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[TR] Mt. Habrich - Squamish, British Columbia - Solar System 5.10a 9/21/2014

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Trip: Mt. Habrich - Squamish, British Columbia - Solar System 5.10a


Date: 9/21/2014


Trip Report:

Seeing as there is zero information on the internet about the route Solar System (5.10a) on Mt. Habrich, I thought I'd put out some notes in comparison to the very brief and difficult to understand description provided in Alpine Select.


The SW face and the pitches




Pitch 1: "Start just left of Life on Earth" and gain a series of flakes." Life on Earth (LOE) Direct starts at the very bottom of the SW face of Habrich. Solar System starts lookers left, uphill of the direct LOE start, where there is a bit of a beaten path in trees to a little belay spot. This pitch and pitch 4 (if you climb the route in 6 pitches) seem to be the hardest of the route. This is a sustained pitch with decent hands. The rock is friable as you pull a slight overhanging. Finish the pitch with an exposed and unprotected slab climb, then traverse right to a 2-bolt belay.




Pitch 2: "3 bolts for aid lead to an obvious ramp." This pitch starts with a 3-bolt aid section, followed by an exposed climb trending left over slab to a fairly loose and creaky flake for protection. Either climb straight up and over unprotected slab to the ramp, or traverse hard left from the flake to gain a small piece of protection, followed by exposed slab up to the ramp. Some parties have made a gear belay immediately at the ramp to be able to still communicate with each other. Otherwise, climb along the easy ramp to the left until it hits the first crack system leading straight up. Gear belay.




Pitch 3: "…lead to an obvious ramp, beyond which slabs lead…" The "slabs" in the Alpine Select description are the very end of pitch 3. Instead, leading off of the easy left-trending ramp is a decent flake (maybe slightly loose) and a few more good placements in slightly friable rock to the slabs. Climb 4 meters of exposed slab to the base of the large dihedral. Gear belay.




Pitch 4: "…slabs lead to a large dihedral." This pitch and pitch 1 seem to be the hardest, although that distinction varies with each climber's preferred style of climbing. This pitch is not too long, but the dihedral requires a lot of body position changing and stemming. Look out to your right for a random good placement. Towards the top, look out right for chicken heads for easier access to a good belay ledge instead of following the dihedral all the way up into nothingness. Gear belay.




Pitch 5: "The final pitch is difficult; an overhanging flake crack followed by a scruffy chimney." Although the "overhanging flake crack" is a challenging move, the remaining part of the pitch is a simple dihedral with good hands and feet, although a bit loose in places. Gear belay after pushing up through a scruffy tree on a nice ledge.




Pitch 6: 4th/5th class roped climbing (full 60m) to a bolted belay.


Leave the ropes and packs at the final belay area unless you intend to rap the NE face!


Easy scramble to the summit.


Hike back down towards the bolted final belay. Descend slight left through the juniper bushes, popping out with slabs to your right and the bolted rap station of Life on Earth just below. Downclimb to the first rappel.


Gear Notes:

Everything from BD C4's 00 to 4. No passive pro needed. A couple double or triple slings for the aid section are useful.

Edited by shwacklife

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Cool. I've been curious about those routes since I saw them in the book. Would you recommend?

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Pete - yes, I'd recommend Solar System if you don't feel comfortable pushing your limits to the 5.10c of Life on Earth but still want to climb an incredibly aesthetic face. Life on Earth is more highly praised than Solar System, but I really enjoyed the climb.



HHinkkala - yes, the #4 fits well just at the slight overhang on pitch 1! It can also be useful on pitch 5, I think, although it isn't mandatory.

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Life on Earth requires 2 ropes to rap, but there a new line on W face, you can rap from the summit with one 60m rope and deposits you on the saddle W of Habrich. Then it's just a matter of hiking a good trail down. This route is called Escape Velocity, it's overrated and overbolted, but it cuts down on clutter of having 2 ropes.

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