Photos by Greg Maurer of www.alpenglowpro.com. Photo Workshops, Limited Edition Prints and Panoramas.
The Apron Snake Grading 5.9 Probably one of the finer multi-pitch climbs in Squamish. This climb has it all; slab, corners, underclings and laybacks and route finding. It's choice, sweet, excellent, moderate and definitely a must do. You'll want to come back; it's a classic. Start early and beat the crowds. There are always a couple of roped teams on the route especially on the weekends.
This climb was first done in the early sixties and must have presented the first ascenders quite a challenge. A lot of the climb was done with aid. Over the years this has been eliminated and it goes at 5.9 with no aid whatsoever. This route will add to your experience and prepare you for the harder classics like Cruel Shoes or Unfinished Symphony. Like many routes at Squamish this one takes a while to dry especially in the fall and winter months.
To get to the bottom of this north Apron climb you have to scramble up a well worn groove and the head left to obvious ledges to belay at the bottom of a 5.7 crack. Climb this to the bottom of a roof and set your belay. Head left for what is a neat little airy move (see photo) 5.8. on the ar?te. (This is the crux for me, although there are some technically harder moves later.) You also have the option of climbing this airy move at the end of the 5.7 without setting up an intermediate belay don't worry because there is belay stance just after the 5.8 move. But being a bit of a wanker, I like reduced rope drag when making this move and you can also get encouragement from your belayer .
Traverse to the bottom of the second corner system with a bit of 5.9 at the end. Climb the corner; there's a bit of 5.9 at the end near the belay. Head up to the roof and traverse the 5.9 crux roof past a tree and belay at the bottom of a corner. Layback this 5.8 crack and belay. Scramble left to the trees and exit right across Broadway Ledge to exit the apron backside trail.
Out of the climber parking lot at the base of the Apron, hike up the stepped log and head left to two big dead cedars and you'll notice a worn groove. This is the scrambling start to the beginning of the climb.
Head right to the end of Broadway Ledge either take the trail down, or walk down slabs at the extreme south end of the Apron to rejoin the trail. Beginners may find this kind of out there. A slip would turn into a tumbling fall which would end in a dramatic flight past overhangs to the highway below.
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