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M&M wall (AKA "Supercave Wall")
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The Tiger 

YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Blake Herrington, Colin Moorhead, and Max Tepfer (Summer 2014)
Page Views: 1,526
Submitted By: Travis McClinchey on Sep 3, 2014

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Pitch seven.

Description 

One of the best free route at Washington Pass, this route is consistently stacked with high quality climbing and memorable pitches! With the exception of the final pitch, every pitch is outstanding and offers engaging and varied movements. With great views of the Wine Spires to boot, this route should be climbed by those up for the challenge.

The Tiger climbs the centre of M&M Wall. The climbing early on is characterized by technical and slabby corners. As you progress higher, the climbing becomes more steep, physical and strenuous. The line ascends the centre of the wall, weaving its way along the aesthetic features of a huge cave (aka. "The Tiger Belly`s Lair") and a big stripped flake (aka. "The Tiger Flake").

Although all moves ~ 5.11c and harder are protected by well placed bolts, there are a few moves up to 5.11- that require finicky and/or small gear placements.

P1 (25m): After some easy scrambly moves and passing a pruned tree after ~ eight metres, gain a slabby left facing corner. Climb this to a two-bolt anchor. 5.8

P2 (45m): Continue up the corner for a few metres. Once you encounter the roof, make a few awkward moves and pull onto the slab above. Clip the bolt (for the follower), veer left and climb crack features the next bolt. Clip this bolt and move up and right. Pull over the bulge and climb thin crack features up and left. The moves after the bulge are thin, sustained and technical. After this, a few easy moves bring you to a two-bolt anchor. 5.10+

P3 (45m): Climb the left-facing corner, passing a few flakes and a bolt. When possible, traverse right for a couple moves and clip a second bolt. Pull over the lip into another left-facing corner. Continue up this corner (sustained and finicky gear) to a two-bolt anchor and the large ledge above. 5.11

Move the belay left along the ledge ~ 15m to the start of P4, which is marked by a cairn.

P4 (30m): Climb another left-facing corner. After ~ 10m, make a couple face moves, clip a bolt and climb rightward past steep flakes. Pull around the arete to the right to a two-bolt anchor. 5.10

P5 (35m): Continue up the slabby left-facing corner to a big cave (aka. The Tiger Belly`s Lair). The two-bolt anchor is on the right side of the cave. An awesome pitch featuring sustained and technical climbing! Stout for the grade. 5.11-

P6 (15m): There is a 5.12c variation ("Eye of the Tiger") that goes directly up from the anchor, which rejoins the route at the end up P7. To climb the normal route, traverse right as you exit the cave, clip a bolt and climb up, trending slightly right to a two-bolt anchor. This pitch is steep, but features very positive holds. 5.10-

P7 (15m): The crux! Climb under the steep and powerful roof past two bolts, as you use underclings under the roof and face holds above the roof. Once at the end of the roof (BD #2), make a few easy (relative of course) and reachy moves past a pin to a two-bolt anchor. Awesome sequences with lots of air! 5.12-

P8 (25m): Layback the steep, strenuous, but short left-facing corner above, passing a fixed piece and two bolts. After pulling onto a good stance and talking some recovery breathes, climb a few easy moves to a bolt. Clip this bolt and shake out. Make a couple exciting and strenuous moves as you hand traverse leftwards. Clip another bolt from a jug (but poor feet) and continue hand traversing to the left as the feet gradually improve. Pull onto the slab and find respite at a two-bolt anchor. Note that there is another two-bolt anchor ~ 7m up and right; I have no idea what this is for, but it is off-route. 5.11+

P9 (30m): Climb straight up past cracks and flakes until it is possible to trend left on twin cracks. Climb these balancy thin cracks, using two fixed nuts as protection. Once at easier ground, continue left-wards up an easier ramp to a two-bolt anchor. 5.11

P10 (30m): Be careful with rope-management on this pitch. Clip the bolt to the left of the anchor and make a few committing moves to gain a small ledge. Easy moves bring you to the base of a gigantic flake called The Tiger Flake. Undercling and/or jam your way left and around the flake. Once you pull up onto the first section of the flake, traverse and walk along the flake to the final wide steep section. Climb this to a two-bolt anchor on a big ledge. Make sure to save a BD#5 for after the first section of the flake (to protect follower) and a BD#6 for the end of the pitch. Very stout, sustained and amazing pitch. 5.10

P11 (30m): Climb broken cracks and blocky features up and right from the belay. Pull a final bulge to gain the ridge. Anchor from a tree. 5.10-

Approach 

Park at milepost 166, which is a few miles east of Washington Pass. You can see M&M wall from here. Hike up the obvious gully to a ledge system to your right that traverses the wall. Be careful not to go to the highest ledge system (like we did) as this will bring you to the start of P4.

