Cracks to learn on

Everything and anything to do with climbing in Squamish.
hafilax
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Post by hafilax » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:43 pm

Burgers and Fries, the climb and main area, aren't very beginner leader friendly. Almost every line has some kind of runout slab to deal with. That's partially why it's toprope central.

Good spots on busy days are Collet a Day, Funarama and Alexis. The climbs to the sides of the popular areas are usually less traveled as well. South Burgers and Fries (Frodo, Bilbo and Gollum). The V cracks to the far right of Neat and Cool. The nice hand crack to the right of Octopus Garden. There's also Sparkletoast at One Toque Wall although I always find it a bit awkward. The 5.4 in Fern Gully is usually empty as well as MCM at Rogues. Laughing crack too because of the rope haul approach.

harihari
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Post by harihari » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:54 pm

Go ahead and do some long trad routes, at a low grade, on a Saturday...it's quite restful, since you will be spending most of the 12 hours it will take you to climb,say, Deirdre sitting around ;-)

I would recommend Garfield, which is (I think) at Comic Rocks. it is interesting, weird, 5.7 and a beautiful climb,a nd that spot rarely gets visited. you can TR it with one directional and a 60m rope. you can then top-rope some harder ones too.

If you really want to learn, I would start on a 5.6 or 5.7, and do laps-- and we are talking DOZENS-- you need to drill the movements and the jams/ringlocks into your memory. it sounds ridiculous, I know, but most of us have seen seasoned 5-hard sport climbers thrash like babies on their first trad climbs, the way I thrash when I get to bolts. If it is your first time, and you have a 3 week trip,. make sure you tape up: you WILL destroy your hands if you are learning and that will make the rest of yoru trip a bit less fun.

good luck!

seedling
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Post by seedling » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:23 pm

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Definitely for the first few days we will be top roping to dial in our crack technique (something we both really need to work on).

smallman: you mention the quiet areas are areas those not in the guidebook, would we go to Climb-On to see the newest routes since the guidebook, or how would we go about finding these quiet areas? I found a few topos on the site, as you mentioned.

We will be climbing throughout the week, so I imagine it should be less busy than the weekend would.

Thanks everyone! We are getting more excited as the days pass!

slopr
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Post by slopr » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:26 pm

Krack Rock is good toprope/beginner zone lots of climbs/variations/grades to flail on

hafilax
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Post by hafilax » Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:33 am

seedling wrote:Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Definitely for the first few days we will be top roping to dial in our crack technique (something we both really need to work on).

smallman: you mention the quiet areas are areas those not in the guidebook, would we go to Climb-On to see the newest routes since the guidebook, or how would we go about finding these quiet areas? I found a few topos on the site, as you mentioned.

We will be climbing throughout the week, so I imagine it should be less busy than the weekend would.

Thanks everyone! We are getting more excited as the days pass!
There are 2 guidebooks: McLean's comprehensive guide and Bourdon's select. A lot of people just get the select and the areas highlighted there tend to be busier.

Dru
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Post by Dru » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:32 am

slopr wrote:Krack Rock is good toprope/beginner zone lots of climbs/variations/grades to flail on
But is also often the last crag in the Bluffs to dry out

Brendan
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Post by Brendan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:43 am

Dru wrote:
slopr wrote:Krack Rock is good toprope/beginner zone lots of climbs/variations/grades to flail on
But is also often the last crag in the Bluffs to dry out
I doubt it stays wet longer than Elephantiasis at Ronins Corner :?

seedling
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Post by seedling » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:17 pm

We have the McLanes guide, and have been looking through it for the routes suggested.
Getting excited to come and check out these climbs!
Thanks everyone!

