Monday, October 6, 2014

Unnamed (Pumpkin Route) - Yamnuska

I don't want this fall to end! We have been having the most amazing weather for the last few week, allowing me to get out more than I was expecting. I hadn't been climbing in a while so took advantage of the good forecast to head back to Yamnuska for the second time this year, this time to climb "Unnamed", a 5.7 on the west end of Yam.
Lots of vertical to get up to the base of the climb!
Up until this point, I had only climbed 5.6's on Yam, and hadn't really been pushing my leading grade this summer, so was a bit apprehensive about Unnamed. Excitement about the cool climb and the legendary pumpkin way up on the route won out though!
Traversing below the cliff face to get to our route
 The route started with an easy 5.5 ramp that Kyle lead. I was up next for the 5.7 pitch. It started well but then I got into the chimney and started having some issues. There were a few moments of panic, a couple of tears and some scrapes, but I finally managed to stem my way very ungracefully up to the anchor where both Kyle and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Hanging out at the belay station with other climbers on a different route
 Kyle was up next, and easily lead the next pitch. I lead a 5.6 that had some steep sections that I took a bit slower than I needed too, still recovering a bit from the last pitch. Kyle finally got to lead an interesting pitch (he had been pretty bored with his leads up until this point) on pitch 5. 
Kyle making his way up a more interesting pitch
 When I joined him at the belay station, we were under a very steep pitch that had rated as the crux of the route. The other party that was climbing beside us shared this anchor with Kyle so luckily I was able to get some beta as I tried to navigate my way up a very tricky 5.6. Eventually, I just had to take my pack off and dangle it below me off my harness in order to stem up the narrow chimney. Due to the intermittent locations for gear mixed in with random pins, I had terrible rope drag by the time I moved through the crux of the pitch, so set up an early station off of some pins about 20 m below the pumpkin.
Good view over the Bow Valley
 Kyle got the last pitch, which had some tight moves up to the pumpkin and then some face and flake climbing to finish. Kyle made it look easy while I struggled to keep from getting stuck in the narrow chimney.
Kyle getting close to topping out
 Finally I got to the giant pumpkin just before the top of the route! At this point, I just wanted the climbing to be over.
The Pumpkin near the top of the climb!
Happy to be finished
 The climb took longer than anticipated due to slow moving through some of the pitches on my part, but I was really happy that I had lead some of the harder pitches on the route! At the time it was scary but upon finishing, we both decided that it had been a really fun day and a very interesting route. If you like stemming and getting stuck in tight chimneys, this route is for you!! Oh ya, and we celebrated climbing the pumpkin route with pumpkin pie when we got home. Yum.
Unnamed follows the obvious crack on the left