Type: Trad, 12 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 14,510 total · 217/month
Shared By: Adrian Lazar on Oct 21, 2013
Admins: Nate Ball, Kate Lynn

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Illegal Camping Details
Access Issue: Falcon nesting closures are usually in effect from March 15 to July 31. Details


Beta from squamishclimbingsource.com/…

A significant new multi pitch line in the Western Dihedrals. With the exception of Crap Crags, this is the easiest free route to breach the West Face of the Chief. That said, it is very sustained at 5.10, harder than Angels Crest but easier than the Grand.

Sunset Strip utilizes sections of other climbs, Sticky Fingers, Millennium Falcon, Crap Crags, and The Gauntlet, with about 70% new terrain to create a very direct and interesting line up the Chief.

The route has 12 pitches, several pitches can be linked and it is likely that many teams will repeat the route in 9 or 10 pitches. That said, the shorter pitches take advantage of good belay stances, decrease rope drag, and will reduce the size of rack required. The route is very well protected with several bolts added to the previously bold upper sections of The Gauntlet. Being located in the Western Dihedrals the route will be subject to annual peregrine falcon closures, although in 2013 there is no such closure in effect.

1. 5.10c. Sticky Fingers. Step off fortuitously lodged boulder onto a desperate slab move past a new bolt. Follow right leaning thin finger cracks until possible to escape left onto large ledge system. 35m.

2. 5.10a. Layback the edge of a wide corner past two bolts. Continue up fun chimney (end of p.1 of Millennium Falcon) to a belay atop a small tower. 18m.

3. 5.10b. Two variations at the start provide the crux, the right hand being slightly easier. Beautiful and continuous finger cracks linking several left facing corners pull out to the right to a stance on the open slabs, (this is p. 2 of Millennium Falcon). 40m.

4. 5.10c. Climb the finger crack straight up into an off fingers flare, cruxy moves around a bulge to small stance at the base of “box” corner feature. 18m.

5. 5.9. Climb up the box corner, passing blocky roofs on the left. 20m.

6. 5.10b. Step right into short flare feature, exit the flare by laybacking leaning corner, easier climbing leads to a large belay ledge. 20m.

7. 5.10a. Climb past bolt to left facing corners, an aesthetic undercling leads to small belay stance. 20m. The 5.8 chimney pitch of Millennium Falcon is just to the right.

8. 5.8. Left facing corners give way to broken, low 5th class ramps, follow right trending ramp to its end. (The upper part of this pitch is Crap Crags). 30m.

9. 5.10d. Face climb past 5 bolts to an exciting left facing corner. Continue up easier grooves taking care not to miss the belay stance out right on the arete. (This is pitch 8 of the Gauntlet). 25m.

10. 5.10a. Traverse right from the belay to access excellent hand/fist crack on the basalt infused headwall. The belay anchor is hidden from view on a small ledge to the left. 25m.

11. 5.10d. Traverse right in a wild position, face climbing and gravelly underclings lead to a short, steep crux. Fully bolt protected. 15m.

12. 5.9. Steep and exposed chimneying, finishing with a short squeezer. Entirely fixed with 4 bolts and one piton. (this is the last half p.10 of The Gauntlet). 15m.


Belays are all fixed and rappel anchors are installed to the top of pitch 7. The route can be rappelled from pitch 7 down with one 60m rope. From the top of pitch 3 the single rope rappel line is down to the right towards the Gauntlet and will require a bit of route finding and care to make it work. There is currently fixed lines on the Gauntlet, please do not use these ropes or change the rigging in any way.

Rack: A single set of cams to #4 BD and nuts, 2 X .3, .4, .5, and .75 BD, should be enough for most people.
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
geoff georges   Seattle, Wa.
The only part that feels like 10d is the section with 5 bolts. And I thought the chimney was really hard. After reaching the top I hauled the packs up the chimney. My favorite pitch was the off fingers so called 10d. Jun 19, 2014
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Wonderful route and destined for mass popularity once it is listed in the guidebooks.

Sustained, well protected, moderate 5.10 climbing with occasional short, harder cruxes. Can't miss the start. It's down and right of Rutabega about 100 yards or so and starts off a rock at a bolt.

Easier than the Grand Wall, and is someways more enjoyable due to the varied climbing and lack of any bolt ladders.