Brendan
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Post by Brendan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:13 pm

seedling wrote:We have the McLanes guide, and have been looking through it for the routes suggested.
Getting excited to come and check out these climbs!
Thanks everyone!
Despite what others here say, the Squamish Select book is a much better guide and has a significantly better layout than McLane's guide. Yes, McLane's guide is the "comprehensive" guide to Squamish, but Bourdon't Select guide is much better and more detailed.
I have both (and leave both at home), but when I do refer to one it is almost always the Squamish Select. Especially if you are climbing the big stuff on the Chief!

smallman
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Post by smallman » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:08 pm

Hey Brendan: You should preface your statement with in your opinion because you don't think for me. I prefer the Mclane Guide because it is more comprehensive. Don't make assumptions about other people's opinions.

supafly
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Post by supafly » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:19 am

i think it's pretty obvious it's his opinion coz he's the one saying it..

..in my opinon :D

jefffski
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Post by jefffski » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:47 pm

Many new climbs are posted on this website. These climbs are not in either of the guidebooks.

re ..in my opinion--on the seinfeld show, they had a game where you added the words "in bed" after reading a fortune cookie. much more fun than "in my opinion". Let's try it here.

Maclean's guide book is much better, in bed.

J Mace
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Post by J Mace » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:44 pm

but Bourdon't Select guide is much better and more detailed
Typical Gym climber, what do you want me to tape the jams for you too ?

hahaha

Brendan
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Post by Brendan » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:59 pm

smallman wrote:Hey Brendan: You should preface your statement with in your opinion because you don't think for me. I prefer the Mclane Guide because it is more comprehensive. Don't make assumptions about other people's opinions.
See below ;)
supafly wrote:i think it's pretty obvious it's his opinion coz he's the one saying it..

..in my opinon :D
Thanks supafly 8)
I thought it would have been pretty obvious that I can't speak for everyone. LOL.

pinner
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Post by pinner » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:58 am

Garfield is absolutely fantastic, and while technically 5.7 (and possibly the best 5.7 in the Sea to Sky: flame war and debate begin!), it is comitting, exposed, and may feel like 5.10 to a new tradster. It is long too, and may use up a thin rack, although there are placements of virtually all sizes to be had. It is also meandering, and while a directional is possible, as pointed out, new tradsters are likely to feel uncomfortable here. Go with someone who can lead it and have an awesome time seconding it.

Typed the following before realizing this thread is getting hijacked by a guidebook debate; read it if you like to hear another opinion - I should be doing spring cleaning which means I'll likely be on here spouting all day :D

Both guides are great, and essential for the local (although the local's Vancouver friends often have the Bourdon, so the local himself may not need it :wink: )

Bourdon's guide covers more geographical area to the north, where McLane leaves that for his Whistler Rock guide, which hasn't seen an update in a decade. It is more user friendly to the area visitor, very descriptive and with great photos, but will lead you to busy areas - especially those it lists as being quieter, because of course everyone seeks those out - and leave you wondering why when you get to somewhere like the base of the Squaw there is so much unclimbed rock - there isn't, it's just not covered in Bourdon's guide, which can be confusing when you find a major landmark and say "should be the next line of bolts to the right, before the big dihedral (or whatever)", and find 3 lines of bolts before the big dihedral or whatever... However, you generally won't get sandbagged or lost (as much) with this guide.

McLane's guide is also a beautiful historical account of climbing in the area, covers the geology of the area, and has a wonderful photographical section showing the intricateness of the Chief's buttress and gully systems. It also includes seldom climbed, dirty old sandbags, which for the visitor can be a b%$ch, but for an esoterist like myself is wonderful. You may get lost following this guide, likely because you are looking for an out-of-the-way gem and following the braided trails of those lost before you, and you may get sandbagged as well, but you will also find climbs of exceeding quality not covered in Bourdon's and build some character while you're at it. Christ, I sound old.

In the McLane guide are great quotes adapted to rock ("It is a far, far better thing to have a good cam at your waist than to put out on a troubled sea of RP's") and Squamish climbing trivia, such as the percentage of routes at a given grade or quality ("About 6% of the climbs in the guide are rated as 3 star quality"), and the following anecdote, with which my wife agrees: "When researching the different ways in which men and women use guidebooks-including who reads the Squamish guide in bed-the author was told by a young woman: 'I decided if I could be re-born as Kevin's Squamish guide, I'd get more attention from my boyfriend.'"

/end essay-rant

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