/ Squamish Beta

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snoop6060 - on 11 Jun 2013
I'm putting together a rough plan to get ready for a trip to squamish in September. A few questions for anyone's that been.

1) Is there any point in making grade comparisons? I cannot really get my head around the american system, but am trying to work out routes to aim for. I climb upto E4 normally....a bit harder on bolts (7b ish) would this put the grand wall in my sights?

2) Is it all predominately jamming and laybacking? I am not that bad at cracks, but am far better at face climbing. May have to get some crack training planned.

3) What classic routes are worth a look at? Interested in some long easy ones too.

4) Is Squamish expensive? THe normal barrometer for me is the price of a pint...how much is a pint?

5) I'm gonna get spanked right?!

6) Would a double rack of camelots, and double rack of master cams and various sizes of wires generally suffice? And a 70m single? We could also take 50m halfs possibly.

Any thing else I need to know, like how to avoid getting eaten by a bear, let me know.

Cheers, Si
French Erick - on 11 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
never been, own a guidebook, really want to go.
Been twice to the states climbing, got spanked both times.
Not all of us are ready to put a wide boyz training plan in place. It's got to be crack specific... proper cracks.

May be you can get up same-ish grades, I couldn't.
Enjoy and be sure to put pics up on here.
joe.91 - on 11 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060: Only ever bouldered there, found the grades a bit soft however the trad/sport will probably be different. Expense wise I thought most things were reasonable (food, kit, fuel etc) never bought a pint over there is the alcohol is expensive!
snoop6060 - on 11 Jun 2013
In reply to French Erick:

Dont think I've ever actually climbed a proper crack in my life, I expect that I will get mega spanked. But maybe I will learn some new skills!
French Erick - on 11 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
Or cracks will learn you!
I was on the verge of tears in a 5.10a flared chimney in the Needles once, and had a complete shut down on something called space trucker 5.10b(?) on eagle crag near lake tahoe, while climbing well at E3 with occasional E4 in the UK (varied rock and venues).

Think easy first and work your way up.

Made mistake to aim too high on 2nd trip and got spanked again by a well-known (locally) "proper" route called athletic foot somewhere near Boulder: we had to aid a crux on a high up pitch! Deflating morale on day 1 was not clever. We were too greedy.

Have a few dream goals, a few realistic goals and a few classic goals (well within your grade) to start with... be kind to your ego.
king tubby - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
beers are pricy- expect to pay $7.50 (plus tip- the brits love that) and it's not even a full pint. cheese is pricy too, and bread. but, with some thrift, you can live reasonably. bc liquor stores are cheapest for booze- but it's still expensive.

grand wall is E3 6a.

yup. lots of jamming- fingers and hands mostly.

rack sounds good. take the 70m. single rack of wires. small cams useful.

i see lots of brits get spanked- brush up on yer granite smears. it's not the bears you need to worry about these days- it's the cougars.

classic to E4- freeway E4 6a- 10 pitches
exasperator E2 5c- 2 pitches
crime of the century E4 6a- 1 pitch
rock on E1 5b- 3 pitches
cruel shoes E3 6a... and many many more
piton - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

Beer's really expensive in Canadaland. You can always make a quick trip down to the U.S. and stock up though.

The best / classic climbs there are cracks and the face climbs tend to be smeary friction - such is the nature of granite.

When you get there, the Smoke Bluffs crags are good ones to check out first to get an idea of the place.

Some other routes to check out:

Rock on - 10a (5a+)
Sunblessed - 10b (5b)
Centerfold - 10d (5c)
The Great Game - 10d (5c)
Milk Run - 10d (5c)

... and many more
Noodles - on 12 Jun 2013
PeakDJ on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

Email jonny2vests as he lives out there and can probably provide all the info you need...
snoop6060 - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to king tubby:

Thanks for the info. That sounds fairly expensive, which is what I kinda gathered. I will have to cope with that. I'm now fully expecting to get utterly spanked as as i've never actually climbed on granite bar a bit of bouldering which is likely not really the practice I need.

Now I just need to find some smeary cracks in the peak...

grubes - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
Running hill pits?
snoop6060 - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to grubes:

I think i'd rather just go unprepared!

Next question: Does anyone know of a good place to find a hire car? Ive searched around and the best we can get with all the insurance is 200 a week. It looks like we wont be camping so we are going to need a car I think.
grubes - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
thought you would be keen for this hit list?

t'pits
calamity crack E4 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=18897
Sodom E1 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=18937
Gommorrah E1 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=18938
sagittarius Flake E5 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=18919

then a drive round for
Blasphomy E2 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=16205 at wimberry
Bob hope E4 http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=79902 at DOvestones quarries
snoop6060 - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to grubes:

Ive never actually been the pits, maybe I should check it out. May be heading out later with james if you fancy it.
grubes - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
can't today sadly
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> I'm putting together a rough plan to get ready for a trip to squamish in September. A few questions for anyone's that been.
I live in Squamish and climb full-time.

