Way back in summer of last year, I took a course in Trad Climbing in Squamish, BC and only did my next single attempt at trad lead in Smith Rocks almost a year later. This 5 pitch multi pitch is called “Sunset Crack” rated ‘Severe’ on the British Scale (which by the way is extremely confusing grading to me but it should be a 5.5-5.7 on US scale).
The day prior, a few of my friends went to climb Sunset crack but poor weather forced them to retreat and they were unable to pull the 2 60m ropes used in their rappel down so I got a chance to climb the route again and retrieve some gear. The day of the climb, the weather looked fairly unstable and I was certain it would rain later on. At this point, I should note we were a party of 3, we are all beginner Trad Climbers and this is all our first Trad multipitch route.
We solo the first pitch, and I lead the 2nd pitch which is where the group stopped the day prior and we retrieve the 2 now soaking wet 60m rope (so now, we have 3*60m rope). Of course, it starts sprinkling with rain at this time and the crack is still very wet. No matter, we want to Top Out! So our friend leads the wet crack but he uses almost the entirety of the rope even though the pitch was supposed to be only 23m. Not being able to hear him, we luckily have cell phone coverage to convey information. The 2nd climber now leads with the 2nd rope and I follow and clean with the wettest rope in my bag. Let me just say, it was like climbing in a waterfall, chalk was useless, shoes had no grip and the pack in my gear, rope and all the climbing gear did not help. Hardest 5.5-5.7 of my life.
Now we are at the top of the 3rd pitch, but clearly we went the wrong way as we totally missed the traverse pitch. It also started raining properly so we quickly decide to bail. Abseiling out did not seem like a good idea because a 2*60m rope would have been insufficient and we would have left gear and likely rope again in a place that wasn’t even a pitch. However, looking up, there seemed to be a grassy gully that would lead to the top out. So, since I already had all the gear, I went to see if we could top out.
Anyways, with minimal gear placements, and the route actually being harder than it looked to be that required a committing move over the lip of a boulder we did eventually find the top out. Though wet and tired I was pretty happy about this. This was a truly Epic day, mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing.