Saturday, 14 September 2013

Climbing the chief

Thursday was a well earned rest day. Fridays plan was to make up for it. 
We all woke up before 7 (except Simon). 
The plan was to climb from the apron to the top of the cheif (circa 60m above sea level to 610m above sea level). 
this is the route I had planned on thursday night:
Banana Peel 5.7 8 pitches
Granville Street 5.8 3 pitches
Squamish buttress 5.8 (first) 4 pitches
The butt lite 5.9 3 pitches
Total 18 pitches.
We eventually got to the crag at 8.30 where me and hobbit set off up banana peel We linked pitches to save time I took P1+2 5.4 + 5.2, Hobbit then linked P3+4 5.5 and 5.7, I then linked P5+6 5.4 + 5.7, at which point we got stuck behind a group so we did two 5.4 pitches to the top. Nice easy warm up probably HS/VS mainly for the turn outs (20-30m at a time in places). 
At the top of Banana Peel Hobbit with the guide book
Looking down banana Peel
Next we wanted to fire out boomstick 5.7 but had a Spanish team on it so we did the same start and headed left up granville street. Hobbit did the 5.6 first pitch and I did the 5.8 second pitch. Hobbit then did the top easy pitch. Again felt VS ish maybe soft HVS. 
After this we had to walk to the base of squamish buttress. Which felt the hardest part of the day. Straight forward but after about 300m+ of climbing my legs were feeling it. We got to the base of squamish butteress to find a group on both starts the 5.8 and the 5.9. We decided to do the 5.8 start as it looked better and it was brilliant. I got to lead it and I linked with P2. TO make a nice 60m pitch. There was a thin crux by a bolt then straight forward climbing. 
Me starting Squamish buttress following a Uni Group
Hobbit then linked P3+4 together two 5.7 pitches. which felt pretty soft for the grade. but still a nice HS/VS. 
At this point we were stuck behind the queue again. We decided to do the Butt Lite which goes left and avoids the crux pitch of Squamish buttress. (Still a three star finish and has Ben Moon the First ascentionist list hero) 
I got to lead the first two pitches of this 5.9 and 5.8 which were fantastic. The crux pitch had the hard bit at the start. 
Me after the crux section on the Butt Lite Crux Pitch
It was probably HVS for the first pitch and solid VS for the second pitch. Hobbit then lead the last pitch of the day. a 5.2 climb to the top of the climbing. 
All that was left was to scramble to the top ... or so we thought. To get to the top we had one more piece of climbing. A nice blank slab to solo 5.5/6 ish 
Hobbit soloing to the top of the chief
We topped out at 3.30 pm ish pretty tired. We could probably been done a hours earlier if not for the queues on the route. 
Top out photos.
Me and Hobbit looking tired at the first peak
Bex and Simon join us at the top about about 40 mins later

We then pose for a team photo some one said jump ... 
We were all pretty tired
then we had to walk down its about a 40/50mins steep down hill track. Then a nice path back to the car

The exhausted team photo
A Great day out!

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