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Rock On 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a

   
Type: Trad, 5 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a [details]
FA: FFA Bob Milward and Jim Campbell, 1983
Page Views: 7,485
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Jan 20, 2007
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Description 

p1. A few dirty moves off the ground get you past a tree with exposed roots and into beautiful clean granite corners and cracks. A fun 5.8 crux makes you layback or fist jam.

p2. Step out left from the belay and climb the clean corner or undercling a crack a little further left (both seem to be graded the same, but left feels easier). A few blocky sections then lead to a perfect belay ledge.

p3. This 5.9 pitch is awkward and strenuous, starting with a solid couple of layback moves into a flaring crack. After a few moves in the crack you can move onto the left wall and pass tough moves with good protection. Traverse far left under the roof and across a steep gully to a bolted belay.

p4. The long crux pitch starts with an intimidating corner. Three small nuts can be placed to protect this corner -- take your time and place them well. The difficulty eases and then gradually ratchets back up as you work up a steepening corner to a 10a mantle crux. Climb ten more feet past the crux to a very cool belay. I've done this route twice a group of three and this belay is tight for two, but possible if no one minds getting cozy.

p5. This pitch can be linked with the previous one. It's short but burly. Three cams (camalots 0.5, 1, and 2) are entirely sufficient for the entire pitch (so if you have just led p4 and have those pieces, keep going).

p6. If you belayed after pitch 4, just link this one with p5. This 5.7 pitch leads to the trees.

Either continue up the Squamish Buttress or The Ultimate Everything, or descend by walking along the treed ledge to a bolted rap station that will drop you in the Memorial Ledge swimming pool (only by carrying the loose end of the rope with you will you have a chance of keeping it dry). From Memorial Ledge you can traverse south to the usual Apron descent.


Location 

This climb is on the vertical left edge of the Apron and start from about a hundred feet up the South Gully. From the Apron parking lot, walk up the Mamquam Forest Service Road a little more than hundred feet until a trail heads up towards the cliff. The trail should take you into the gully. Hike the gully until looking back and right you can see a left facing corner system running the height of the cliff. It's not visible until you are a little past it. Good landmarks include the incredible arching 5.13 crack of The Great Arch left of the climb and a variety of abandoned fixed ropes in the area.

I haven't been able to check this myself, but reports of massive amounts of debris coming out of the South Gully during the storms of late 2006 and early 2007 indicate that the approach trail may be completely covered.


Protection 

Excellent gear throughout except perhaps the start of p4 where small nuts are good, but take care to place.



Photos of Rock On Slideshow Add Photo
pitch 1
pitch 1
Craig, just before the crux of Rock On.
Craig, just before the crux of Rock On.
Craig, after exiting the corner of pitch 3. <br /> <br />Photo by: Kevin Vallely
Craig, after exiting the corner of pitch 3.

Photo...
Unknown Canadian on Rock On [eh?] in Aug. 2003
Unknown Canadian on Rock On [eh?] in Aug. 2003
Pitch 3
Pitch 3
My wife coming up the last good pitch!
My wife coming up the last good pitch!
eh
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Comments on Rock On Add Comment
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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jan 21, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

This is a fantastic climb, and can be done quickly with the short approach and straightforward descent. I was fortunate to find it dry, but I've heard the final crux pitch can be wet. One of my favorites at Squamish.

By JSH
Administrator
Sep 2, 2007

In my experience: Almost all the pitches are much shorter than as described in the guidebook. One can easily link P1 and P2, possibly P3 as well.

The leftward traverse at the end of P3 is at least 5m - plenty of bail stations above P3 indicated that a few parties might have missed the traverse. You can't see the bolted station below P4 until you've nearly completed the traverse.

The guidebook notes the possibility of linking P4 and P5, all the way up to the next bolts, and describes this as one 100m pitch. My partner and I wanted to share the 5.10 corner leads, so he belayed at half-rope ... which ended up being (well) above both 5.10 corners, and probably in the alcove described above. That gave me the "burly" pitch, which was (and apparantly is often!) wet, and probably all of 10m long. So in total, P4+P5 are significantly less than 100m.

It's possible to rap from the top of P5 in 2 or 3 rappels - we did it in 3 to prevent rope snags. As of summer 2007, the gully and trail up were in good condition, very easy to find the route.

Fantastic route!

By blakeherrington
May 21, 2008

This route goes easily in 3 pitches (maybe more like 2.5 pitches)with a 60m rope. It's surprisingly steep, with lots of big face holds and great gear.

#1. Combine p1/p2 and climb to a large sandy ledge atop a chimney.(5.8 - 55m)

#2. Climb up the flaring corner and traverse left under the roof and across to the chain anchors (5.9 - 20m)

#3. Follow the corner straight to the top. This links the last 3 pitches (including the 5.7 ramp) into one long pitch. You will just have enough rope to reach the slings around trees on the top. (5.10a - 60m)

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
May 21, 2008

JSH and Blake's posts makes me wonder if the first three pitches could be done in one with a 70m, especially if the belayer scrambles up to the tree just off the ground. It's straight enough that rope drag should be manageable. I'm sure I'll do this route a third time (to access The Squamish Buttress if for no other reason) so maybe I'll give that a try.

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Jul 6, 2009

I combined the first two pitches with a 70m, but would definitely not have had enough left for the third pitch, even if the belayer scrambled up to the first little ledge.

By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
Aug 14, 2011
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

Amazing. So much climbing packed into this route. Pitch 5 may be the best pitch in Squamish for the grade, an absolute blockbuster.
Found the p4 crux difficult to protect with anything confidence-inspiring. Also we had trouble figuring out where to put the gear belay between p4 and p5. A station would be nice. These are details though, the route was amazing and I can't wait to climb it again.

By claramie
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 29, 2011

did this route per blake herrington's 3 pitch beta and it works great. easy to reach the trees at the very top with a 70 from the bolted anchor but you can also belay at the end of the 5.10 pitch on bolts and take cool pics of the second and then do a 30' pitch to the top.

By Mark van Eijk
Sep 2, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

Exhilarating climbing that can feel really wild and adventurous. Quite vertical for the grade with a number of surprising and engaging features (5.8 handcrack roof on the first pitch...). The tree depicted at the top of the first pitch is a pretty scraggly but there are bomber placements to be had above. I ended up feeling a little short on gear on the fifth pitch, having left some key pieces behind in the corner crack and gear belay below. Final pitch felt more like 5.5, don't worry about having to leave any gas in the tank for that one.

By Matt Hoffmann
From: Squamish
Apr 23, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

Hell of a climb. Fairly sustained and stays wet a long time. Feels steep compared to other Squamish climbs of the same grade but, it's really solid. One of favourites to start the buttress.

By sibylle
From: Colorado
Sep 17, 2012

I'm not particularly good at laybacking, steep, or strenuous, but found this route quite reasonable by stemming the corner as much as possible. On pitch 3, I comfortably chimneyed the flaring corner.