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Surfs Up 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 500', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 8,394
Submitted By: Hans on Dec 2, 2007

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On Surfs Up ledge

The Route 

A popular climb on the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surfs Up follows broken cracks on somewhat poor rock for three pitches to Surfs Up ledge, then finishes with another two or three pitches of beautiful cracks on excellent granite. Thanks to Steph Abegg for the excellent route overlays shown below.

Rock Climbing Photo: Route Overlay Surf's Up.
Route Overlay Surf's Up.


Rock Climbing Photo: Route Overlay Surf's Up Pitches 1-4.
Route Overlay Surf's Up Pitches 1-4.


Begin at the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, near the Pigeon icefall. Climb 3 pitches of indistinct cracks leading up and right to an alcove.

Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from the belay on top of pitch one.
Looking down from the belay on top of pitch one.


Rock Climbing Photo: In this photo I am leading Pitch 2. I am looking f...
In this photo I am leading Pitch 2. I am looking for the 5.8 bulge, which was still above me. I figured this out and continued up the slot to my left in the photo, and exited it about 20 feet below a large horn wrapped in slings. The 5.8 move was pretty easy. The routefinding on the lower pitches is a bit tricky. The description makes a note of not being suckered up too high.


Though protection is somewhat limited on these first 3 pitches, the climbing is easy. Note that many parties get lost and climb up too far. Slings may indicate bail anchors and be off route.

Pitch 4 is a traverse right from the alcove to reach Surfs Up ledge. This is another place where it's easy to go wrong and go up instead. The ledge itself is an excellent place to have lunch, take a nap, or just enjoy the view.

Rock Climbing Photo: Surf's Up Ledge.
Surf's Up Ledge.


Rock Climbing Photo: On Surfs Up ledge
On Surfs Up ledge


Rock Climbing Photo: Napping on Surf's Up Ledge. East Face of Pigeo...
Napping on Surf's Up Ledge. East Face of Pigeon in distance.


Rock Climbing Photo: Pigeon Spire and the Howsers as seen from Surfs Up...
Pigeon Spire and the Howsers as seen from Surfs Up ledge


The crack pitches above Surfs Up ledge are excellent, and make the route worthwhile. Follow an obvious handcrack for 2 pitches to the top of the wall.

Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the first pitch above Surf's Up le...
Looking down at the first pitch above Surf's Up ledge


Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 7.
Pitch 7.


Scramble or simulclimb to the south summit from here, and descend the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route.

Rock Climbing Photo: Scramble to summit (3rd with a few 5th class steps...
Scramble to summit (3rd with a few 5th class steps).


Overall, a recommended route. Avoid the alpine start, as it's pretty cold over there until the sun hits the route.

Getting there and getting down 

Located on the far right (south) side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surf's Up is located just above and left of the Pigeon Icefall rappel route. Approach via the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col.

Descend via the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route (chain anchors). Four 60m or eight 30m rappels reach the bottom. The second rappel (or first if doing double raps) is a notorious rope eater, so beware. Typically it will get stuck near the station and not be too hard to fix.

If rappeling with a single 60m rope, note that some of the rappels are rope stretchers. Be very careful and be sure to knot the ends of your rope.

The base of the rappel route is close to the base of Surf's Up and there is no need to carry over approach shoes, crampons, or an ice axe.

Gear 

A set of nuts and cams from 0.2 to 3 or so is sufficient. An extra 0.75 and 1 may be useful but not necessary. Crampons and ice axe are required for the approach but can be left at the base of the route


Photos of Surfs Up Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from the belay on top of pitch one.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from the belay on top of pitch one.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6.
Rock Climbing Photo: Napping on Surf's Up Ledge. East Face of Pigeo...
Napping on Surf's Up Ledge. East Face of Pigeo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Surf's Up Ledge.
BETA PHOTO: Surf's Up Ledge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper part of Surfs Up - beautiful granite and cra...
Upper part of Surfs Up - beautiful granite and cra...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5.
Rock Climbing Photo: In this photo I am leading Pitch 2. I am looking f...
BETA PHOTO: In this photo I am leading Pitch 2. I am looking f...
Rock Climbing Photo: The three climbers in the photo are at the rap sta...
BETA PHOTO: The three climbers in the photo are at the rap sta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Route Overlay Surf's Up Pitches 1-4.
BETA PHOTO: Route Overlay Surf's Up Pitches 1-4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Route Overlay Surf's Up.
BETA PHOTO: Route Overlay Surf's Up.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pigeon Spire and the Howsers as seen from Surfs Up...
Pigeon Spire and the Howsers as seen from Surfs Up...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the first pitch above Surf's Up le...
Looking down at the first pitch above Surf's Up le...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 7.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 7.
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching Surf's Up on the SW shoulder of Sn...
BETA PHOTO: Approaching Surf's Up on the SW shoulder of Sn...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scramble to summit (3rd with a few 5th class steps...
BETA PHOTO: Scramble to summit (3rd with a few 5th class steps...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the Krause-McKarthy Rappel Route line.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the Krause-McKarthy Rappel Route line.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 4.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another party climbing Pitch 3. This party had bee...
BETA PHOTO: Another party climbing Pitch 3. This party had bee...
Rock Climbing Photo: A second just about to reach the belay at the top ...
BETA PHOTO: A second just about to reach the belay at the top ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of Surfs Up. It's easy to wander around ...
The start of Surfs Up. It's easy to wander around ...

Comments on Surfs Up Add Comment
Show which comments
By Brad Brandewie
Jan 4, 2009

More pictures and a TR at piquaclimber.net
Cheers,
Brad
By Jared Spaulding
From: Central WY
Jul 30, 2014

It would seem that the picture in the Atkinson/Piche guide is a bit off. It shows a traverse at the top of pitch two. Instead go up and right to the dihedral, then straight up on pitch two to the "flake" belay, a giant slung flake or horn. Then on pitch three's start, move right, back towards the "corner" and up to the "alcove" belay, also with a slung horn.

Overall an excellent route. Route finding challenges can be had on first four pitches, but protection is readily available. Granite is not too gravelly at all.
By Mike Sullivan
From: Durango, CO
Sep 23, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

First few pitches can be cold and windy, and the climbing is fun but not amazing. Once you hit the Surf's Up ledge, the upper part of this route is FANTASTIC -- great climbing and great fun.
By N. Aksamit
From: Canmore, AB
Jul 30, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The scramble pitches on the ridge were a bit more involved than I imagined, but maybe I was just tired. Little to no sun on the route until hitting surf's up ledge after starting the route at 11 on July 24. First three pitches were slung horn belays, upper pitches were all gear.

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