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Over The Rainbow 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 7 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: K. McLane, S. Beliveau, October 2003
Page Views: 4,361
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Jun 22, 2008

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Over the Rainbow


So, you've done Diedre, and maybe Snake too, and you want to hone your friction technique or decide if upping the grade on slab appeals to you: Over The Rainbow is the route for you!

This relatively new Apron climb manages to stay very sustained at 5.8 and 5.9, without venturing into 5.10a for more than a move or two. It's mostly bolted, but some cams are pretty much mandatory, and you'll have a piece or bolt no more than 20 feet below you, which sounds good on paper, but keeps you honest when it's for real, but isn't anywhere near as bad as some of the Apron friction horror shows.

P1: Start as for Diedre but at the horizontal break follow about three bolts to a two-bolt anchor in a concavity. (5.9)

P2: Climb left and then back right following the line of least resistance and a couple of bolts into some easier terrain to the next two-bolt anchor. (5.8+)

P3: While it will be tempting to link this with P2, reconsider. This pitch is the most sustained on the route, although maybe not the crux. Four bolts take you to a section where the dishes and edges have disappeared and you are back to pure friction, but on a slightly more amenable angle. Sticking a cam into the undercling crack on the left will feel good (the crack is a part of the route Sickle). Continue right (possible belay here) and pull the overlap at the tree. A bolt protects one more thin move to the Sickle Ledge. (5.9)

P4. Move the belay to the middle of the ledge, just below the continuation of the bolt line. Follow the bolts to an unclinging arch (a few cams, many options for size). Get above the arch and continue along the bolt line. (5.10a)

P5. Slab climbing is about subtlety and here the rock undergoes a subtle change which gives this climb some interesting variety. It's a minor change, but just as you've dialed-in the friction on the previous pitches, you have to adjust for the more textured but steeper rock here. The line is obvious given the bolts and scrubbed texture. (5.10a)

P6. A fairly short pitch of 5.6 takes you to Broad way ledge. Can definitely be linked with P5 with a 70m rope, and likely with a 60m (but not certain).

McLane calls this route 7 pitches, likely due to breaking up P3, but this doesn't seem necessary. Most parties will do it in 5 pitches (as described above plus linking the last two).

This route is named for and memorializes Guy Edwards, a local climber and character who was killed in an avalanche.


Start as for Diedre.


Six or seven draws/slings plus a single set of cams from .5 to 3 inches.

Photos of Over The Rainbow Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Dodging slime on the crux sequence
Dodging slime on the crux sequence
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the first pitch
Looking down the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Over the Rainbow
Over the Rainbow
Rock Climbing Photo: Easy climbing at the start
Easy climbing at the start
Rock Climbing Photo: Wyatt leading the final pitch
Wyatt leading the final pitch

Comments on Over The Rainbow Add Comment
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By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Jun 22, 2008

Although I enjoyed doing this route, I was torn between giving it two or three stars. I ended up giving it two because although it was fun and worthwhile, it's a slab, and doesn't really really have anything to distinguish it as a notable or classic route other than being sustained and finding a nice path up the Apron. Two stars still means it's worth doing, and it's a great alternative to Diedre for when that route is busy, which is almost always.

Additionally, this route is good for a pair of climbers who's grade differs greatly. The stronger climber can enjoy some mental control and "just push through it" climbing with the bolt spacing on lead while the second, blissfully unaware, just pads up without a care in the world.
By Brian Alexander
Aug 31, 2009

Fun and well bolted, but the slab climbing gets a little repetitive. It makes a great way to start the Squamish Buttress or Ultimate Everything if there are crowds on Diedre.

A single set of cams to 2 inches is plenty. You don't need any nuts. We linked the last two pitches with a single 60m rope and had a few meters left.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 16, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

A good route, if you're strong, a red camalot is all you really need on this route. The rest is bolts.
By Ashley S
From: Richmond,BC
Aug 29, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

We climbed it yesterday in just over 2 hours, if you want to have fun and move fast this it a good route. I like to sew up the trad and we used a .5 camalot, #1 dmm tcu, #2-4 metolius and a #2 camalot for the horizontal break on pitch one. We took 8 draws and 4 long slings and too much water. After the start the routefinding is straight forward, as it is the only line of bolts right above the break.
By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
Apr 23, 2011

Wish I'd placed runners in the arch and immediately after it on the first 10a pitch, the rope drag at the top was harrowing.
By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From: The Bubble
Sep 5, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

If you like slabby face climbing, this is about as good as it gets. Very consistent 5.8+/9- climbing for 5 long pitches. 4 stars if you like slab. Probably 1 if you want something more interesting. A handful of cams (up to #1 red Camalot) are all you need.
By Phill T
Aug 16, 2012

personally thought the 'tricky 5.9' move at the end of the third pitch was harder than the '10a' move getting out of the p4 arch, and I was leading on the arch! Last two pitches easily link with a 60. I think this route is a great intro to any of the apron routes to get comfy with the friction the granite gives you. If you are seconding a pitch, try to not even look at your feet and see how you do, its surprising how solid it feels!
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Feb 6, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

We were up in Oct.2013, and I noticed allot of rock fall destruction at the base of this, looked up to see white scar at the roof (right side) of the sickle crescent where there is a small tree.
I don't climb slabs much so every year I like to go up the Bottom Line and Over the Rainbow to warm up to slab and just have fun moving rapidly up the Apron.
By Jpusch
From: Vancouver, BC
Apr 22, 2017

In addition to linking the last two pitches, The first two link well with a 70m rope. This makes for a quick 4 pitch route up the apron if you have other objectives higher up.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Aug 16, 2017
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

More fun than I expected it to be! In 500' of climbing there are probably less than 20 real handholds :) Adequately bolted to keep it engaging for the leader. I really wouldn't suggest this route to someone unless they are a confident 5.10- slab climber though as it's generally 30+ feet between bolts on sustained 5.8/5.9 slabbing.

We only linked the last two pitches..

I had a single rack of fingers to #3 camalot and placed a few of them. Slung a few trees as well.

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