Grand Wall, via Apron Strings and Cruel Shoes. 1065', 5.11a, A0
1 set wires, tcu's, double cams 1"- 3".
The Grand Wall of Squamish Chief is one of the classic routes of North America. Of the many possible variations, this is the best. It provides over 1000 feet of sustained and varied 5.10 climbing with a couple of short 11a sections. The rock and the climbing are superb throughout, and protection is generally very good, although pitch 5 has some runout 5.7/8 climbing.
The Grand Wall climbs the only real break in the huge sweep of blank rock that makes up the main face of the Chief, a series of right-facing corners and flakes. The route starts almost directly below this feature, at the bottom of a corner formed by the right side of a 200' high buttress/flake at the base of the wall. The first pitch, called Apron Strings climbs the beautiful white layback corner in the left edge of the main corner. From the base of the main corner, scramble up and left, going awkwardly around a tree, to a good ledge at the base of the layback corner.
1. 80' 5.10b Layback up the corner. Mostly on good fingerlocks until just below the top, where a tips layback crux leads onto an easier ramp. Go a few feet up the ramp then move out right to an anchor on a big ledge at the base of a wide chimney formed by the right side of the buttress.
2. 100' 5.10d Climb up the chimney for 35' then make a long step out right to reach a footledge which leads to a bolt on the right. Pull into a shallow corner (pin) and continue up the face above (4 b's) to an anchor.
3. 80' 5.10c Make a long traverse out right, passing a couple of cracks, to reach the bottom of a corner (5 b's). At the end of the traverse, move down, before stepping across into the corner. Don't be fooled by the last bolt, it is there to protect the follower and is only clipped once the anchor is reached.
4. 60' 5.10b Climb the overlapping corners above (4 b's), stepping right at the top to an anchor.
5. 100' 5.9 Move back left into the corner, then move left again and up to a thin ledge (b). Move out left on the ledge (off route bolt 10' above) and go up and left on easier (5.7/8) but runout climbing. At the top of the pitch a bolt protects a 5.9 move to reach the anchor.
6. 70' 5.10d Follow a curving line of bolts (5 b's) to reach a flake (pin). Traverse left on a narrow footledge to reach a comfortable belay on the big tree at the base of the amazing corner crack.
7. 120' 5.10b The crack starts as tight hands and widens to wide fists over the course of 100 feet, pumpy and sustained. At the top of the fist section of there is a welcome rest. The route continues with layback moves into a chimney which is followed to an anchor on a great ledge.
8. 145' 5.11a Layback up the corner above, with crux moves to get over the short leaning section, onto a rest on a ramp. Clip a bolt then move left to a good crack in the left arete of the corner. Up the crack for 20' then move back right into a smooth layback. At the top of the layback grab the anchor and continue up a 10 bolt ladder (A0) to an anchor on a small ledge.
9. 70' 5.11a Move left and layback up the fearsome off width (6 b's) to a slab. Move right to an anchor. This is the last chance to rap (6-8 raps with two ropes from here)
10. 150' 5.10b Traverse way out right to a bolted slab. Follow bolts up the slab until a huge final reach ( 5.9 - 10b depending on height) leads to a belay ledge.
11. 80' 5.10c A few tree moves lead to a pumpy undercling out right. Continue up the flake to Bellygood ledge.
From here it is possible to traverse up and left to the Roman Chimneys, which provide four more pitches up to 11a. Most parties follow Bellygood ledge out right for 500', into the forest, and down to the backside trail. The Bellygood traverse is very exposed and a bit awkward in places...stay roped up.
Route descriptions and topos of classic routes from other areas.
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