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Standard Squamish Rack
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By NickG
From Syracuse/Keene, NY
Feb 29, 2012

Hey all,
Heading to squamish this summer for the first time and need suggestions on what to add to my rack. Im from NY and my current rack was designed for the Gunks (tricams anyone?). What I need to know is what cams I should double up on and if there is any other gear I shouldnt show up without. Thanks in advance.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Feb 29, 2012

having more finger cams seemed to always work for me at squish. cracks seem to run more the finger size than the fist size for most of the mega-classics.

my vague recollection is that i carry doubles from pretty small to thin hands and singles above that unless otherwise noted for most squish routes.


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By Mark Roberts
From Vancouver, BC
Apr 11, 2012

A basic rack would be doubles in blue mastercam to purple C4, then singles up to #3 C4 and a set of nuts.

Really depends though. You can get by without the doubles, depends what you're climbing at what level.

I usually take one 00 and one 0 mastercam, doubles of blue mastercam to .75 Camalots, one #1, #2, #3 and a set of nuts. I'll often bring a #4 and end up using it, and I'll be doubling up to #3 once I can afford it.

I find Hexes difficult to place in the cracks here. I've done it, but I've also often tried and found they didn't fit. Never tried tricams but I've also never seen anyone bring them to the crags.


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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 11, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

tricams suck. there isn't enough benefit out here like there is in the gunks (which I've never climbed at, but every gunkie I've met has raved about tricams) set of cams, doubles from fingers to hands, a set or two of nuts, you should be able to make it up most of everything.

Enjoy your trip, squamish is a great place to climb.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Apr 11, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Since you guys are at it, how useful are double ropes for hitting rap lines? It sure would be nice to get off of Grand Wall and other big routes with a single 60m cord if a cloudburst passed through. NickG, maybe I'll meet you out there in July if our paths don't cross in the Trapps this spring.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Apr 11, 2012

It depends on the individual routes, of course, and also on the grades you are looking for. If you are doing the classic 5.9 cragging routes, a basic rack should do, while some of the longer/harder free routes may call for a more specialized rack.

You'll want to have access to (at least) a double set of cams in the full range of "normal sizes", i.e. tips-fists. You won't want to carry this full set on every route, of course, but this should furnish the necessary rack for most routes (including the Grand Wall, etc.) There are occasional routes where you want triples of a particular size, but usually doubles are plenty. Finger-size cams are particularly useful on many routes.

Add in a few super-tiny cams, and one #4 C4, to round out the cam collection.

Skip the tricams; leave them in NY where they are useful. Hexes are also not worth the trouble.

The rock at Squamish takes nuts incredibly, amazingly well. Especially mid-size nuts (~#8 stopper, +/-). A double set of stoppers is worth having. RPs come in handy on some routes, but aren't needed for the popular moderates.

You probably don't need much/any really big gear. There don't seem to be too many routes that require a #5 Camalot or larger. For some reason or another, Squamish is (thankfully) lacking the amount of wide terrain found in California. OW certainly exists in Squamish, but it is pretty easy to avoid. If you have a #5, it may or may not be worth bringing out, depending on how much you like OW.

Take of mix of extendable slings and shorter draws. Generally, the routes at Squamish follow much straighter lines than those at the Gunks, with less roofs and traverses, so you don't have to extend gear nearly as much. You can usually clip cams directly.

Leave the cordolette at home. You almost never need to build a gear anchor. Bolted anchors everywhere; it is amazing.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Apr 11, 2012

lucander wrote:
Since you guys are at it, how useful are double ropes for hitting rap lines? It sure would be nice to get off of Grand Wall and other big routes with a single 60m cord if a cloudburst passed through. NickG, maybe I'll meet you out there in July if our paths don't cross in the Trapps this spring.


Many of the longer routes of the Chief require 2 ropes to retreat off of. Getting off of the Grand Wall with one 60 would be difficult.

That said, climbing on a single rope there is nice too. Double are totally unnecessary for the vast majority of the shorter cragging in Squamish (which you'll do a lot of; Squish isn't just about long routes). Dealing with doubles at the Smoke Bluffs would be a headache. You can climb the long routes with a single rope; it is just more committing.

If I had to choose to bring just a set of doubles or just a single rope for a Squamish trip, I would choose the single. A single plus a 7 mm tag line to bring on the long routes might be a good system. Or just bring everything.

Also: cloudbursts don't happen in the PNW. It is either drizzling or it isn't.


