We climbed it about a week ago and there is no snow on the approach except in the very bottom of the creek. No problem in boots or approach shoes. If you have a machete for the approach, it could be helpfull as the grasses and skunk cabbage are trying to retake their former territory.
The water spot on the big leadge @ pitch 6 is not really running. We were able to have a few drinks out of little puddles, but not able to fill up water bottles. I recomend bringing a staw (seriosly...). There was water at the very top of the route from a large snow patch.
I we linked pitch 6 and 7 with a small amount of simuclimbing, but I don't think I would recoment going any higher than this. Above here, the angle really kicks back and becomes ledge to ledge scrambling. Normally I wouldn't mind this, but because you wrap the route, it just seems like a rope snag disaster, without ever gaining a real summit. We got a rope stuck but were able to free it with some moderate shananagans.
There is lots more rock to explore in this cirque!!
It now ends at the top of the main butress below the scramble and parallel with pitch 7 of Mighty Mouse.
In all Bruce Kay, Jim Martinello, Derek Flett, Dan Mclellen, Jia Condon, Tom Gruber, and Damien Kelly all contributed to the FA of Spaceman Spliff.
Gear Beta. double rack cams(3 red and yellow camelots minimum for pitch 4), rps and lots of shoulder lenght draws.
p1: We took the right-hand (easier) start as per the topo. Steep finger crack (10a) to some 5.9ish terrain past about 5 or 6 bolts. This pitch is a full 60m to a tree belay in a corner.
We then moved the belay up about 10m to a set of bolted anchors.
p2: A few steep moves past a couple of bolts (10a) then rambling up ledges to a tree belay. A full 60m.
p3: Climbed the nice 5.9 crack to the base of the headwall (20m)
p4: Started up a great hand-crack and then transitioned slightly left through finger-locks to a gear belay on a ledge (20m, 10d).
p5: Moved left into a splitter crack for a few tough moves, then left before the roof to the sketchy hanging gear belay (35m 11a). (NOTE: The topo shows these last two pitches as one but being the 5.10 climbers we are, we broke them up into 2)
p6: Through the roof and into the incredible hand/fist crack We had 4 #3 camalots and they all went in. If you are a 5.11 climber then doubles will be fine, but I would recommend at LEAST 3 for anyone else. We stopped at the obvious ledge (35m, 10a)
p7: Up into a great little finger crack. This pitch felt hard and was the only one that I thought was sandbagged...seemed tough for the 10d grade (30m).
We bailed from there as it was getting late-ish and we were a bit worked from the previous 10d pitch.
I would agree with a previous poster about the need to create a bolted belay under the roof. Given that there is already a bolted belay on the route (p2), I'm not sure what argument could be made against it. Currently, the anchor is an ugly mess of 3 nuts and a cam (with none of them being very good). A bolted station could be placed one metre left of the existing anchor where there is a hand's free stance. We were able to avoid rappelling on this anchor (thank god) by doing a 60m rap from the top of p6 to the top of p4 (according to our pitch count).
Overall, this is an awesome route that I would recommend to any 5.10 climber sice you can pull on gear at the cruxes. Major kudos to Bruce and company for putting it up.
At any rate, considering the amount of traffic and the rap descent I'm in favor of adding bolt and rings stations if anyone cares to add them. I believe Damien and Tom bolted thier stations on the mighty Spaceman Spliff.
About the name - Mouses Tooth / Mini Moose is a nod to the East face of the Moose's tooth up in Alaska, which our feature resembles somewhat in a miniature fashion. Maybe not so much in the summer but in the winter when its all hoared up and covered with snow mushrooms the resemblance is striking.
And about the 3 stars or better.... that goes for around here. If you're comparing to the third pillar of Dana say, which Peter only gives a 2 star rating, then you'd likely give it a 1 star, maybe a 2 if you're a bit of an optimist. But if you think Slesse NE butt gets a 2 then this thing is a 4 for sure, at least in terms of climbing quality if not quite the iconic line.
Anyway, I'm sure opinions vary about quality ratings. Spaceman Spliff is about a 4 star by the way.
Note that I made a typo here.....it should read move 'RIGHT' before the roof to a sketchy belay. This right traverse is the very cool dyke walk that is referred to earlier in the thread.t-bone wrote: p5: Moved left into a splitter crack for a few tough moves, then left before the roof to the sketchy hanging gear belay (35m 11a). (NOTE: The topo shows these last two pitches as one but being the 5.10 climbers we are, we broke them up into 2)
right you are Peter! I guess initially i really didn't consider the traffic volume, especially going back down. Anyway I now think you're right about that.Geez Bruce, if you would just listen to me in the first place
I got bit by the Mouse’s Tooth: A Lesson in SKETCH
The next pitch was rated 5.11a according to the guide, and it looked like the ‘money pitch’. I mean, this thing was full value – splitter all the way to Heaven. The start was a
little tricky, but most of the pitch was 5.8, bomber feet and hands the whole way,
until just below the anchor. At the very top I yanked on a green alien to avoid
pulling on a death-block. If you hate your belayer, pull hard on this one – go for
the send! Then I grabbed the anchor. Whoops. It came apart. One pin popped right
out, and the other two wiggled and gave me the stink-eye. This wasn’t the kind of
bolted anchor you get in Squamish, or even a nice slung horn like you find in the
Bugaboos. It was pure mank, junk, garbage, the kind of anchor that could kill a man.
