Sunday, 2 October 2011

Grillmairs on Yamnuska 2011

August 19th, 2011 Grillmairs Chimney 5.6 8 pitches Yamnuska

Synposis: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. An absolute classic in spite of the chossy bits, second pitch is great and the last pitch is fantastic and popping out the gopher hole at the top is icing on the cake.

Beautiful day, we were one of the first parties to leave the parking lot at 9:15 am.  Headed up the trail for the grunt, already starting to get hot.  Took a good line through the paths basically straight up for just over 500m, had a couple of guys catch up to us on the trail but climbing something else.  At the cliff base went left however took a little futzing to realize that we had to go a little further left and then scramble up and right to the base of the route.  Geared up and started climbing just after 11:00 am.  I started a little left of the route shown in the picture however went well and was fairly short.  

Pitch 2 was stiffer than I expected with a number of great chimney sections and easy travel in between.  I got a little mixed up on the top of the first nub and attempted to go straight up.  Got two pieces of gear on Seana’s rope before realizing my folly and moving down and to the right to an obvious corner.  Tougher pitch and expected that it might be the end of our day however D emerged unscathed and determined to continue (although indicated that it was a little tougher than she was prepared for).  I combined 3, 4 and 5 into two pitches, on pitch 5 climbed an awkward chimney that Deanna had some troubles with then skirted the second chimney on easy ground to the right.  Came to a place with two bolted stations and picked the right one.  

Next pitch climbed 10 metres before the steep section of pitch 6.  Very enjoyable and continued on at the top to a good gear anchor at the bottom of pitch 7.  Pitch 7 was the easiest pitch of the day, Vito and Michelle caught up to us moving very quickly and we had lunch and allowed them to go by.  Nice as not much scree on the ledges (unlike below).  Worked up 30m to a two pin anchor at the bottom of pitch 8.  Caught up to Michelle and chatted for a couple of minutes until she headed off.  

Pitch 8 was unlike I remembered it and just awesome.  Great stemming on pretty insecure feet and nothing for hands, all there but a head game when perched over this great chasm.  Made the mistake of throwing a small rock down to see how deep it was, very deep!  Broke the pitch in half after using 8 draws on a bit of a ledge.  The gals did very well and we huddled on this ledge with feet on the other side to sort out the rope.  Then a couple of moves and into the cave feature.  

Very cool move up onto the chockstone, followed by lot’s of grovelling in the cave.  Topped out just after 7:30 pm feeling like a pika coming out of it's hole. Averaged an hour a pitch plus an extra ½ hour on pitch 2, climbed roughly 800m total and 300m of roped climbing.  Beautiful sunny day, had a quick bite and back to the car just before 9:30 pm.  Went down climbers right side of Yam so no real scree, pretty good path.  A real classic!