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OlympicMtnBoy

[TR] Squire Creek - Search for the Holy Grail 7/11/2011

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Trip: Squire Creek - Search for the Holy Grail

 

Date: 7/11/2011

 

Trip Report:

Monday weather looked good so Zizzou and I got together to try something fun up Squire Creek. I had only hiked the road once and he had never been in there but Holy Grail looked like such a great route we headed straight for it.

 

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The approach was pretty easy to follow and took us just over 2.5 hours with some shenanigans on the slab (easy hike if you have sticky rubber shoes one, done in 2 hrs then). We made a deal that I'd get all the 5.10 leads to Z headed up P1 and then P2 on fun moderate cracks and pockets. Make sure you have a full 60m rope to work with on P2 or you'll have a few feet to simul.

 

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P3 had a fun traverse left through the roof and then some reasonably bolted slab. I took a fall on the 10d slab crux but then figured out the smearing sequence and made it through.

 

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P4 had some more super fun knobs up to small ledge.

 

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P5 was a highlight of the climb. The "eye popping flake" described in Rattle and Slime was not obvious to us from the belay but it was there above us, then there was a fun undercling that reminded me a bit of part of Sagittarius at Index followed by some improbably knob climbing up through very steep overlaps and face with good bolts. Finally you hit fun 5.8 cracks to the end of an amazing 180 ft pitch.

 

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P6 was short but also had a fun crack bit with a long reach and some cool traversing and I'm glad to have "permission" to break in the middle and make P7. Up the fun straight in crack that disappears just as the angle eases for the last fun 10c part and a few more bolts.

 

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It was getting into the afternoon and Z was tired (as was I) so we opted to skip the last two 5.8 bushy bits and head down. I guess I'll have to climb Excalibur to make the scramble to the summit next time.

 

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The raps were easy and fast, right back to my pack and my shoes.

 

Anybody missing a bolt? It's hanging out on a ledge part way up P2. Wonder where it's from?

 

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Overall a GREAT route. Many thanks to the FAs for the hard work. This one ought to get climbed a lot more, nice clean granite, well protected cruxes (for slab), reasonable approach!

 

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Sorry for the lack of pics of the best parts, Z didn't bring a camera to capture my bad ass leading skillz (and lack of slab technique). Go get your own!

 

Gear Notes:

2 60m ropes, rack to #3 camalot plus extras in thin fingers-thin hands (we had a #4 that got placed twice but not really needed), ~15 draws/slings.

 

Approach Notes:

Hike the Squire Creek trail to the second large stream crossing (the first one has a log bridge now). Cross the creek and turn right following the climbers path down to Squire Creek. Cross on the beautiful log, walk a hundred feet upstream and turn right up the dry creek bed. Follow this several hundred yard up till the climbers track heads into the woods on the right. Go uphill on the trodden path till you hit the bivy site. Head up the slabs past the short fixed rope and then work your way left along the base of the wall traversing till you get to the base of the route (more bivy spots).

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a great day and some of the best granite I have ever been on!

 

Hats off the the FA for an amazingly put together route.

 

 

 

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Nicely done! That's exactly the experience I was hoping people would have when the route went in. The Illusion Wall is such a wonderful piece of stone you'd think it was built for climbers. Excalibur is of the same quality...but wait, there's more to come!

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Ha Ha- The buttonhead in the block was from the somewhat tricky and time consuming removal of said block off the route. We had a bunch of bivy gear straight below and didn't want to trash everything in it's path.

 

Glad you liked the route- definitely one of my favorites!

 

MH

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Nice work in there Mr. Dave! Bill here, lurking as usual. While you're out gettin' it, I'm in here reading about it. doh! Pretty cool to learn about that little bolt too!

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