date, full of what the guidebook calls "exhilarating moves."

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Starting Laughing Crack (5.7), a beautiful, easy handcrack.

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Getting "stoked" on a slabby 5.7 finger crack slightly off the beaten path.

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Two other notables that we didn't get pictures of were Octopus' Garden (5.8), a long, moderately steep handcrack that spooked me (a crack climbing n00b) pretty good, and Phlegmmish Dance (5.8), classic vertical hands and fingers in a corner system that pushes the rating a little bit and is well worth a visit, even if you do have to rap down to it because somebody's running TR laps on the first pitch.

 

Also, we swung over to Kalhanie Crack after dinner, which is, legend has it, "the best 5.7 hand crack in North America" only to find it sopping wet in the fading light. It's next to a waterfall, go figure.

 

To those who have not been, there's a lot to be said for messing around at the Squamish crags for a couple of days. And if you can't make it out on a weekday (weekend crowds are debilitating), you can always be a serious climber and make a run up The Chief.

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Squamish bathed in sunshine in MARCH??! Oh man, I want some of that!

 

Thanks for the stoke and way to go on your first Squish outing. :tup:

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I didn't really like Klahanie personally. Overly repetetive and made my ankles hurt! Thought about 25 yards to climbers right is Cardhu Crack which was a blast!

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anybody know what the scene is like there now that the olympics are over? Was it a mess there last year and now it is all good?

 

damn, to be back in the squish would be a great thing. too long.

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anybody know what the scene is like there now that the olympics are over? Was it a mess there last year and now it is all good?

 

Huh?

 

There was no scene last or this year, was business as usual.

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So, I will likely be passing through the Squish in mid April, what are the must do moderates there? Preferably 5.8-5.9, multi-pitch with reasonable approaches. As well as the best camping beta?

Anyone want to give me the dime tour?

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the camping below the chief, while a pay area, is very nice.

 

Several moderates on the apron are good. diedre, banana peel, and snake would be a real good day to link all together. around 18 pitches of moderate slabby goodness.

 

tons of stuff in the bluffs of course but mostly single pitch.

 

 

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diedre, banana peel, and snake would be a real good day to link all together.

 

 

Why stop there? If you really want your feet to hurt you, do

Calculus Crack

Sparrow

Snake

St Vitus Dance

Diedre

Banana Peel

 

all in a day.

 

Plan on doing CC, Snake and Diedre early or late to avoid crowds. Passing on the other routes is easier and you can do them whenever. Best to either do Diedre first at 4 AM or last when all the day trippers have gone home/by moonlight.

 

 

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Why stop there? If you really want your feet to hurt you, do

Calculus Crack

Sparrow

Snake

St Vitus Dance

Diedre

Banana Peel

 

all in a day.

Best to either do Diedre first at 4 AM or last when all the day trippers have gone home/by moonlight.

 

 

Diedre KILLS my calves. I hate that climb.

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So, I will likely be passing through the Squish in mid April, what are the must do moderates there?

 

The dry ones, good luck

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Good point jmace. The crux of Rock On will probably be wet in April - better get recent beta before heading up.

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Good point jmace. The crux of Rock On will probably be wet in April - better get recent beta before heading up.

 

That's one that sneaks up on you, too. Climbed it last summer a full week after heavy rains, got to the crux pitch to find water everywhere. Not that it stopped us--especially since you've already passed the rappel station by the time you can see the crux--but it certainly added to the adventure. The climb is a fun one, though. Great recommendation. :tup:

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the camping below the chief, while a pay area, is very nice.

Thanks. Yeah, I think that is the only place I've camped in the whopping 2 times I've been passing through.

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Good point jmace. The crux of Rock On will probably be wet in April - better get recent beta before heading up.
I will be dragging a various assortment of toys to enable fun on dry rock or snowy surfaces. Hoping for some dry rock though.

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the camping below the chief, while a pay area, is very nice.

Thanks. Yeah, I think that is the only place I've camped in the whopping 2 times I've been passing through.

 

I slept in the Cacadaemon Cave for a few night last time I was there.... free! Nice spot too... if you dont mind the occasional mouse.

 

For moderates... are you all forgetting The Smoke Bluff Connection! That thing is really fun. Also, Merci Me is good, and if you climb 5.10b you can climb the Split Pillar then rappel.

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Thanks, for all the beta. I've got the "Rock Climbers Guide to Squamish" but it is a bit dated at 1992. What is the best overall book for Squamish to buy now?

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for right now for a short trip I would recommend renting a guidebook from Valhalla Pure ($5/day used to be).

 

The most recent McLane guide is fairly comprehensive, pricy, and lacking in some info that some appreciate (approaches, descents and gear listings).

The Bourdon guide is very pretty with lots of nice topos and extra details, but is a Select guide and is currently being updated for a new edition soon - maybe worth holding off the purchase until then.

 

 

 

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