SQUAW CENTRAL TOPO
This topo includes three new long routes/variations including The Great Drain (10a), Deviants Games (11a), and Nonsensical (10d), as well as several routes at the base.
SQUAW FAR LEFT TOPO
This topo includes a number of steep crack routes including the neo-classic The White Feather (11d). I climbed the left hand variant to pitch 3 on Dean Channel (11a A0) yesterday and can't say I'd recommend it. The right variant to pitch 3 may be better.
BUGHOUSE HEIGHTS TOPO
This topo is of Skullduggery area at Bughouse Heights in the bluffs, and includes the well-known bleached routes.
Alright clamberers, go find me the gold nuggets! I'll post more topos to this thread as I receive them.
Brendan hiking The Feather pitch (5.11d) of The White Feather
Another Sarah on the crux pitch, left-hand variant (5.11a A0) of Dean Channel.
The thin corner above (the right one) is "tips-minus". We couldn't work out the moves and C1-ed it on small nuts and 1 bolt. From there, its real-deal 11a with some loose rock (even broke off a loose dinner-plate flake... luckily no one below... hopefully I'm not going to be charged for destruction of cultural values). Anyways, this pitch looks better from here than it was to climb. The main variant is around the corner to the right. Robin says it's better.
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I've seen similar crap at Upper Malmute and other places in the bluffs. IMHO they are: non-standard, not certified, not redundant (at anchors), and questionable rust resistance. Don't get me wrong, I climb many of RB's routes new and old and do appreciate his and Harry's hard work. But this type of bolting is reckless, irresponsible, and not a sustainable practice (ie how long are they going to last in the PNW?).
The Great Drain is quite enjoyable, but maybe 10b is a more realistic grade. A little flaky on pitch 3 but quite fun climbing. The bolted off-width of pitch 2 means you can leave your big bros at home and layback. Learning from past posts, I will not comment on that ;).
The old style area of the malamute has been REALLY scrubbed up. New bolts, new anchors, and I think one new variant pitch up high to grub street? 5.10, thin slabby crack and a few bolts on the face where you can not get in protection. Quite nice 3 pitch link up with old style, cider crack and then that one. You can also do the 11- crack pitch of grub street to get up there, and Aganol is cleaned up and rebolted on the bottom half at least.
Word on the streets is that no, Barley has not lost his mind, he just likes to be a sh*t disturber...mission accomplished.
Evan,evenstevens wrote:The Feather is an okay route, 3 of 5 stars? The bolted 11- on pitch 1 is a fun warm up. P2 has a few loose blocks but is fun, tread lightly. The slab traverse pitch is the crux, with the last move being quite reachy if you are not over 6ft, 12-? The next pitch, the crack, is no harder than 11c, quite nice, you want at least one #4 camalot, it protects quite well. The last pitch is not really worth doing IMHO. Again reachy for the shorties out there right off the belay.
I would have to disagree with your observations of this route.
It is definitely, imo, one of the best new routes to go up in Squamish in a long time.
The first pitch is amazing sport climbing (for the area). P2 is fine now that I lobbed that big block down. P3 is a test of footwork in the middle and a testy hand match at the very end (.11+ max). P4 (the Feather) is one of the best cracks I've climbed in recent times. As good as the Pillar.
P4 has awesome exposure right off the belay, and continues up fun slab to a tree belay. It is .10+ if have the right beta.
Here are some more pics I snapped of Sarah on Dean Channel:
If I could afford to I'd just give him boxes of good anchor gear and hope he'd use it everywhere. Ah, Robin....
For one, he said that shiny steel reflects sunlight and detracts from the natural look of the cliff face. Painted black hangers and galvanized steel do not reflect and thus, are hidden.
Secondly, he said that the cost of climbing grade bolts and chains was prohibitive, given the number of bolts he places. According to Robin, the bolts he uses are strong enough for the job. He said he verified this with his now late brother, Tony, who was an acknowledged expert in the field of anchors. I personally verified his Tony's standing by googling his name and found his CV.
Robin explained that he places one chain link past the bolt on anchors with good stances and an extra link at less secure stances. In this way, a climber can thread the rope through safely.
He feels strongly enough about the reflective bolt and chain issue that he will replace any bolts and chains on his routes where his are replaced.
I asked him to consider making his views known publicly, through this forum for instance, but he adamantly refused.
In my conversation with him, I found him to be straightforward, honest and forthcoming, and genuinely tolerant about my questions and opinions. I hope that people who have a gripe with him and his point of view have a sit down with him before taking action.
His argument that putting in good anchors in cost prohibitive because of the volume of work he does is not valid. (I see his point of view, but I don't agree with it). Could I use the same argument simply because I can't afford industry standard equipment at the time my route goes up? "Well If I used 3/8 stainless bolts, 3/8 quicklinks and 3/8 galvanized chain for my anchors I couldn't afford groceries this week. So instead I used non stainless 1/4 inch buttonhead bolts and some swing set chain I found at homeharware."
Believe me, I know how expensive putting up routes can be. If it is truly too costly for you to put up good hardware then maybe you should either put up fewer, well-equipped routes, or appeal to members of the climbing community for assistance. I fear that on the latter option, many bridges have already been burned.
As soon as I win the lottery, Robin will receive a cargo plane full of top of the line Fixe hardware. I just hope he'll use it...
Given the amount of cleaning (tree removal, scrubbing, etc) that Robin does, it is rather a surprise to hear that he is concerned for the visual environment.For one, he said that shiny steel reflects sunlight and detracts from the natural look of the cliff face. Painted black hangers and galvanized steel do not reflect and thus, are hidden.
The staple anchors, such as that pictured, are rather obtrusive, particularly if they replace existing anchors that are then chopped. More important, whether or not they meet the RB test, or are safe, they don't meet the CE test for rock anchors, which has become the common standard. (For example, the minimum recommended separation of belay anchor bolts is 20 cm, both because of the stress each hole/placement puts on the rock around it, and to minimize the possibility of hidden weaknesses. Plus having belay anchors separate makes it easier to use them.)
I gather that the Little Smoke Bluffs committee has told Robin that his staples are unacceptable there, and will be replaced.
This does all seem to relate to the recent "cleaning" discussion. That is, given that we are using and enjoying public land, can the climbing community reach and enforce a consensus on acceptable behaviours and practices? Cleaning (scrubbing, vegetation removal), logging, trundling, anchors, etc. Particularly in light of public safety and protection of natural values. Squamish is no longer a last frontier, where all climbers can do whatever they want, with only social consequences. If we don't sort these things out ourselves, credibly, inclusively, and effectively, someone else will.
It seems very likely that some existing behaviours are going to have to change.
How would the rules/committee prevent an anonymous person from creating a route, trundling rock, damaging other climbs, or bolting badly? Would CSI have to come in and find forensic (or fornesic, as a funny TV character said), evidence?
I think that some people would continue but would just hide their activities. As it stands now, people like Robin are at least open to discussion.
Moral suasion can be much powerful than the law.
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