Squamish ’18

I love the transformative nature of climbing. In this instance, take a depressing labor strike in my work field and turn it into 5 amazing days at Squamish. It suddenly becomes this great vacation of 5 star routes, eating great food, meeting up with new and old friends. Best of all Jenn joined me for 2 amazing days of it. My favorite of the climbs was Hairpin, Man of Leisure was insane(should be rated R or PG13?) . Huge thanks to Steve for the nice apartment lodging, Jenn, Josh, Kyle, Angela, and Peter for fun times and great climbs!!

26 pitches: 5 multi-pitch. 5 top 100 as follows;

8-31-18 Centerfold, Supervalue 4p to 10c w/Steve
9-1-18 Right Wing 5p 10c
9-2-18 Hairpin direct, mushroom, Man of Leisure 7p to 11a w/Jenn
9-3-18 Peasants route, Pleasant Pheasant, cross trainer 8 p to 11a
9-4-18 Canadian Compromise/ Quagmire Crack 2p 10c solo trax

 

Colorado ’18 + rough day on the Diamond

“Does climbing ever get anything less than terrifying?” Asked Eric, a local who was doing Yellow Spur on follow for his first outdoor climb ever.

” I wish I could say it does, but that is’nt the sweet spot between abject terror, and fun/excitement? I dont go on the kiddy rides at the amusement park.” I offered.

“I do, ”  said my belay sharer.

“Well, the Spinning Teacups are pretty bad-assed too” I mused.

That, and my vacation itinerary included some of the most astounding climbing I could have imagined. I hope all of Colorado climbing isn’t this sandbagged. I hope Lane and I did a half dozen of the most underrated(in terms of difficulty) climbs in the state!

Of course I have gotten used to the wild grade fluctuations in my hometown paradise crag called Index. I think that just because the Colorado and Index scene grew so fast and spectacularly in their respective histories, limits didn’t seem to apply. It was purely creative and subject to the artists own interpretation. Also, there were some incredible climbers back then, as there is now. They did the same terrifying stunts with shittier gear.

About half of our experiences felt like a scene in a movie starting right off the bat.

Itinerary:

Friday 8-10-18 Arrive at Sea-tac just as a plane is hijacked and flown to its dark conclusion. 

8-11-18 Arrive DIA at 4 am, sleep in car until too hot. Shop and drive to Estes Park

8-12-18 Lumpy link-up 6p 10c w/lane Loose Ends, Visual Aids, Loose Ends, Cheap Date, Outlander, All outstanding pitches!!

8-13-18 S.Face Petit Grepon 6p 5.8+ Deserving classic.

8-16 : 4am, Lanes back goes out while getting ready for the Diamond. Rest at high camp.

8-17-18 Casual Route, Wrong (Fields Chimney )start, Longs Peak 12p 5.10a/d.

Things went bad for us several times during this climb, some not easy to talk about, as we are supposed to be a savvy, and experienced climbers. Lanes spinal issues improve, but near the top of the ice(at the wrong start), he slipped and went down about 80 feet before hitting the scree below. He lost large chunks of skin on his thumb, shredding his clothes, and beating himself up in general. I was shocked to find that he wanted to continue. I threw him a rope, and he mini-traxed himself up the rope. Another party came up on our off route line, and had a worse slide down than Lane!! They too were wanting to continue behind us(The wrong way up  the Fields Chimney). I threw a rope to the traumatized moths headed to the next flame. I’ll let mt. project do the talking about the chimney experience that leads to the base of the Casual Route.

Perhaps the opposite of Casual, this steep, amazing line made me impressed with it’s climbing and all of the many parties that compete for its chains each day of the very short 6 week season. We got behind one party and barely in front of another. After enjoying the sweet climbing, we reached the last pitch just the lightning, rain and hail storm hit. I raced across the vertical traverse as it picked up, making it across just as water, and hail poured down the face. Poor Lane lost a few slings following, pulling a back rope through the fixed gear. His self preservation, and years of experience paying off again.

