The Ultimate Everything
September 25th, 2002
Emily and I headed up to Squamish to check out the new (as of June) route
that climbs the height of The Chief. The Ultimate Everything (5.11
or 5.9+ A0) climbs the steep wall on the far side of the South Gully,
past the Squamish Buttress and above the Apron.
We arrived in the empty Apron parking lot around 7:15 am and figured
that things would be more enjoyable with a later start. So, after a hot
drink in town, we roped up under Diedre (7p 5.8) around 9:00. We
decided to lead in blocks for the climb, so Emily lead all of Diedre.
This was my second time up the route and it was quite nice to be the only
ones on the whole Apron!
Emily starts up the 4th pitch of Diedre.
The sustained foot cramp of Pitch 5.
... and she manages to find a piece on the 7th pitch!
As we ate lunch at the base of Boomstick crack, a party that had just
zoomed up Diedre passed us. The reason for the hurry? It was now noon,
and this Husband/Wife team's daycare closed at 5:00! I was able to lead
Boomstick with only a #4 friend (#3 camalot sized) and in one full 60
m ropelength. This creaky flake really is a unique feature!
We hiked along the Squamish Buttress trail until the obvious turn off
left (at a marked tree) into the South Gully. Contouring out onto the
Central Summit's wall was a handline and a short trail to the base of
The first pitch is one of the hardest, and certainly the longest. The
first 25 meters involve crimpy face climbing past little seams and corners.
A #1 metolious is needed to protect the first set of moves. Above the
bolts you gain access to the large 5.7 open book that you follow until
the top of the second pitch.
Dave on The Ultimate Everything's 1st pitch.
Each pitch has a nicely bolted belay at the top with rap chains. However,
sometimes a belay off a tree is best oriented for leading the next pitch
without moving. The stations are positioned just right for rapping off
though. The 3rd pitch climbs a short and crimpy 5.9 face past a few bolts.
Finally into the sun on the third pitch!
The next pitch was pretty wet and unappealing 5.7. It starts with a mantle
and then through some blocks to a large left trending ramp. This dyke/ramp
is the natural water course and was still pretty wet long after that last
rain. After a tree belay, we moved the ropes up a short trail to the base
of a small and heavily cracked wall.
Dave on the nice handcrack of pitch 5.
The route truly was the "ultimate everything" with quality
climbing of all types. This pitch delivers with a sweet strait in handcrack
over a bulge. After that it is a ledge walk over to the next pitch.
The 6th is the second 5.9+ pitch and has two cruxes: one on gear through
the initial crack, and the second past a bolt on a sweet finger traverse.
A very clean and varied pitch!
The initial thin hand crack on pitch 6.
The route seems to follow an easy pitch, hard pitch alternation. The
7th pitch follows this with fun juggy climbing up a dyke. There were all
sorts of pro opportunities on this pitch including slung protrusions of
On pitch 7. Go up, then left.
At the end of the long traverse of p7, you are below a steep wall of
dyke-y rock. The bolts are hard to spot on this pitch because the blend
in so well with the rock! Also, seeing as the route follows the ethic
of traditional gear when it's available, you could easily climb right
past one (as I did, of course!). However, once you see the way, it is
a fun and varied face pitch with a short lie-back at the top.
Trending right across the dyke on pitch 8.
The 9th pitch is just a walk up a slab to a short 5.6 section below the
final pitch. The final pitch, rated 5.11 or 5.9 A0 if you pull on the
bolts is a short one up a steep wall. I moved right off the belay and
placed a piece before reaching the first bolt. The moves past this felt
.10ish up into a crack above. You follow this up to a small horizontal
ledge with which you have to make a difficult mantle. Once you stand up
you can reach the next bolt and the start of the .11 section. Thoughts
of a free ascent soon exited my mind once I found that I would not be
able to on-sight it. The sun was already down behind the peaks and we
were losing light fast... and so the ugliness began. All sorts of yanking
and standing on bolts allowed me to aid past the two cruxes and then free
up a short flake to the belay bolts on top. Woohoo! (I needed a #3 metolious
cam and a .75 camalot for pro between the bolts.)
Dave on top. "Wow, it really is getting dark!"
It was our first time on top of the Chief and we enjoyed the beauty of
a sunset over Howe Sound. We also enjoyed the beauty of trying to find
the trail down with one headlamp. We ended up taking a spur trail over
to the North Dome trail and following that rocky ass gully down to meet
the main trail. I hear that traversing farther South over the Central
summit leads to the standard (and established) Central summit trail. At
least there were sporadic reflective tags along the trail we followed,
so it was relativly easy to stay on track.
Emily leads the way through the darkness. Don't forget a headlamp (or
It took us 10 hours or so to climb to the top. The route is pretty long
with it's 17-19 pitches in all, depending on what Apron route you do,
and how much you run pitches together. The 10 pitches of Ultimate Everything
really are quite enjoyable and it is sure to become the moderate classic
that the route's "inventors" hoped for. We brought a medium
rack up to 3 inches, including several single and two double slings which
were useful for hooking features. Of note is that having a few duplicates
of small cams is nice for protecting many of the dyke pitches. Our hat's
off to the first acentionists for all their hard work!