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The Climbing Club • View topic - The Ultimate Squamish Debut

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:36 pm 
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On May 14-15, Jesi and I took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather at Squamish to climb at the local cragging areas on Friday and the 17-pitch Ultimate Link-Up (5.9+, A0) on Saturday.

We found the Burger's & Fries wall completely empty of other climbers and bathed in warm sunlight. I started out by leading the 5-star trad route Burgers & Fries (5.7), a fun climb although a bit run out for the last few moves. My second lead was Wise Crack (5.7) which was pure joy with solid protection and sweet hand jams. Jesi then led two 5.10s on the wall, Catch Me and Catch Me Quick which I enjoyed following on top-rope. By that time, a few other climbers had joined us at the wall and we left the crowd to hike to Pixie Corner where I led the Pixie Corner classic (5.8), a double crack up a corner with a small roof for the crux to make it interesting. We finished off the day at Octopus' Garden where I led Edible Panties, ostensibly 5.7 but with a tricky 5.9 bouldery move to get off the ground. Jesi led Unearthly Delights (5.9) and we called it a day to nurse our sore shoulders and worn fingers over delicious beers at the local brewery.

Over the course of Friday afternoon, we had hatched a plan to climb a variation of the Ultimate Link-up (5.9+, A0) on Saturday, which Jesi had had on her tic-list for several years. This climb is a combination of several popular routes which starts on the Apron and crosses the South Gully to top out on the Chief. We would wake early to be at the base of the climb by 6, in anticipation of a long day. However, after pouring over the guidebook we were not sure if the route was a reasonable objective given the many pitches (20+) and uncertain route finding. Disappointed, we decided to settle for Rock On, a 10a multipitch climb on the South Gully.

Saturday morning, we woke at the luxurious hour of 8. As we were pulling out our packs, a guy in his mid 50's approached us and asked us if we were planning to climb the Ultimate Link-up. A bit ataken back by this seemingly coincident question, we said that we had been hoping to do it, but we were deterred by the length of the route and the possibly tricky route finding. "No problem, we did it yesterday in 7 hours!" he said, and quickly mapped out how to link the two separate climbs. Jesi and I looked at each other, and decided to go for it! Back to plan A, we quickly threw on our packs and headed to the base of the climb.

Our chosen variation of the Link-up was to start with Calculus Crack, a 6-pitch climb up the north side of the Apron. Jesi and I swung leads, each pitch 5.7 - 5.8. She generously gave me the sharp end for the best pitch, a beautiful airy 5.8 hand crack. At the top of the climb, we had to find a way up the 1-2 pitches that separated us from the base of The Ultimate Everything. We were planning to climb the Boomstick Crack but on the hike over we spotted a no-name alternative one-pitch with a bolt placed conveniently at the obvious crux on the face which Jesi led beautifully. After this short pitch, we quickly found the trail and by 11 AM we were enjoying lunch at the base of 10-pitch The Ultimate Everything. Jesi led the first pitch in fine style, a tricky 5.9+ technical bolted face climb. We swung leads; I led the easier 5.7 - 5.8 pitches, which included a nice 5.8 hand crack and some exposed dyke climbing, and Jesi led the more technical 5.9 pitches. The crux was the final pitch. If climbed clean, it was rated as 5.11c; we opted for the 5.9+, A0 version, which necessitated a high-step onto a sling at the second bolt and pulling on the draw at the 3rd bolt. Jesi powered through the lead and I followed with a rather awkward finish. We were enjoying the summit views and the rest of our sandwiches by 5 PM. A quick descent trail took us back to the parking lot and we were back in Bellingham by 9. Many thanks to Jesi for leading all the hardest routes and being an excellent partner!! I hope there's more Squamish climbs in my future.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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Sweetness. I'm still sorely disappointed I got sick the night before doing some multipitch stuff on the chief. Haven't really heard about anyone I know doing such, so I'm happy to hear of your success.

How was the high step in the sling on a bolt move for the follower? Was it hard to remove the draw/sling once past the move?

edit: did you guys take any pictures?


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Evan: pictures hopefully soon to come. As a follower on the aid pitch, I was able to reach a crimper after the high step that felt pretty secure, and so was able to remove the draw from above. It was awkward, but on top rope it wasn't too bad.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Duchess of Bearington
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Location: closer to josh, kris, and mel than craig
Grace, sounds like an excellent weekend! Nice work getting after that link up.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 8:13 am 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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Nicely done!


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:10 am 
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Sounds like a great weekend! I'm looking forward to pictures. :D


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Looks like a blast. I'm super jealous.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:24 am 
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Longshanks
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:13 pm 
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There's an alternate finish to UE by traversing left and from the last belay. It's rated .10b, and it's not too bad. There's a bolt at the crux and the rest protects well.

Good job on the climb. You'll have to go back and do Rock On. It's one of my favorite multi-pitch climbs at Squamish.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:04 pm 
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Awesome looking route!! Nice work banging out the 17 pitches so quickly!


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:33 am 
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The Shepherd
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Sounds like a ton of climbing, way to get after it!


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