FirstAscent » My Journey in Alaska

Rock Climbing at Cheakamus

the top of our warm up route, look at that view!

I woke up today feeling pretty tired from mountain biking all day yesterday but the forecast was 80 degrees and clear blue skies, so obviously I’m not going to say no. There is a really good 2000 ft multi-pitch route we wanted to do on the Chief in Squamish but we didn’t’ really know the area very well and it’s not exactly the kind of climb you want to get off-route on. So, Glen and I decided to play it safe and do some other routes at Cheakamus (near Squamish).

Cheakamus is about an hour from Vancouver BC and the drive there is incredible. You are surrounded by mountains the entire time and driving along side the bays the entire time, and with the sunny clear weather it made it just that much more.

Finally arriving at our climbing spot we decide to warm up on a 2 pitch 5.7 and 5.9. Something fairly easy to get a feel for everything. They were both really fun and amazing routes but after finishing them up we were really starting to feel the heat and exhaustion from the day before. Not a good start to the day. I should also mention that they grade their routes a lot stiffer than back in Oregon, but how much stiffer we would soon find out.

Since we were both pretty tired we took a lunch/water break at this point hoping we’d feel a little better for more climbing. Well, that didn’t work all that well but we couldn’t leave with only climbing our warm-up routes. So we headed over to a wall called the Circus, I think, and looked for more routes there.

I haven’t been climbing much and had just recently recovered from a pulley injury in my right middle finger so I didn’t want to get on anything too hard but wanted a good challenge. Our guidebook had a route listed that they say is a 5 star (max rating) route and in a top 100 climbs for the area list so I couldn’t pass it up. It was called Kigijiushi and was rated 5.10c. I have no idea how to pronounce it.

The climb started off a little weird within the first few moves then is some solid 5.10 climbing until the half way point where the crux is. The crux was Pretty difficult, much more difficult than I was expecting for a 5.10c. As I’m hanging on to small crimps with my feet on shallow features I remind my self they rate their climbers stiffer then back home, which makes sense because I had never climbed a 5.10 back in Oregon with a crux like this. It wasn’t impossible by any means, just much harder then what you would expect for a route with this rating, in my opinion. After searching around for about 5 minutes I realize I have to get through with what is in front of me. Long story short, I finally pull the move and finish up the rest of some excellent 5.10 climbing. I got the onsight (completing a route with no beta and no “hangs” on your first try) and was happy about that, especially from how crappy/tired I was feeling.

After I finished Kigijiushi we went to a near by rock formation with an interesting appearance (seen in the photo below) and decided to to get a quick warm-down route in. I don’t recall the name but it was a really fun 5.8 slab climb. Although, again, I would have rated it a 5.9 back in Oregon. There is one move that you are actually on pretty small crimps and are standing up with your feet on 1/4″ size features, not really 5.8 climbing. But it was fun.

At this point we were both definitely wore out, unfortunately. Normally we’d get much more climbing in but we were use too tired. So we headed to Howe Sound brewery for burgers/beer then headed back to get some well needed relaxation.

Glen heads back to Portland tomorrow and I’m off to Whistler around 6am. I’m on my own from here on out all the way to Alaska. I hope I have more energy tomorrow.

rapping down from the 5.8 warm-down route, you climb between the two rock formations

July 22, 2012 - 7:11 PM

Jaime Estuardo Casal Roldán - Be aware of snakes

July 17, 2012 - 4:25 AM

Susan Karamesines Casal - Too bad you were already so tired. Sounds like an amazing day of climbing anyway though. Glad you stayed safe!

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