my girlfriend and I are planning a 2-3 week trip to Squamish in July. We come from a sport climbing background and have just started trad climbing. I am wondering if any of the locals can suggest some good crack climbs to learn and perfect our crack climbing skills. Climbs with easy protection, and relatively short cruxes are what we are looking for. I bought the guidebook but was hoping to get some more suggestions. Climbs in the 5.4-5.8 range (trad) are what we are looking for. We are comfortable leading 5.10- sport climbs.
Thanks for any suggestions!
You can do a lot of research on this site using the search function to find out about things like camping, route recommendations and what to do on rest days. Since you asked about beginning crack climbs here are some suggestions:
Sugar Loaf at Murrin Park 5.4 - 5.7
Klahanie Crack - at Shannon Falls 5.7
MCM 5.6 Ronin's Corner
Davy Jones Locker and Pixie Corner 5.7 & 5.8
Laughing Crack 5.7
Cat Crack 5.6
lots more, others may chime in.
When you reach the top, keep climbing -- Zen proverb
MCM (at Pixie Corner in the Smoke Bluffs) for sure - this is the one that stands out in my mind as the best 1st timer crack.
There are some real easy (a 5.4 and 2 5.6's I think) at Fern Gully in the Bluffs, all sort of left leaning.
Laughing Crack and Cat Crack definitely.
Klahanie Crack, while a fabulous climb, may be daunting to new tradsters with a limited rack: it's pretty well hands the whole way, and after your biggest couple nuts and 1 inch-ish cams are used up you'll be gripped, cuz it's long too (35 m)
There is easily accessible top-roping at Penny Lane and Neat N Cool in the Bluffs, but be prepared for lineups.
That'll get you through two days, then go buy some more gear, get on something long or hard (or both!) and scrae the pants off yourselves! That's the way to do it!
Quarryman 5.8 at Penny Lane,
Fissureman's Friend 5.8 at Island in the sky
Burgers and Fries 5.7 and bilbo bagins and Frodo at Burgers and fries
Easter Island. 5.7
Asleep at the wheel 5.8
Octopus's Garden and many others at Octopus's Garden.
Holiday in Cambodia and Orphan
And I can't believe nobody has mentioned Deidre 5.8 or Sickle 5.8 on the Apron
high mountain woody is not a good top rope climb because it is on an angle. at the very least, it requires several pieces of pro to serve as directionals.Fre wrote:You could toprope into High Mountain Woody (5.8+) on the Upper Malamute and check out the moves and then lead it up if you feel like it. You might find a lot of great rests which will make you more comfortable and ready to try Paul's crack (5.10a) just to the left of HMW, and do the same (toprope then lead)
I wouldn't really recommend the long routes to aspiring leaders unless they have huge racks or can deal with running it out a bit. Running out of gear is not pleasant at the best of times. Klahanie takes a lot of the same size gear (purple and green C4s maybe?).
Call-it-a-day has a few easy lines with short well protected cruxes. Squatters' Rights at Funarama is a good first lead and near there as well. That area is great on busy days when solitude is nicer than collecting stars.
I don't think that classic, popular, multi-pitch routes are the best place for people to learn to lead climb cracks. Better to spend time mastering techniques where one is less committed, and not libel to cause a traffic jam if all is not going as expected. The last pitch of Diedre is no learning-to-lead-climb-cracks dream either. They are great "end of summer" goals though; they are great climbs.And I can't believe nobody has mentioned Deidre 5.8 or Sickle 5.8 on the Apron
We have a basic rack (0.5-3 C4s, single set of nuts) and will stick with that for now.
Which areas, with easy climbs, are relatively quiet compared to Burgers and Fries, neat and cool, Pennylane, etc? We would rather repeat a route multiple times than wait in line for a specific climb.
Thanks for all the suggestions,I appreciate the help, and we are looking forward to Squamish this summer!!
In my experience, nowhere at the Smoke Bluffs is particularly quiet, *especially* the easy routes. If you're starting up, go during the week or don't go to the Bluffs. Maybe try Slot Machine (5.8 first pitch, 5.6 second pitch) at the Bulletheads.
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