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Gus Ryan Free-Solos Zombie Roof in Squamish

Peter Croft was the first climber to free-solo the famous 5.12+ roof crack back in the 1980s

Zombie Roof is Squamish’s classic 5.12+ horizontal crack found at the Smoke Bluffs, it was named after a Frank Zappa song called Zomby Woof.

During a trip to Yosemite in the 1970s, a group of Squamish climbers met with valley locals Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk and John Bachar, for a tour of the hardest new free routes. One of the the cracks they saw was the test-piece Separate Reality, a now-classic 5.12a roof crack first climbed by Kauk. It was one of the first 5.12s in North America. In 1986, Wolfgang Güllich famously made the first free-solo of Separate Reality.

After the trip, the Squamish climbers went to work looking for a similar roof crack back home and found what would become Zombie Roof. After several attempts, Peter Croft made the first free ascent in 1982. Croft went on to free-solo Zombie Roof, which was repeated by Will Stanhope 30 years later.

It’s not known how many climbers have ascended Zombie Roof without a rope, but it’s not many. Before going rope-less, Gus Ryan climbed it with a rope, and on one one lap even stopped to take a selfie before pulling the lip. Watch the selfie and free-solo videos below.

Zombie Roof Free-Solo

Will Stanhope Free-Solo