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[TR] Squire Creek Walls - Skeena 26 7/18/2014

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Trip: Squire Creek Walls - Skeena 26


Date: 7/18/2014


Trip Report:

With the Drought of July 2014 about to end, our weather window was two days max. Skeena26 looked like a good fit: short drive, long climb, remote spot. Only problem was how to get there, not a trivial consideration in the Darrington jungles. Despite having Whitelaw's steller topo in hand, the web offered scarcely a clue on access. But Andy's and I are up for an occasional navigation challenge, so off we went. Our first attempt took a little trail that crossed Squire, then proceeded directly toward the Illusion Wall. Doh! Plunging leftward into the brush looked brutal, so we backtracked to the creek and waded upstream looking for another faint tread.


Chilly Squire Creek



On track in the big trees



Bingo! Into the timber it went, across the trib and up-up-up through the woods into the land of the curvy cedars. Although maze-like at times, we appeared to be getting somewhere. Eventually the cedars spit us into a large gully, with the route looming above. Oh yeah! At the base of the slabs was a grassy bivy spot and were greeted by thousands of affectionate sand flies. To the west are four slab waterfalls, though nearby drinking water was scarce. We dipped from puddles below the blocks of snow in the gully underneath the route.


How'd we end up in Depot Creek?!



Through the curvy cedars



Sa-weet bivy spot with views!



An early start worked well, the rock warmed by two weeks of hot weather. The 5.9 slab looked nice but was littered with gravel and needles, so we opted for the "early season start", digging out tiny nut and cam placements in the 5.8 crack. After that, the pitches were cruisy and fun, a fairly direct line with bomber 3/8" bolts. Bolts are right where you need them, though enough runouts to intimidate an unseasoned 5.8 leader. Andy hadn't climbed anything more technical than stairs for two years, but swapped leads with hardly a whimper! Pitches 4 through 9, in particular, offer clean open slabs with the Darrington mix of scoops/chicken-heads/overlaps in the 5.7 range. Engaging and non-stressful.


Andy at the base of the 5.9 start. We followed the buttress on the right.



Rock found perched on the belay bolt.



Memorable fourth pitch crosses the bushy corner rightward. The top out is straight above Andy's head.



The "unique groove" on pitch 5 and the wide-open slabs of mid-route.



Jet Towers (?) to the west



We topped out around noon and began the 11 rappels, trundling a few microwave size blocks perched on the pitch 1 slab. Hit the Burger Barn for the Burgers, Fish and Chips Calorie-replacement Special. Maybe we went a little light on food this time?


"Is this how you do these selfie things?"





Gear Notes:

10 slings, Light rack with several pieces in the 1/4 to 1/2" range.


Approach Notes:

Super secret trail - not too hard to find

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there is always more to dtown. that sound is not bigfoot and his mating call but rather it is those FA monkeys drilling a new line.


nice job Curt! Is the cut off the main trail right where we saw crazy maniac taking a break?

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Is the cut off the main trail right where we saw crazy maniac taking a break?
No Gene, that was the one we tried which ended up heading to Illusion. The Skeena trail forks off a bit further. On the way out, we looked for a landmark at the Squire trail, but it's pretty generic-looking.


Thanks Quarry! Skeena is cool because there are so few longer routes outside the 9+ to 10+ range. Dtown would be more widely appreciated if there were some longer lines going at 5.7-8.

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We're very glad you enjoyed the route! Thanks for posting the story and photos. BTW, did you find pitch 12 hard to follow?

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did you find pitch 12 hard to follow?
Not really. I did notice a bolt without a hanger I missed on the way up. With the topo in hand and a bolt visible above most belays, route finding was pretty darn easy.


Big thanks for all the work you guys put into that area!

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Nice! Another route I need to check out up there. The list grows....

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The list grows....
Right...the 'over-40 list'...for after you've finished off all the big scary alpine projects ;)

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