On July 06, I topped out of Calculus Crack - Memorial Crack - Butt Light with my friend, Mac, who I met at the gear shop in Vancouver. It was super fun, we climbed well together, and the routes were really fun! It was about 15 pitches long. Originally our intention was just to climb the 6 pitches of Calculus Crack, but once we got up there, we were like meh, why not keep going? There were three fires in the valley that day, which is why all the photos were so cloudy. I think the air quality was a 9 out of 10.. which was pretty bad, and we probably shouldn't have been climbing.
Friday, July 17 was the second day topping out on the Chief here in Squamish. I've been practicing more with placing trad gear, and getting more comfortable with it. I'd like to be able to lead up to 10d on gear by the end of my time in Squamish. This time, I climbed to the top of second peak with my friend Christoph, a 19 year old from Germany. He's been traveling for a while now, without a car, hitchhiking throughout the US and Canada, and living in a cave. So many people that I've met have been without a car, which amazes me, because I can't imagine having to hitchhike just to go to town. We woke up at 545am on Friday morning, made eggs and pancakes with blackberries we picked from a bush the day before. Delicious! Then we set out on Snake, a 6 pitch climb up the Apron. After that we cruised up Memorial Crack (scary lead!) And, hiked over to the base of Ultimate Everything (10 pitches). Before starting Ultimate Everything, it was about 11am. I thought we could top out by 3pm but we stumbled on some other parties and got held up.
I'm not sure how to feel on multi-pitch climbs, because when it's just you and your partner, it's great. No one in front of or behind you. We wanted a chill vibe since we weren't in any rush. There was a party in front of us, and it was fine, we were okay to wait for them. But suddenly this party of two, came up behind us. They seemed friendly and we exchanged hellos. Finally, after getting up the pitch, I began to belay Christoph and she was already climbing up after him. Luckily the belay was spacious, but she placed herself at a position where their rope was pushing me against the wall a bit. I didn't mind at that point, because it's fine to share belays if there's space. Then, Christoph began to belay me from above, and the minute I started climbing, the guy in the party below climbed right on my tail the entire pitch. He didn't place any gear, since it was clear he just wanted to pass me. I couldn't even enjoy the climb because he was so invasive to my surroundings. I arrived at the belay, and the guy climbed around us and kept going up. His rope going through all our stuff and rubbing on Christoph's leg. I feel like it was a tricky way to pass us, instead of just asking if they could pass. I was pretty flustered at this point, because honestly, most climbers I've interacted with have been really kind and polite. And, people who have passed us, are nice enough to ask, and are clearly faster than us. What this guy failed to understand was .. even if he passed us, there was still a party above us, and no alternative routes. I just wanted to climb in peace and not have to be around these people, so we let them go ahead.
But they ended up causing more of a bottleneck waiting for the next party to climb. We probably waited 2 hours for them to wait for the other party, on 5 of the pitches. On the 8th pitch, the guy from the first party said to them, 'Sorry for the hold up'. Then, the jerk says, 'Oh, it's not your fault you're so slow, haha'. I just wanted to give them a piece of my mind! Who says rude things like that! I was bummed, but I'm glad they finally climbed up and away and we didn't see them again. I'm not sure what the best climbing etiquette is, but I know that it wasn't anything that they were doing. It almost ruined the day for me, but once we had space from them, and topped out on the summit, I forgot about it all. In the end, it was a great day of climbing with a good friend. I guess there will always be people that will rub you the wrong way, but it's a test to see if you'll let it bother you. I did let it bother me, but I really shouldn't have. I think, let them pass, then they'll be out of your way. And you can enjoy the day.