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Trip Report

Trip 24/06/2018 Yak Check, Coquihalla Pass with Pav I.

For this route I found lots of pics online but the pitch by pitch description we had was pre-bolting of the belays. This is the topo we used, it has all the anchors and it’s accurate to date: https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/113415760 In our case we used all the intermediate belays X.5 (except the first)  on a 60m rope even extending most placements, maybe the rope was a bit too short…although in some cases as for pitch 8/8.5/9 I don’t imagine that working by quite a margin. Checking the details of the pics we roped up and started climbing at 9.30 am topped out at 4.30pm and arrived to the car at 6.30pm. During the climb we stopped to drink water and check the topo but otherwise climbed pretty consistently without long breaks, after reaching the top we stopped to have a snack and finish our water maybe 15/20min or so in terms of ascent/descent times.

P1 From where the pic was taken went up this 5.6 corner and once on the ledge traverse left to the first belay 0.5 and keep going left (not much pro but low 5th until belay 1), this line is the right most of the three variations of the topo and seemed the obvious one at the time. With our 60m rope and clipping with an double shoulder length draw that 0.5 belay I ended 2 meters short of this belay. Probably with the left start would’ve arrived. 60m 5.6

P2 From the belay left up the corner (protects with two small cams) on the only place that looks feasible and up into a finger to hands crag to a bolted belay on the right of the crag. 5.7 40m

P3 Continue up this crag, amazing climbing on a great hands crag I think its 5.6 climbing at its best, you have to battle going through a bush/tree don’t bother slinging it as the anchor is just a few meters afterwards and youll force your partner to battle the branches as well. Double bolt belay at right side of crag. 5.6 35/30m

P4 Keep going up the crag, then layback the corner up to the ledge, that would a great place for a belay and maybe make this pitch linkable with the previous but…you have to climb 4m higher to a far smaller and more uncomfortable ledge. This is a theme on the entire climb the bolts always just a few meters higher/lower than where the obvious ledge is, but again with the rock around we are lucky enough that someone spent the time trying to find spaces with solid rock to bolt the anchors every 40m the entire face 5.7 35/40m

P5 Up left and then arching to the right, if until this pitch the climbing and rock was 5 starts…here the real nature of this climb starts to unfold with some rotten granite, good placements on crags, great laybacks and dubious placements behind flakes and a piton. I think the bolts of the anchor of this pitch are about 30cm from the ground which are great for very short people or u’ll need to belay seated. 5.8 40m

P6 Up and trending right not much route finding on this pitch ,as there is a bolt five meters up and right from the anchor where you have to pull a roof move (super cool!) and just continue  moving up and right after on flakes and holds of dubious quality…I guess Im not accustomed to this but thought granite was supposed to be pretty solid. The belay is impossible to miss as you will be under a roof 5.8+ 45m

P7 move right a few meters and layback up a left facing corner, then continue going up up flakes, trending slightly right, you will pass a tree and a couple of roofy features… this is far the pitch were the rock is of worse quality and just the drag of the rock was pulling lots of small crystals down, that small traverse right its well appreciated by the belayer. 5.8 48m

P8 we moved up and left a crumbly corner place a cam and keep going left and up into flakes, everything shakes when you grab it but everything holds, until you reach the huge corner/flake with the bridge(the cave), undercling it going left, once you turn around the corner to go up again place a red bd cam (you will see 2m up where the roof continues left a pin that was the original belay)and jump right in to the face climb 4 meters up and you will have a super nice belay on that ledge (best ledge/belay to stop for lunch). I think at the start of this pitch rather than up and left you could go straight left on the undercling and then go up the flakes but we were not sure and didnt feel like doing the traverse still shaken by the rock quality of the previous pitch. This might be the best pitch of the route.The anchor is on top of the last red piece, so good to belay your second. 5.9 45m

P9 Not much of a pitch, just traverse left, have your camera ready if you are so inclined as you will go over the bridge(wide flake) with air on both sides, then up an easy ramp (5.5?) to the next belay. This probably could be linked with very little simul climbing but...pretty close, specially if you want to leave an alpine draw on the anchor of P8 to protect the wild swing if your second was to fall after taking the last piece on the roof until the anchor of P9...maybe with two doubleshoulderlenght slings...we were making good time so no need to shorten the time on such a great spot 5.5 maybe 2x/30m

P10 The next pitch makes and arch around P9, finishing directly on top, so keep going up the ramp left/corner crag up then up and right, move on the face clip a bolt, grab another "great" flake and you are on the next anchor. 5.8 40m

P11 The slab starts, up and right about 4m one bolt, directly 3m right a second bolt then up and left to the arete where the third bolt is, keep going up crags and flakes.  5.9 40m

P12 Our only route finding issue and was our fault more that anything, from this pitch you can go straight up into a corner crack/diedral, but that corner was pretty wet and dirty, on the right was what looked an easy unprotected slab with chalk marks to a crag further up and right...cause the pitch by pitch description was very off by this point, we thought maybe the face was the way to go, and what we though was easy features were just waiting to peel layers of granite, no idea if thats “a” route, but maybe the white marks were just marks of fallen rocks that peeled the granite? Anyway back to the anchor and up the wet corner straight on top of the belay keep going up, then you move onto the face past a few bolts to the last bolted belay. 5.9 40m

P13 straight up until the top with no pro but 5.5 slab and with good rock, you can go left to the trees or rap but since you are already here dont see any reason not to. 50m 5.6

From here scramble to the top, maybe another 50m.

Overall i'd say amazing climbing moves (underclings P8, laybacks everywhere, slab moves P11&12&13, roofs P6,hand cragP2&P3, finger locks P2) not just that but all of it in the alpine, with bolted belays, with a super short approach, with a wiiiiild exposure from the start and never going above 5.9!!! Beat that!

On the downside...the rock is solid in the first and the end, the middle other than the cave pitch...dubious at best, dont try to test it too hard by pulling or hitting it or you will end carrying lots of holds in your backpack. When I read that the route was good for people comfortable running out 5.9 I thought that the route was runout in terms of distance between protection but...what was bad in my opinion was the level of confidence that anything you grab is going to hold. So much so, that the crux pitches of bolted slab (5.9) felt to me easier the rest of the trad ones mid route (5.8), I realize that this is not as much because of the technicality of the climb but about rock quality, protection and exposure so I'd say pretty consistent on the 5.8+/5.9 grade through out all the pitches after the lunchbreak ledge (pitch 4 the way we did it). Thanks to Pav for leading the crux pitches because otherwise I would’ve had a hard time, nothing like climbing with a hardened kiwi that masters dubious rock!

Trip Reporter
04.07.2018 (19 Days Ago)
Trip Report TitleYak Check
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