> 1) Is there any point in making grade comparisons? I cannot really get my head around the american system, but am trying to work out routes to aim for. I climb upto E4 normally....a bit harder on bolts (7b ish) would this put the grand wall in my sights?
No (grade comps). Yes (grand wall).

> 2) Is it all predominately jamming and laybacking? I am not that bad at cracks, but am far better at face climbing. May have to get some crack training planned.
No. There's world-class vertical granite face climbing at Pet wall and a few other cliffs, vast amounts of sport climbing on gneiss 15 minutes north at Chek and elsewhere, plus terrifying granite friction routes on the Chief and at Shannon Falls.

> 3) What classic routes are worth a look at? Interested in some long easy ones too.
There's an excellent top 100 list in the Squamish Select guide. http://www.quickdrawpublications.com/Book%20Samples/Select%20Top%20100.pdf

> 4) Is Squamish expensive? THe normal barrometer for me is the price of a pint...how much is a pint?
It's expensive but nothing like, say, Norway. Canned beer is not too bad ... $10 for a six pack. For food there are three supermarkets and Walmart so it is worth shopping around if you are here for a while.

> 5) I'm gonna get spanked right?!
Dunno.

> 6) Would a double rack of camelots, and double rack of master cams and various sizes of wires generally suffice? And a 70m single? We could also take 50m halfs possibly.
Sounds fine. Don't bring half ropes, no-one uses them.
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to king tubby:
> grand wall is E3 6a.

I have seen E3 and E4 for Grand Wall but I think it is almost meaningless. The big three pitches (Split Pillar, Sword, Perrys Layback) on GW are so unlike almost anything in the UK it's laughable. The best benchmark is similar style cracks in Squamish itself. A good test would be doing Rock On then Milk Road. If the RO felt easy and MR OK, it's definitely worth trying the Grand.
Paul Kinnaird - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

It gets pretty quiet up there in September best go earlier if you hope to meet a partner out there.

Booze isn't too cheap pick up a bottle of a spirit in duty free. Brew pub is nice but pricey. Cheese just sucks and is overpriced. Nesters has the best bakery/fruit and veg but save on has lower prices i thought.

Its not the done thing in the UK but most wear tape gloves and id suggest bringing a wide roll as none of the shops had any when we needed it.

Most climb on single ropes doubles or a second rope can help if trying something hard as its quicker to bail. Climb early to avoid the sun can get pretty hot late in the day and don't even think of trying rock on at the weekend or anything popular tbh (counted 10 teams on rock on and stories of waiting hours at belays)

The bears aren't that big use the lockers if staying at the chief or find a suitable place away from camp to hang your food if roughing it on the forest road.
metal arms on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

What tobyfk says.

You should be fine on the Grand with those grades. I did it and I'm worse than you. Bring lots of small slings for the aid ladders. Makes it much quicker if you've got enough kit!
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to Paul Kinnaird:
> It gets pretty quiet up there in September best go earlier if you hope to meet a partner out there.

Last September the main Chief campsite seemed busy, if not actually full, right through the month. I think it depends on the weather, with a certain proportion of climbers staying until it convincingly breaks. Last year was fantastic until the second week of October.
Jonny2vests - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

So looks like toby beat me to it, good info there from someone that knows.

Grade conversion, especially between Brit and YDS is a fools errand not least because YDS is inherently fuzzier (it has a bigger standard deviation if you like). The sentence 'I'm an E1 leader' is a much cleaner definition than 'I'm a 5.10b leader' and not just because there's no account of boldness (although you'll probably find not much is bold here bar the slabs). Learn to think in YDS.

I often put a comment in my log book with a Brit grade once I've done a route, I thought the Grand was worth E4, mainly because of the three burl pitches being back to back, but no pitch is harder than E3. If it comes to it, the Grand is a very cheatable route where you can french free stuff if it comes to that (and it may well do :-), and its very bailable in most places so you should def get on it. If you want any of my empirically derived Brit grades for anything, give me a shout.

I disagree with toby re doubles. He's right that nobody uses them, that's probably true of most of North America though. Lots of them still carry a tag line or extra rope to ab with, so it seems bizarre to me to not use doubles. I take a single when I need speed on a route I've done before or if I've doing short stuff. Doubles are good for exploratory climbing, big onsight stuff where I maybe I might have to bail. Pitches tend to be long which makes a single even more draggy than normal. Brit and Yank trad varies in all sorts of subtle ways, I think it makes sense to extract the good bits from both rather than blindly following some local habit (sorry Tobes).

