If you’re looking for a monster slab climb that will test your friction climbing skills, then consider heading up CardiYak Rythem on Yak Peak in B.C. The 17-pitch granite route was established by Rob Birtles, Lyle Knight and Gary Wolkoff and climbed in September 2014.
The big route climbs sustained slabs, flakes and crack between Hole in My Heaven 5.10a and Reality Check 5.10. Despite having hard 5.11 slab climbing, it’s possible to climb it at 5.10c A0 by pulling on bolts through the cruxes, which might be worth it to enjoy the positions if the free grade is too daunting.
B.C. climber Knight has established many climbs over the years and has climbed Yak Peak above the Coquihalla Highway a number of times. Yak Peak stands at 2,039 metres and is the highest point along the Zopkios Ridge. Yak rises dramatically above the highway with its huge clean slabs, many have compared it to domes in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite.
Knight and his partners wanted to create a difficult, safe climb up the wall. Yak Crack, a 12-pitch 5.9- has many loose runout sections and the 13-pitch Reality Check 5.10+ has an infamous 35-metre runout.
“Rob and I started sussing out a line in August 2011, and we quickly installed 12 anchors along our route to facilitate quick escape, given Yak’s unpredictable weather,” Knight wrote for the American Alpine Journal.
“I visited Yak Peak 12 times with Rob and/or Gary Wolkoff to complete the route. The first three and last three pitches of our 17-pitch route were climbed ground-up, as we were able to sufficiently bolt those sections on lead. The rest was established top-down, and we redpointed the harder pitches to figure out the best balance of gear and bolts.”
There’s great friction climbing and microedges with nearly no loose rock. The pitch-11 fingertip corner is one of the best on the peak.