A Grim Reaper and additional info question

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Astotts
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A Grim Reaper and additional info question

Post by Astotts » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:26 pm

I have come to pick the mind of the slab friendly folks here.

Are there any 1/4" bolts left on Grim Reaper, or any of the other .10/low 11 'slab'/ face routes on the apron? (ie white lightning, one scoop.., anxiety state).

I am not too shy about the runouts, I just would like a bit more info before heading out when it gets dry again.
I am finding that alot of my partners don't want anything to do with me once I mention, "slab, buttonhead, or more than 20ft between bolts.".
I used up my last regular partner on "Over the Rainbow", he said that was his limit on slab and bolt spacing( I thought it was fine). So I need to get new partners and creative in the convincing.:)

Thanks for your help,
Ashley

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Post by Anders Ourom » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:56 pm

The Grim Reaper may be one of the very few routes on the Apron left with 1/4" bolts, but as there are one or two other routes crossing it or nearby, I wouldn't be surprised if some or all of the bolts had been replaced. Someone like Jeff Thomson might know.

There is one 1/4" bolt on Pineapple Peel, which I plan to replace as part of the restoration project. There used to be some 1/4" bolts on John 3:16, on the upper Apron, but I haven't been there for some time. There may be an old 1/4" bolts on Eric's Route, and there are two on Mobius Variation, one on each pitch. Neither route is climbed often if ever. Not sure about Anxiety State, but suspect it's been fixed up.

Virtually all Apron routes now have modern 3/8" or 10 mm bolts, although a few are galvanized (now rusty), and some have SMC hangers.

Slab climbing is an essential element of climbing at Squamish, and by its nature involves runouts. And modern climbers have a lot of advantages - sticky rubber, route knowledge, generally sound bolts. Most of the slab climbs to the 1980s were established and bolted on lead, and so tend to be a bit more adventuresome.

Astotts
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Post by Astotts » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:03 pm

Thanks a lot for the information, I have been lurking a while here and thought that someone could help with my queries.
As a young buck(31yr old), I was not around for the days of exploring the apron and putting up such bold routes, but I really appreciate the style. Thats one of the aspects that make me love climbing in Squamish.

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Post by t-bone » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:16 pm

Hello,
I'm sure you are aware but despite the grade similarities, there is a significant difference between Over the Rainbow and the Grim Reaper. OtR is probably the most 'sport-bolted' route on the Apron, whereas the Reaper is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

If you are looking for the next route in your slab progression, I'd suggest One Scoop (similarly bolted but a bit harder then OtR) and the routes on the Upper Apron (easier, but more runout). After that, White Lightning is probably the next one to try...its relatively well bolted except for the 1st 5.9 pitch.

Hope this helps...

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Post by Astotts » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks t-bone. That seems like logical and good advice.
White lightning was actually one of the next ones was looking at leading, Crack slabbeth with the 10b variation as well. I like the upper apron stuff, a fun intro into the headyness of slab.

Grim Reaper is off a bit in the distance for me right now, I am just trying to get some history on the classic routes, and to have an idea what to expect when I get there. and maybe find some folks that want to join me as well.
Here's hoping for a nice dry indian summer with lots of cool friction.

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Post by Anders Ourom » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:10 pm

Yes, autumn is often good slab weather. Maybe when I get back in a few weeks...

Another way to look at this is the date a slab route was established:

Pre-1985: Probably established on lead; most of the bolts replaced one for one in the late 1980s or later; a few of the bolts are galvanized, or have SMC hangers (not ideal, but in both cases obvious). Likely interesting.

Later 1980s through to around 2000: Likely cleaned on rappel, but quite often with bolts placed on lead. Somewhat interesting.

Since 2000 or so: Cleaned and bolted on rappel. Not necessarily too exciting.

The exceptions, for pre-1985 slab routes, are those few which haven't been restored, yet (Pineapple Peel, Mobius Variation, maybe others), those which were restored but with a few added bolts (Slab Alley), and those that were restored but with numerous added bolts (South Arete, and Slim Pickins aka Black Bug's Blood aka "One Scoop...").

There are also a few older routes where bolts on more recent nearby routes can be clipped, e.g. from Banana Peel one can clip a bolt on Slim Pickins, and later one on A Troll's Sonnet. (No one ever seems to wonder about that route name, and whether trolls write in iambic pentameter...) Indeed, I recently saw someone on BP climb much of the first pitch of ATS, then move back across to BP proper - although BP isn't particularly exciting there. (BP was originally done with no bolts at all.) Likewise an off-route bolt can be clipped from Snake, and I believe some off-route bolts may be clippable from Grim Reaper. (Heresy!)

Especially for pre-1985 routes, but also in many other cases, it's fair to assume that there will be runout sections that are somewhat easier than the crux, but could still be challenging. For example, routes with harder 5.10 or 5.11 bits often have runout 5.8 - 5.9, especially after the crux.

Once cleaned, with modern protection and sticky rubber, it's possible to climb just about anywhere on the Apron to the right of Diedre, and chances are someone has. There's a real risk of pointless grid-bolting in some places.

