Frontside 180 was established in August of 2018 and promises to be one of Squamish’s most popular long easy routes. Last fall it was getting five to 10 ascents a day. The 10 well-bolted pitches climb fun rock with solid holds and most of the climbing is around 5.6 and 5.7.
Established by Tess Egan, Jay Robinson and Toby Foord-Kelcey and first climed by James Foord-Kelcey, Kye Egan-Robinson, Jay, Toby and Tess last August, the climb has already seen a number of repeats, including a quick solo by local Stu Smith.
The 220-metre 5.8 heads up the west ridge on Mount Chek and starts in the popular climbing area Cheakamus Canyon, about 20 minutes north of Squamish. The route is mostly slab climbing with good cracks and edges, not just friction climbing. You can link pitches with ease as it’s nicely bolted. From the summit, descend north down through the trees and back to the start.
Toby Foord-Kelcey, who’s the chair of the board for the Squamish Access Society, has established a number of routes over the years in Squamish, from 5.3 up to 5.13. Establishing Frontside 180 was no easy task.
“I think I spent about 15 days on it and Tess and Jason about the same,” said Foord-Kelcey. “I did most of my work in July, getting up at 5 a.m. to start work at 6 a.m. to beat the heat. When the sun hit the face at noon I’d go home.”
Frontside 180 starts on a west-facing bolted slab above the trail in the trees about 30 metres south of the Electric Avenue Cliff. You need one rope and 12 quickdraws.
“The route was my idea but looked like a lot of work, so I recruited Tess Egan and Jason Robinson to help,” said Foord-Kelcey. “They scrubbed and bolted pitches one to five. I worked on the top five pitches. We FA’d the route in late July last year with my son James (aged 10 at the time) and their son Kye (aged seven at the time). Everyone led some of the climb.”
The reason they named the route Frontside 180: “The route is located on the ‘front side’ of Chek and there are massive 180 degree views from the route,” said Foord-Kelcey. “A ‘frontside 180’ is the easiest trick in board sports which sort of matches the grade of the route. James and Kye are snowboard and skateboard groms respectively. In fact James is ranked second in snowboard slopestyle in B.C. for his age.” Watch here.
For a complete route description and pitch breakdown written by Foord-Kelcey, visit Quickdraw Publishing here.
“I spent 110 days at Chek in 2017, 75 days last year,” said Foord-Kelcey. “Variously developing at Electric Avenue, the Monastery and this multi-pitch.”
Thanks to the route developers out there who continue to establish modern, safe and fun routes so close to the road.
Five Fun Squamish Multi-pitch Moderates
Banana Peel 5.6 on the Apron
Skywalker 5.8 at Shannon Falls
Deirdre 5.8 on the Apron
Starcheck 5.9 in Cheakamus Canyon
Rock On 5.10a on the Apron