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For the Tick-List: The Bottom Line 5.11 in Skaha

The climb is one of the best long bolted routes at the grade in B.C.

Skaha is one of Canada’s most-visited areas and is set up to handle hundreds of climbers with dozens of amazing crags and hundreds of five-star routes. The Bottom Line is a classic and one of the best 5.11a sport routes in Canada. Anyone who’s climbed it would agree that every move offers fun and sustained climbing at the grade.

First climbed by Dean Hart in 1994, the vertical line starts up a bouldery arete that’s made of extremely solid stone. The round holds have small incuts and space between them is far. It will give you a solid pump right off the start. The first bolt is a crux to reach, as you chose left or right, both offering straining movement. While no single move is harder than 5.10+ in difficulty, the first few metres are unrelenting and set up the next 25 metres.

As you reach the top of the arete and find yourself halfway through the 13 bolts, you get a rest in a small bay with a right hand-jam. Above you is a dirty chimney, but The Bottom Line links excellent incuts to your left that will finish straight up the wall. As you move left between big reaches, you’ll have to spot your spaced feet, easy enough as they have black scuffs left from the thousands of feet that have stood on them.

After the exciting traverse left, you need to milk the semi-rest before making the crux moves up left and then right on pumpy holds. As you reach and crimp on nice holds, you find yourself linking the outstanding sequence on the obvious chalked-up holds. Two bolts below the anchor, and you’ll need to focus, so your pump doesn’t get the best of you. The route ends below a small roof with an anchor that has quick-shuts that allow a quick lower. Turn and take a look at the mighty Belfry wall and find the line of Blade Runner, likely the best 5.12a in Skaha. Once you’re lowered to the ground, take a look-up at the line of the rope as it follows the best 5.11a in Skaha. And that’s the bottom line.

Ian Welsted on The Bottom Line

For the Tick-List

Crime of the Century 5.11c in Squamish
Gooseberry 5.8 in Banff
Pennylane 5.9 in Squamish
Exasperator 5.10c in Squamish
Sunshine Crack 5.11 in the Bugaboos
Five Val-David routes in Quebec
Northeast Face 5.6 of Ha Ling in Canmore
Slab Alley 5.9 in Squamish 
The Colossus 5.11 and Titon Crack 5.10 in Ontario
Bottom Line 5.12 in Skaha
Les Grands Galets 5.12d at Cap Trinité, Quebec
Polar Circus WI5 700m in Rockies
The Monument 5.12a Trad in Ontario
The Scottish Gully WI2 100m in Canmore
The Snake WI4 Ice Climb in Ontario