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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 11, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

lucander wrote:
Since you guys are at it, how useful are double ropes for hitting rap lines? It sure would be nice to get off of Grand Wall and other big routes with a single 60m cord if a cloudburst passed through. NickG, maybe I'll meet you out there in July if our paths don't cross in the Trapps this spring.



I bailed off the grand wall a couple years ago with double ropes, we were climbing as a party of three and ran into a massive clusterfuck on the split pillar, 3 parties waiting behind these guys on the sword, the leader took a big whip with the rope behind his legs and flipped hard into the rock. the sun was about to come onto the face and broil us alive so we bailed along with the semi injured guy and his partner. (on the right facing liebacks that is the grand wall make sure the rope is running OVER your left leg, in which case nasty falls like that will not happen).

For the GW I recommend being comfortable leading 11a, none of it is really tricky but it is powerful and unless you're in great shape you'll probably be tired. Still, don't bring doubles, just plan on topping out and being the first on route. climbing midweek helps with this. if you're worried about the weather don't go up when it is iffy. the sword and perrys layback are incredible pitches, nothing like pumpy climbing 1000 feet above the treetops. if you are up for it giv' 'er!


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By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Apr 12, 2012
me on illusion dweller

I'm going to make my first trip up that way this fall as well. If I only had two weeks to spend when do you think would be the best time for weather? August? September?


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By Mark Roberts
From Vancouver, BC
Apr 12, 2012

thecornyman wrote:
I'm going to make my first trip up that way this fall as well. If I only had two weeks to spend when do you think would be the best time for weather? August? September?


August will be dry and hot. September will be cooler but a higher risk of rain. You can get around the hot by climbing in the morning and in the shade, but you can't really get around the wet. I'd say aim for August.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Apr 12, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Wow, lots of us tourists coming your way. Hope we don't bother you guys too much over there.


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By randy88fj62
Apr 12, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

For Diedre I would carry doubles of Metolius 00 to 4.
For Calculus Crack I'd carry doubles of Metolius 2 to 5.

I run with metolius cams so adjust for your brand accordingly.

Most of the routes I climbed had walk offs so there was never a need for double ropes or a second rope for that matter when climbing in a team of two.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

2 sets of nuts, 1 set of cams with doubles in nay sizes that you are not good at.


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By Matt Hoffmann
From Squamish
Apr 25, 2012
 Matt Hoffmann - Matt on 3AM crack

Partly depends on how strong a climber you are but:

For easier multipitches my base standard rack for Squish
-singles from blue master cam (1) to orange master cam (3)
-singles from purple c4 (.5) to blue c4 (3)
-full set of nuts with 10 extendible draws.

Then add on that based on the route.

For longer or harder multi pitch routes, I'll usually double up orange master cam, purple c4 and green c4 by default and add others if it calls for it.

Obviously if the description has lots of hand sized pieces double up the red, yellow and blue c4s. If it says fingers double up yellow, orange master cam and purple c4. And if it says to bring a 4, bring a 4. I've never placed anything larger than a 4 in Squamish on a multi pitch (not saying you can't but, I haven't found it to be necessary. If it is the book will say so).

The cracks here are incredibly varied and take nuts very well. I know some old school climbers that swear by tri cams but, I don't use them (nuts are easier and more convenient most of the time) and hexes work well here but, probably aren't necessary. Also, the rock is very solid so I find myself trusting pretty small cams and nuts.

Summary: If you are travelling here and want to be covered for most situations:

1x cordalette (5m for the occasional gear anchor or tree anchor)
10x extendible draws (2 for the anchors, 8 for climbing)
1x full set nuts
1x nut tool
2x blue (1) mastercam
2x yellow (2) mastercam
2x orange (3) mastercam
2x purple (.5) c4
2x green (.75) c4
2x red (1) c4
2x yellow (2) c4
2x blue (3) c4
1x grey (4) c4
1x Good Attitude. People I've met are almost always willing to lend gear if they won't be needing it for the day.

Don't forget your nut tool. The granite eats them up!

Regarding ropes, most people climb on a single 60 or 70 and just go for it (retreat is possible on a lot of routes with a single 60). It is pretty obvious if there is a chance of rain so, if you're worried about retreat most will climb with a tagline in the seconds pack. Personally, I use double ropes if I'm worried we'll have to bail and know we can't do it with a 60 but, I like double ropes and many don't :).

Best time to come: Late August, early September.

Cheers!


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