This climb parallels St. Vitus Dance, finishing on its third pitch.
The first first pitch is one of the best pitches on the Apron -- a full 50m of hands, fists and about 10 feet of offwidth. The second pitch joins St. Vitus third pitch partway up.
From the little patch of forest that is usually considered the start of St. Vitus dance, walk about 15 feet to the right and you'll find yourself looking up at a beautiful hand-crack. Climb it.
It's possible to do this climb with a "standard" rack with no doubles, as long as you have one bigger piece (#4 camalot). This requires a fair bit of back cleaning, sliding pieces up, and running it out a bit, but the jams are so good that it feels very comfortable. The offwidth section barely takes a #4 camalot; it's badly tipped out at a few points as you slide it up. Adding a #4.5 camalot, and doubles in the .75, #1, #2 and #3 sizes would allow you to sew it up. Thanks to variations in parallel cracks and the way it pinches down in the back, you can often leave behind a nut and save a cam. After 50m you get to a nice ledge with one bolt which can be backed up with a variety of cams (much trickier with nuts).
The second pitch is much shorter, easier, and takes a few hand-sized pieces.
Simon finishing the first pitch of Vector.
|By Dave E.|
Oct 16, 2007
Reccomended finish, from the top of the long jamcrack that ends at a ledge with a single belay bolt as described above. Step right to a ramp in a right facing corner that steepens with a shallow flaring hand crack. Carefull with pro as it flares quite a bit near the top(crux,"Squamish Select" says 10.c, i thought it was more like 10.a). At the top of the corner, continue straight up joining the final pitch on st. vitus's dance at the bulging handcrack "roofs". Did this in july of 07 and thought it was spectacular. More challenging and cleaner than the original route
|By Peter Spindloe|
From: North Vancouver, BC
Oct 30, 2007
The alternate finish suggested above definitely looks good. We debated it, but were on a very tight timeline so we stuck with the original route. I'll definitely want to do P1 again, so I'll give this a try next time.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 15, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
The alternate finish is the only way to go, IMHO- the crack above the belay looks dirty and uninviting and while the select calls it .10c, id call it maybe .9 or so, it was way easier than it looked and protects very well if you had doubles from .75 to 2 c4.
Good route overall, lots of fun.
|By Andy Laakmann|
From: Bend, OR
Aug 13, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
The Vector crack is really fun! A full 55m of quality wide hand crack, with about a 10 foot section of enjoyable, low-angle offwidth. I had 2 x #2s, 3 x #3s, 1 x #3.5, 2 x #4, and 1 x #5 and was perfectly comfy. But even with that rack I was back cleaning a fair bit. That being said, I went all the way to the belay with one bolt and did not stop of the ledge about 2/3 of the way up. If you did that, you might be able to get by with less gear (but save some hand size cams for the belay!).
The alternate, right hand hand crack above the Vector crack was also great climbing... but it's definitely a sandbag to call it 5.9 (sorry John!). My wife and I both thought 10a or so. It protects well with hand size camalots (#0.75-#3), but take care as the crack is flaring at spots. Additionally, the exit move didn't have the most obvious pro and I fiddled for a while but finally slotting in a shallow (but solid) midsize offsite nut. I had to clean out the crack to find it. YMMV.
The best belay after the variation pitch is to immediately step left over the bush to St. Vitus' belay or go up about 10' and belay where the crack pinches down to green camalot size, or so.
Bring some meaty shoes - rough climb on the toes!