 

8-18-18 Cosmosis, Boulder Canyon 10a/d Stout, fun!!

8-19-18 Yellow Spur,  Redgarden Wall, Eldorado 6p 5.9+/5.10c Some of the most amazing climbing I have done. Enjoy some pics, some are from Lane, thanks.

 

Fire on the Mountain, Sloan pk.

“Well, that’s what we do during the summer!” replied Doug to my large list of complaints about my first overnight adventure during the hottest day of the year so far. At the top of my list was the heat. I figured at 7000’+ it would be cooler than the 97 degree temps in nearby Darrington.

FA report from Rad

2nd ascent from Sol

Stephs report 

Ryans report

 

We did the approach Saturday evening (6-930 pm). We suffered, but drank plenty of water, and it cooled off at the bivy below the snowfield.

Sunday we were off at 630, and immediately noticed a spike in the temps once above the snow. Crap, lets get a high as possible before the sun hits at 11 am! This too was a struggle with sustained, difficult, yet outstanding rock, and also operating as a party of 3. We managed to enjoy ourselves despite the pressure of returning home at a decent hour with reserves to work on Monday. Over half of the climbing was great fun, yet there is just enough lichen to make a negative taint to the minority terrain. With more traffic (hint, hint) it would make for one of the funner alpine routes around!! Hey for “Alpine Climbing”, it doesnt get much better than this in Washington state. Expect some 5.8 runouts, and moderate route-finding difficulties. Expect also a strenuous, and steep outing, especially if hot. Dont, however expect crowds, unless this spray does a number on it?

Back in 2008, while doing an fa of the SE Ridge of Sloan, Lane and I noticed this line, and vowed to return shortly thereafter, It was not long after that Rad and Blake scooped it! I was surprised to recently find out that our report and intrigue did not figure in their ascent. I am relieved that I did not have the duty of doing this line ground up! It was a proud ascent these 2 amazing climbers did, hats off to them!

Mighty Mouse!

“Some call it the best alpine rock climb on the West Coast”

Jenn and I went up to try Mighty Mouse again after getting rained, and crowded out of the area last year.

Again enjoying a warm up day at our beloved Squamish on Saturday, doing the classic: Rock On direct, with several fun parties ahead of us. I am so lucky that Jenn enjoys the same things as I. We have such fun together!

Sunday though we had the Joffre drainage to ourselves and got a fair shake at one of the best crack climbs I have ever experienced. Certainly in a class of top crack routes, this climb will bring nearly all shapes and sizes of crack and even start with some amazing face climbing!

Each of the pitches have a unique magic and mild terror to them. I have run into so many routes this season that carry a certain “Go-For -IT !” while doing the moves. This aggressive approach has worked out in most cases, because there have been good holds after the wind it up, and release of the moves. Climbing in this fashion above thin gear is wild!

The first pitch really sets the table, with strange moves and position that keeps you off balance, continuing its awkward, and strenuousness to the top of the 3rd pitch.

The triple crack pitch(p4) is short and feisty! probably my favorite pitch, insecure moves all the way to the top.

p5 was also super fun!! Trust me.

We split the 6th pitch into 2 pitches for safety, that first 11a crack is stiff and exemplifies the go for it!

The finish is astounding as well, so glad to have the older offset master cams, and a full set of c3’s. I used many of my single set of nuts, heavy on the smaller ones too. Sun, and mosquitos followed us the whole route. Later or earlier start =less sun. Belays/rappels are updated.

Our elderly waypoints: Up at 5am, 6-830 hike in, top at 3pm. car at 630, Seattle 1am

This route gives so much, but it will also take a lot of energy, head space, and time. Big day.

