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Matt Kidd

[TR] Yak Peak - Yak Check 7/10/2010

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Trip: Yak Peak - Yak Check


Date: 7/10/2010


Trip Report:

Fun day on Yak Check today. Got at it early so we didn't roast. Props to Mr. Brayshaw for opinionated route description on Bivouac. Kept us on route for the most part and sans-spelunking.

Will throw in a couple pics in a bit.

Gear Notes:

Standard rack.


Approach Notes:

Well flagged trail.

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maybe cut and paste that opinionated description here as i never saved a copy and won't pay to access it now?

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Trip Report: Every published topo I have seen for this was off in some way compared to the actual experience of the climb. Here is my own take on it (based on observed conditions August 2002).


Approach via climbers trail stating from east end of concrete divider ~ 400m east of Zopkios Ridge parking lot/pullout.


Hike flagged trail to base of route - 20 minutes or so.


There are various ways to start - don't try directly up the lower corner as it blanks out and is hard (we saw a bumbling party try this and end up bailing). One way that works is to solo up corners (5.2) to the ledge and block below Reality Check start then traverse left to the bolt belay at p. 1 of Yak Crack.


P1 - make 5.7ish moves left from the belay up a flake to gain the hand crack on the front face of the flake (small pro). Climb 5.6 crack to a belay out right at a slung pinnacle on the arete. ~55m


p2 - climb crack to a slung block in a chimney. 5.6 60m rope stretcher. can split this pitch in two at a slung tree half way up.


p3 - climb crack to top of pinnacle (Lunch Ledge), belay 10 feet higher at bolts. 25m 5.6


p4 - climb sometimes crumbly rock left at first, then up and right (some pro behind flakes and a fixed piton) to a bolted stance. 35 m 5.7. can link 3& 4 with 60m rope and long slings on gear to avoid rope zigzags.


p5 - an obvious vertical wall can be climbed via a corner on the left side (5.8) or a series of face holds to a vague hairline crack on the right (5.8+) then follow cracks and ramps up and right to a two-piton belay (back up with cams) 50m


p6 - move right from belay and climb a left facing 5.8 corner for about 10m then step right around arete at big hold (can also step right of corner at bottom but you miss out on the cool layback). climb up flakes, pass tree, up to two overlaps at a roofy feature. place gear then move thru overlaps into crumbly, easy groove, climb to bolt belay c. 55m 5.8+ (junction of Yak Crack and Reality Check)


p7 - You are now leaving Yak Crack for Reality Check. Climb up 5m from the belay on rock resembling oatmeal, then move left on a solid horizontal dyke until you encounter many flakes. undercling left, then up at end of first flake, climb more flakes to highest undercling at roof. move left (5.9) awkward under roof, to corner "Cave". there is a possible belay here under roof on a fixed nut and piton. HOWEVER, despite topos, it is best to go right here on to the arete of the cave and climb up about 10m (5.9 face) to a big ledge with bolted belay on the right. this avoids the spelunking tunnel thru the flake done on the FA which is awkward with a pack on, and avoids belaying on sketchy fixed pin and nut tied off with a single webbing chunk. ~50m 5.9


p8 - traverse ledge (top of through-flake) to a bolt belay on left. 30m 3rd class.


p9 - climb flake and ramp up and right for a pitch ~40m 5.8


p10 - supposedly one of the two 10a pitches. face climb up 3m to a bolt, move up and right 3m to another bolt, then back left and up 5m to a corner (bolt on left arete) climb right of the corner up the face on dishes and flakes then move up and right on a nebulous line past more boltsd and gear under flakes to a bolted belay on a small right facing corner/ramp (cant see belay until 5m below it). ~45m, easy 5.9 face, total of 5 bolts on the pitch plus gear


p11- climb up flake above belay and either climb directly where it goes right, or move left and up good cracks on the face, to a ledge. above this is a low angle slab with 3 bolts. originally graded 9/10a by the FA party, subsequent ascents have cleaned holds on the slab of lichen making it more secure - now feels like an 5.8/9. belay at bolted stance on ledge above. ~40m 5.8/9 this is where you would rap from if you planned on rappelling.


p12 - 4th class up low angle slab (no pro) for full pitch to trees above. 45m 4th class. Can escape into trees lower down if you want to.


From here, hike and scramble up towards the top, pass the subsummit on the right side on a good ledge (exposed) - see below:


put on your shoes and walk down - faster than rappelling and you do not have to trust rusty bolts and bleached out webbing. Takes c. 1 hr to descend climbers descent trail to the base. Follow cairns up to a ledge on E side of S. peak, then easily down to saddle with main peak. A seasonal snow patch at the saddle between main and south peak can be tricky to descend in approach shoes and with no ice axe. It is possible to rappel over this snow patch off a slung boulder. Descend east into meadows and follow trail down through forest and granite slabs, where trail becomes vague, cut left to base of Yaks SE face and descend edge of face to base, then hike back 10m west to pick up approach trail.


Our time to do this route was 6 hrs climbing and 8 hrs car to car. We were a pretty experienced party (I was with Don Serl who had done just about every route on the face already...) but I've heard of parties doing the route in 4 hrs. On the other hand there is evidence in the form of cleared pads and fire rings of people having to bivi, so... be prepared for changing weather conditions and take a headlamp.


The technical grades on this climb are pretty soft, in my opinion. There is nothing as hard as, say, the roof traverse on Snake (Squamish Apron), or the crux polished slab of Sparrow (also on the Apron). There are about 4 pitches that have short sections that feel like hard 5.8 or easy 5.9 climbing. About 2-3 more pitches are easy 5.8 and the rest are 5.6/5.7


Gear wise, having doubles of the cam sizes from #0.5-1.5 Friend (= yellow, orange and red TCU) is important. The biggest cracks are fist size, and there are some thin flake cracks, so gear from purple TCU up to #3 Camalot or 3.5 Friend is used. Take one set of wires, maybe a few Tri Cams will help. Double ropes, 60m is best, you could get away with 55m.



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fun stuff!


They can't have had much more fun than we did last year when the rock chopped our rope ;)


Nice send Matt! Fun line! How did you like the killer undercling traverse on pitch 7?

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Hey Marc and Tamara, how's Squampton treating you two?


The traverse was cool. Didn't undercling it though, there were good jams deeper in the crack. Where/how did you chop your rope?

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