I was happy with nuts, double set of cams from small to #3 camalot. And one #4 camalot.

The 10c crack crux on P4 will get your attention. Well protected, but expect it to be hard. Green camalots in a flare. The first 10d pitch has fun face climbing to a a few moves in a physical corner crack. The 10a hand/fist crack is really cool and has great exposure. I' m a wuss and walked the #4 up between the bolts. The 10d traverse is super well protected for both leader and follower. I loved the chimney pitch. Well protected by 4 bolts and a pin (and optional #3 camalot for the dismount). I left my rack behind and pulled it up with the pack. Making your second follow the pitch with a pack would be cruel and unusual punishment!

1000' of perfect Squamish granite with only about 50' of "throw away" climbing. It ends right at the trail off Bellygood.

Get on it!

Additional info: squamishclimbingsource.com/… Aug 7, 2014
Jessica T
seattle, wa
Jessica T   seattle, wa
This is a fun route, soft for the grade of 10d, maybe more like 10c overall. Chimney was the hardest pitch, takes some time to figure it out!

Combine the off fingers and 5.9 pitch for long pitch. Works well.

Single rack to 4, set of nuts, with double purple and green Camelot, double yellow aliens too. Jun 1, 2015
Adrian Lazar
Adrian Lazar  
We linked the pitches as follows and it worked wonders if you take care managing rope drag (have 2x double length draws, and about half a dozen single length draws)

- p2 + p3 ... full 60m
- p5 + p6 ... approx. 50m+
- p7 + p8 ... full 60m

It's possible to link p4 + p5 too, but I think p5 + p6 is a better option

p9 has a fixed mangled up metollius cam.

Super, duper route! Get on it during the week in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. Aug 14, 2015
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
I found the rack beta posted above to be spot on. If you were intimidated by the route, I'd bring more small gear. (purple-yellow tcus) Extra big gear would be wasted weight. Sep 8, 2015
James Ellis
Seattle, Washington
James Ellis   Seattle, Washington
Awesome route destined for classic status. The 5.10c finger crack pitch was the highlight for me, but each pitch was excellent and unique. We combined pitches 2+3, 4+5, and 11+12.

I am admittedly terrible at chimneying but the last pitch felt real hard for 5.9. Aug 8, 2016
Will M.
Will M.   Oakland
The chimney pitch starts with good feet and ends with a diagonal rail for your hands. It's an honest 5.9 but not harder. That said, of the 3 parties ahead of us all did some serious hanging in the chimney due to backpack shenanigans. It was easy to untie at the top and lower down a loop of rope to haul out extra gear for my follower. Aug 21, 2016
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
A few thoughts on this route.

1) It's really good- like, kind of incredible if you're looking for a long route with a ton of moderate 5.10 climbing.

2) It's also really easy to link alot of pitches (more below) and save a ton of time.

3) Rack: Doubles to green camalot, singles to 4" Nothing below a blue alien size. A handful of medium stoppers. 12-14 draws if you're linking pitches.

4) You can link Pitches 1&2, 4&5, 7&8, 9&10 really easily and we did all but the last link. If you do link 9&10, make sure to save your hand to fist size pieces for pitch 10.

5) IMHO, the most sustained climbing is Pitch 4, and it's 5.10c. It's also not green camalots- its purple camalots. Two was fine, but if you're firing at your limit on this pitch, bring three.

6) The 5.10 face climbing up high is only 5.10c at most.

7) The final pitch would be way easier if the bolts were moved further into the chimney. The first bolt on this pitch would also be alot nicer if it was a foot or two lower.

Definitely get on this route- it's spectacular and with the exception of Pitch 8, every pitch is memorable and fun. Jul 19, 2017
Jon Rhoderick
Redmond, OR
Jon Rhoderick   Redmond, OR
Might be a heretic for saying this, but I think this is a better climb then the Grand Jul 27, 2017
Fort Collins, Colorado
Salcone   Fort Collins, Colorado
Great rock, great gear. Those without yokes should note this route has LOTS of laybacking. I do NOT recommend linking pitches 2 & 3, just too long and sustained. But 4 & 5 link well, as do 7 & 8 (or 6 & 7). Pitch 12 is the crux of the route, if you're tall and/or hate chimneys. Pitch 11 is more like 10b. No perfect splitters like the Grand, but a great mix of granite face, fingers, hands, fists, chim, and most of all, layback. Jul 27, 2017
Joe Ludlow
Seattle, WA
Joe Ludlow   Seattle, WA
This climb is amazing. Easily one of the best routes of my life.