Total time from car to base of route is ~ one hour.

Generally, the gully is easy and third/fourth class. However, there are a couple 5.0 moves that are exposed. Also, once the gully steepens after ~ 15/20 minutes, there is a fixed line to the left that goes up and around.

For those looking to add more climbing to their day, there is a three pitch (5.11a) which starts lower and gains the main ledge mentioned above: mountainproject.com/v/the-exor....

This is not a climb I would want to do with iffy weather since the gully is slabby and downclimbing it when wet would not be pleasant.

The above is when there is no snow. Although still possible, I cannot comment on access for earlier in the season, when snow is present.

In early-September, there was plenty of water in this gulley to fill up water bottles.

Descent 

Rappel the route with double ropes. Beta below is assuming at least one 70m rope.

P11, P10, P9: Rappel with one rope. P9 requires some shenanigans as the anchor is very climber's right. You'll need to clip one strand of the rope (not the one pull) into the two fixed nuts.

P8: Double-rope rappel into the cave to P5.

P5, P4: Rappel with one rope.

Option A: Traverse right along the ledge to The Ellen Pea Route and rappel this route with two double-rope rappels. This is what I did.

Option B: Continue to rappel The Tiger. P3 and P2 will be double rope rappels and P1 can be done with a single.

Pack up, have a snack, hydrate and reverse the approach.

Further Information 

There is great beta and topos on two the FA's websites.

Colin Moorehead: squamishclimbingsource.com/mm-...

Blake Herrington: blakeclimbs.blogspot.ca/2014/0...

Gear 

Doubles to 2", singles from 3" to 6" and a solid set of small wires (I found offset RP's very useful) was what we had and found plenty sufficient. An additional 5" and 6" could useful for P10 if you're not comfortable running it out a bit.

Hauling on this route was generally easy and recommended since P10 is the only pitch you use the 4" to 6" pieces.


Photos of The Tiger Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: "Eye of the Tiger" (12d) variation
"Eye of the Tiger" (12d) variation
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1
Pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Blake starting the first pitch
Blake starting the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Blake approaching the base in June.
Blake approaching the base in June.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch four.
Pitch four.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch three.
Pitch three.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one.
Pitch one.

Comments on The Tiger Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jon Nelson
Administrator
From: Bellingham, WA
Sep 6, 2014

Thanks Rafe.

If nothing is added soon, I'll delete it.

But you can add description using the "Improve this page" button.


Let me know if you see other routes with insufficient description. Sometimes the posters just seem to get interrupted and return to finish the job. I don't see any strong motivation for either fluffing the stats or point rank, though it may happen.
By blakeherrington
Sep 24, 2014

Great description Travis!

The fixed wires on P9 should be considered booty - they were used as rappel directionals but aren't needed if you simply skip the belay atop P9 when rapping, and go from 10 to 8. This is also better because the Tiger Flake pitch overhangs, so you would have to kick out a bit and swing around if stopping at #9.

The double ring-bolt anchor up and right from the anchor on P8 was placed on rappel by a party several years ago. It doesn't make sense as a climbing or a rapp anchor. It should be removed.

The direct ("eye of the tiger") shouldn't be missed by those capable. It's somewhere in the 5.12+ range, although a bit height dependent. It actually replaces normal P6,7 &8 in one lead.

On the normal version, P6+P7 or P7+P8 link easily. The bolted belay after the crux (P7) is at a no-hands stance but it's a tenuous stemming stance. A true ledge-to-ledge send for purists and folks like me who care about this stuff would mean skipping this belay and link 7+8. If not for needing to reconnoiter and work out the bolting and hauling on P8 I don't think we'd have put in a belay there.
By Nathan Hadley
Jun 25, 2017
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

The "Eye of the Tiger" crux pitch variation is excellent, significantly straightening the route. I thought it was solid at 12d, making The Tiger one of the handful of very hard alpine rock routes in the Cascades. The other crux variation pitches are excellent as well and make the route a couple grades easier (12b). Slabs to corners to powerful overhangs to offwidths, this route demands it all!

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