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Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:43 am
by skykilo
Ryan and I have been having tentative discussions of climbing The Grand Wall for quite some time. One way or another, we agreed that the hour had come. Ryan arrived at my place in Vancouver via bike-Greyhound bus-bike around midnight.

After a few hours of sleep, we had some coffee and made the 45 minute walk to the train station (which is also the bus station). I had made an error. I looked at the wrong bus schedule. We arrived in time to catch a 5:50 am bus to Squamish that actually departed at 5:15 am. Maybe it was just the euphony that confused me? Regardless, we had to wait for the 8 am bus.

We tried to relax in the park with the outdoorsy drug-using types that are prevalent in this part of Vancouver.

I had a near-emergency on the bus based on too much fibre and caffeine in my diet, but we persevered to the Squamish Save-On Foods where we found fortifications for the day and a long queue for the single-occupancy washroom designated to satisfy the needs of every person who ever enters this massive store.

Then we had a nice walk to the Chief and finally the base of the Grand Wall. Our alpine start had me getting ready to lead Apron Strings after 10 am. First pitch of the Grand Wall, already feeling tired from all this walking and bus riding, I got mega-pumped by the first pitch of Apron Strings. I was seriously questioning the validity of my presence on the route, but I made it up the pitch and we were on our way.

The next pitch felt like a bit of a sandbag to both of us. Ryan leads the second pitch of Apron Strings.

The bolted dyke pitches were really fun. It was nice to get in the flow and feel like just maybe I knew something about climbing.

Ryan follows some very fun runout dyke.

There was a pitch of runout dyke for Ryan's leading pleasure, too.

I really enjoyed the traverse toward the base of the Split Pillar. Ryan follows.

Ryan led the three bolts to the base of the Split Pillar from the traversey belay, for his first aid experience. This left me with the Split Pillar. This pitch is so beautiful. For me, it was a wee bit of layback to start and finish, but sheer sustained jamming ecstasy in between.

Ryan climbs the first bit of the Split.

Ryan jams dynamically?

Ryan climbs to the top of the Split Pillar on another layback.

Next, Ryan would go a-fencing with the Sword of Damocles. He was still feeling pumped from the Split Pillar.

Ryan, en garde!

You're almost there, buddy.

The exposure was so amazing.

Ryan follows the bolt ladder above the Sword.

Above Perry's Layback, it was getting a bit late. The Howe Sound sure is beautiful.

Ryan follows the next-to-last pitch.

There is a prettier way to start the Sail Flake. But it was late and getting dark and the tree looked quicker and easier. Climb that tree, bro!

Bellygood Ledge is an amazing feature. You can (more or less) nonchalantly walk off this amazing cliff above several hundreds of meters of exposure on a ledge that's narrower than my shoulders in several places.

Huzzah! That was awesome! I can't wait to return to try the Sword and Perry's LB in better style, or to link the route with the Roman Chimneys or the Upper Black Dyke.

Ryan and I hiked to the bottom of the Chief without difficulty. Incredibly, we'd both learned the lesson and had headlamps. From the Chief camprground, we called Fern and got a ride from Fern and Kellie. But before we met them at the roundabout, we had to retrieve our gear from the base of the Grand Wall. That was pretty easy, until we got lost in the land of the Pad People. Somehow, we found ourselves bushwhacking at the base of the Chief!

Eventually, we got a ride, met some nice Squamish residents, and feasted on leftovers.

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:56 pm
by Diamond Dachshund
Looked good. Maybe you should add a car to your rack.

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:07 pm
by skykilo
If you'd like to give me a car and pay for my Canadian insurance, by all means, I'd be happy to add a car to my rack.

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:24 pm
by Diamond Dachshund
She needs work, but if you can fix'er, she's yours.


Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:25 am
by ryanl
Damn, that was a great weekend. Not sure where your sense of time went, though. I didn't get to your house until 2:30 and we started climbing closer to noon. Next time we do it right. Anyway. here are a few shots- I wish I had more, but for some reason I didn't get many good ones this time. Probably because i was too busy getting worked. You didn't do justice to my struggles, dude. Thanks.

Apron Strings:
IMG_0001_3.JPG (179.56 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
Traverse below the split:
IMG_0001.JPG (165.03 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
Too bad I whipped the angle and exposure:
IMG_0001_2.JPG (73.5 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
IMG_0001_1.JPG (222.75 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
IMG_0001_4.JPG (216.61 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
IMG_0001_5.JPG (174.61 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
the sword:
IMG_0001_6.JPG (130.16 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
This one is for Jason:
IMG_0001_8.JPG (96.44 KiB) Viewed 10053 times
Just below the Sail Flake:
IMG_0001_7.JPG (197.17 KiB) Viewed 10053 times

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:17 pm
by skykilo
You're right, you've refreshed my memory. Reed and I were at the flamenco bar until about midnight. Then you got to my place well after 2 am.

Well, maybe more sleep and an earlier start will make it feel easier next time.

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:57 pm
by casruff
so fawking awsome you guys. :!:

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:16 pm
by E_$

love that route, way to soldier it public transport style

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:10 am
by jsjue
Wow guys, I actually got dizzy looking at some of those photos. This looks like it was an outstanding trip. Could I crawl in a back pack and you just take me with you?

Re: Squamish, The Grand Wall "Lite"

Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:59 am
by skykilo
I don't know about you, but I could probably haul one of your toy poodles up there.