The Milk Road - 9p, 5.10d A0 (5.11d)

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Optimally-Primed
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The Milk Road - 9p, 5.10d A0 (5.11d)

Post by Optimally-Primed » Sun May 09, 2010 2:17 pm

After 26 days of work---the biggest project I've taken on by a factor of 2---I'm happy to announce that The Milk Road is finally done and open for business. The route is 9 pitches long and goes at 5.10d A0 (5.11d). It feels about as hard as The Grand Wall route (perhaps just a bit easier).

Download a Topo

We climbed the whole thing yesterday (actually, 3 parties of us!). We had a local photographer out.

Here's the line.

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View from the base. The new first pitch (5.9 A0 or 5.11b). It's slow to dry. But getting through the wet streak is about 5.4 to reach the A0 bolts. This is an entirely new pitch that finishes at the base of the arching flake of Milk Run.
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Pitch 2 (5.10c A0 or 5.11d)... the existing second pitch of Milk Run. The climbing goes up the arching flake, then left along the fault. People have complained about the bolt ladder on this pitch. With Peter Croft's and Matt Maddaloni's permission, I added one bolt to the A0 bolt ladder. It works a lot better now.
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Pitch 3 (5.10b)... the existing third pitch of Milk Run. A classic pitch.
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Pitch 4 (5.10d)... the existing fourth pitch of Milk Run. Another classic pitch and also the crux pitch of the route. Super sustained finger locking in the corner. This pitch can be slow to dry so have a look from the parking lot.
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Pitch 5 (5.10b). Changing Corners. New. Bring a #4 Camalot for the start, a burly left-facing corner... then up a delicate face to a right-facing corner.
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Pitch 6 (5.8). The Ramp. Follow the long ramp up and left. Fun. Part recleaned Crescent Ramp, part new.
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Pitch 7 (5.10a). Crescent Tower. Up the chimney/corner on the right then cross the face above. The hand crack through the roof is the High Octane (11b) variation. The two variations join above the lip of the roof.
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The wild, exposed, but easy finish to Crescent Tower.
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Pitch 8 (5.10c). Crescent Dyke. Balance along the dyke on good feet. Mega exposed! (Photographer in the background).

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The final moves of Crescent Dyke...
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And the top of the wall! (Pitch 9 is really a nothing pitch at 5.0)
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Enjoy!
-Jeremy

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Post by mirth » Sun May 09, 2010 7:01 pm

fantastic work!

thanks for all the effort

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Post by J Mace » Mon May 10, 2010 11:32 am

well done and just in time for summer

Thanks for the effort!!

Looks great

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Post by Fre » Mon May 10, 2010 3:44 pm

Fantastic work indeed, looks super fun! Can't wait to give it a go! Thanks for sharing sweet comprehensive topo!

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Post by hafilax » Sun May 16, 2010 11:58 am

Got on it yesterday with my two favourite rope guns. What a great route and an incredible compliment to the Grand. We found it harder than the Grand, physically and mentally. I was way in over my head with this being my first real day of climbing of the season. I can't thank my partners enough for being amazing company not to mention such capable climbers.

WARNING: EXCESSIVE BETA SPOILER ALERT

P1: Went fine. Got a little slimy aiding through the wet streak but no real difficulties.

P2: Tricky route finding but it's all there for leader and second.

P3: My lead. True to the description: liebacks and finger locks with good rests. Made it to the first rest OK. Got to the top out and was faced with the classic choice of placing a piece or punching through. Made the wrong choice resulting a spectacular reverse swan dive coming to a rest about 20' down with a resounding whack of helmet against rock. When I righted myself and realized I wasn't injured beyond a couple of scrapes and a mild finger sprain I looked down to see two very worried partners. I was pretty rattled after that but finished the pitch with a little tugging on gear to get through the top (a theme that would continue for the rest of the day).

P4: Full on. Steep, long, fingers, lieback, no rests. We had a triple set of finger sized cams and I think they all went in. My partner put in a tremendous effort getting up it with only a couple of rests on the rope. It was a little gritty with a fine dust that made for some slick smears. I had serious doubts that I would even make it to the top but barely managed. The double ropes and drawing the short end of the stick in having to carry the pack made it harder. 3 moves up and 2 moves down. Once our second partner made it to the top they graciously lowered a rope to relieve me of the pack which made things much easier. I suddenly felt the exposure when the pack came off!

P5: Fun and varied. Offwidthy lieback then some face climbing with a tricky move in the middle.

P6: The ramp. I still had enough in me for my last lead and in fact this was the only pitch I did without aid. Still pretty rattled though. I ended up climbing up to the big tree only to find the anchor at the other end of the chain. The stance there didn't look great for 3 people so I tied into the tree. FWIW I couldn't figure out a better place for the anchor given that there's no more rope to work with in either direction.

P7: Again varied climbing. A couple of tough moves but a fun line. Belaying from the tree it was at least 50m of rope out to the anchor. I was starting to worry that my partner was off route as the middle mark disappeared into the distance. I again drew the short end of the stick with the pack for the chimney.

P8: The head game. Leader and second need to be mentally prepared for this one. Thin exposed traversing.

One day in the gym in 3 months does not count as training. I have this bad habit of going for my hardest leads on committing multi-pitches. I'm not getting back on this route until I've logged some serious endurance days but I will be back.

This route deserves to see a lot of traffic although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't fully capable of the Grand.