In addition to the rack comments, I think DMM offsets are worth carrying; the big ones, not the brassies (peanuts and small wires below size 2 rarely get used, but you might as well bring some just in case).
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> I disagree with toby re doubles. He's right that nobody uses them, that's probably true of most of North America though. Lots of them still carry a tag line or extra rope to ab with, so it seems bizarre to me to not use doubles. I take a single when I need speed on a route I've done before or if I've doing short stuff. Doubles are good for exploratory climbing, big onsight stuff where I maybe I might have to bail. Pitches tend to be long which makes a single even more draggy than normal. Brit and Yank trad varies in all sorts of subtle ways, I think it makes sense to extract the good bits from both rather than blindly following some local habit

I think it depends on the visitor's aspirations and luggage allowance. Someone planning to do lots of multi-pitch with high risk of retreat should consider doubles. For everyone else, especially if they think they will sample the excellent sport climbing here and/or don't want funny looks when they are bumbling around some single-pitch venue like the Smoke Bluffs: bring a single. Personally I find they suck your time dry on multi-pitches and do little to aid rope drag on 90% of routes.
Jonny2vests - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to tobyfk:

For sure, if baggage allowance is an issue and lots of sport climbing is on the agenda, a single makes sense (70m minimum). But I was making a slightly different point, which I admit was kind of off topic.
snoop6060 - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

I expect we may do some sport, but I would like the option of bailing. Are most abb lines bolted for 50m abbs? Though I assume bailing normally means abbing the line you just climbed up and most pitches stretch beyond 35m.

We could potentially go with the tag line option, but not actually sure how that works.

I would prefer where possible to climb on a single, I am well versed with halfs, but a single is mostly less hastle therefore more fun!
tobyfk - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> I expect we may do some sport, but I would like the option of bailing. Are most abb lines bolted for 50m abbs? Though I assume bailing normally means abbing the line you just climbed up and most pitches stretch beyond 35m.

It varies. One of the most common bailing spots is from the Grand Wall, from either above or below the Split Pillar pitch. AFAIK that isn't possible on single ropes. But I am pretty sure you bail on some of the easier long classics like Angels Crest or Squamish Buttress on a single. Keep in mind that for most people the majority of their Squamish days will be short multi-pitch or single-pitch routes. Though the Chief is a big chunk of rock and very aesthetic, there are surprisingly few multi-pitch routes that go the full height.
jcw on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060: I had an intensive two weeks there with a Squamish guide friend in 2002. Obviously not your standard, but even so lots of good routes (100 pitches). I can send you my diary entry with lists and comments by email if you want.

Paul Kinnaird - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to tobyfk: i left the camp at the start of september might just of seemed quiet as it had been full up until the students had to go back to school
planetmarshall on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

4. The area is cheaper than the UK, but more expensive than the US. Sales tax (like VAT) is rarely included on display prices. The Beer however is excellent, I highly recommend anything from the Granville Island Brewery.

Spent a week in Vancouver in 2011, then three months at the start of 2012. Never saw a bear. Spent many days at Squamish, Alice Lake and jogging up the Grouse Grind. I was promised bears. Not one.

Jonny2vests - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> I expect we may do some sport, but I would like the option of bailing. Are most abb lines bolted for 50m abbs? Though I assume bailing normally means abbing the line you just climbed up and most pitches stretch beyond 35m.

As far as I recall, there are a few 40m abseils, not many and very few above that if any (Toby?). Quite often there's more chains than you need and 60s mean you have more options for skipping / linking / going the wrong way, the book is good at telling you ab distances (less good at always telling you pitch distances which is a North American thing).

As Toby says, many routes terminate after a few pitches when the holds run out, this means you end up doing a LOT of abbing (compared to the UK). Routes often finish on ledge systems, so the ab line may well not be down the route. Some of the bigger ledge systems have walk-offs (Bellygood, Broadway), there are full on forests on the Chief, its not like El Cap in that respect.

Jonny2vests - on 13 Jun 2013
In reply to planetmarshall:
> (In reply to snoop6060)
>
> 4. The area is cheaper than the UK

Hmmm, I would not agree with that for almost everything, especially food. And I think the beer is dull compared to what is on offer in the UK. But there you go. I bet you saw the grizzlys at the top of the grouse grind? Admittedly in a compound. FWIW, I have seen two bears in 18 months, a white one in Nunavut (!) and a black bear nowhere near Squamish. In a 3 week trip to Yosemite, I saw about 10.
tobyfk - on 14 Jun 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to snoop6060)
> As far as I recall, there are a few 40m abseils, not many and very few above that if any (Toby?).

I don't recall taking an extra rope to abseil on more than a couple of occasions. The fact that people have tended to only use 60m single ropes for many years has tended to encourage rap stations at maximum 30m intervals.
Jonny2vests - on 16 Jun 2013
In reply to tobyfk:

Did a 45m (no option) ab today! Seem to be loads more than I thought at 40+. Some 50s!
alasdair19 on 16 Jun 2013
In reply to snoop6060: the grand is fine, you choose your variation the 2 hard compulsory pitchs are e2 plus don't get straight on it so you have.time to adjust to the style.

It's all cracks so time at millstone will pay significant dividends. The routes are safe so you can really go for it.

Going crazy on gear is counter productive cause you can't be fit enough. Again once use to placing good gear at waist height and rarely placing something else until your.feet are above it.

Awesome place and Yes you'll be spanked but not as.bad as yosemite!

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