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Grim Reaper

Post by Jeff Thomson » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:19 pm

I have never involved myself in on-line discussions before, but thought that since my friend Anders threw my name out there that I might as well join in.
Anyway, regarding bolts on and around the Grim Reaper, it was a long time ago that I spent the day with Neil Bennett on the Apron, checking where the Reaper actually went, so that I could finish The Crossing without desecrating that sacred route.
I was confident then and remain confident now that you would have to go way off the Reaper to clip any of the bolts on The Crossing. That was the whole purpose in going up there with Neil in the first place.
As for the condition of any original bolts on the Reaper - I can not recall if they were old and rusty etc except for the one bolt on the first pitch off the treed ledge (below the Snake Traverse). That one I replaced with Neil's permission. I may have replaced the one other bolt I know is on the Reaper, higher up, but can not remember for sure.
By the way, I also put up a number of new Slab routes on that A.M.O wall by Shannon Falls and hope to soon post a topo on Marc Bourdon's Quickdraw publications web-site.

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Post by Anders Ourom » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:09 pm

Thanks, Jeff, and welcome! I remember now you and Neil having a look at the Reaper when you were working on your route. Good ethics! But aren't there other routes now in that area, that are closer to it or cross it? "Apron Odyssey" or "The Climbers Must be Crazy" or something? I did Snake about a month ago, and looked across and then down at the centre two pitches of GR, and saw quite a lot of hardware spread across the slab. Not quite sure what's what, but there didn't seem much room.

If I recall correctly, the Reaper only has two or three bolts. (Jim Campbell's 1985 guide seems to agree.) One below the Stage (the tree ledge) on the second pitch, one on the fourth pitch, and maybe one high up. It would be easy for someone to not notice the route was there.

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Post by slopr » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:01 pm

Astotts wrote:Thanks t-bone. That seems like logical and good advice.
White lightning was actually one of the next ones was looking at leading, Crack slabbeth with the 10b variation as well. I like the upper apron stuff, a fun intro into the headyness of slab.

Grim Reaper is off a bit in the distance for me right now, I am just trying to get some history on the classic routes, and to have an idea what to expect when I get there. and maybe find some folks that want to join me as well.
Here's hoping for a nice dry indian summer with lots of cool friction.

Although its not on the apron You should check out local boys do good @ shannon falls. One of the best slab climbs in squamish IMO, such a cool view and well protected for the difficult sections.

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Grim reaper

Post by Craig Mcgee » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:44 am

The Upper second pitch of Grim reaper (climbing out left from the tree, paralleling snake) has been destroyed/retroed by Robin Barley. There are only a few meters in its original state, the rest is covered with black bolts.
I climbed the route over 10 years ago and then again 4 years ago while following Barleys new bolts. I'm not one for chopping, but it is very unfortunate to loose such a historic route due to another line of useless black bolts.

Craig

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Reaper bolts

Post by Jeff Thomson » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:53 pm

I was very interested to read what Craig said. I really hope that is not the case. When i was there with Neil he did point out some of Robin's bolts near the Reaper. I chatted with Robin and as I recall Robin then removed the bolts that were too close.
I would be happy to go back with Neil again and, if in fact there are bolts by the Reaper, it is my opinion that they should be removed. I do not advocate chopping bolts, but in this case I would have to support there removal.

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Post by Anders Ourom » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:10 pm

Perhaps Neil or Gordie would be interested in having a look. It does seem like the route is getting the occasional ascent - more than Northwest Passage, anyway.

My thought is that there should not be any bolts within 5 - 6 m of the Grim Reaper's line, so that they're not in reach, or even a temptation.

The broader concern seems that of respect for the heritage of bold climbs on the Apron, and things like gridbolting. There are some climbs and cliffs that perhaps shouldn't have any 'new' routes added, at least not routes that involve adding bolts. The Neat & Cool, Penny Lane and Burgers & Fries cliffs in the Little Smoke Bluffs, much of the base of the Grand Wall, from Apron Strings to Java Jive, and the Apron to the right of Diedre come to mind. And Grim Reaper, and similar routes. Or maybe it would be policy that if you did want to do a new climb (variation) on those cliffs, you'd first have to ensure that the community was well informed, and get feedback.

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Post by J Mace » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:35 pm

Can we just stop with all these F%$#$&^ contrived rules, climb the reaper if there are some bolts to close, ask who ever to remove them. Squamish is turning into a nanny state.

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Post by harihari » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:32 pm

J Mace wrote:Can we just stop with all these F%$#$&^ contrived rules, climb the reaper if there are some bolts to close, ask who ever to remove them. Squamish is turning into a nanny state.
Ha! Well put, Mace. Ashley-- lots of good info here. Don't let the runouts etc scare you. Big whips on lead on slab are fine-- you'll learn to run backwards-- just wear heavy pants and a long-sleeved shirt. You can also try "the passing lane" which I think is 10-, and it goes between white lightning and deirdre. Once you have your 10s down, try Dancing In The Light-- very well bolted hwere it's cruxy, runout where it's easy.

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Post by Astotts » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:08 pm

A BIG THANK YOU to all that have contributed to this thread. It's great to know where some of the climbs in Squamish have began,the condition of them today and have a chance to hear from the people that put up the routes.
Thanks again, Jeff, Anders and all other route developers, past and present, for seeing the lines and giving them a shot.

I have a now a list of great climbs to try and helpful tips, It looks like i will be checking out the AMO wall and maybe taking my son up there too. "Local boys..." has always been a route that I thought was too far above me, but as I am progressing I know that I have to at least do the first pitch.
Cheers
Ashley

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