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Post by Rockitman » Sun May 16, 2010 12:08 pm

Thanks for the hard work Jeremy et al.
It's a great route and really enhances the Milk Run experience.

One correction for the (otherwise great) topo is that pitch 7 is probably 50m, not 30 (and watch out for rope drag).

Thanks again!
Saar

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Sun May 16, 2010 2:52 pm

Hey Hafilax and Rockitman,

Thanks for the thorough review of the route. Everything you said about the route sounds accurate to me. Sorry about the misestimate on the length of pitch 7.

Funny story about the big whip on pitch 3. I led that pitch on the FA day and found that the final part has showstopper finger locks every body length. So I'd place a piece then gun it for 6 feet to the next one, place off the lock, then repeat x3 to the top. Seemed to work well.

My original hope was for the route to be harder than Angel's Crest but easier than the Grand Wall. In the end, the sustained nature of the route (with most pitches being 5.10), the doozie 10d corner, and the comparable length of the Grand seems to make it feel about as hard (maybe a tad easier in my opinion... but about the same). Yeah, if you're not in mid-5.10 shape, the Milk Road will be punishing. But if you are, you'll have a blast.

On bit of beta I'd share for the final real pitch (8) on the dyke traverse is for the seconder to do moves then reach back and unclip the bolts (for the final 2-3, this isn't necessary). All the bolts were placed strategically to make it well protected for the lead and second (as long as the second does this little trick).

I wandered by the Chief yesterday to see if anyone was up there. It sure felt great to see you folks up on the route. The realization of a vision. Glad you liked it!

Jeremy

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Post by Dooley » Sun May 16, 2010 6:46 pm

I was the third so I will give my 0.2 cents;

P1; How the hell do you free 11b slab?
P2: I can see the moves to freeing the 11d easier then the 11b. Those dishes looked killer.
P3: Good rest and as hafilax said, when you get to the last third, you got to make the decision to shot the puck or hang and place;
P4: Holy sh*t, I didnt think it would end. You need to be more then a mid 10 climber to send this clean. I am thinking mid to low 11. It is a little gritty, sustained and relentless! But briliant.
P5: Rad climbing very alpine-esque with a cool sport move in the middle.
P6: The ramp is a interesting walk.
P7: Did not fit in that chimney very well. Transfering to the face was fun climbing.
P8: Very well bolted for the leader and we now know how for the second. Exposed with mega focus on the foot work to not peel. It is an interesting finish to end a route in a spectacular setting.

Well done and thanks again for putting the time in!

-D
When in doubt....run it out!!!!

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Post by harihari » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:19 am

Did this yesterday. I'll use the word "climbed" loosely ;-)

P4 has rests, good ones, even a couple of almost no-hands, after about 20m. Like Paul told Prudence, "look around..." The final slab traverse is brilliant-- super position and technically tricky.

grades -- 10D seems right for that 40m pitch. not a move on it is harder than 5.9, but it's enduro. The last pitch IMHO is 11a. Great job Frimer. Hope you cleaned a volcano in peru ;-)b Gota Fria FA is on sunday the 11th, weather permitting...

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Post by mcfly » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:05 am

http://squamishaccess.ca/wp-content/upl ... notice.pdf

It would appear to me that the final pitches of Milk Road are within the falcon closure. I've been waiting for the closure to end before I climb this route... Climbing in closed areas is not cool - show some respect.

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Post by Brendan » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:55 am

mcfly wrote:http://squamishaccess.ca/wp-content/upl ... notice.pdf

It would appear to me that the final pitches of Milk Road are within the falcon closure. I've been waiting for the closure to end before I climb this route... Climbing in closed areas is not cool - show some respect.
Please don't take this as I'm disagreeing with you, but it's not like the route breaches the boundary by 100' or anything, it just dips in for a very short section and then right back out to finish way right up Crescent Dyke.
It's like a speed limit, we all drive slightly above it...it's the ones who go ridiculously over it that get caught.

Having said that, I realize these rules are here for a reason and it is important not to jeopardize anything. I'll be staying off it until after the closure.

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Post by harihari » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:15 pm

mcfly wrote:http://squamishaccess.ca/wp-content/upl ... notice.pdf

It would appear to me that the final pitches of Milk Road are within the falcon closure. I've been waiting for the closure to end before I climb this route... Climbing in closed areas is not cool - show some respect.
FWIW, we saw zero evidence of raptor activity on it yesterday. Not a nest, feather, squawk or bird to be seen.

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Post by mcfly » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:30 am

Every time I've been anywhere near bellygood this year I've seen falcons. You can see evidence of their kills on many ledges up there and you can see them hanging out near the North end of the top of Tantalus Wall.
Just because you didn't see falcons while you were climbing in an area CLOSED for falcon nesting doesn't mean they weren't there. It also doesn't justify your ignorance. Show some respect... to the falcons, to BC Parks and to other climbers whose access you may be jeopardizing in the future.
There are some good climbs in that area and they will still be around for you to climb after July 31st when the closure ends.

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:47 am

Thanks for the feedback Chris. Glad you liked the route.

The Milk Road is indeed in the Falcon Closure Area, which remains in effect. Parks may lift the closure early this year depending the development of the youngsters. Stay tuned as it could be any day, depending on Parks´ research.

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:11 pm

The falcon closure has been lifted. The Milk Road is open for business.

I caught wind of a rumour that the belay bolts atop pitch 8 are now gone. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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