Photos by Greg Maurer of www.alpenglowpro.com. Photo Workshops, Limited Edition Prints and Panoramas.Exasperator 5.10a - 5.10c Base of the Grand Wall Squamish Chief
This is a classic. First done in 1960, on direct aid. So the climb is historic, back to the roots of Squamish climbing. Jim Baldwin and Jim Sinclair deserve the first ascent credit of laying their hands on this excellent crack and climbing the first pitch.
Now the route goes at 5.10 to the first belay and 10c beyond. It's mostly a finger crack wider on the bottom and thinner on the second pitch.
The protection is cams small to medium and wires on top. You'll want more after this is done and once you hone yourself into a crack climbing monster, you can expand your vision to the mountains. Like maybe Lotus Flower Tower in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Yukon. Whatever, if you never make it that far you can surely fantasize that you are among the alpine elements with viewscapes of serac-ed glaciers below as you sink you fingers and hang on bomb-proof jams.
Find this climb by parking where most of the tourists ogle at the grandwall climbers with binoculars. Head up the trail that goes under the power lines and hike left down Psyche Ledge, which is actually the ancient Squamish highway, and take the first right trail into the bush. Notice the sculpted climber on the rock and head uphill here. On the way you will likely see funny looking guys running around with futons on their backs, but don't be scared as they are a friendly lot. Head uphill following the trail with markers through a huge overgrown boulder field, all the while gaining elevation. When the trail breaks out at the base of the 3rd largest granitic monolith in North America, turn right, and in less that 50 metres the crack will be beckoning.
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Posted By: magicmel
- Fri Aug 29 20:03:59 EDT 2008
UpsideVery aesthetic line. Awesome moves and solid gear! DownsideNot for the faint of heart. Second pitch is sustained with a tricky sequence right off the bat. CommentI followed this beautiful route. It's a serious lead. Be mindful that the crack flows from thin fingers to hands and back again.