Deserving of the hype it will be a highlight of many climbers’ season.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/113427644/mighty-mouse

https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/81789-mouses-tooth/

https://gripped.com/routes/climbing-mouses-tooth-splitter-west-coast-alpine-route/

https://squamishclimbing.com/squamish_climbing_bb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3481

https://www.ubc-voc.com/2014/09/07/advantageous-route-traffic-on-the-mouses-tooth-september-6th

 

Ancient Melodies, Exfoliation Dome

With temps in the 90s, it became necessary to build a list of routes that get limited sun exposure, have a higher altitude, AND ease of access. There aren’t that many however. The west faces of Liberty Bell group, and Wine spires meet the criteria, but you will feel the crowds of people and goats.

Research brought me to the Darrington, and to consider the Ancient Melodies route on the NW face of Exfoliation Dome as a shady option to nab a big route with “easy” access. Don’t take the Granite Sidewalk lightly!

Saturday: Sit by the river. rest and relax

It still took a rest day prior to the climb for me to possibly perform. I helped wrap up the mega work project so I was reeling from the week leading up to our plan. We camped at the end of the fs2060 for a prius.

Sunday: Up at 5 am, we had to get up most of the route to avoid the blistering sunny temps we knew would hit (sun hits route just after noon mid July). We simoed the first 3 pitches quickly and had little trouble on the clean lower slabs.

Slab climbing gets little love from climbers in general, but the 4 business pitches on this route were more face climbing than slabby friction. The movement was exciting too, requiring nerve and figuring out the delicate dancey sequences especially with the feet. Pure joy flowed from us as we marveled at the unique features and positions the route offered. The first of the 4 is a slick feeling traverse that has holds appear just when you need them and would be the money pitch on most climbs, but the next pitch is truly the money, with nonstop excitement all the way up to the chains. #3 business pitch is a fun/tips affair that should lend confidence at sending the crux? I was raring to go on the crux, because the route was so good, I wanted to do it justice( and never take the Granite Sidewalk approach again). With loud yells of effort, I did get the crux clean, finding it to be a couple of the toughest foot mantels I have ever done. I was skeptical that a “slab”route could justifiably receive as much love as it had on Mt. Project, but after climbing it: I can see it, and a renewed appreciation for top quality lower angle routes!

City of Rocks ’18

Ahhh the City..

  I have such an amazing history there, and myself and 4 friends just added to it!

It was my 4th time there, and the first for my companions. It was great to see them gaze off at the stunning views, and smile at the possibilities of the exotic granite climbing at hand. Truly a vacation type place, it lives up to both the hype and the chill you will hear about, and experience there.

I went slow at first adjusting to the “go for it” cruxes and vintage bolts in places. I did pick it up a bit- logging 23 pitches, with numerous 5.11 memorable leads. My favorite was Pogemahone, a sweet pitch among other stunning ones such as Redtail, Where Eagles Fly, Chomping at the Bit, and the amazing Bumbly takes a Tumbly! Though the drive takes a while, it becomes worth it with just a couple of the routes here, it’s just that good.

Cant wait to get back.

 

6/29-7/3-18 City of Rocks 23p to 11a w/ Jenn, Chris, Eileen, Tristan

6-29 Eagle Crack, Eagles Fly 2p to 11a

6-30 Harvest, Expect no Mercy, thin slice, No Parking 4p to 10d

7-1 redtail, sudden pleasure, Pogemahone 11a, bloody finger 4p 11a

7-2 Collossus 10c, private I., soaring seagulls, Pygmies Stoned x2, nesting egos tr, 6p10c

7-3 tribal B. Deez Guys, can’t believe it, Bumblie Tumblie 11a, Chomping Bit 11a x2, Heat Wave 7p to 11a

 

 

Sabbra Cadabra

 

 

 

 

bird and egg p7

I would not have picked Sabbra for my first big route of the season. Jeremy and perfect weather can be persuasive however:

“We still haven’t done Sabbra”
Me: Not sure how I would be on sabbra have not done much climbing yet this season,but
I’d try sabbra if you feel up to the crux.
“I’m game for the crux. I’m climbing pretty strong right now. 11+ bolted correct?”
Me: Ok let’s go
“Perfect”
As it turns out I needed more reps to do it justice, but WOW, what a great route. We didn’t “free” it, nor finish either due to a raptor nest atop p6.
     The 4 “business” pitches we did were very enjoyable to the extreme even doing the occasional “take”(sitting in your harness, to take a break). P2 was my cleanest effort, I managed to get up its super delicate slabby insanity cleanly, though the pitch was damp in places. Jeremy did an amazing job on the 1st 5.11 pitch on p3. With and early take, he kicked out the rest in an impressive effort on small holds. After struggling up the follow of it, I led a lot of the next 5.11 thin crack (from heaven) free, but started pulling gear at the end. I also did a “take” on the 10d p6, clearly not in mid season form. It was worth the humiliation, and I cant wait to get back to try it when more seasoned.
   If you look close at one of the photos, you will see the falcon with and egg just visible. We had no idea it was there until I was quietly looking at the 7th pitch. We did not disturb it, and notified the proper authorities for a seasonal closure of the area. My next visit can wait.

 

Please join me…

…for a rare slide show presentation on my favorite climbs at Washington Pass and the Northwest!

It is a fundraiser for the Liberty Bell Conservation Initiative, so bring yours friends, and lots of money!!

Register for free tickets here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wayne-wallace-greatest-hits-tickets-45003864771?utm_term=eventname_text

 

here are the lists,

WA pass Top 10:
10. Labor Pains
9. Boving –S. Early
8. Clean Break
7. Rampage to Burgundy N face 6: Liberty Traverse
5: Kearney Thomas
4. The Hitchhiker
3: Gato Negro
2: Supercave
1: the Passenger

Cascade Top 4:
1. Springbock

1.1Mighty Mouse
2. Der Sportsman

3. Mongo Ridge
4. Southern Pickets Traverse

 

Canada Ice 2-18

So the Canadian Rockies are having one of the coldest winters in recent memory. Steve suggested that we bring down our grade chasing ambitions a whole grade. Fair enough, as it is near impossible to keep the feeling in your fingers while climbing. Every morning started out below O fahrenheit.

With our lungs hurting from a recent bout with THAT flu, I met Jenn up there, and we were lucky enough to get Steve’s place early! (Thanks Steve!!)  We took his advice and got late starts on easier ground for the first couple of days. As it gradually got “warmer”, we headed for sunny, tougher projects that we did indeed enjoy. We also reveled in the company of Lane for the last 2 routes.

It was also a pleasure to take it a bit “easy” and have a vacation type trip, complete with bubble baths, and great food(Thanks, Paul, Kat, Steve, Ann, Lane, Jeff, and Stephanie!!)

Now back to 60 hour work weeks for next few months…: (

 

Lillooet ’18

 

 

I am continually amazed at the great lengths I am willing to go in order to ice and mixed climb! With the multi billion dollar project/job cruising along at 55-60 hours/week, Doug and I (still)drove up to Lillooet after work Friday evening in rain and Seattle traffic, and picked off 2 classic routes on Saturday and Sunday. Then, back in time for another long Monday push at work. Damn I am tired, but happy to still have some capacity similar to when I was younger!

The 1st edition cover photo for West Coast Guide shows a pretty pitch named Capricorn. I had always wanted to do it, but was put off by the long approach. It was worth the slog however, though we messed up the approach. It is easy to accidentally start to far lookers right of the true approach. The main pitch/crux was steep at the top and wouldn’t have been that tough were it not for chandeliered conditions.

