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coastal 'swhack

[TR] Harvey's Pup - Pup Buttress 7/31/2013

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Trip: Harvey's Pup - Pup Buttress


Date: 7/31/2013


Trip Report:

There are climbs that you travel hours, even days, to get to because they are esthetic lines or amazing rock in a pristine wilderness setting, and then there are climbs that you do because they're in your backyard. I'd say Harvey's Pup is one of the latter, but nonetheless a worthwhile undertaking that provides a day of good fun in the Vancouver area.


We got an early start from Squamish, arriving at the trailhead for Mount Harvey at 5:30 am. The trudge up the steep logging road to the base of the climb was uneventful except for the hoards of biting flies (bring bug spray!).



View looking down at Howe Sound from the approach ramp - note the flies!


We spent some time on the approach ramp trying to find the start of the climb, but eventually spotted the small tree reported to have tat on it - only ~15 m off the deck! We did the climb in 6 long pitches with a little simul-climbing on some:


P1: Scott linked the first short pitch to the tree with the following 5.8 chimney to make a 60 m rope stretcher to a ledge and tree belay. I thought the chimney was fun climbing on good rock - although I suppose there isn't a ton of protection for the leader...


P2: From the ledge, I continued up the chimney which was a bit more vegetated, forcing me to use edges on the wall to the left. The rock was surprisingly good, with lots of little features to step on and good protection. From the top of the chimney I continued on the low angle slabs to the base of the dark head wall. This pitch was a little longer than 60 m and Scott had already started climbing by the time I build a belay at the base of the left-leaning left-facing corner.



Looking up P2, the vegetated end of the 5.8 chimney.


P3: Scott linked the left-leaning left-facing corner (couple of pitons) with the 5.10a "off-width" pitch above. The off-width was a bit awkward, but there are options for stemming, allowing you to stay mostly outside the crack. I managed fine with the backpack. He passed by an awkward anchor of 3 pitons complete with biners and cordalette (accident?) to finish at the cave belay.



Scott starting up the left-facing, left-leaning corner.


P4: Left or right? McLane describes exiting the cave via finger cracks on the right wall (piton), but after trying that I opted for the left wall where there were also several pitons. After exiting the chimney, I continued on more slabby terrain to belay at the base of a short head wall.


Looking up from the cave belay at the finger-cracks on the right wall. I opted for blockier climbing on the left.


P5-6: Scott moved left from the belay up short crack, as described in the book, and continued until rope drag got the better of him. More short cracks and a little simul climbing led to the summit. The terrain was a lot more broken on the last two pitches, with many loose blocks!!




Two raps - one short and one long - led to the notch and descent gulley.



Scott rappelling into the notch. We had read somewhere that you only needed one rope for the rappel, but this was definitely >30 m!


The scramble down the gulley seemed to take forever, but we eventually reached the trail and our pack. Another ~45 min of downhill pounding to the car and cooler of beer :-) 10 hours car-to-car.


Gear Notes:

We brought double rack to #3 + single #4 but I don't think we ever placed more than a single rack...there's not a lot of places for it in the chimneys!

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well-done job on the route, and a nice report! the rap is STEEP, eh?!?!? can you imagine the climbs to be done on the face outa the notch, if it happened to be roadside... but of course, it's not!

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