Ascent of Stawamus Chief-First Summit on 1995-09-23

Climber: Brian Friedrich

Others in Party:Simon Schosser
Jen Hall
Amy Hosig
Date:Saturday, September 23, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Stawamus Chief-First Summit
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:1969 ft / 600 m

Ascent Trip Report

Following a great day of sport climbing, Jan, Amy, and I awoke in my tent near the climber's parking lot to the sound of my pager going off--Simon "Be there between 0700 and 0730"; better hurry; we all met at Quinn's for breakfast and then drove back to the Chief; Diedre (5.7) was the route for today; off we went solo first pitch as usual and then kept on for next pitch; Simon cruised over to third station where we were stuck waiting for a group of three; I decided to visit Jen and Amy at station 2 and then while waiting top roped Diedre Direct (5.9) without realizing that was the route coming up to Station 3; finally we made way again and I went up to Station 4; Simon eased up to St 5 and set up a belay hot on their heels; when I got up and continued, Simon directed me right and off the dihedral at the small pine tree for a photo; seemed cool to me--I just decided to keep face climbing right and then up; turns out I was on the upper parts of White Lightning; I found the climbing to be in the 5.9 range here but as I neared the belay for W.L. I recalled that my last piece of pro was a runner on that little pine tree 30m back...hmm; this was the first moment in a while that I felt that fear adreniline pass thru me--time to relax and regain control--of course having the crux just before the bolts didn't help; another open traverse back to Diedre and St 6 was required, but much easier (esp with that bolt I clipped into) Simon came up and finished in good style to St 7 and the end; we waited for Amy and Jan and then had lunch; Simon and I discussed our options--doing Boomstick Crack (5.4) would pressure us into a possible climb to the south summit; I was, admittedly, nervous knowing the final pitch would fall into my lap to lead; was I prepared for it or would I be biting off too much? one way to find out I thought--we finalized the decision; Boomstick was an enjoyable lead up a very thin flake (no pro) and then Simon wandered up the stone to forest; here we said goodbye to our US friends (who seemed to have a great time) and then we continued up thru easy forest paths; we see the SW walls on the Central summit--v impressive (but difficult to reach being isolated by the deep chasm between summits; Simon did the first lead when we reached rock again (5.7; RM+); I then continued over a somewhat delicate and dirty pitch (5.7; RG)--both belays from trees; more wandering and then we soloed a low 5 pitch (RM+; dirty); I led on for a way to another belay (5.2; RM+) and then Simon had a fun pitch (5.6-5.7; RG) up some blocky steps; I had the last lead to the platform below the Buttress pitch (5.10c)--very intimidating; we waited as a party finished their climb and so talked to Nick, a guy who was intent on leading/aiding the pitch with his Soloist; I suggested that I could belay him instead and he agreed; looked like a stiff lead and he aided several moves--ohh goody, this guy's been up the Grand Wall last week, what am I doing here?; oh well, time comes for me to go; the first moves are fun as I get to the first rest and place a #1 Camalot at 4m; a couple funky moves later and I'm at another slight rest; I find a lovely little piton here around the corner and clip in--relief; slightly higher a #4 Wallnut gets sucked into a crack; clip, click and more happiness; I'm now at about 10m and must decide how to proceed, I feel good and would love to lead this puppy--am I nuts?--screw it, let's go; find good finger crack and inch my way up, need another piece, but feel a little extended where I am and then after another move or two find a moment of rest, drop in some pro--a #7 Wallnut in the lovely constricting crack before my eyes; I now need to swing around, good chance for chimney-stem here off the slightly raised lip of the crack currently behind me; need to hurry as my endurance is waining a bit in this spot; I clutch the crack tightly for pressure and slowly move my weight around, careful, careful, done!, with a foot behind and one in front I feel better - some reprieve; need to move on now; tentative, careful movements up and up and...crap...a slip, that was close, some bone in my hip registers discomfort, but the expected slide off was held and relief pervades--no tension on the rope--this, strangely becomes the prime concern now, not injury but freeing this route; I go on and clip a pin, then power up the last bit to the ledge; as I clip to the anchor, I let out a primal vent--done!; for me the moment is inexpressible--super asthetic climb; time to bring up Simon, it's getting late and we aren't done yet; my first 5.10c lead, onsight and trad at that, intense--and fun; Simon comes up and trouble getting out the #7 (we both forgot nut tools); he moves on and then tries the power approach in the finger crack--gravity wins out; "pumpy, eh Simon?" I call down--he's having a blast though!; the nut is now extracted and he continues on his way; we enjoy our little perch for a few moments and then Simon heads up the actual last pitch (5.6) to the forest; a pretty exciting pitch actually--exposed blocks; we then face up the final summit slabs (5.8) and then do the photo thing--happy, this place which is so familiar from many hikes now seems so cool; I look at the rock bed which was my bivi earlier this year--looks like home; sun sets and we need to go down; Nick goes with us and we discuss various future routes to try out; pretty spent by the final steps back to the cars--quite a weekend!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1969 ft / 600 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1969 ft / 600 m
    Grade/Class:Class 5.10c
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1969 ft / 600 m
    Route:Squamish Buttress
    Start Trailhead:Climber's Parking Lot  0 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1969 ft / 600 m
    End Trailhead:Climber's Parking Lot  0 ft / 0 m

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