Right Wing ascends the obvious dihedral in the middle;
the right-hand, lower, corner is Great Game
Photos by Andy Cairns
When we climbed Right Wing this August, it was the most strenuous and exhausting climb I’d done at Squamish.
Pitch 1 finger / hand crack
The climb starts with an easy one (or two) pitch finger and hand crack, a climb of its own called ‘Eagles Domain’. Ironically, I couldn’t find the bolted belay at the top of this pitch - I looked right, I climbed up further, and then back down, looking for it, and finally belayed on a spacious ledge. After Andy climbed halfway up, I spied the anchors over to the left.
Pitch 2, a fingery 10c sport pitch -
Coming off a good foothold, I couldn’t reach the best finger hold. I’m not that short - 5′7″, so a short leader without fingers of steel may struggle here. this pitch ended on a comfortable ledge — our last good rest for a while!
P3 - the long ‘Filibuster’ pitch
From this ledge, we embarked on the endless layback — move after move of pulling on burning arms, with hands about to go numb.
A climber on the first half of the ‘Filibuster’ pitch - pitch 3
Pitch 3 has now been divided into two pitches, both very strenuous and demanding. I could not have done the two as one long pitch — not enough endurance.
Looking up at pitch 4 toward Godforsaken Land
When I thought I couldn’t go any further, the belay appeared — a (very slippery) wooden plank, hanging from bolts like a swing.
Our next pitch - #4 - was no relief — but more laybacking, with some chimney moves I thought I’d fall out of, as the crack leans so much.
P5 - the last pitch of Godforsaken land
We opted to finish on the final pitch of Godforsaken land - at 10c, a little less strenuous than the 10d pitch on Right Wing - and, less overhanging. Still, it was strenuous. But it’s got a really cool move - you’re stemming between the corner and an arete, and then grab a small finger hold, let go of the corner, and lean right to move onto the arete. After that, it just remains pumpy.
Last pitch - a steep hand traverse
I struggled on that last hand traverse — not much left in the fingers. I’ve concluded that I need to go sport climbing to improve my finger strength. so many of the Squamish climbs feature long, steep laybacks — and strong sport climbers can layback pretty well. there’s not as many pure crack climbs here as in Yosemite, or the Sierra; the Squamish cracks tend more toward seams and layback.