20m to the left of the traditional start to St Vitus etc, Two pitches of corners and cracks lead directly up to the bolt anchor at the regular beginning of Calculus Crack.
P1. Face climb past a bolt to gain the long left facing corner. At your first opportunity, step right, out of the corner into a crack ending at a large ledge. Gear belay here. 5.9 (If you continue up the corner all the way to the roof at it's top you have done the second pitch of Start from Scratch. With a 70 m rope you can do a single huge pitch straight up to the bolt anchor above 5.10c)
P2. Straight up through, or right of, the bulge all the way to the bolted anchor of Calculus Crack. 5.8 (Stepping left to the hand and fist crack on the arete will up the ante to strenuous 5.10c)
If you've wondered what the debris cone to the left of the St. Vitus start is all about, then here's the goods. Since few people climb the 2p 5.10b "Start from Scratch" start to Calculus that I put up eleven years ago (in hindsight, who climbs 5.10 to get to a 5.8?, not many folks), I started looking for an alternative. The corners and cracks I excavated were definitely on my radar back then. I simply didn't have the scrubbing know-how to deal with them.
Over this Spring and early Summer a co-conspirator (Boy did I have him fooled!) and I hung lines and investigated just how much stuff can attach itself to the rock when you have multiple parallel cracks, sometimes inches apart. The second pitch alone took me five days to clean.
The day I finished it up my scrubbing buddy managed to sustain a grade three sprain of his ankle running the backside trail after having climbed Angel's crest and the Ultimate Everything in the same day. We were both bummed. I called in the reinforcements and sent it the next day just so that it could be opened up. A party who wandered up to the base and asked us what we were on did the SA right behind us. It went like this:
Them: What are you guys on?
Us: I don't know, we haven't named it yet.
Us: Would you like a second ascent? Follow us up!
Them: Really? This is new right now?! Cool!
None of them had yet to experience what a freshly cleaned route feels like before it's first good rain. I think they were a bit surprised at crunchy crystals, dusty ledges, and the odd root remnant poking your finger tips.
In the course of cleaning this project we also opened up the area a bit around Start from Scratch and re-cleaned it. Now that it is entirely visible from the ground hopefully it will get a bit more attention. The second pitch is really good
The main impetus for finding this start was simply being tired of grovelling through the trees and the often wet, awkward corner of the traditional start to all of those great climbs up there.
I hope you get a chance to check it out and enjoy it. As always, I welcome any and all feedback.
Someone needs to go send that proud, steep (and rather blank) corner to the right of it now.
My partner got confused about exactly where to step right(she stayed in the corner too long, I think) and ended up bailing off one of the bolts to the left after about 30m of climbing. I didn't go up afterwards to have a look for myself, but just to clarify for next time: do you step right before passing that grubby-looking flake in the corner that has a little tree sticking out of it? I could see a rounded corner just below it and wondered if that was where she should have gone across.P1. Face climb past a bolt to gain the long left facing corner. At your first opportunity, step right, out of the corner into a crack ending at a large ledge.
Thanks for all the scrubbing! This looks to be a great alternative to the jungle gym start.
Yes, you step right well before the fuzzy flake. Reaching out at your first opportunity is the easiest option, but anywhere right up to the underside of that mossy flake will work. I left it kind of furry as a hint that it's off-route.sherri wrote: do you step right before passing that grubby-looking flake in the corner that has a little tree sticking out of it? I could see a rounded corner just below it and wondered if that was where she should have gone across.
The main corner is just such a logical line that it's hard to think of leaving the climbing, that is quite easy at that point, and stepping into that steeper rounded corner that you refer to. Unfortunately if you don't, you will soon find yourself in 5.10 terrain on the second pitch of Start From Scratch.
I'm glad to hear your partner managed to get over to the anchor on the top of p1 of SFS and abort the mission successfully. I'm sure that will be a common occurrence. I think I'll plasticize a good topo and leave it at the base.
P1: watch for that fuzzy flake. Definitely 5.9, getting into the corner seemed to be the crux. Nice climbing.
P2: a good extension of the first pitch of Calc C. With a 70m rope you can get to the bolt anchor at the start of Calc.
BTW, i am sure the cleaners of the route are tired of cleaning it, but if it was broom swept on rappel, the rain won't leave mud clots everywhere.
Thanks for all the hard work! This is a really solid addition.
It's raining now, so we'll see how well it fares. It really needed one solid downpour after it was done. Unfortunately, until about a half hour ago, it hasn't rained here for about five weeks. (Wait a minute, that's a good thing.)
I can relate. Moot point really though since, as you say, it is raining.scrubber wrote:Unfortunately the updrafts are really bad in that area. If it's dry enough to sweep, then the air is usually going up. The entire thing was swept twice after the scrubbing was finished and I may have ended up with more fine dust up high than I started with...
Here's the first pitch. To keep the grade at 5.9, step right into the secondary crack, then right again. Bring plenty of small gear (doubles in the tiny cams and up).
The second pitch begins with a steep, fun handcrack before rambling up wider cracks above.
Left a purple nut on the first pitch cause i sunk it real good and my partner couldn't wiggle it out, so booty to who ever grabs it. It was booty to me and has served me well. I found it in a bail anchor on slow pitch awhile back.
We stretched a 70m to the bolts on the second pitch and had a 60m tag line make it with some to spare also.
I've always liked Calculus but hated the start so kudos Kris. It makes a great link to Squamish Buttress with Karen's Math and Memorial.
Thanks to all you guys for all your efforts on establishing new and retro-scrubbing old routes.
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