THE FULL 8 PITCH VERSION
This Red Shirt area route has a shorter version posted on Summitpost, a bail midway through the route, after four pitches. Both my partner and I felt the crux move of the climb could easily be the finger lock, slightly run out slab move on pitch six. This move might have stiffened since the route was established (by part of the textured slab falling away). The last pitch (intersecting the classic Red Shirt traverse) is a stellar pitch not to be missed as well. Dreambed was pleasant enough with several interesting moves on decent rock. Neither of us (both of us have climbed most of the routes on Yam) are familiar with the first accentors for this route, Mooney, Akitt and Morrison, but concur the route is quite soft at the grade. In fact every pitch could be downgraded in comparison to typical Yam climbing.
The first pitch is given a 5.10 grade but definitely feels more like 5.9. It is a short, but pleasant pure trad play on an easy corner. The second pitch has a 5.11 grade, but felt more in the upper 5.10 range. The fun move here comes via a traverse below a scoop out to a mini arête out right, a fairly physical move on good rock. The third pitch involves a real short face that might have one move at the grade (upper 5.10) which lands you on a decent ledge. The fourth pitch has a hard to clip first bolt off the ledge for shorter folks, but runs nicely if you stay left at the start, up to a corner below a sizable roof. Use long runners and traverse left under the roof and continue on with some rope drag on easy ground to combine with the easy 5th pitch (full rope stretcher). The sixth pitch angles way out left, easy ground at first, following mostly bolts which land you at perhaps the best climbing of the day, a fantastic slab wall with small features to navigate, the most critical being a traverse left to a shallow seam, making an aggressive finger lock and drastic move up on broken slab (read slick) to a comfortable belay. The last two pitches can be combined with solid double rope management. This long pitch consists of a challenging 5.8-9 move soon off of the belay (traverse right over bulge), then easy climbing up to the mid station and finishes with a great slab-corner pitch (again, more like 5.9 hand and finger jams than 5.10) that leads to a bolted belay just below the top of Yamnuska. Although the topo shows both the first and last pitch as 3” cracks, I never placed anything larger than a 2” on either pitch.
Follow the climber’s path to the base of Yamnuska. Turn right and follow the trail along Yamnuska’s base for approximately 600’ to where it descends slightly below a blocky buttress on your left. To the right of this buttress above is the prominent “Forbidden” corner. Continue another 40m right to an obvious right facing corner directly behind a significant tree.
Route Description800’+/-, 8 Pitches, 5.11b
1st Pitch- 25m- 5.10a/ As before mentioned, seems soft for the grade. Take the easy, but fun, corner up to its top and a bolted belay. Even though the topo references 3” on this corner as well as the last pitch, a 3” was not needed on either. Place gear at will.
2nd Pitch- 45m- 5.11b/ As previously noted this pitch seems over graded by Yam standards. Move out left and up fairly easy face terrain. You are following bolts and placing gear as you ascend to just below the scoop above. Make the crux traverse move out right onto the arête and continue up via a nice jug on easier ground. Traverse up and left 5m to a bolt belay and semi hanging belay.
3rd Pitch- 20m- 5.10d/ This pitch is short and easy for the grade, but I don’t recommend trying to combine it with either pitch below or above as there would be too much rope drag. Move right and up just left of the chossy corner on easy holds to kind of a cruxy traverse left and up on slab to a large ledge with bolt belay. All bolt protected but can add a piece or two if warranted.
4th-5th Pitches- 60m- 5.10d/ Combining these two pitches is a rope stretcher/dragger. My partner had a hard time clipping the first bolt. I think the ledge got a bit in his head as I clipped it easily after he spent 10 minutes with it. So perhaps if you are shorter, clipping the first bolt might be an issue. If you stay left at the start (following the first bolt), the rock and holds will be better. Follow the short corner to another bolt. Trend right, following several bolts into a much deeper corner above below the medium sized roof. Go into trad mode, move out left under the roof and take the nice crack up and over its left side. You can continue to the wall above for the combination. Make sure you double sling everything below the roof if you are going to do this.
6th Pitch- 35m- 5.10c/ We both thought this pitch might contain the crux move of the route even though it is graded lower. Trend out left via easy climbing following the bolt line as it leads up to a steep slab wall with shallow grooves. Make hard face moves up and equally difficult traverse moves left across steep slab until you are below a deeper groove which has an obvious finger lock hold. If you place a C3 in here you will no doubt impede the hold, thus better to run it out at this point. Take the finger lock and make a large move getting your feet with your hands as the slab directly below the finger lock crack is broken off making it quite slick (non-textured). Continue up to a nice belay ledge.
7th-8th Pitches- 55m- 5.10a/ These pitches are relatively easy to combine as long as you follow solid double rope management and use a long sling at the mid station or skip it all together which is easily done due to several pitons out right. Move up past a bad piton (2009) on the left and then up and clip a bolt on the right. Make a difficult move at the grade on a traverse around the bulge, clipping another bolt up and right after you make the move. Continue on easy ground to the mid-station. Either long sling this station or skip it and traverse up and right 5m past several pitons all the while face climbing up to a bolt on solid rock with good holds. Move left into the nice corner and jam and stem your way up to a bolted station set just below the top of Yam.