The Angels Crest

The Angels Crest near Squamish, BC


This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
-
6hours
difficult
Rock Climbing
Spring, Fall, Summer
Squamish, BC
User ChrisO

The Approach


Take the Angel's Crest trail from the Mamquam Forest Service Road. This is the second of two small trails about 1.5km on the right from the climbers car park. The first trail leads to the Sheriffs Badge routes. As of August 2005, the start of the trail was marked by a small cairn. About 15 minutes up through steep and often humid trees you'll come to the start of the North Gully. The standard route starts about 10m up the right side of the gully. The first pitch starts to the right. An alternate start skips the first two pitches by scrambling halfway up the gully and climbing an obvious small cedar a foot out from the cliff on the right, then moving right on a shallow ledge for 15m, then up a short way to gain a larger ledge.

The Route

This is one of the true three star longer routes on The Chief. It does take a long time to dry, but gets plenty of action when it does. Early starts are recommended to avoid long waits, and it is advised that the climb could take the entire day. The route follows an arête left of the "Sheriff's Badge", the star shaped rock scar sometimes also called the witch. On a sunny day the route's shadow is cast clearly on the Zodiac Wall behind. A little more than half way up the route, the Saasquatch Ledge divides this route description into a lower and upper section.


LOWER SECTION (below Saasquatch Ledge)


P1 (5.7) Dirty Corner scramble

Step up right for a few metres to a small ledge, then up a dirty treed corner to a larger ledge. The next pitch starts to the right.

P2 (5.8) Blocky

Blocky moves lead up to the base of an obvious crack system.





P3 (5.10a) Angel Crack

A fingers to hand layback crack with good rests. It finishes with a short hand traverse left under a block before moving up to the belay ledge.

It's possible to rappel from here into the gully.

P4 (5.10b) Groovy Face

Step left, then face climb up a groove, past two bolts, then up and right back on to the arête. This shady pitch is often wet.

P5 (5.7) Scramble

Easy moving up the slabby arête.

P6 (5.10a) Steep Face

Slightly awkward moves above a steep face. Move right below a bulge, then up easier ground through a right corner to a ledge.

P7 (5.7)

Easier ground leads to a small treed ledge.

It's possible to rappel into the gully from here. Two short raps (10m, 25m) a short scramble, then another rappel will get you to the gully floor.

P8 (5.10a)

Move up for the next belay. Up two ramps as you move to the right, then finish up a left facing corner to reach the Saasquatch Ledge. Often wet.

UPPER SECTION (above Saasquatch Ledge)

P9 (5.9) Groove

Wander up then right, then up again through the trees of Saasquatch Ledge to the start of a groove. Follow the groove up then right, then up to the treed ledge.

A 7" 10b off-width on the left offers an alternative to this pitch.

P10 (5.7) Acrophobes Traverse

Follow the indistinct trail to a scramble left and up to the base of the Lower Tower. Don't continue following the trail right, as this is an alternate route.

Climb up diagonally, then hand traverse the ridge to the summit of the Lower Tower. Those with a taste for dangerous exposure can make an airy high-wire walk along the knife edge ridge. Chains behind the highest tower enable a short rap to a small treed ledge and a notch back through to the west side.

An alternate route from here, skipping the Acrophobe tower and the following 5.9 pitch, heads right through the trees, avoiding the scramble to the base of the Lower Tower. Two dirty pitches up and left gains the stance at the bottom of the Whale-Back arête.

P11 (5.9) Notch

Through the notch, climb back to the west side, then across and up to a fixed line. Down climb to a small dirt ledge.

From here you can scramble along the ramp into gully to escape the route.

P12 (5.8) Whale-Back arête

Climb up and left through easy ground until the Whale-Back arête leads back up and right to a small stance. At the top of the Whale-Back, move right to belay from a piton above the twisted cedar.

An alternate pitch, to the right, moves up a 10b/c crack.

P13 (5.10a) steep crack

Difficult initial moves follow the crack to easier ground. Step left past the top block to a ledge.


P14 (5.8) Chimney

On the right of the ledge, a crawl space on a sloped ramp leads to a rock mount, from where you can step across to the far face of a deep chimney. Looking down gives you a clear view of the forest floor, 12 pitches below you. Climb the chimney to the top.


The original final pitch moved up the face directly above and behind the crack of the previous pitch, avoiding the chimney.

The Descent

From the top of the final pitch, head in from the cliff a short way until a small foot pad leading right becomes apparent. Follow this in and up to the Centre Summit, where the descent route down the back side of the Chief, marked with orange markers on the trees, leads you back to the climbers' campground.

For other nearby trails click:


Squamish, BC

List of Similar (difficulty) Province Wide Trails:




Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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