Type: Trad, 600 ft (182 m), 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Susan Bolton, David Harris, Eric Hirst (May-Aug '97)
Page Views: 15,942 total · 83/month
Shared By: Andy Laakmann on Aug 17, 2008
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

Borderline is a quality climb featuring a variety of climbing and excellent protection. You get a little bit of everything on this baby, including a burly – but bolt protected - squeeze chimney. Highly recommended.

The bad news? You might have Madonna's song running through your head like I did...... I was even whistling it without knowing it while climbing. Fortunately nobody was around.....

I read an interesting post on cascadeclimbers.com from the first ascent folks. They debated the bolts on the chimney, since – in theory – it could be protected with big bros, but ultimately decided that if big bros were required, the climb wouldn’t get done, and then would get grown over and forgotten to obscurity. Because of the bolts, the route gets repeated – which keeps it clean. The bolts were placed on lead from, apparently, sketchy big bros.

A great route that I imagine required a mighty cleaning effort to establish.

  • P1 (10b) Start on the far left side of the bushy ledge at the end of the approach/scramble trail. There are anchor bolts to belay here. The first bolt requires a move or two to reach, but there is bomber pro at your feet. Make some technical face moves and trend up left through cracks until you reach the obvious corner. Continue up the corner and pull around a big tree. Your belay bolts are here, but around the corner to the left – not visible unless you look for them. 45m.
  • P2 (5.8) I chose the 5.8 version, but there is also an 11c version. Head up the corner until it is possible to traverse right about 10’ and gain another crack. Up this crack, pull on the tree, and then climb through the dirt a bit. If you continue up, you’ll be on the Terrace below Blazing Saddles. Instead, take the cracks/corner up and left past a single bolt to the anchor. 30m.
  • P3 (10d) Climb up the ramp and traverse left about 40’ to the first bolt (some gear is available midway). The next 4-5 bolts offer sustained mid-10 face climbing with quality, fun movement and plenty of bolts. The bolts end at a splitter finger crack. Charge up the finger crack for quite a ways to the anchor. The books calls the finger crack 10d, but it felt more like 10b/c to me. It is sustained though. A long, varied pitch. 45m.
  • P4 (10a) Easy climbing up the ramp ends at a fun roof. Pull the roof and continue up about 40’ to the anchor. Above you looms the chimney…. (about 25m)
  • P5 (10a) How often do you get to arm bar and clip bolts at the same time?????? Step one, clip the bolt. Step two, figure out how to start the chimney. Step three, arm bar away! Apparently you can layback the chimney, but that wouldn’t be near as much fun. Thanks to the F/A folks for placing the bolts, otherwise this climb would never get done (the squeeze chimney is about 8" wide). Finish the chimney and head around right up a layback crack. We built a belay about 10’ about the snag, way too much rope drag to continue. (about 30m)
  • P6 (10d) Fun, well protected bolt clipping to the top (about 20m).

Location Suggest change

Start on the far left side of the approach/scramble trail. To find the trail, drive 0.5km on the Mamquam (sp?) forest road. In 2008, the trail was marked by a cairn and after entering the forest a giant BC Climbers Association sign indicates “Sheriff Badge Trail”. The tail to Angel Crest begins nearby, so be sure you are on the right trail.

Protection Suggest change

Nuts, doubles TUCs to #2 camalot. One #3 camalot.

Descent Suggest change

One can continue into Angel's Crest (8-10 more pitches), but we rapped from the top. P3 requires a bit of a traverse/pendulum, but it was doable since there is a small ledge system. We didn't rappel the first two pitches, and instead rapped onto Terrace Ledge and then did the standard rappel from there (can be done with one 60m in two raps). A trail through the bushes (steep at the end) from the Terrace leads to the first set of chains. The next set of chains is about 60' down. The next rap is a full 30m.