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For the Tick-List: Penny Lane 5.9 in Squamish

First climbed in 1975, it's become a Canadian classic

Penny Lane is one of Squamish’s most-climbed trad routes at 5.9 and is found at the Penny Lane wall at the Smoke Bluffs. It was first climbed by aid in 1975 by Keith Rajala and C. McCafferty and freed in 1978 by Anders Ourom and John Arts. The route is named after a 1967 song by the Beatles.

The tall climb starts with a few tricky boulder moves to get off the ground and then moves into a shallow corner that requires some stems and solid jams. The difficulty eases towards the top. Some of the granite edges are a little slippery, so be sure to have some stiff rubber.

The anchor has been bolted, but as of spring 2020 it’s not fixed. That means you’ll have to install a gear anchor for the second to clean the gear. You can then traverse left to rappel, but it’s safer for the climbers below (some loose rock) to take the trail and walk off.

You need a 60-metre rope, helmet, single rack to two inches, doubles of 0.5 to #1 are useful. You park at the Smoke Bluffs parking area and follow the signed trail to Penny Lane. The climb starts in front of a bench. Watch an ascent here.

Penny Lane 5.9 Photo B. Pullan