Two years ago Paul M and I went to investigate the mysterious 'third' pitch of Gone Surfing; to see if it continues. We didn't get any further than what is now dubbed - The Pipe - a burly chimney pitch that ends below some long slabs. Yesterday Colin M and I climbed it to the top. I got pretty schooled in the art of big wall scrubbing, Squamish style, in between. Thanks Ian B and Tony M for the trial runs
Lunar Tide 5.11d, ~250m.
Gear: SR to 4”, doubles in finger size and 2x #3-4. 12 quickdraws.
Approach: As for Gone Surfing. Follow Astro Ledge across and past Parallel Passages. Two bolt belay can be found under the obvious splitters of Gone Surfing. If you’ve reached the Calling, then you have gone too far.
P 1-2, 5.11a/5.10b 60m: Climb Gone Surfing. A rope is fixed above Astro Ledge to a belay stance below the steep climbing. It is possible to free this section (5.10b, one bolt), but it is often wet and dirty and can easily be skipped for a more pleasurable experience.
P3, 5.11d 15m: “The Pipe” Climb through the imposing roof chimney above from right to left. Exit the chimney (crux) and commit to powerful lay-backing to the anchor.
P4, 5.10a 35m: Climb up and left into a finger-crack on the face. Stem left into the grungy corner for ~six meters and then follow bolts up and right to pleasant easy face climbing on edges.
P5, 5.11d 30m: Follow the fully bolted arête above. No trad gear needed.
P6, 5.10d 15m: Face climb right, and then up past one bolt. Thin gear protects a short boulder problem into a big flake. Big lunch ledge for the belay.
P7, 5.9 20m: Follow the obvious cracks to the right of the belay through the bad rock band. From the mid-height ledge follow the right-most corner crack to a bolted belay on a pointy stance right of the large roof. Pitch 7-8 can easily be linked.
P8, 5.11c 25m: “The Barrel” Climb the monster roof through the wide crack. Two bolts protect the initial steep moves. A finger-tips dihedral continues above the roof. Stellar pitch!
P9, 5.11a 30m: Follow the wide crack up to a large ledge. Climb a short boulder problem left of the single bolt and follow fun crack features to the ledge above.
P10, 5.8 20m: Climb cracks up and left to the limbed tree. Climb the tree to the top!
Descent: follow a faint trail up and climber’s right through thick salal. Continue rightwards on faint trails (occasional flagging on trees) until crossing under some fallen trees and joining the original trail off from The Calling. Follow the trail left until a fixed rope on a small step leads back right (~100m from junction). Trail leads to the Zodiac summit.
First note is if you haven't summited anything in the north walls know that younclimb through some shitty rock, broken holds and loose kitty litter are common ( that's why the big rock fall was no surprise to lots of us!). Now that that is out of the way.
We decided to approach via AK highway to make it one of the longer and burliest days out on the chief. Good value. When you top out AK highway go left along old fixed lines on Astro ledge for about 120' feet. Obvious double white fixed line to the base of gone surfing.
I hadn't done gone surfing in over ten years and I forgot how good it was! It is two hundred feet of steep hands and big hands (fists for the small folks) unique to Squamish. So good.
The tube is wild. Hard to call it 12a but if you had a sequence through the crux it might feel like 11+. The gear is good. You can back up the fixed nuts with good cams.
The next two pitches have some very clean and very high quality face/arête climbing. Top quality. I think the 11+ aren't felt easy for the grade.
I broke a few face holds on the next 10d and blew a piece and took a good fall so heads up for sub par rock. I did warn you about the rock in the north walls!
The 5.9 is garbage and will never clean up. Be careful. You can easily link into the 11c with good easy to clip placed bolts. And then quality crack in the corner.
Last pitch is short and steep. Be cateful
Final pitch is just a tree scramble.
I'll post some good photos to the Squamish Facebook climbing group or you can find some on my instagram feed too with shots from most every pitch. Evan_stevens on instagram.
If you want a solid all day adventure this is not to be missed. Even just ak to gone surfing might be one of the best burly crack routes in all of Squamish. Then you can rap down.
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