Friday, September 25, 2009

Angel's Crest - Summer's End

On Thursday, I climbed the Angel's Crest on the Chief with our friend, Rob Price, from Seattle. Rob hadn't climbed the route before and was keen, so I offered to accompany him on the climb. This was likely my last outdoor climb in Squamish this year and it was a great way to finish a great season. The weather was perfect and the climb was very pleasant.

Rob drove up on Wednesday evening and we had dinner and socialized well into the evening. We got up early (to beat the crowds) and Pam and Elise shuttled us to the trail head so we wouldn't have to hike as far at the end of the day.

Here's a photo of the northwest side of the Chief from our house. The Angel's Crest follows the sunlit edge of the gully right of the dark area of shadow in the centre of the wall.

Here's Rob seconding the third pitch of 5.10 on the route. Rob did great and didn't fall once on the entire climb.

We discovered a memorial totem pole about half way up the climb. It honours a popular climber who died in the Squamish area about 10 years ago. Getting this large piece of wood into the middle of this climb must have been quite a feat!

The Acrophobe towers are one of the unique features of this climb. They are a collection of granitic spires in the middle of the wall that involve some interesting climbing techniques and route-finding. This is a picture looking down from the top of the first tower towards Valleycliffe. You can see our house from this part of the Chief.

There was a party behind us. This is a photo of Matthew standing near the summit of the first tower.

Here's Rob seconding the second-to-last pitch on the climb. The entire route is 14 pitches long so we are almost finished! This bit of climbing is some of the trickiest on the route.

Here I am on the summit with some beautiful rock corners in behind. I'm trying not to squint - it was super bright on the polished granite.

Rob on the summit.

Elise and Pam met us on the trail that leads back down to Squamish. Elise hiked about a third of the way up this trail, which was very impressive. This trail is very steep and rocky, gaining about 2000 vertical feet in a couple of kilometers. On the way down we stopped at one of the pools in Oleson Creek, rinsed off and enjoyed the view. Elise had to take off her shoes and wade, despite the cold. No surprise there. Afterward, we had a nice dinner, socialized some more and Rob spent one more night before heading back to Seattle. We made tentative plans for a mid-winter climbing break with him at Smith Rock.

Four more day until Greece!


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