Cracks to learn on

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seedling
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Cracks to learn on

Post by seedling » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:06 pm

Hi Squamish climbing community,
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!

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Post by squamish climber » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:27 pm

Squamish in July is nice. I hope the weather will be great and you guys have an awesome time. If you are coming in the middle of the month be sure to check out the Squamish Mountain Festival July 14-18.

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
Smoke Bluffs
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.
Dave Jones - site admin
When you reach the top, keep climbing -- Zen proverb

pinner
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Post by pinner » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:35 pm

Dave's got em nailed"

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!

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Post by smallman » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:13 pm

In the Smoke Bluffs
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.

Murrin Park
Holiday in Cambodia and Orphan

And I can't believe nobody has mentioned Deidre 5.8 or Sickle 5.8 on the Apron

Fre
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Post by Fre » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:45 am

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)

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Post by jefffski » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:28 pm

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)
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
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Post by Fre » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:01 pm

Good point Jeffski though I must admit I've done it several times without directionals and whenever I want to get some exercise I do some laps on it on self-belay. High Mountain Woody is an amazing climb in an amazing setting which is why I thought about mentioning it.

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Post by Dru » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:48 pm

There is a good 5.4, two 5.7s and a 5.8 at Fern Gully that are decent leads and next door at Pink Kliff there are a 5.5 and 5.7 that are super easy well protected leads.

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Post by hafilax » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:17 am

Klahanie can't really be 35m since I've set up top ropes on it easily. Maybe it's 35m to the tree? It might be the most painful climb in Squamish.

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.

bradley3297
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Post by bradley3297 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:57 pm

No the most painful crack in squamish you cant climb anymore. but im pretty sure its hand jive.
Bradley

Brendan
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Post by Brendan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:57 pm

My vote for the best beginner .9 in Squamish is Mushroom, at the Papoose.

Get on it :o

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Post by damien » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:09 pm

And I can't believe nobody has mentioned Deidre 5.8 or Sickle 5.8 on the Apron
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.

seedling
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Post by seedling » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:05 am

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I will write those down and flip through the guidebook to become more familiar.
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!!

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Post by MarkR » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:58 pm

"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.

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.

smallman
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Post by smallman » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:05 pm

For quieter areas in the Smoke Bluffs I would choose any area NOT in Squamish Select which tend to see way less traffic. Also any area where you have to hike a bit ie. Tunnel Rock, Funarama, octopus's garden, Collet a day. are much less busy. There are updated topos for these areas available on this site. Additionally there are a bunch on new routes at Burgers and Fries right side which the sheep people don't climb. Alexis has a bunch of short easy routes as well.

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