Best of all, it was a semi-hanging belay, just what you want when your anchor is rated
to about 2 kilonewtons. My friends were itching to climb the splitter below, so I
hurriedly backed up this piece of sh*t with a red C3, a tiny nut, and a green alien.
Of course, I forgot the cordolette at the last anchor, so I couldn’t even equalize
the mank. I hollared down at my buddy, ‘On belay. Climb on. DO NOT FALL!’
They asked if I was serious. ‘No matter what, DO NOT FALL!’, I repeated. They climbed
very slowly and carefully after that – I think they both sent the pitch, too scared
to take or fall. Thank God![/quote]
We were all three nervous and anxious at this villainous station. The anchor was
the definition of SKETCH – unequalized, tiny marginal gear with wiggly pins, the
whole junky contraption just itching to blow. We were chilling on this thing,
racking up for the next pitch, when one of the anchor pieces made some funky
sounds like it wanted to pop out (the red C3). I was in a real hurry to get
moving again. I glanced at the topo – 5.10d ‘thin’. I wondered if ‘thin’ was a
synonym for ‘runout’ and started to get REAL SCARED. With no way to rappel, and
no one else to lead it, I found myself reluctantly committed to a very heart-pounding
lead. Looking above me, I didn’t see any kind of crack, or any gear at all. It just
looked like a slab, without any bolts. Even in Squamish you get a few bolts with
your slab, but apparently bolts are not on the menu here. And the topo promised splitters! Bollocks!
When you reach the top, keep climbing -- Zen proverb
Not sure how many (if any) ascents its seen this season, especially given how overgrown the trail was. Having said that, navigation still proved relatively easy and we were extremely impressed with the amount of work gone into making this trail. We went as a team of 4, so hopefully we have trampled down the overgrown sections enough for the next party to navigate with extra ease. I know for sure that we will be back up there at some point, to climb some of the variations as well as to hopefully explore some of the endless amounts of potential in this area. We will for sure do our bit next time and take up some new tape and rebuild some of the cairns.
All the anchors were solid enough to induce enough confidence in us to not feel to exposed at any point. Having said that, I would agree that placing bolts at selective belay stations would not be a bad idea. I personally feel that this wouldn't take away from the adventurous/alpine feel of the route by to much, and it seems like a more sustainable way of kitting the route out with the necessaries for rappelling.
I won't go into the details of how we climbed it, as there is already more than enough information on here for any competent party to figure it out easily enough. I will mention however that the climb did feel fairly sustained for the grade and that the last hard 10d pitch (pitch 6 I think) felt very thin gear wise. I recommend anyone who is planning on climbing it to be wary of this pitch, especially if you are not a competent 5.11 climber who is confident climbing technical moves above small and fiddly gear. I feel that this pitch could probably be bypassed quite easily to the right if needed, although Im not sure on this and it would be a shame to miss this piece of awesome climbing. Other than that though the route felt pretty safe and any of the tricky sections below could be aided with relative ease if needed!
Like Eric said, if you are thinking of doing this climb, stop thinking and go make it happen. It will be worth you're while, I guarantee it!!
The bad news is that it is now possible to get squashed like a bug by a rock truck or logging truck. If you start really early ( before 0600) and call out your km's with a vhf radio you're likely fine. Otherwise, be careful.
First, the trail in is in great shape. It's well marked and was very straight-forward getting in. As well, the logging that is going on in the area has buffed up the access road so that I was able to ride my jetta all the way to the washout. However, keep in mind that active logging is happening, and it is best to drive in/out well after hauling/work hours unless you have a radio with the programmed freq.
Second, the one questionable anchor on P6 has been backed up by a small 1/4 inch bolt. This is great. Anyone who has any info on where one can purchase these 1/4'ers please PM me, as I am very interested. Also, the pitons have been removed from P6. This makes for a more demanding lead, and probably a better experience overal on the pitch. Don't forget your RP's
Third, there are a number of cleaned cracks on the face now (at least three variations from the original). I climbed a variation to the right of the original corner which felt like it went at a similar grade (5.10+/5.11-). Who has topos out there!? Let's get those posted so that others can go and enjoy the hard work that went into scrubbing those lines clean - they were quite vegetated when I saw them in 2011.
Just a quick heads up as to a few things on the go up in N Joffre on the Mouses Tooth.
The regular raps off of Mighty Mouse are in pretty good shape and working fine.
The spaceman spliff raps are bolted and clean but bring some prussik or tat as the originals were put in on the FA and could use a little beefing up.
If looking for the Spliff raps. Once on top of the last hard pitch on mighty mouse(the big ledge system)look down the ramp system about 100 meters(climbers left) and you will see the anchor on the wall with two bolts equalized with some prussik.
A little ugly on the side has been sent and seems to be checking in at the original grade proposed by Bruce at 11D.This is a very high Quality pitch and goes directly to the anchor below the pitch 5 Hand crack for those looking for something a little harder. RPs and 0 and 00 metolius cams crucial for the crux of this pitch.
A more detailed and in depth topo system is in the works for this area and am hoping to get it together and posted online by the end of sept.
Cheers and happy climbing.
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