Link pitch 11 (only 10b, not 10d) and pitch 12 to avoid a hanging belay. Aug 24, 2017
Eric Hirst  
I really like the bottom of this route, but didn't like the upper pitches as much. My new favorite variation is the Sunset Falcon option: climb P1-P7 and then continue on Millennium Falcon. Still 10d assuming you stop at Bellygood, and better in my opinion than either MF or SS alone. Sep 7, 2017
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Climbed it again, and the climbing was more physical than I remember - but just as good! Or I'm getting older. Or both :)

My rack suggestion previously of nuts and double cams from small to #3 and one #4 still worked. The only caveat to that is that I walked a #4 on the 10a hand/fist crack between the bolts - but that's me. There was a nice orange master cam out left on the hand/fist crack as well to save some big gear.

It was easy to link the 5.10a and 5.8 pitch.

Standout pitches...

P3 - long and requires a fair bit of gear and slings
P4 - grays, purples, and greens... oh my!
P9 - Slab felt 10cish.... and the corner required some giddy-up laybacking and then a thank god foot way out left. I'm not sure I would have seen that foot but the guy in front of us threw his leg out there and spoiled the surprise!
P10 - Hand/fist crack requires some effort. I slid a #4 up between the bolts
P11 - Pumpy
P12 - Clipping the first bolt is reasonable if you go deep where the holds are good and then slide out to the bolt. The rest of the chimnet is just good clean fun with bolts/pin. Leave all your gear at the belay and pull it up after you are done for the delux experience! Aug 6, 2018
Eugene Kwan 1
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Eugene Kwan 1   Cambridge, Massachusetts
Great route! This route is significantly shorter than Angel's Crest, but has harder climbing, and is arguably better. While it is possible to rappel after the first 7 pitches, I suggest going to the top. The descent is very easy: just follow the trail into the woods and rejoin the Chief trail (no catwalk--wahoo!).

P1: The "desperate" slab move is really not that hard, and you do it right next to a shiny bolt.
P2: Clipping the first bolt is really annoying. I suggest placing a number 4 cam in the chimney and removing it after.
P4: The crux of the route. I found this to be strenuous ring-locking that was substantially harder than Exasperator. Bring triple or quadruple 0.5s for this pitch. As noted by others here, the end of the pitch is quite weird and is protected by a bolt.
P5: Very cool pitch. Follow the right hand crack on the inside slab (don't go outside--this is confusing).
P9: Easier than P4, in my opinion. This is bolt-protected slab climbing. The holds are very sharp. Look carefully for the high footholds!
P10: Very physical. Others have suggested sliding up a #4 between bolts, but I found that the #4 did not fit particularly well. However, there is some good gear to the left of the wide crack.
P11: Not even close to 10d. Entirely bolted, the crux is a relatively easy undercling move near the end.
P12: Perhaps the most exhausting pitch. Oddly it is also entirely bolted and you do not need any gear. As others have posted, the bolts always seem to be out of the reach. However, you will find a thank-god jug near the top inside the chimney.

It is possible to skip P11 and P12 by escaping into a gully on the left. This might be good if you are in a hurry, but the last two pitches are quite good and worth doing. (Other posters have mentioned that the rock is worse on the upper pitches, and that's correct, but the climb is still very good up there.)

I found Mr. Laakmann's recommended rack of doubles to #3 and a single 4 to work well. I supplemented this with a 0.5 and medium-sized Metolius offset cams (yellow/blue, orange/yellow, red/orange) and used them on every pitch. However, this route is at my limit and I like to place a lot of gear. This climb is very well-protected and will take as much gear as you want. Aug 22, 2018
Mount Vernon, WA
wakaranai   Mount Vernon, WA
As mentioned, great route with excellent varied climbing with almost every pitch offering *** climbing. My only complaint is the bolting on the final chimney pitch. The bolts seem out of place for both leader and follower IMO. Still a great pitch, for me it was more demanding than all of the other 9 pitches combined but I suck at stemming and feel that squeezing the entire thing made more sense. Sep 6, 2018