Rack: 12 draws, 4 longer runners, 60m rope, helmets
We just finished a project up the road from the Cheakamus parking lot. Thanks to those gave feedback on grades and helped improving the trail last weekend.
Centurion is the longest buttress in the area we have been calling the Outpost. The Outpost has potential for hundreds of climbs including dozens of other multi-pitch routes. There are also some brilliant looking cracks and crazy bouldering. A faint clean streak can be seen on Centurion buttress from Hwy 99 where the road starts descending north to the Cheakamus River at the top of the hill about 500m past the turnoff for the climbing area.
The climb is about an hour walk in and out. You’ll need 12 draws and a 3-4 shoulder length slings or long draws. The route can be rappelled with a single 60m rope. Although most belays are protected there is still some small loose stuff around, so helmets are recommended. The climb gets sun after noon. Winds run through the canyon every day which can be nice on a hot day but miserable on a cold one. The cleanliness, rock quality and view all get better the higher you are on the route.
Getting to and from The Outpost can be shorter if you go in on bike or drive up the old logging road (4x4, high clearance). From the Cheakmus area parking lot hike north along the Conroy Forest Service Road (FSR), then take a left onto the new trail at the first prominent switch back after about 2km or 35minutes. Follow the new trail for 15 minutes to a boulder field and view of all the rock. Continue 5 minutes to the base of Centurion.
- Foot = 1hour in, 1 hour out
- Bike = 55min in, 30min out
- 4x4 = 25min in, 25 min out, scratched paint
The trail is flagged and there is a creek crossing at the high point. We drank from this creek daily for the 12 or more days we worked on the climb.
Check out details of the route at:
A digital description of the approach can be found at:
http://sendage.com/area/the-outpost-squ ... bia-canada
Was curious on whether a shorter approach directly above highway 99 is feasible and/or have been attempted. Might be worth exploring such option, especially if the area has such a great potential for further development.
- Junior Member
- Posts: 59
- Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:35 am
- Location: Powell River, formerly Squamish
I highly recommend doing this as a fun day trip. If you finish early, you can always climb something at Chek on the way back...
I don't know that a direct trail up from the highway would be better - perhaps a little bit quicker but it would be much more of a grind (steep bushwacking). The current trail is easy and pleasant.
The current route in follows old logging roads, and although a bit longer, is easier to walk or ride. Also it is a 200m gain from the Check parking versus 375m climb up from the highway.
The fastest way to get out if something happened would be to go to the highway. To do this aim for the closest hydro tower and drop down just to the left of it. Looking from the climb the transmission tower is directly in front of the Tantalus Range. Trend left as you descend, and if you don't hit the descent line spot on you will cliff yourself out above the highway... so bring a rope.
- but really nice.
Found a few of the belay areas in the lower pitches could use a clean/trundle -we moved a few larger loose rocks from the critical path. Recone you could knock off some pretty good if you weren't careful. Also maybe that refrigerator free standing chunk near the top of p5 on the ledge might be worth trundling.... just it seems pretty tippy and could maybe jam a rope on the way down... I don't mind a it loose but some other peeps might be sketched.
My pard' x-marked a block on p3 - after the slabs I think. Felt like it'll eventually go, but be aware.
Grading is pretty much on point. Very well bolted (although you could skip one or two no problem), great stations, pretty clean bar a bit of traffic won't cure.
Thanks to all involved, a fine job and yes -lots of space for some rad new routes up there. Nice addition to the chek area.
Cheers . K
Thanks guys for putting this route in!
We got to Chek and started hiking at 8am, it took 55 minutes to get to the base of the climb and we were thoroughly soaked from a 30 minute heavy downpour that started about 10 minutes after we left the car. (The trail is in great shape and super easy to follow. We walked pretty fast, so short of actually running, 1 hour is a pretty good estimate, both there and back)
But hey, it had stopped raining by the time we got to the climb so maybe our morning isn't lost? Actually the route was nearly bone dry, harnesses on, we started, lucky us! But half way up the first pitch Simon noticed a few rain drops... a few turned into a near waterfall... by the time i finished seconding the first pitch there were little curtains of water pouring down the rock into my face. It was a good pitch.
It was still raining quite hard but the second pitch looked pretty safe and moderate. So i ran up all 2 bolts of it to the belay of the base of the third pitch and flaked the rope under a small overhang to try and keep it dry-ish. By the time Simon reached the top of pitch 2 the rain had stopped and the sky looked a lot more cheerful. We waited for 15 minutes for the severe water runoff from above to mostly stop and figured we'd try the third pitch before bailing.
The third pitch was good fun, the best so far. The slab moves were a little tenuous in the wet, but there are two really well placed bolts that we could have aided off if it was too slick. The friction was really really good, even with everything wet.
The fourth pitch, probably the best pitch on the route, was nearly 100% dry.
The last two pitches were both about 50% wet and drying off really quickly. Both good pitches but the last pitch gets a gold star for being outstanding.
The rappels were all straight forward, we couldn't link any with our 70m rope. By the time we were back at the bottom the whole route was probably more than 75% dry.
Back at the car at 1pm.
Overall a fun outing. Highly recommended as a great short day! My impression is that it dries out REALLY fast.
The first two pitches collect dirt and needles - having a cleaning tool was helpful for cleaning holds before using them. The climb gets much better the higher you go: pitches 3 and 4 were stellar and 5 and 6 were great, too.
P1 - Pretty nice, definitely has a lot of dirt and needles falling on it, but it is pretty straightforward.
P2 - Basic scrambly pitch. The hanger is missing on the second bolt, but it seems unnecessary anyway. Maybe just hammer the bolt in and epoxy over it.
P3 - Nice pitch, really enjoyable movement.
P4 - Beautiful pitch with handholds and footholds exactly where you want them. Heavy on the bolts, can easily skip a few and still feel very secure. Totally missed the bolt after mantling, but should have clipped it to avoid my rope dragging over the edge
P5 - Another really enjoyable pitch. Consistent and fun.
P6 - Great way to finish off the route, very consistent with the rest of it.
Approach - Walked from chek in about an hour. Really nice walk, easy and fairly flat. It is a solid hour though, so be prepared for that.
Descent - A bit messy in places (particularly pitch 2), but pretty straightforward. Just pull your ropes the direction that seems best and be consistent. I wouldn't want to be on the first pitch or at the base while someone was rapping the lower pitches. Lots of loose rocks to come down when pulling ropes.
Belays - All bolted well. Positioned ideally and comfortable.
All in all a beautiful route. The approach is going to be a deterrent for a lot of people, but if you want to have a nice easy day away from the crowds with great views, Centurion should definitely be on your list. As for route development in the area, it looked like there was a fair amount going on and I'll be up there in the next little while to dig a little deeper. Could be a great area to go do do 2 - 4 short multipitches in a day.
Thanks for all the work putting it up! You can tell how much effort went into it.
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