New 5.9 at Smoke Bluffs in Squamish is Lucifer’s Lips
It adds to the long list of tall routes at the Penny Lane cragPhoto by: Brandon Pullan of Neat and Cool area
Kris Wild and Reid Stanger made the first ascent of a new 5.9, with a 5.10b extension, in the Smoke Bluffs. The climb adds a direct start to the classic Satan’s Slit 5.6, which was the first route ever climbed in the Bluffs back in 1974 by Anders Ourum and Len Soet.
Wild spent time this winter cleaning the original line of flora and dirt, plus hauled a 200-pound loose block up and lowered it out of the chimney. Satan’s Slit starts far to the right of Penny Lane 5.9. Read about the history of Penny Lane here.
Wild’s new variation climbs a direct line up through a crack to the right of Balding for Dollars, a 5.11 mixed route up the wall right of Penny Lane. As Wild reported, it “It goes through surprisingly perfect jams to where the ‘normal’ start of Satan’s Slit would come in from the right, below the little Arbutus tree. The routes share a few metres of climbing past the tree, then the new option stems straight up the widest part of the chimney, clipping bolts on the right arete. At the top of the chimney, (about 25m), there is an anchor out at the arete.”
Wild noted that there is a two-bolt extension that takes you up 35 metres from the ground to an old anchor. “It is possible for climbers finishing Satan’s Slit to traverse south to the 25m anchor on the arete at the same grade,” said Wild. “This keeps them out of the loose, rubble-filled groove they would otherwise be scrambling up to access trees, or the gear anchor area at the top of Penny Lane.” Lucifer’s Lips has six bolts and requires gear to two inches.
New-routing takes time and money, so be sure to donate to the Sea to Sky Bolt Fund if you find yourself on the west coast taking advantage of all of the amazing recent development.