The main reason for going to all the trouble of driving hour after hour was to take a shot at a very new mixed route that seemed to be my type of climb. The rating for Bitcoin Billionaire intimidated  after getting humbled in the Canadian Rockies by similarly rated mixed climbs, but the route has a more alpine feel, and the rating shouldn’t scare off many aspirants. The highlights are the scritchey first pitch, 2 mixed chimneys with fun moves, and a satisfying wi4 finish. The setting is great, views and solitude lend a remote feel. It worked out to simo a few of the steps in the middle, and combine pitches. We placed a dozen rock pieces, and stretched the ropes out in 5 pitches. Nice day out to be striving for adventure! Thanks to Doug, Jenn, Caroline, and the BB FA team for putting out the good times!

Lillooet British Columbia Canada. is a small blue-collar town that was at one time popular with ice climbers, and may soon be again thanks to internet stoke. I used to go there often in my younger days, and I hope to more in the future!

Scroll past crappy pictures for account of the first ascent!

 

Danny O’Farrell‎ to West Coast Ice

January 9 at 9:46am · 

After working on the Bridge River for the last 3 years and over spending over 100 plus days working on fisheries conservation and monitoring with the Xwisten First Nations, I’ve spent a lot of time day dreaming of establishing new lines in the Bridge River Valley, as it’s a very special place for me. Over the last few months, I’ve been watching a few lines form high on the walls above the river. After showing Steve and Hunter these lines, we decided to give one of the lines a go!

On Sunday, January 7, 2018; Steve Janes, Hunter Lee

and I, established a new and exciting mixed alpine style route up the Bridge River Valley called “Bitcoin Billionaire, M6, WI4, 325m”. The route was completed in 7 Pitches, approximately 43.5 km from the highway from Lillooet or 6.5 km below Terzaghi Dam. The route lies between the already established routes Salmon Stakes and A New Leash on Life” along the highway on the east side of the river. From the road you can only see the final pitch of beautiful fat blue grade 4 ice. Cross the river and gain approximately 250 of elevation to the base of the climb.

The route is a approximately 550-600m elevation of gain, from the base of the river to the top of the climb, the route itself is approximately 325m. Steve Janes says one of the best lines he’s ever climbed.

Bitcoin Billionaire M6, WI 4, 325m

Pitch 1 55m WI 4: Climb a small hanging pillar to thin ice for approxmently 25m WI4, the pitch than eases up to grade 2-3 and snow to a large ledge with tree belay.

Pitch 2: 55m M6: Climb grade 2-3 and snow 25m to gain the ledge. Traverse into an awkward and fun squeeze chimney with questionable pro, requiring making multiple crux moves involving lots of stemming, groveling, facing both directions, and knifeblades (M6, 25m). Traverse right 5m to and belay off large tree on lookers right.

Pitch 3: 65m WI 2/ M3 / Snow Ramp: Climb the long snow ramp 45m, then climb awkward 2-3/M3 for 10m, climb the remaining snowslope 10m to large tree on lookers left. Belay from tree. 70m ropes are required or belayer may have to simo climb to 10m or to small tree on lookers left to establish another belay station.

Pitch 4: 35m WI 2/Snow Ramp: Round corner from belay station on easy grade 2 and snow. Make one awkward move over rock and ice bulge to base of squeeze chimney. Belay is located on lookers right in small crack, gear to 0.5 or pins.

Pitch 5: 55m M6: Enter the chimney and get busy! Stem up on thin ice and rock to overhanging chalkstone roof M6 (Solid cam under roof, right side #2 Yellow BD). Then find stick in low quality snow and ice at the lip and grunt through the roof. Once through the roof and chalk stone enjoy fun stemming and better ice M5 to upper cirque and final tiers. Belay off good ice screws below upper cirque.

Pitch 6: 20m WI 2: Easy climbing on good ice to base of final 40m tier. Belay off good ice screws on lookers right in small alcove.

Pitch 7: 40m WI 4: Fun climbing on grade 4 on fat blue ice to top of climb. Belay off good ice.

Decent: Rappel route, using trees, v-treads and slinging ice pillars.