New start to Calculus Crack

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scrubber
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New start to Calculus Crack

Post by scrubber » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:31 pm

The short answer:

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)

Long answer:

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.
Them: Huh?
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.

Kris Wild

PJH
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Post by PJH » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:31 am

Climbed this on Saturday. Found the stone tablet with the topo at the base next to a dog. Great addition, much better than the original jungle tree start! It was quite dusty still, I think it will get much better after a good rain or two. Also did Start from Scratch since it was visible and looked cool. Thanks for the efforts!

effie
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Post by effie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:12 pm

we did this last week to try it out. did anyone else find the first moves up into the corner kind of a sand-bag for 5.9, or was that just me.....?

slopr
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Post by slopr » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:17 pm

I thought the crux was up higher, cool route thanks!

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Post by Rockitman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:56 pm

I climbed it the day after you put it up and thought it was great!
I really liked the first pitch and thought it was 5.9.
I'm happy to hear you didn't bolt the first anchor (after seeing two Xs on the rock there).

Great job and thanks for all the work!

scrubber
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Post by scrubber » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:19 pm

Thanks for the responses. I'm pretty confident the grade will settle in at 5.9, especially after a good bath. I'm always open to suggestions though. It definately feels similar or easier than something like Memorial Crack, Old Age, or Up Up and Away.

Someone needs to go send that proud, steep (and rather blank) corner to the right of it now.

Kris Wild

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Post by sherri » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:02 pm

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.
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.

Thanks for all the scrubbing! This looks to be a great alternative to the jungle gym start.
Girls just want to have fun.

scrubber
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Post by scrubber » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:20 pm

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.
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.

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.

Kris

sherri
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Post by sherri » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:50 pm

Thanks so much for the info(and hard work), Kris. I am excited about giving the new line a try on my next trip. Looks fun!
Girls just want to have fun.

damien
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Post by damien » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:24 pm

Stellar addition! Went up today. made of for an all climbing route up the north apron, rather than two pitches of trees for two good pitches of calculus crack.

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.

scrubber
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Post by scrubber » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:35 pm

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...

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.)

Kris

damien
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Post by damien » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:02 pm

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...
I can relate. Moot point really though since, as you say, it is raining.

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:19 pm

Climbed the direct start to Calculus this weekend. All in all, I think this is a great addition and will make Calculus a stellar, moderate crack route. The climbing on the new pitches is quality and interesting. In time, it will be an excellent pitch. Right now, the first pitch is dusty. Many times did I smear my left foot on the face and half expect it to slip off of the dust. My guess is that the pitch may need a full winter of rain to be pleasantly clean. In due time, this will be the way to go.

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).

Image

The second pitch begins with a steep, fun handcrack before rambling up wider cracks above.

Image

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Post by Lurch » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:53 pm

We climbed this on saturday, it was very fun. Found getting in the crack very awkward, my two other partners did too.

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.

Mike

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Post by DC » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:25 pm

Climbed the new start on monday. What a great addition! Once the dust is washed away it will surely become the standard start. Thought the grade was appropriate.

Lurch, I bootied your nut 8)

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