A little scruffy right now, but nothing to keep you away and nothing that a little traffic won't clean up.
Sadly though the rain came in on us as I was leading the third pitch. It made the fourth pitch quite sporty...
This raised a concern for me, if you're on a 60m rope you can't rap that route. Is this common for a lot of climbs on the chief? Should you always bring a second rope as a precaution, or would having an extra couple of rap stations make sense for this route?
Thanks for the cleaning though! There is still a fair amount of loose stuff up there, but I can only imagine how much crap was up there before!
The 1975 (Smaill) guide says "Bricks Shannan soloed the top of the Dyke on motor responses 1974". The first free ascent of the upper Black Dyke was later in 1974, by Gordie Smaill and Robin Barley - possibly not on exactly the same route as is now taken, and of course now cleaned up. The description: "The last five pitches to the top can be done as a separate free route consisting mainly of 5.7 with a sprinkling of 5.8 and a dash of 5.9. This climb [referring to the whole route] turns into a veritable bag of liver in the rain."
For the grand traverse and enchainment, one could start wtih Chasing Rainbows at the Malamute (except that we're not supposed to climb there...), climb up it, down the other side, then up the Black Dyke, then down the east side of the south summit, across the Olesen Creek valley, then up the cliffs on the opposite side. I think the dyke is still visible there, but it must then disappear somewhere in the forest in upper Shannon Creek. Definitely a novelty climb.
Great job Jeremy, it's well-bolted and not too chossy. It feels a little runout in spots, but it's appropriate: the bolts are just right where you need them. I had some rope drag on the third pitch, not sure if that's expected or if the rope was jammed against the roof above the belay or some block along the way...
We climbed it the weekend before last, the afternoon after the thunderstorm. We decided to try it rather than waiting for the Apron & Rock On to dry out. Being high up, the route dries quickly, save a few finger-bowl holds due to the nature of the basalt. We met another party who joined us from Stairway to Heaven: I thought the Bulletheads would've been a soggy mess that day!
Great climb, a cool alternative to Squamish granite. Recommended.
avit, regarding rope drag. I find that I get a little on P2 at the very end because the belay is way to the right. I could have added a second belay straight up but it felt like overkill, and the belay where it is is well sheltered from the sun and potential stonefall (not to mention it has a great rock to sit on). On p3, it helps if you use extended runners on the 1st bolt at the roof and 4th and 5th bolts below the headwall... All but one of the bolts on P3 was there from Sean Easton's work in 1998 so I can't claim credit or fault for the line. It is a long pitch that could have been broken into two to reduce drag. So, yeah, good point.
Re: "sustained" on P1. I find that the tendency for FAist who have spent a lot of time examining and cleaning a route is to be so familiar with the climbing that they give a sandbagged rating. So my effort was to correct for that by trying to imagine what it would be like to climb it with no prior knowledge. That section of the climb is plumb vertical so I figured that a 10a leader would get tired arms. It is the steepest 10m of the route. I must have underestimated how juggy it is.
Great to hear that it dries out quickly.
The pitches were surprisingly long. I didn't look at the topo, so I nearly missed that belay way out right. Take note of the P2 belay location in the topo!
Destined to become well traveled for sure.
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