|Route up Ultimate Everything with our traverse to Upper Echelon drawn in red|
|Upper Echelon in red with Ultimate Everything drawn in white (our traverse dotted white)|
We started from the bottom of the apron at 7:15 am. It was a nice warm September day and there was nobody on the route above us. We climbed St. Vitus Dance (5.9), followed by Memorial Crack (5.9) to the top of the apron. St. Vitus Dance was the crux of the day, with the 3rd pitch (5.8) being a long, sustained hand crack that really tested my stamina. Kyle led the whole thing like a boss.
|Jenny cleaning on St. Vitus Dance|
|Kyle working his way up Memorial Crack in the shade|
Memorial Crack was a nice alternative to Broomstick Crack and was much more direct. We got to the top of the apron and started hiking up through the forest, following the trail for the Squamish Buttress. There was an obvious fork to the left that we followed to traverse the South Gully. The start of the Ultimate Everything is marked by a bolt at the bottom of the first pitch.
|Kyle at the base of Ultimate Everything after the traverse through South Gully on an obvious trail|
|Looking up at the first peak of the Chief|
The first pitch was bolted slab followed by some crack climbing. I took the second pitch up a left facing corner, but got off route by heading too far left. After a bit of freaking out I got back on route and continued up to the top of the pitch. Pitch 3 was another bolted slab pitch up to a ledge. The whole route went from ledge to ledge, so I never felt much exposure on the climb. There was some forest walking too, and it was strange being up high on the chief yet walking through the trees.
|Kyle at the bottom of pitch 2 on the Ultimate Everything|
|Beautiful day in Howe Sound|
|Scrambling up to the base of pitch 3|
|Pitch 3 slab|
|Other climbers on Squamish Buttress|
|Kyle checking the beta at the "Lunch Ledge"|
The upper pitches were a little bit more interesting, with some hand cracks and dyke climbing. However, despite being called Ultimate Everything, I don't think this climb was the ultimate of much. Most of the fun pitches were actually down on the apron, but it was a still a really fun day out and a mellow way to get to the top of the Chief. I think it was a good alternative to Squamish Butt Lite, with less exposure.
|High above the highway and finally into the sunshine|
|Finishing off the dyke pitch (7) with a ledge walk|
After pitch 7, we left the Ultimate Everything by traversing left down a ledge (~50m) to join up with Upper Echelon. We had to clamber over and under a big tree that was down and looked like it could slide off the ledge at any time. The last 2 pitches started up a bolted slab from the landmark of a shoulder-high bolt. We cruised to the top and enjoyed awesome views of Howe Sound, Squamish and Diamondhead.
|Tree scrambling to traverse off Ultimate Everything and over to Upper Echelon|
|Looking up from the bolt that marks the start of the Upper Echelon pitches (route heads left)|
|Two pitches of 5.8 slab takes you to the top!|
|Diamondhead in the distance|
|Top of the 2nd peak of the Chief|
|Happy to have the climbing shoes off! Sore feet or dye from the Anasazi Moccasym??? A bit of both|
|Rack rainbow - trying to be artsy|